Community radio music directors often have an encyclopedic knowledge of local music and an insatiable thirst to keep their ears ahead of the curve. So in this Tone Deaf series, the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) invites music directors to highlight new Australian bands that you might have missed.
In this edition, Simon Winkler from Triple R in Melbourne contributes with a selection of tracks currently making their way to community radio through Amrap’s music distribution service ‘AirIt’.
Check out Simon’s selections below and if you’re a musician you can apply here to have your music distributed for free to community radio on Amrap’s AirIt.
Full Flower Moon Band – ‘Street Love’
Chinatown (the 1974 neo-noir mystery) has ranked among the great works of cinema. But now Chinatown (the new album/movie by Kate Dillon, 2017) makes a strong bid to take the crown.
First single ‘Street Love’ has the intrigue, drama, absurdism, intensity and insouciant cool of a whole film movement. Two seconds in, Kate’s no-wave guitar scrawl and disaffected “yeah” signal the start of a memorable journey to follow: as Kate’s bandmate Gabriella Cohen describes in a recent interview, like “Portishead on a Lamborghini”.
Jess Cornelius – ‘Jealousy’
A few weeks ago Melbourne said goodbye (for now) to Teeth and Tongue with sold out ‘Greatest Hurts’ shows at The Gasometer and Old Bar. What started as the solo project of Jess Cornelius shifted over the years into a collaborative project, and these shows were a chance to celebrate four critically acclaimed albums released under the name.
But the end of one chapter was the start of a new: Jess is now in the middle of a US/Canada tour with Paul Kelly and getting ready to release a new solo EP in November, Nothing is Lost. ‘Jealousy’ is the first single, a sparse arrangement, and poignant lyrical reflection that commands attention from start to finish.
Beaches – ‘Walk Around’
If anyone needed more reason to celebrate the start of Spring, Melbourne band Beaches have returned after years away with a generous double LP on Chapter Music. The album is filled with vivid rock jams and pulse-racing rhythms. ‘Walk Around’ arrives late in the set, a slowly unfurling song that glows like sunrise on a chill September morning, full of the energy and promise of a new season.
Kardajala Kirridarra – ‘Abala Barlawa (Everything was at Peace)’
Kardajala Kirridarra’s self-titled debut is a standout of 2017 – the work of Eleanor ‘Nalyiri’ Dixon, her aunty Janey ‘Namija’ Dixon, Beatrice Lewis and MC Kayla Jackson. Songs on the record are sung in both English and Mudbarra, a rarely heard Indigenous language of the Barkly region in the NT. They outline the importance of women as creators and their relationship with country.
‘Abala Barlawa (Everything was at Peace)’ is the extraordinary opening track, combining sounds of country with layered vocals, acoustic instrumentation and electronic production. It was also the first song written by the group, becoming a catalyst for the entire record.
Genesis Owusu – ‘Sideways’
Genesis Owusu is the project of Kofi Owusu-Ansah and ‘Sideways’ is a powerful introduction to his forthcoming EP. Working with Simon Mavin and Perrin Moss of Hiatus Kaiyote, Genesis offers a dynamic track blending bass-heavy hip hop, polyrhythmic soul and adventurous pop production. Apparently the song was crafted in a home studio filled with 33 keyboards, a drum-kit, an assortment of guitars, improvised instruments from around the world, and a couple of cats.
Genesis has said about the creation process “The three of us were scanning and researching a whole bunch of sounds when we came across this creaky little rhythm that would soon become the foundation of the song. Something about the way the sound moved just reminded me of the sounds of my birthplace, Ghana.”
Simona – ‘Breakfast of Champions (Various Asses Remix)’
Simona recently played a live set from Triple R, effectively transforming the Performance Space into an ecstatic rave. It followed the release of her new single ‘Triumph’, combining a love of techno, dance, electronic and pop modes. Also featured on the release is this remix by Various Asses, an equally energising version full of immersive synth melodies, brutal and beautiful beat patterns and fragmented vocal samples.
Hair Die – ‘Backburning’
Hair Die is the Sydney-based band of Alys Hale and brothers Cal, Sam and Monty Callaghan. Their debut single is bold and brilliant, with echos of ’80s post-punk and synth wave pop. Bass player Cal claims his favourite novel is The KLF’s in/famous manual on how to make a Number One hit, but with songs as good as this Hair Die don’t sound like they need any help. ‘Backburning’ features on the Rice is Nice Mixtape Vol.4, one of many highlights from the Sydney label’s latest compilation.