Experimental icons Party Dozen release their monumental third album The Real Work. The prolific duo of Kirsty Tickle and Jonathan Boulet have developed a cult following for their distinctive, improv-driven sound; drawing from a bevy of stylistic touch points including doom, jazz, noise, punk and industrial music. The Real Work sees Party Dozen branching out further than ever before, delving into Kirsty Tickle’s unconventional sax-filtered vocal approach, exploring venturing into kitsch 50s movie soundtrack references, and even featuring a guest vocal adlib from Nick Cave. Having already proved on their previous LPs that the duo can go larger, wilder and more inventive than many bands triple their size, Party Dozen take a quieter, more considered and at times tongue-in-cheek turn on the album. The Real Work showcases Party Dozen as the unparalleled masters of their own bizarre and magnificent corner of the musical universe.
A Colour Undone is Tasman Keith’s highly anticipated and triumphant debut album. A profound and soul-baring journey, the record deeply explores multitudinous experiences of love; whether that be the romantic or familial, as well as love for community and self-love. The record sees Tasman Keith as his most vulnerable self, undoing ego, envy, self-expectation and intergenerational trauma, eventually leading to a true and fulfilled understanding of self. Despite its earnest themes, the record emphasises Tasman Keith’s self-assurance, by exhibiting the growth of an artist who has not only tirelessly honed in on their craft for many years, but is also willing to take new steps forward both lyrically and stylistically. A Colour Undone is a 14 track odyssey that is sonically Tasman Keith’s most far-reaching effort yet, ranging from stripped back ballads through to auto-tuned R&B, bass-heavy hard rap to jazz and gospel-influenced hip hop and beyond. Stacked with features from local artists including Genesis Owusu, Kwame, Jessica Mauboy, Thandi Phoenix and Phil Fresh, A Colour Undone effortlessly traverses genre limitations and proves itself as one of the most musically and thematically vital albums of the year.
Soccer Mommy releases her mesmerising third album Sometimes, Forever. Brimming with the Nashville artist’s characteristically addictive songwriting style, the album elevates Soccer Mommy’s signature style to new heights by leaning into darker melodic territory and strikingly unconventional sound design. Teaming up with Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) on production duties, Sometimes, Forever sees Soccer Mommy painting with an even more vivid sonic palette than ever before, successfully deploying experimental production techniques in a way that tastefully enriches her much celebrated poignant-yet-relatable approach to lyricism and songwriting.
Sydney collective SPEED release their debut EP Gang Called Speed through Last Ride Records and Flatspot Records. After years spent cultivating a strong community as members of various different projects in the local hardcore and metal scenes, the five members of SPEED joined forces in 2019, quickly developing their staunch and uncompromising sound. SPEED’s no-holds-barred approach comes through – not only sonically but also lyrically – throughout the 6-track release; tackling issues of misogyny, masculinity and racist hate crimes, elevating the importance of authenticity and taking ownership of your identity. Gang Called Speed presents a contemporary take on classic mosh-ready, thrash-infused hardcore. Sporting molten riffs, wailing guitars, and a pummelling rhythm section, all combined with a powerfully charged vocal delivery. Through their music and presence in the local scene, SPEED unapologetically showcase the power of resilience and community, with the release of Gang Called Speed realising the bands mission to put local hardcore back on the map.
Phases is the vibrant second album by South African musician Moonchild Sanelly. The Johannesburg-based artist’s signature bold vocal delivery and witty and commanding lyricism – delivered in both English and her native language of Xhosa – is featured alongside percussive and club-ready productions throughout the record. Phases is packed with anthems that champion female empowerment and liberation in many forms – Moonchild Sanelly unabashedly sings about body and sex positivity, freedom from toxic relationships and confidently backing yourself. Her self-described “future-ghetto-funk” sound encompasses South African regional club sounds like gqom and amapiano, whilst also touching upon house, pop and R&B. On the record she is joined by fellow South African artists Sir Trill and Blxckie, as well as other features including grime MC Ghetts, beatmaker TOKiMONSTA and alt-hip hop duo Sad Night Dynamite. The album’s name Phases is the perfect encapsulation of what it has to offer; from the range of genres it explores, the different South African sounds and styles it references, to the many facets of Moonchild Sanelly as a rapper, dancer, poet and woman.
