Weekend Wind Down

Canberra turns 100 this year and this long weekend marks its birthday party. 100 is pretty young when you consider that “neighbouring” cities Sydney and Melbourne are nearly twice as old. Many overseas eroneously believe that Melbourne is the capital of Australia. Not the biggest error considering it was our capital until 100 years ago. It is perhaps because of the decision to make this move that Canberra bares the brunt of insults like ‘Canberra: a good sheep paddock ruined’ and ‘hell is empty and all the devils are here’. Sure, the satellite city’s sprawling districts are divided with paddocks. And sometimes Canberra seems like a slow city for the elderly, particularly to someone who grew up in Sydney.
But I love Canberra for its residents: cultured, ambitious and warm. It is also exciting to live in a city which is always growing and evolving. Over the last five years there has been a satisfying emergence of coffee couture and art festivals like Art Not Apart and You are Here unseen in bigger cities. And almost everyone I know here has been lucky enough to travel overseas, which elicits in Canberra an ongoing almost socialist international relations discussion about how Australia is connected to or disconnected from the rest of the world.
I doubt I’ll remain in Canberra because its music nighlife is still a bit lacking. But I have learnt a LOT living in this garden city for the past ten years. Happy 100 Canberra!

I remember well the times of Sufjan Stevens, when sad emotive music was at every corner and instrumentals plucked at the heart strings to the point of near nausea. But lately sad music is kinda boring. Maybe it’s because I haven’t heard an album’s worth of Daughter’s music all at once but they continue to resonate for a lot of listeners even though they’re focussed primarily on guitar and female vocals. I think their strength is perhaps in their music writing.

I don’t have nearly as many poetic things to say about this song as some reviewers but I will say that the song speaks for itself and is beautiful as expected. The accompanying video plays out like a mythological Greek tragedy and they’ve had a bit of fun with the mise-en-scène, breaking conventions without over-reaching.

Young Galaxy may be an established band but this is the first taste I’ve had and its rolling drums and evocative vocals make for some addictive listening. I will have to look into them further!

Until this point Alpines have proven themselves to be a sexy and seductive duo. This song is their best yet, starting slow and building to a dramatic and memorable crescendo.

Swedish duo, The Deer Tracks, write, perform (with various instruments and vocals) and produce their songs and somehow manage to pull this off without egotisically showing off. If I was going to SXSW (and I’m eternally jealous of those who are!) I would make sure I saw these guys.

Tom Odell – Another Love

I only just realised that the Burberry Acoustic sessions I’ve watched many times before is managed by the clothing line of the same name, haha! Duh! Anyway I was browsing a line of shiny new trenchcoats when I heard this beautiful song by someone I’d not before discovered, Tom Odell. Let’s hope his future releases are just as grand.

Moxi – Terrible Disguise

What a great introduction to this little bird with a broad vocal range! Californian, Anna Nelson, cleverly teamed up with mutli-instrumentalist Andy Toy to perform as Moxi. Working with award winning Bobby Hartry on the debut EP, In My Dreams, Moxi has unveiled itself with an impressive bang.

Skream – Copy Cat (feat. Kelis)

I’m not particularly fond of Skream and have never before heard who Skream is. But I’m always excited to see new Kelis. Fingers crossed she releases some new material of her own in the near future. This song is subtly provocative and… kinda funny.

Bastille – Oblivion

I’m not sure I need to introduce Bastille, who have really made their mark with the incredible pop song, Pompeii. Before releasing their debut album Bastille covered some artists on two free LPs called Other People’s Heartache. These albums indicate how well Bastille identify stirring tunes. Oblivion is as equally moving as the songs covered by Bastille, if not more.

Ava Luna – Ice Level

This is first I’ve heard of Ava Luna and it reminds me a little of Dirty Projectors and is so experimental it borders on pretention.
But they are not completely untethered (the way pretentious music is), strapping down their songs with solid vocals and instruments and playing something pretty unique. Ice Level is like a moulding of two songs, and the listener is bandied between the two wondering where it has left them.

Everyone is talking about James Blake at the moment as the second song in 2013 leaks. Digital Lion suggests Blake may be releasing a more soulful styled album. Sure, he’s always had soul but his songs in the past have been fractured and tumultuous. Though more structured, Digital Lion still experiments with sound, paced much like a train, chugging along and speeding forward at an unstoppable rate.

Excitingly, James Blake will be performing in Australia very soon! Tickets go on sale this Monday 11 March and details are below.

Tuesday 19th March: The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets available from: cornerhotel.com & 1300 724 867

Friday 22nd March: Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney
Tickets available from: ticketmaster.com.au & 136 100

Tickets on sale Monday 11th March at 9:00am

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