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Song of the Week: No One Ft. Thelma Plum by Golden Feature

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Our top track this week comes from Sydney based newbie Golden Features. Breaking onto the scene early last year, Golden Features brings a fresh sound to the Australian dance music scene.

This song is is chill enough to be relaxing, but catchy enough to make you want to hit the dance floor, so basically it is perfect for all occasions and mood swings. Additionally, Thelma Plum’s killer vocals are irresistible and blend perfectly with the interesting and sophisticated production.

Check it out:

If you like what you hear, Golden Features is releasing his new EP- XXIV June 19th and touring nationally in July, so be sure to add these dates to your calendar!

By Sophie Henry

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Gig Review: 10 Years Of Future Classic Feat. Flume + Flight Facilities + Seekae + Hayden James + Touch Sensitive

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With some of the biggest names in Australian electronic music signed to their label, Future Classic have built quite the empire for themselves over the past decade. As their name suggests, they’ve been pretty strategic with the artists they’ve recruited – they’ve got a signature sound with a large amount of cred and influence on the Australian music scene. So really, they would expect no less than to host their 10th anniversary celebration on the peninsula of the Sydney Opera House with evening views of Vivid lights in the harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Friday night show kicked off super early for the day job workers of Sydney, with Touch Sensitive on stage at 4:10pm. It’s a shame that more people couldn’t make it out to see the Sydney producer rock out on the bass to hits like Teen Idols and Pizza Guy. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, producers that play a ‘real instrument’ on stage along to their electronic tracks have a sort of performance X-factor that makes them stand out.

Then Hayden James hit the decks and showed off his subtle rhythm pad hits and moulded the crowd with his music. They danced, they swayed, they jumped to the beats he put out – it was almost as if everyone forgot where they were for a second and were just taken away. He even got Touch Sensitive back on stage for some smooth bass beats.

Seekae were probably the most unusual sounding artists of the night, with strange rhythmic drum beats and atmospheric sounds that floated across the harbour. It was a nice break to warm up for the headlining acts to come, providing a chilled vibe at the event.

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Flight Facilities feat. Owl Eyes on vocals

There was an immediate atmosphere change when Flight Facilities blasted onto the stage with an encompassing set. True to form, they viewed their performance as an aeroplane flight, from lift off to landing with voice overs to match. Owl Eyes provided shimmering vocals, and there were even guest appearances from The Presets‘ Julian on keys and Kurt Kristen on vocals for “Sunshine”. But one of their most exciting surprises on the night was a cover of “Another World” by The Chemical Brothers which fit so seamlessly into their set that it easily could have been written by them.

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Flume rocking the tropical look on stage.

Finally, Flume, the leader of the Future Classic pack, graced the stage, and quite frankly it was like being in the presence of music royalty. Since 2012 when he first dropped his iconic self-titled album, he has been incredibly influential in bringing Australian electronic acts to the international stage, so seeing him on a home stage is few and far between and a very special experience.

Highlights included hearing a new track from his What So Not project (with such a dirty beat that I for one can’t wait till he drops the recorded version of this), a guest performance from Collarbones‘ Marcus Whale in a new track, and hearing Miike Snow‘s Andrew Wyatt perform their latest track together.

But it was clear that Flume is one of the greats not just because of his songwriting and producing but for his ability to work a crowd – he had people dancing from start to finish, with crazed fans shouting out “Flume is the king!” He ended with his remix tribute to Lorde’s “Tennis Court” and it almost seemed like an anti-climax because with so many hits he could have kept the party going long afterwards.

The night was an important celebration of Future Classic’s influence on electronic music in Australia – but was also just a whole lot of fun! However, it did bring to light the lack of female producers signed by the label – over the two nights there was only one female act (George Maple) which is such a shame with so much talent up and coming. Nonetheless, a great night and an incredible setting for such influential music talent in Australia.

