SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “Baby” by Angharad Drake

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Angharad Drake is a bright light in an often predictable and redundant landscape of singer songwriters. Her music is dark and moody and is clearly influenced by the many different faces of music. Now Brisbane based, Drake grew up on Australia’s famed Sunshine Coast, where she began writing music during her early years of high school, and scoring gigs at small local venues. She later went on to study a Music degree at Brisbane’s QUT. Influenced by the stylings of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Laura Marling and Bon Iver, she began to develop her own individual style during her University years and recorded a self titled debut EP in 2010. Since then she has completed two more self-­produced EP’s (2013’s ‘Lay Down’, and 2014’s ‘Swing’), all in preparation for her debut full ­length album, ‘Sword’ which was released in 2015.

The genius of Drake’s music comes down to the mood and how she approaches the melodic structure of her songs. Drake saturates each song with darkness and a spooky whisper and it becomes hard not to be pulled into her psyche. It is real journey-person material and you can hear that Drake has lived every inch of pain contained within her lyrics. There are also pinches of resolve and hope swirling in and out of the music but it is more attached to an acceptance of ones weirdness as opposed to anything found in positive thinking handbooks. As is the case with all good pop music, the intensity is front and centre and Drake doesn’t waste time grabbing your soul and taking you on a journey through the dark and light regions of our existence and the other dimensions she is channeling. Drake makes both very intellectual but also very spiritual music and when you mix the science with the soul you get a beating heart that is well balanced and rooted in purity.

Today we are very proud to be premiering Angharad’s new single “Baby” which is from her forthcoming second album which is due out in early to mid 2017.

 

Once again we see Angharad digging deep and delivering a beautiful slice of melancholy sweetness that feels autobiographical in terms of the story she’s telling. The melodic changes that swing in and out of the verses and choruses of this song are so heavy emotionally and you get dragged into the drama of it all. This is perfect pop music that is communicated with such beauty and grace. Production wise we see a few stylistic changes helping to provide the song with some interesting dynamics. These new additions sonically don’t spook Angharad’s delicate and almost whispered playing style or take away from the poetically somber tone of her music. This is music for those of us who need the rush of a broken heart in order to give purpose to our creative muse.

All in all Angharad Drake proves once again what an important up and coming artist she is. Her music is the secret weapon against this fast paced need for technology to swoop in and strangle the pure musical experience. Her voice will haunt you and her songs plant themselves deep into your existence. She will help you understand that the best art comes from those who communicate honestly and with a sense of bravery. With “Baby” we glimpse just how powerful and emotionally violent a hushed heartbroken whisper can be. It’s truly fucking “stop what you’re doing” stuff and utterly flawless.

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Download the song for free from JJJ Unearthed:

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/angharad-drake

Do the right thing and support the artist – visit Angharad’s Bandcamp and buy her stuff:

https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/track/baby

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/angharaddrake
Official Website – http://www.angharaddrake.com
Bandcamp – https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Doubt” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” by Avaberée

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The music of Avaberee is an incredible cool breeze that saturates your existence and stains you with shivers and sighs. A collective of intelligent songwriters who are melodically flawless with pop music being their main vehicle, but its more than bubblegum and fairy floss, this is the kind of pop music that has been birthed from a collective scar. Both “Doubt” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” are delicious little heart-breakers about all the complications of love, distance and the eternal need for the unrequited rush of yearning for some kind of escape. It is all bliss and beauty from a band who are poised to conquer the world with their refined other worldly shiver pop anthems.

8 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

https://soundcloud.com/avaberee/master-tomopr-doubt-upload-sage-audio

 

https://soundcloud.com/avaberee/cant-get-you-off-my-mind-1

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/avaberee

SINGLE REVIEW: “Let Yourself Be Free” by Dark Fair

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Upon hearing Dark Fair’s latest single, Brisbanites familiar with their local music scene over the last seven or eight years might hear some similarities to songstress Kate Bradley, who quietly disappeared a few years ago after releasing an excellent album, ‘The Deeper The Sand‘.  If you’re in that boat, your ears aren’t deceiving you; Bradley now goes by the name Ramona Moore, and along with ex-Goodbye Horses & Young Eleanor drummer Ellie Dunn they’ve spent the last two years crafting jagged pop songs as the Melbourne based two-piece Dark Fair.

