Each month our friends at The AU Review will be highlighting the best new music from Australia. Check out their top picks for December below.
The Laurels – Sydney
Larry Heath, Editor-in-Chief: When someone asks me “what band do you think best sums up the Sydney music scene” my answer consistently over the past three years or so has been The Laurels. Seen at CMJ 2012 for the first time, The Laurels have been consistently packing out rooms in Sydney for years, coming to represent our cities underground rock scene better than any other, first nationally and now internationally. Their brand of rsychedelic rock is as good as anything you’ll hear from the genre around the world, sometimes even better, with tracks like “Tidal Wave” and particularly “Black Cathedral” still sitting as stand outs of their sets after all these years. A band not to miss.
The Trouble With Templeton – Brisbane
Lucy Inglis, Sydney Writer: “Someday Soon”, a song by the Brisbane based alternative folk act The Trouble With Templeton, makes for powerful listening for a number of reasons. To begin with, lead singer Thomas Calder’s vocals have a startling sincerity to them, proving him to be a youthful, astoundingly expressive singer. Furthermore, as the song is delivered acoustically with great emphasis placed upon Calder’s melodic, story-telling vocals, it is enchantingly raw and heartfelt. After opening with a gently regretful tone, the number launches into an assertive, foot stomping chorus to tell the story of a character yearning to, “Find my place someday soon.” As Calder sings, “I’ll hang my skin on an old coat rack. And I’ll fly the wind cos baby I’m not coming back,” with a mix of optimism and sadness, you cannot help but be drawn into a bitter-sweet story that is beautifully told. A young, talented act that is beginning to make waves in the Australian music scene, this is a band well worth watching.
City Riots – Adelaide
Sosefina Fuamoli, Adelaide State Editor: City Riots have planted themselves firmly in the minds of the wider Australian market over the past few years and it isn’t hard to see why. Their blend of dreamy indie rock is easy to get caught up in and seeing them perform live provides you with even more proof that this band is a group of musicians who seriously know how to craft a catchy pop song and make it translate well to the live stage. Seasoned performers, having supported the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and The Academy Is…, as well as a slew of amazing Australian talent, City Riots is a band who should be bigger at home than they are. With their upcoming release, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more of City Riots-related news popping up around the place. Check out their clip for “Wait For You,” the first taste of the new record, Sea Of Bright Lights.
Shimmergloom - Perth
Tony Lendrum, Perth State Editor: If you live outside of Western Australia you may have had a slight excuse for having not caught on to the magnificence that is Shimmergloom, but that excuse exists no longer: Shimmergloom has infectious raw energy. It reminds me of nights in the student guild listening to live bands who played for the solely for the love of making music (and maybe wishing for one groupie at the end of the gig). Unfamiliar Nights will have you playing an air guitar on “Control”, waving your your cigarette lighter or iPhone in the air on “Foolish Ways.” For the rest of the album you will just be thinking of ways to get your boss to allow you to crank this EP up at work.
The ReChords – Melbourne
Mandy Hall, Melbourne State Editor: The ReChords recently played at the AU Review’s 4th Birthday Party in Melbourne to an appreciative crowd. This trio from the northern suburbs of Melbourne have been making themselves well known around town and now internationally since hitting the shores of Europe in 2011. The music itself is as diverse as you can get within the boundaries of its roots/Americana heritage but yet pushing against those boundaries at various times. You can definitely hear elements of early hillbilly, bluegrass, and western swing. And at times it takes you down that early R&B path with some almost doo wop harmonies and backing vocals.