By Erin Rooney

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Music Video Highlights: Some Minds by Flume

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With his unsurprisingly kick ass track ‘Some Minds’ debuting today, Flume has hit another home run for Australian music with this shady tune featuring vocals and lyrics by Miike Snow‘s Andrew Wyatt.

More importantly though, Flume has released this epic music video for ‘Some Minds’ featuring three of our favourite things: Sydney, visually pleasing content and Flume (of course). This spectacle of stunning Opera house visuals and chaotic computer edited dance routines is on point. Director Clemens Habicht has brought his A Game and we are very impressed, giving it the title of Music Video of the Week!

Check it out here and let us know what you think!

By Sophie Henry

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Song of the Week: The Giver by Duke Dumont (Wave Racer Remix)

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After almost a year of near silence, Wave Racer has gone ahead and transformed Duke Dumont’s track ‘The Giver’ into an explosion of sparkling, dancing, pulsating musical glory. The thing about Wave Racer tracks is that they transport you into a video game-like world where you feel like each dance move you do takes you further and further through the levels until you’ve reached this incredible sense of achievement. As with most of his music, it could easily be mistaken for a song in the soundtrack of a Nintendo game.

This take on Duke Dumont’s track is just restrained enough to be easy listening, yet bouncy enough that it could light up a dance floor. Perfect way to finish the weekend? Yep:

By Erin Rooney

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5 Easy Ways To Find Awesome New Music

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For those who love finding new music but often have no idea where to begin to find stuff they like, check out Vinyl Garden’s tips for stumbling across your new fave artists and tracks. You might even earn some indie cred along the way by staying ahead of the punches.

1. Start with Spotify or Pandora

As a general rule, I like to think of Spotify as the ultimate resource if you know exactly who you want to listen to, whereas Pandora is best if you know what style or genre you want to go for but want to stumble across new artists. That said, Spotify also has some excellent playlists you can follow by genre, mood, or music influencers, so you can certainly stumble across new music if you look in the right places. But if you can’t decide… why not have both?

2. Use Hype Machine

Connect through Facebook to Hype Machine or create your own account, and discover amazing new music as it’s released, and through what’s trending. If like me you love discovering local Australian music, you can set your feed to what’s being blogged in Australia for all the local updates (hopefully one day you’ll see Vinyl Garden in there!). Another tip I highly recommend is becoming HypeM friends with people you know have very similar music taste to you – you’ll get all the songs they’ve ‘loved’ in your feed, and they might pleasantly surprise you sometimes!

3. Check in regularly with your favourite music blogs

Ok so maybe this was just shameless self-promotion, but once you find a music blog you really like it is worth connecting on Facebook and checking in from time to time…there will always be some hidden gems that you might have missed! Plus it’s kinda like keeping in touch with an old beloved friend…right? Check out some suggestions from us.

4. Find a radio station you love, listen often

It may seem the most obvious tip, but the key really is listening often. In Sydney, my personal favourite stations are Triple J and FBi Radio. I find that once I get into the habit of listening to them, it really keeps me up to date with what is popular currently and I can filter through what I like and don’t like. Plus, it gives you something to do getting ready in the morning or on the drive to work!

5. Always, always watch the support act at gigs 

I cannot recommend this enough. Since I started reviewing gigs for The BRAG, I started going to support acts as a courtesy for the review, but have now started doing it as a favour to myself. Why? Because support acts are usually supporting the band you love for a reason – they’re bloody good. And even if they’re not your cup of tea, you’re exposing yourself to something new and different. Plus, do you know how much indie cred you get when you meet bands BEFORE they get big? A lot. It’s a lot.

That’s it! If you do all of these, you’ll be a music gun in no time. Comment below if you have any more you think I’ve missed!

