Adorned in Satyr-esque chaps, an Elizabethan ruffled collar and a striking cowboy hat, Marcus Whale transforms into his newest persona – a vampire’s familiar – for his latest album The Hunger.
Known for his work as half of electronic-pop duo Collarbones and as part of underground club group BV, the Sydney auteur’s solo project utilises a more theatrical approach. The Hunger sees Marcus Whale integrating music and performance-based character work, composed alongside a dramatic performance, with set and costume design from artists Athena Thebus and Chloe Corkran.
Having previously embodied the persona of the fallen angel Lucifer in his 2020 album of the same name, Marcus Whale continues his exploration of mythological and queer-iconography by using the relationship between a vampire and it’s victim – a lonely cowboy – as a vehicle for exploring the tensions between life and death, sensuality and gore, fear and yearning.
Comprised of an entrancing mixture of delicate piano-led ballads and frenetic, arpeggiated synthscapes, The Hunger weaves a macabre but beautiful story of transformation fueled by the power of desire and lust.
Little Simz delivers an affirming and rich personal statement on her 4th studio album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. Sporting an expansive new sound, the album’s 19 tracks unravel stories of Little Simz’ personal and public life. Set against a backdrop of local community, cyclical social inequality, youth violence and memories of her London upbringing, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert showcases Little Simz’ masterfully sharp flow and captivating storytelling style. With a broad sonic palette that covers everything from theatrical orchestration to grimy minimalism and 808 heavy synth pop, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is compelling in all senses. Transforming what started as a collection of existential reflections into an album that is invigorating, uplifting and ultimately finds the power in introversion.
Ngaiire dazzles on her highly anticipated new album, 3. Conceptualised on a trip to her hometown in 2017, 3 was initially a project aimed at exploring contemporary aesthetics in Papua New Guinea. However the ensuing years of Global political upheaval and personal transformation evolved the album into something much more intimate.
Ngaiire’s third album sees her grapple with new motherhood, her identity as a woman of colour from post-colonial PNG, navigating a whitewashed Australian music industry and exploring a bolder level of creative freedom than she has before.
Co-written and produced by Paris-based, Sydney transplant Jack Grace, 3 is deftly layered with entrancing gospel harmonies, decorated with soft electronic overtones and a percussive heartbeat that lays the groundwork for Ngaiire’s most impressive work yet.
jaime is the sophomore album from trailblazing South West Sydney artist, B Wise.
Having paved the way for countless Australian hip-hop acts, this follow up to 2018’s Area Famous showcases a triumphant return for the Liverpool rapper.
Stacked with impressive collaborations from the likes of Sampa The Great, ONEFOUR, Milan Ring, Jess B, Blessed, Becca Hatch and more, this album sees B Wise step back from the characteristic bravado of his previous record to give us a more intimate picture of the person behind the persona: the real jamie. The resultant album offers up 13 tracks of absolute fire and cements his place as one of the nation’s most respected hip-hop artists, advocates and storytellers.
Tinashe steps out from the shadow of her former label and takes back the reins on her 5th studio album, the Independently released, 333.
In recent interviews Tinashe has reflected on the consistent pigeonholing of her music as ‘rnb’ or ‘urban’ – terms that have never resonated with the US artist. 333 sees Tinashe fighting these outdated and strict genre distinctions rooted in racial segregation and ascending through a lush sonic palette of glimmering and buoyant electronic sounds.
Taking on the role of singer, songwriter, producer, mixer, engineer, artistic director, and editor for the album, Tinashe has flourished in her new found control. Reinforcing this almost omnipotent influence over her new release, the album’s title is a reference to the ‘angel number’ 333, associated with divine protectors: delivering messages of love, growth and destiny.
The Apple Drop is the new album from prolific experimental-rock project Liars. Originating from New York’s early 00’s post-punk scene, Liars has continually evolved through various incarnations over the last two decades, exploring a multitude of punk and electronic sounds with the project’s brainchild Angus Andrew at the helm.
