Although the champions of Australian brass banding, Brisbane Excelsior Band, are not defending their Australian title at this year’s National Championships, they will be competing in New Zealand against their Southern Hemisphere rivals, Wellington Brass. But before they head over to our New Zealand neighbours, Brisbane Excelsior have released an album to celebrate their successes. Rather haughtily entitled Ten Years On Top, the album hopes to encapsulate the talent that has secured them seven Australian National Championship titles since 2006.
The sultry voice of Sean C. Johnson has returned with his first commercial material since 2015 album “Circa 1998” with single Save Me. Not a huge follower of gospel or contemporary R’n’B music, Sean C. Johnson magically sucks me in with his easy-to-follow rap style and luscious vocal lines. Mountains off “Circa 1998” wowed me with his soothing grooves and incredible tenor tone, and I have been eagerly waiting his next album ever since!
The Australian music scene amongst young adults seems to push towards finding the next new, upcoming star before they become big, worldwide sensations. The force of the “indie” genre encourages so many young people to try to find unknown artists and follow their growth, turning their backs to the popular tones of Adele or Bruno Mars. Look at the likes of the triple j Hottest 100 Countdown, or even triple j Unearthed: young people love finding new upcoming artists before they take over the country and the world as pop artists. They rejoice when their local pub act grows and succeeds, just to say “I knew them when they had less than 1000 likes on Facebook!”
After more than three years since their successful debut album Sadnecessary, including hit song ‘Stolen Dance’, German folk duo Milky Chance have returned with a rocking new single that’s got me excited for the summer. And for most of us, hoping to unravel from the turmoils of 2016, ‘Cocoon’ is the track to get us into summer partying spirit!
Alicia Keys has been an all-time favourite artist of mine since I was a young-un, and I’ve loved following her progress alongside my own musical endeavours. Her songs are heartfelt, raw and passionate, with this natural feel drawing both from her craftsmanship as a songwriter and a pianist. Hence, her latest release ‘Blended Family’ brought me great excitement, in anticipation for her new album being released November 4th!
A Bourke Street Mall busker, Tash Sultana has truly taken the world by storm. She is currently on a massive Australian tour (after an eventful luggage mishandling incident that made global news), and is set to become a major name in Australian music. So for those of you who have not seen her fantastically engaging and charismatic sets in Bourke Street, I strongly suggest you check out her EP Notion.
I don’t know what Australian musicians have been up to recently, but it seems every second artist is changing their stage name. Even the Melburnian jazz scene has gotten into the mix of this “evolution” la-di-da, with a fusion quintet that came to my attention earlier this year pulling a “Prince” manoeuvre, to change their name from ‘Pilot’ to the increasingly vibrant, but also confusing ‘Neon City Pilot’. But despite all the befuddlement that comes with changing a name, the group has just launched another incredible release, with their debut album Ghost Wings.
I’ve been a Cat Empire fan since their hit ‘Hello’, and have loved their distinctive Australian take on ska and jazz. The Cat Empire have toured the world countless times, and their music is loved internationally for the band’s stupendous brass lines, keyboard finesse and thrifty use of vinyl scratching. Front-man Felix Riebl has been the mastermind behind the majority of the band’s success, with his charismatic performance style and intelligent song-writing.
I’m going to cut straight to the chase and say that Jacob Collier is bloody incredible. The young UK artist seems to be able to play everything, and he does so incredibly well and craftily. Only a couple of years older than me, Collier’s fusion of sounds is so beyond his years, that I can’t possibly imagine what’s next for this young superstar.
Just listening to the last 12 months of pop charts, funk looks like it’s back in town. with tracks like Uptown Funk and The Trouble with Us employing slap bass and rhythm guitar to create a refreshed vintage sound, labelled as “Future Funk”. So with the past becoming the present, it seems only right that the fat synth glory and screaming sax solos of the ‘70s ought to be making a return, right?
M83 has heard your demands, and have developed their strengths from their 2011 hit Midnight City to create a ripper new single that simultaneously feels authentically vintage, and yet so contemporary. Do It, Try It opens M83’s album “Junk” and it is an awesome single. The honky-tonk piano, fat synthesizer lines, massive drum beats, ‘80s party anthem-style vocals; it all adds up to a mega track that’s plenty of fun, on and off the dancefloor.
Jared loves to share his passion for music and artists through music reviews and commentaries. These include a selection of reviews written for community radio stations 3MBS and Radio Monash.