Album of the Week
The Brighter Side Of Blue
January 23, 2023
Babitha shares her captivating debut record The Brighter Side Of Blue. Recorded mostly with in-the-moment live takes with Cody Munro Moore, the synergy of Alexi Grivas on guitar, Cecil Coleman (Body Type) on drums and Russell Fitzgibbon (Skeleten) on bass enmeshed with Babitha’s own lilting vocals and emotionally complex lyrics results in twelve luminous alt-country songs. The Brighter Side of Blue sees Babitha freely experiment with both traditional and non-linear narratives across multiple genres, touching upon folk to new wave, psych rock and pop. The record’s crisp, modern production place it firmly in today, and lyrically the album sees her wrestle with a spectrum of emotions; anger, grief, cynicism but also hope, yearning and a deep sense of gratitude. Borne out of a turbulent, yet highly transformative time in Babitha’s life, the melancholy of The Brighter Side Of Blue is eclipsed by a strong sense of optimism.
NO THANK YOU
December 19, 2022
UK rapper, singer and actress Little Simz, returns with her 5th studio album NO THANK YOU. Dropped as a surprise release in the wake of her Mercury Prize win for last year’s ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, the album strikes a balance between the orchestral grandeur of her previous album and the more classic hip-hop stylings of her breakout record ‘GREY Area’. Teaming up with longtime collaborator Inflo, the prolific producer and multi-instrumentalist who is affiliated with British collective Sault, NO THANK YOU sees Little Simz grapple with isolation amid stardom and take down music industry exploitation. Traversing genres like hip hop, gospel, funk and electronic music, NO THANK YOU is another exceptional and unmissable record from Little Simz.
December 9, 2022
SOS is the much awaited second record from R&B superstar SZA. With over 5 years passing since her era-defining first record ‘Ctrl’, SOS sees SZA take her artistry to new heights. With her soulful, impassioned vocals always at the forefront throughout the record, SOS charts emotional highs and lows in a way only SZA could execute. Once again subverting traditional R&B tropes, SOS sees SZA explore a myriad of sounds from acoustic balladry, uncompromising rap and moments of indie and pop punk. Helping her explore these sounds are her various collaborators, with features from various high-profile rappers and even a sample from Wu Tang Clan’s co-founder the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, as well as prominent indie musician Phoebe Bridgers with whom she sings a whisper-soft duet. With soul-baring songwriting about her raw emotions that critics and fans alike have celebrated since her debut, the 23-track record stories the wrongdoings of exes, struggles with self-esteem and the journey of claiming one’s autonomy with songs that feel at once intimate and universal.
December 2, 2022
Stranger State is the ethereal EP by Melbourne singer-songwriter Sandy Hsu. Sandy Hsu’s gentle and emotive storytelling is reminiscent of the intimacy of bedroom pop, yet Stranger State sees her expand her sonic palette for her unique style of delicate, folk-tinged and reverb-drenched dream pop. With gauzy vocal harmonies and softly plucked strings courtesy of Georgia Smith’s acoustic guitar, Emma Kelly’s stirring violin and Siwei Wong’s delicate harp arrangements, Stranger State conjures a swell of emotions in its listener. Wistfully evoking yearning to melancholy to optimism with her exquisite vocals, Sandy Hsu’s songwriting traverses dreams, the growing pains of early adulthood and wishing for a better future. Sandy Hsu’s creates a peaceful and introspective atmosphere in Stranger State, which is earnest and uplifting in its lyrical and sonic luminescence.
Life I Chose
November 25, 2022
YAWDOESITALL releases his bold and exciting debut project Life I Chose. A mainstay in Sydney’s music community for years, the Ghanaian-Australian artist has earned a reputation as a talented lyricist, rapper and producer, and as a magnetic performer.
Life I Chose is unbridled by stylistic expectations, with each track differing from the last. Gliding 808s, organic percussion, searing guitar passages, gospel samples and addictive vocal hooks come together with expert precision across the EP’s 8 tracks.
A product of the risk-taking and musical devotion that defines YAWDOESITALL, Life I Chose is a significant marker in the career of one of the city’s most charismatic and commanding voices.
And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
November 18, 2022
Weyes Blood fifth album is a second in a trilogy, the first being her acclaimed record ‘Titanic Rising’. Lyrically, the record features musings on the chaos of the modern world especially post-pandemic, and “the interconnectivity of all beings, and the fraying of our social fabric”. With swelling orchestral arrangements laying the foundation for her timeless balladry, Weyes Blood continues to delves into the existential challenges facing humanity.
November 11, 2022
Second Nature is the vast and impeccably crafted debut mixtape from Sydney artist Ninajirachi. Exploring futuristic and ecstatic club sounds, Second Nature showcases Ninajirachi’s talents as a producer, with a precise ear for detail and a singular ability for immersive world building.
Show Me The Body
Trouble The Water
November 4, 2022
Trouble The Water is the third album from NYC hardcore punk & industrial hip-hop pioneers Show Me The Body. The band’s melding of genres and capture of various New York subcultures have resulted in critical acclaim and a global dedicated fanbase, however the band still operate with a staunchly DIY approach. Chugging angsty guitars plant Trouble The Water firmly in a hardcore context, however the record’s sinister industrial electronics, seething against thrashing drums, once again sees the band create a distinct and gripping sound of their own. Pratt’s banjo occasionally cuts through the sheer sonic terror, and quieter moments prove to be equally as unsettling. A discordant and noise-laden record, the band’s now trademark brutal instrumentation and Julian Cashwan Pratt’s spine-chilling vocals are as powerful and uncompromising as ever.
We Outside Now
October 31, 2022
We Outside Now is the new mixtape from prolific Sydney producer and multi-instrumentalist Scruffs. A wavy, late night expedition through dusty hip hop, mellow neo-soul and even the occasional foray into footwork. Despite being created during bouts of lockdown, the EP offers light and escapism “for us to find our way out of the dark”, and provides a warm and generous soundtrack to our daily lives. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Melbourne rap heavyweights Savage The Girl & MAMMOTH., as well as Sydney synth master thedieyoungs, We Outside Now is an essential release from a well-respected mainstay of the Sydney underground.
October 21, 2022
Stumpwork is the much anticipated sophomore album by singular London post punk outfit Dry Cleaning. Mirroring the chaos of the modern world through vocalist Florence Shaw’s lucid storytelling and almost-speaking stream of consciousness delivery, the band twist and turn through different musical references, creating a cerebral, bordering on psychedelic, listening experience. Bold in its shrewd directness yet abstract simultaneously, Dry Cleaning’s discordant, angular guitar work is pushed into new territories for their second record, creating a woozy and cinematic backdrop to Shaw’s wry proclamations, which were often spontaneously recorded directly onto the album. With fragmented references to grief, archives and the surreal happenings of everyday life, Stumpwork is a masterful capture of the bewildering world around us.