The immediacy of ‘Let Yourself Be Free‘s opening guitar riff, coupled with stop/start drumming, and bouncing bass courtesy of guest musician Adalita Srsen (yes, that Adalita), are miles away from Kate Bradley & The Goodbye Horses’ introspective indie.  ‘Let Yourself Be Free’ is sonically closer to bands like Franz Ferdinand and Editors than anything I had imagined would emerge from these two musicians.  It’s not a bad thing, though, this approach suits their sparse guitar & drums attack perfectly.  The bridge contains a mountain of handclaps, which would get even the most jaded of hipster crowds moving and shaking.  This is definitely music to dance to.

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Dark Hair / Fair Hair – Ramona Moore & Ellie Dunn

As if getting lost in a great pop song wasn’t enough, the B-side ‘Year Of Never Knowing‘ turns out to be the real gem here.  Its slower tempo and spindly guitar lines convey feelings that make ‘Let Yourself Be Free’ sound almost throwaway, rather than just carefree, in comparison.  ‘Year Of Never Knowing’ never loses the ability to keep your foot tapping along, but will have you thinking about its spidery lyrical twists and turns hours later.

Get a copy of this now.  Dark Fair are your new favourite band.
http://thedarkfair.bandcamp.com/album/let-yourself-be-free

Rating: 8 out of 10

By Clint Morrow

Single Review: New Manic Spree – ‘Ghosts’

ImageDuring the first 30 seconds or so of New Manic Spree’s latest single, one question comes to mind: What happened to music with teeth?

Like a hundred other ‘indie rock’ bands, there’s a bland synth keyboard sound and polished good-boy vocals bemoaning some generic ailment, in this case ‘ghosts in my mind’.  The glassy, overly produced guitars evoke Bloc Party, and the deliberately off-kilter drumbeat would make watching a roomful of kids dancing to it a slightly hilarious sight.

Remember Expatriate?  This is what I think New Manic Spree could sound like:

But unfortunately ‘Ghosts’ winds up more in this territory:

New Manic Spree make a good fist of writing a song, it’s deceptively catchy by the halfway mark, but because of the production it sounds like hundreds of other songs by hundreds of other bands and is easily forgettable as soon as it ends.

But who am I kidding?  They’ll probably be huge on Triple J.

6 Synthesizers out of 10

By Clint Morrow

SINGLE REVIEW: The Reversals – Long Night / Michelle

The Reversals

It’s a strange feeling hearing these songs again after so many years.  Back in 2007 or so I played bass in a local band called The Westminsters.  Whilst essentially a solo vehicle for Martin MacDonald, the live band also featured Scott Maynard on drums and occasionally Nathanial Hubbard on keys, both of whom were also in another fantastic Brisbane band, The Reversals.  I can’t count the number of Reversals shows I saw or even participated in during that period, but eventually The Westminsters turned into Son Of Sea and The Reversals slowly faded from view.

You may have heard of The Reversals before.  If you don’t remember them by name, you might recall their minor Triple J hit during the Australian Federal Election of 2007 – ‘Cotsello (Drunk At The Wheel)’.

But this isn’t about that song, it’s about what The Reversals have been doing since then.  I’ve been out of touch with the band for the last 5 or 6 years, and the debut album they had written and were in the process of recording all those years ago looked like it would never surface.

But here, in 2013, are the first two singles.

So has it been worth the wait?  On first listen these tracks wrapped around me like the embrace of an old lover after years apart; a little older, a little wiser, and better for the time spent growing up.  ‘Long Night’ is a steady, melancholy tune featuring Nathanial Hubbard’s beautiful croon over a guitar-heavy backing track.  The real surprise is the trumpet solo at the end, perfectly capping off a song that makes me want to sit alone in the dark with a candle and a bottle of red wine reminiscing…  “It’s been a long night / temptation setting in / It’s been a long night / look at the state you left me in”.

You can hear ‘Long Night’ here:

http://www.triplejunearthed.com/artists/view.aspx?artistid=14309

The latest single ‘Michelle’ is told from the point of view of an older man looking back fondly on a relationship from his youth.  The song begins with violin, before giving over to a pretty acoustic guitar figure, while Hubbard again shows off his impressive vocal range.  The track builds steadily throughout its length and features some intricate violin work in the bridge before falling away to a single strummed acoustic in the outro.

Michelle

Looking back seems to be a common theme running through both of these songs, echoing my own feelings while listening to them.  The band have always walked the line somewhere between rock and folk, sounding like a more versatile version of Bernard Fanning’s ‘Tea & Sympathy’ than anything else.  If the world was a fairer place, The Reversals would be just as much of a household name.  They may not set the world on fire in 2013, but The Reversals will touch everyone who takes the time to get to know their music, and in the end that means a lot more.

Rating: 8 mended hearts out of 10

By: Clint Morrow

Relevant Links:

http://www.thereversals.com/

http://www.facebook.com/thereversals