With Andrew’s return to his native Sydney and the addition of new collaborators – drummer Laurence Pike (PVT, Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders), multi-instrumentalist Cameron Deyell (SIA) and poet/lyricist Mary Andrew – The Apple Drop exhibits somewhat of a return to the project’s guitar-driven origins. However, far from the unapologetic, serrated noise of Liars’ early days this new album is bathed in cosmic atmospherics and an unnerving sense of space.
The Apple Drop is Liars’ uniquely dark vision of a Space Opera: infused with wide-eyed psychedelic wonder and a horror-tinged fear of the unknown. The album signposts another impressive landmark in Liars’ eccentric sonic Universe and a suitably epic concept for Liars’ 10th studio album.
Naarm based 4 piece Jalang deliver their ferocious and unique take on hardore punk with their debut album Santau.
Taking their name from a Bahasa Indonesia word that has dual meaning – wild or undomesticated for the masculine and promiscuous or evil for the feminine – the band reclaim this duality, embracing the power of the feminine.
Santau navigates the personal narratives of Jalang’s members, reflecting on diasporic experiences and examining politics, religion, feminism and queer rights in Southeast Asia. With vocals delivered in both Bahasa Indonesia and English, Jalang present a sonic representation of entwined identities and a triumphant and fearless defiance of colonialism in both Australian and Indonesian history.
A day before her new album was released, Alice Skye posted a tweet reading: “fun activity for today: listening to our album start to finish and questioning absolutely everything about it the day before it comes out“, quickly followed by a second tweet “I can’t explain how excited and yet deeply embarrassed I am“. In much the same way, Alice Skye exposes her anxieties and inner doubts with self-depreciating humour and tenderness on her second album I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good.
Weaving richly unfolding melodies and introspective lyrics into gently rocking ballads, the Wergaia & Wemba-Wemba singer-songwriter digs into intimate topics surrounding mental health – where a good day might be followed by a bad one without much discernable reason – and the flow on effect this has on one’s relationship with others and the environment around them.
Produced alongside Jen Cloher and Alice’s childhood friends and close bandmates, Sam and Kane King, the album delivers a richer sound to match Skye’s musical development, building upon her intimate piano led first album. Despite the heavier themes, Alice Skye’s songwriting exhibits a lightness of touch, her soothingly emotional voice softening the message, and offering a hopeful acknowledgement and recognition of those living daily with anxiety.
Tunisian web-magazine Ma3azef brings the fight for occupied Palestine to the forefront with their compilation It’s Not Complicated. Created alongside renowned New York-based Egyptian audio engineer Heba Kadry (whose credits include Björk, Slowdive, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Deerhunter, Beach House and more), Ma3azef has assembled a glistening array of electronic music from an international lineup. With all proceeds going to Medical Aid for Palestine and Grassroots Al-Quds.
Opening with ambient pioneer Brian Eno and including new tracks from the likes of Against All Logic, Bergsonist, Asifeh and Firas Shehadeh and LAFAWNDAH. The collection paints what Ma3azef refers to as a “a sonic tale of occupation, colonial violence and resistance in the face of an attempt to erase a land, a people, a history and a future”. This compilation is dedicated to those surviving daily in occupied Palestine, cutting through the convoluted rhetoric and debate around the existence of Palestine, pointing to the truth – It’s Not Complicated.
Tkay Maidza delivers Last Year Was Weird Vol 3, the third and final instalment of her critically acclaimed series of mixtapes. Returning with all of the technicolor flair that we’ve come to expect from the genre spanning Adelaide rapper.
Despite what the title might suggest, her latest mixtape is not allusion to the the global pandemic but instead continues the documentation of her artistic development and continual rise to global stardom.
Displaying the impressive versatility we’ve come to expect from Tkay, the release encompasses industrial tinged trap, house, gospel and even low key R&B moments, tied together with her signature style flow, alluring hooks and airy harmonies. On club ready single ‘Syrup’ Tkay proclaims that she’s ‘Goddess-like Artemis’. The cover art depicting Tkay Maidza as a 3D rendering of the Goddess, shooting an arrow to into the stars. An apt piece of imagery to adorn the cover of Last Year Was Weird Volume 3.