Eclectic Naarm/Melbourne-based producer – and FBi Northern Lights competition alumni – Lucianblomkamp teams up with an impressive array of collaborators on his new album Where In The World Is LUCIANBLOMKAMP? Shifting from high-energy rap to blissful hyperpop, Where In The World Is LUCIANBLOMKAMP? presents Lucianblomkamp’s versatility and deftness as a producer, whilst showcasing each local feature artist’s signature vocal delivery or lyrical prowess. Written over years of sessions, Lucianblomkamp joins forces with an impressive array of local artists across a variety of sounds – from rappers like IJALE, I.E. and A.GIRL, to singers like Liyah Knight and MADAM3EMPRESS, electronic artists like Lonelyspeck and Darcy Baylis, to pop artists like Rromarin and Cookii. Where In The World Is LUCIANBLOMKAMP? is not only a testament to Lucianblomkamp’s growth as a producer, but also a celebration of exceptional local talent.
DJ Haram and Moor Mother join forces as 700 Bliss for their hard-hitting and highly original debut album ‘Nothing To Declare’ on Hyperdub. Becoming a staple name in dance music for her Jersey club-tinged percussive productions, DJ Haram’s work as a producer and DJ is highly celebrated, in part due to her expert blending of Middle Eastern sonic influences into her own signature club music sound. Her involvement in the Philadelphia DIY noise scene made her the perfect pairing for experimental musician, poet and activist Moor Mother. A founding member of queer Afrofuturist collective Black Quantum Futurism, she is known for her distinctive dark and emphatic flows, razor-sharp lyrics, and varied influences of jazz, hip hop and noise. As 700 Bliss, the duo unveil their own influences and sounds as solo artists but recontextualise them into an idiosyncratic style that is entirely their own. On ‘Nothing To Declare’ Moor Mother’s noise rap is buried into heavy distortion, with analogue sound design, looming bass and bursts of raw drum. Being innovative and boundary-pushing artists in their own right, their union as 700 Bliss has resulted in a sound that is entirely unique and a perfect culmination of both of their musical journeys.
Legend of the Naarm/Melbourne underground rap scene Teether, releases his fourth record Machona: Afar, You Are Animal. Written, performed and produced by Teether himself, the album was made over three months with no internet connection, and the result is a highly original sound – idiosyncratic beats are awash in moody strings and piano, post-punk guitars, lo-fi samples and emotional synth melodies. Teether’s own vocal delivery sounds cavernous against the backdrop of murky beats, rapping about his ruminations on the world around him, occasionally being joined by fellow Naarm rappers Chef Chung and realname as well as Eora/Sydney’s own Sevy. After amassing a cult following from his work in experimental hip-hop trio Too Birds, and an acclaimed collaborative record with producer Kuya Neil, Teether’s Machona is singular in the landscape of local hip-hop, by jumping from varied musical influences to create a sonic world that’s heady, dark and vivid.
Eora/Sydney-based four-piece Body Type release their raucous debut LP Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising. Established favourites of the city’s live scene, Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising reflects Body Type at a riotous high. The band recorded the album over 8 days with Jonathan Boulet of Party Dozen, just before the global pandemic placed a dampener on touring and recording. Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising showcases the band’s searing guitars, cathartic choruses, lyrical sourness and justified rage; all sugar-dusted with wry humour and wrapped up in catchy hooks, creating a record that is both biting and empowering.
LP.8 is the otherworldly third record by Welsh genre-bending electronic producer Kelly Lee Owens. After the cancellation of her world tour, Kelly Lee Owens was forced to start from a blank slate. This marked the catalyst for her spontaneous move to Oslo, Norway, where she began her musical partnership with prolific avant-noise musician Lasse Marhaug. Together they had a series of studio sessions that were rich in experimentation and saw Kelly Lee Owens expand upon abstract ideas and influences, which culminated into LP.8. Kelly Lee Owens pushes her dreamy sound into new territories, exploring minimalist and industrial sounds whilst drawing influence from the pioneering industrial and new age artists that inspire her. Her trance-like vocals are layered upon ambient atmospheres, throbbing noise textures and techno drum patterns. LP.8 is the result of an artist freely creating without preconceptions and expectations, and is Kelly Lee Owens’ most inventive record yet.