12 September 2021
Where you can find reviews of local releases and our prestigious single of the week.
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This edition of Sunday Singles is dedicated to my big brother, Garry, on his birthday. My hero, my protector and chief instigator of all fun and trouble. Bet no once reading this can say their band played Stonehenge Free Festival! Love you, brother xx
Sounding a bit like Dave Edmunds made over for the 21st Century, the latest single from Sad King Billy, ‘Don’t Come Back’, is an instant and enduring pop sensation. Yeah, sure it’s full of heartbreak and a chorus that sits on the line, If you love me, then don’t come back, as Julian Peet, the genius behind all this, scrapes away at his sorrow. But at its heart it’s just damned fine music. If you haven’t discovered Sad King Billy yet, this banger is the place to start. It even features some of the slide guitar work that Peet is known and widely loved for. But this is so much more than just Peet the guitar player. This is Peet the songwriter and arranger communing with Peet the vocalist and smashing it out of the ball park. No more rabbits coming out of this hat? C’mon Jules, the people want, nay need, more!
The opening track to Charlie Wilde’s debut EP, Allihies, carries in its chorus the line, Greatness is tearing at my teeth. These six words neatly encapsulate the mystery that is Charlie Wilde, an extraordinary singer and song writer once based in Perth now resident in Melbourne. Here is an artist with a voice as ephemeral, fragile and beautiful as the morning mist, who can turn a word that would make the likes of Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley sit up and take notice. Until now he’s been making songs that have been something like musical cyphers, just present enough to let you into Wilde’s world, but created with so much space, sometimes they’re hardly there at all. Beautiful, powerful, but you can’t help but listen and will him on to more. With the songs on Allihies, Wilde has forged fully instrumented masterpieces, bringing in strings and brass to fill bars where once were rests. There’s no doubt about the progression of this most esoteric of artists. Some day that greatness that is tearing at his teeth will beckon him onto the biggest of stages. This is hauntingly good music that you will ignore at your peril.
With its siren call opening and raw vocals, the latest single from Perth’s heavy pop superstars, Joan & The Giants, ‘Just For You’, is a slow burn duet that brings the tingles on every listen. To say that Joan & The Giants are currently one of Perth’s most prolific bands would be a bit of an understatement. I’m trying to count how many singles they’ve released already this year and I’m running out of fingers. But quantity counts for nothing if the quality and progression aren’t there. Safe to say, with every successive release, Joan & The Giants sound more and more comfortable in their own skin and push the creative envelope just a little bit further. ‘Just For You’ is no exception.
Trevalene – ‘No Lies’
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‘No Lies’ is a nice song. It chugs along rather dreamily, opening with a nice nod to the Go-Betweens’ ‘Streets Of Your Town’, but it takes a bit more than knowing your product to stand out from the crowd. As an early opener, ‘No Lies’ suggests that Trevalene may become something in the future, but, on the basis of this track, isn’t quite there yet.
With its trip hop beats and woozy vocals, Ruby May’s latest offering, ‘justanotherwav’ is far more than just another anything. Making a welcome return after a good while away from creative duties as she spread her wings as a music entrepreneur, May has hit a rich vein of form with this latest offering. With lo fi production values, May makes what she’d like us to think is entirely inconsequential sound very consequential as she layers her way to a close out that has the elastic trippiness of a hall of mirrors. ‘justanotherwave’ could just be the sound of summer, if our weather ever gets its act together.
Vancool frontman, Dion Mariani, sent this one through for review and, when I was slow to respond, messaged to check the track had been received and said he hoped I’d like it. I replied that I was pretty sure I would, but that was before I’d had a listen. With Vancool, Mariani is an artist who wears his influences on his sleeve, or all over his wide paisley tie. There’s never any doubt about where he’s going or where he’s been, but there’s also that spark of originality that tells you he knows exactly what he’s doing, and it certainly isn’t slavish imitation. So, having done the 60s, ‘See To Believe’ cuts off a slice of the Britpop era 90s, with Mariani’s voice taking on more than a bit of LG’s snarl and swagger. The difference here is, while Oasis never created even a second’s worth of original material, with ‘See To Believe’ Vancool are still ploughing their own furrow very nicely, thank you! Hat’s off to you.
‘See To Believe’ is due for worldwide release on 16 September. Pre save your copy here.
The members of Seawitch, including frontwoman, Fiona Horne, have all been there done that, so they have no expectations to live up to, no fucks left to give. That can go one of two ways: you can either phone it in while you struggle to pay off your 90s coke debt or you can just let rip and sound like a band that’s having the most fun they’ve ever had. With ‘Amulet’, Seawitch’s third single in as many months, they’re doing the latter, kicking out the jams while playing maximum R&B and, most importantly, having fun. ‘Amulet’ is stoner rock at its sweaty, shirts-off best and, right now, I don’t think there are any bands anywhere in the world that could do what Seawitch do.
Check out all the new releases you can handle on our Spotify playlist.