By Erin Rooney

PS: Thought I’d leave you with my weekly listening. I can’t get enough of Sufjan Stevens‘ new album Carrie & Lowell – it’s about his estranged mother who recently passed away, including things he wished he’d told her and memories. I’ve been loving storytelling albums like this one (such as the new album from Gang of Youths). Please enjoy my favourite song off the album, “Dying With Dignity”:

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Song of the Week: “Evie” by Last Dinosaurs

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I can’t remember when… Last Dinosaurs last released a song. It was something like two years ago! So what a pleasant surprise when this week they dropped this fun beauty and came out of extinction.

“Evie” seems to describe two lovers that know that perhaps they’re not right for each other but they want to go for it anyway, because they’re “always gonna be a dreamer“. They’ve brought back their classic indie rock sound with slightly distorted vocals and dreamy swirling melodies. It’s a jovial, reckless song and fans will not be disappointed that they’ve held onto their iconic sound.

Have a listen:

 

The single is the first off their upcoming second album, and they’re even going on tour to celebrate! Check them out live at Oxford Art Factory (Sydney), Howler (Melbourne), Jive (Adelaide) and Amplifier (Perth).

By Erin Rooney

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Producer Spotlight: Nice Girls Can’t Dance

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While by day Alex Eldridge runs a children’s guitar school in Manly, by night he produces electronic music that could melt faces with its heavy melodies and beats, under the moniker of Nice Girls Can’t Dance. We had a chat to Alex about his new track, “This Town” and what he’s got in the works at the moment.


E: Describe your sound in five words.

Alex: Synth folk acid pop … synth.

E: What drew you to become an electronic music producer, despite teaching rock ‘n’ roll?

Alex: I have always loved collaborating creatively with other artists and I’ve been in bands for years and years but there’s something very satisfying about having an artistic creation that is completely your own. It’s like a little secret, like writing, where you can just totally not have to listen to anyone and let your creative impulses run amok!

The aesthetic of electronic music is also very important to me – it comes from growing up with video game music which is a bit of a touchstone for lots of producers today. The soundtrack to Final Fantasy VII was a huge influence on me! Probably going to Mosman High with guys like Flume and Jagwar Ma and Gang of Youths (Davo from that band actually sung for my HSC major work) was also an incredibly inspiring environment to grow up in, which made me consider music as a viable option.

E: How do you experiment with your sound?

Alex: I work very well with essentially a blank canvas. Like, actually a blank Logic project file. Then I kind of listen for something to grab onto and I’ll load up a synth or grab a guitar and kind of just follow that inspiration. It usually starts with either a melody or a beat and then I write from there. I’d compare it to sculpture: you’re chiselling a song out of the ether, it’s in there, you just have to gently chip away at it and hope you don’t knock off the nose or something. Samples are good too but I use them more for utility and less for inspiration.

I try to make sure that the lyrics are fitting in and literally telling a story too; not so much “I see you in the club, I wanna dance with you” kinda thing. I grew up listening to guys like Bob Dylan and Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys and those dudes actually say something when they sing. I think thats important. I want to create songs in an electronic medium that reference the past, specifically a lot of rock n’ roll stuff but kind of bring it up to date.

E: What do you like most about seeing electronic producers live? 

Alex: I really love it when producers are actively programming tracks in real time or playing instruments. DJing is great and I’ve done that myself which can be lots of fun, but there is something special about actually making something live, giving the music a chance to come alive of its own. I personally like to play live with a Novation Launchpad, which is kind of like an MPC (a media player) that works with Ableton Live.

E: What are you working on at the moment, what can we expect from you?

Alex: I just put out a new track called “This Town” with lots of woozy synths and vocals that I’m particularly stoked on. But there’s no rest for the wicked, so now I’m actually putting together a collection of songs with my friend Travis Keller of Buddyhead.com with some LA vocalist friends of his. Other than that, I’m putting on a live show at “legal and legitimate social events in Sydney’s industrial inner west” around Sydney. Just don’t tell your mum!


We’re really digging the subtle builds in “This Town” and looking forward to seeing how Alex’s sound develops in the future! You can check out this new track from Nice Girls Can’t Dance here:

By Erin Rooney