Nostaglia – The Return
Melbourne R’n’B pop artist Nostalgia bring us ‘The Return’, the artist’s third official single release since kicking off their music career late last year with debut track ‘Freak’. The track’s opening few seconds set an eerie tone – a hypnotic synth embodying a sense of uncertainty, like waking up in an unknown place. The plodding beats give the tune a sense of purpose – it’s empty sounding, but with an inquisitive nature. When the vocals kick in, the song evolves into a multi-genre alternative R’n’B cocktail. There are elements of the boy band teen pop explosion that plagued the early 2000s, meets the alt R’n’B sound of Drake, and loaded production channelling the jittery, ticking groove of an FKA Twigs track. Nostalgia sings “I’ll never leave you, forever keep you” like they are at battle with their feelings, not desperate, but aching. The end result is inadvertently unknown, and may still be for a long time.
Macksi – Your Love
‘Your Love’ is Macksi’s latest track leading up to his debut EP release, due in August. A minor departure from the poppy, chilled out beat fueled tune that was ‘Keep On Lying’, comes a clicking soundscape with a detached, affected vocal sample and strategically placed bass synth. The song charges forward with the vocal loop, “how does your love feel this way” which slowly grows as the song progresses towards its final act of booty shaking deep house, while still remaining a laid-back, chill anthem for a good old Sunday sesh.
Jessikah – Compass
Budding singer-songwriter Jessikah (full name Jessikah Baillie) has entered the music world with the laid back, reggae influenced folk track ‘Compass’. The production is delicate, with steady drums and a subtle guitar that feel like a welcoming light patter of rain. But it’s all in Jessikah’s magnificent voice, which seems to linger around even when she has stopped singing. The track has a huge sounding body but keeps its restrained delivery intact. With a voice this infectious, Jessikah is definitely an artist to watch out for.
Hey Baby! – 1800 WEED
There is nothing like a speedy, garage surf punk track to get you out of bed during the bleak Winter months. Conveniently hailing from the sunshine state, based in Brisbane, comes a full speed ahead punk track with an eagerly wailing guitar riff and vocals churned out with enough gusto to accommodate any avid head banger.
The song picks you up instantly, like a fast forwarded high-speed tour of the CBD in its brisk 2 minutes and 32 seconds. Though titled ‘1800 WEED’, and essentially being an ode to the green herb, this track makes you want to do things. It makes you want to clean the house; it makes you want to go on that run in the morning, it makes Monday morning seem doable. Perhaps it’s just channelling the urgency of seeking out that sneaky little nug when your stash is dry and everything is looking hopeless. Either way, the track is a delightful surf punk ode to getting high.
Birdhouse – Sweet
Melbourne’s Birdhouse have enjoyed an excellent year so far, dropping their debut EP I’ve Got Something to Tell You and embarking on a national tour to celebrate. Kicking off the EP is ‘Sweet’ a poppy, sometimes complex track built on a pumping guitar riff and an endless sea of vocal hooks to match. The chanting of “what you mean, what you mean, what you mean” is delightful, and the overload of backing vocals and various harmonies make this song a wild ride of well crafted indie rock. The track sounds like it wants to be massive, but it willingly stays put – ranging from sounds of grunge and indie rock, and almost diving to the depths of the post-hardcore/Midwest emo sound of the nineties, capped off with the bittersweet lyric “now this pineapple doesn’t taste so sweet”. You can grab the EP now, which is available on all online platforms.
SIMONA – Triumph
SIMONA is the queen of bridging 80s reverberated synth pop and 90s club rave – and she has just dropped the track ‘Triumph’, from the upcoming EP of the same name. Following 2016’s Trigger Warning #40 LP, ‘Triumph’ explores a new direction for SIMONA, exchanging synths and clasping beats for a more underground club focused sound which has her signature elements all over it. The track begins with a stuttering synth line that slowly creeps up on you, and surfaces like ball lightning – shimmering and lingering delicately, before the track explodes into a bass synth dance bonanza complimented by dirty percussive elements. The track constantly gains traction and flirts with various elements of SIMONA’s earlier work, causing it to be experimental in places while keeping a tight groove. The result is darker and of course, utterly triumphant.