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).
Gang of Youths have all the makings of a memorable band: they’ve got great personality, discipline and friendship, but most of all they play straight up music with heart.
Their new album The Positions is curious and unique in concept alone – detailing the emotional reactions and experiences lead singer and guitarist David Le’aupepe had over the course of a four year relationship with a woman who had terminal cancer. So truly, the free album launch party they held at Frankie’s Pizza on Sunday evening was an absolute privilege to attend.
Frankie’s Pizza is the Sydney hub of grunge: it’s a smokey hole in the wall with decent pizza, alcohol served in plastic mugs, band posters from decades ago, and a whole lot of punk rock cred – so it gave a true hard rock feel to the night. It meant that Gang of Youths could easily transition from an indie rock mellow sound to a heavier sound that appears in tracks like “Radioface”:
David’s vocals very much brought to mind The National – emotional and coarse, yet warm and inviting. He exuded calm confidence throughout the set despite the raw content of his songs, which was on show particularly during “Magnolia” – a defiant song about a failed drunk suicide attempt.
And as with any great album launch, Gang of Youths had organised a special guest – fellow Sydney artist Montaigne – to help them sing “Benevolence Riots“. And you know how we feel about Aussies supporting Aussies. It’s always a winner.
The band’s gratitude for how far they’ve come made the whole venue feel like it was filled with a fan family, with Dave running to hug everyone in the crowd that he could. It was a special gig, because it could be one of the last of that size they ever play.
To catch Gang of Youths live, grab your tickets to The Positions Tour this May/June before they run out!
Today’s Song of the Week may be an oldie (sorta), but it’s most certainly a goodie. This track from Sydney group Gang of Youths draws on a number of indie rock influences from the past decade and delivers an up-to-date yet nostalgic sound.
The repetitive lyrics, husky vocals and distinctive bass rhythm certainly bring to mind The National, and the build in the middle has Arcade Fire written all over it. I mean listen to to the part at 1:55 – you could easily be forgiven for mistaking it for the end of “No Cars Go“:
Enjoy this easy tune for your Saturday afternoon. Gang of Youths have played some pretty cool gigs around the place including at FBi Radio’s new live venue and even dropped by triple j for Like A Version, so they’re doing great things. Check it out here, and enjoy your weekend!
On Wednesday, I headed to Channel V’s Island Party featuring one of my favourite angsty bands from high school – The Wombats (because let’s face it, who could ever resist their beautiful British accents). It was in every way a delightful experience, so I’ve prepared this list of four reasons why every gig should be on an island.
1. You feel like a VIP
First up, they gave us ALL lanyards. Lanyards. It’s pretty much a universal sign of exclusivity and self-importance, and to give everyone that experience at a gig where everyone got there just by winning tickets just makes everyone on board feel special. Plus they sent you onto the island on a little boat that you could only get onto…WITH A LANYARD.
2. It’s intimate as anything
For as much as I love gigs to death, I really can’t stand crowds. Maybe it’s just the Canberra girl in me, but I get sick of feeling sweaty bodies pushing against me in a mosh, and not being able to see anything (being short). But there’s only so many people you can fit on a floating pontoon in Sydney Harbour, which means less sweaty bodies and you actually feel like the band is performing to you rather than an infinite number of nameless people in the crowd.
3. The sound quality is better
There’s something about playing out into the open harbour to a small crowd that made everything sound less distorted, more fresh and clear. It was just music in its purest form and I really liked it.
4. The focus is all on the band
The reason everyone’s taken their little boat ride to this random little pontoon is for pretty much no other reason than to see the band and have a good time. And when The Wombats are serenading you with their greatest hits plus some new tunes to be released with their new flippin’ album in April, it’s pretty much impossible not to have a good time.
So the next time Channel V has an Island Party? You enter the competition dangnammit. Don’t miss The Wombats’ new album Glitterbug coming out April 26!
I’m very intrigued by the fact that the Australian music scene has been pushing away from the rock genre over the past couple of years and moving towards electronic and indie rock music, because Australia has always been so fantastic at producing a raw, iconic, likeable rock sound. With bands like Powderfinger, Silverchair,Jet, Wolfmother and of course, AC/DC, it’s been a large part of our music tradition. But with even ex Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns transitioning to electronic music with his new single “Aerial Love“, there’s a sense that this tradition may be disintegrating.
So that’s why I’ve decided to put together a list of five current Australian musicians that are keeping rock alive. And they’re damn good at it.
I’m going to be honest, but this band was not even on my radar until I saw them at Falls Festival this year. Not only do they have the rare ability to work a crowd, but they have taken the rock genre and modernised it to suit today’s listeners. Their lyrics are also super fun to sing along to, which just makes everything better.
He’s technically an artist, not a band, but Dan Sultan is such a salt of the Earth kinda guy, you can practically hear the sincerity from the growling and raw tones of his voice, so deserves a place in this list. He’s definitely got a bluesy influence too, and a very nostalgic sound. His album Blackbird from last year is definitely worth a good listen.
The Findlay sisters have been influenced by the greats, and vocalist Amy Findlay was even lucky enough to feature in the Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin tribute concert series last year. The vocals are a large part of what makes Stonefield’s sound unique, and they are proof that female vocalists can achieve that raw rock sound.
While certainly there are traces of psychedelic rock influence, these guys have a rock rhythm to them that there’s no messing around with. Their original stuff is great (check out Supersonic Casualties), but the real reason they’re on this list is because of their incredible triple j Like A Version performance of “Gooey” by Glass Animals. Check it on out:
These young guys are making waves with their ambling rock pace, which is given real strength by James Vann’s husky vocals. We featured them as Song of the Week for “Guilty Love” a while ago, and since then they have been playing shows around the east coast pretty much non-stop. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for them this year! Also fun fact: comedian Frenchy uses their music for his videos sometimes.
Do you guys have any favourite current Aussie rock bands? Let me know in the comments!