Angie McMahon and Nice Biscuit prove that Aus music is in the right hands
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Angie McMahon – ‘Missing Me’
Angie McMahon is one of the most immense talents in Australian music right now. It won’t be long before we take the word Australian out of that sentence as the rest of the world cottons on to what a dynamo she is.
‘Missing Me’ has the grit and swagger of PJ Harvey, the relatability of Alanis Morrissette and the sheer talent of Tracy Chapman. It’s an unpredictable beast, with its jagged guitars, huge, soaring vocals and powerful, hushed moments.
It’s probably not too late to become an Angie McMahon super-fan and claim you were there from the start. But get in quick.
Nice Biscuit – ‘Captain’
An unnerving guitar line screams out over a foreboding, spy-movie-esque rhythm section in the intro to this stellar jam from Brisbane’s Nice Biscuit.
The haunting vocals of dual frontwomen Billie and Grace suggest that something big is going to eventuate from all this weirdness, and sure enough the band delivers. Watertight prog riffs fly in from nowhere and blaze in all manner of unpredictable directions. You’ll never know what’s gonna happen next, and that’s almost always a good thing.
Jon Hopkins – ‘Emerald Rush’
More mind-bending electro from British mastermind Jon Hopkins. ‘Emerald Rush’ is a welcome return for the artist, who’s been a bit too quiet for our liking over the past half a decade, with its fuzzy melodic and intense, hard-hitting beat. There’s beauty there, but there’s also a visceral drive that verges on violent. A wild juxtaposition that sounds so damn good. His new record Singularity is out in May.
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – ‘Black Times’ (Ft. Carlos Santana)
Rest assured, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 continue the great work of Kuti’s father Fela with aplomb. This Afrobeat jam will have your hips moving immediately, while Kuti calls out for a better understanding of black history to ensure a better future. Yes, Carlos Santana’s guitar lines are killer, but it’s Kuti and his band that make this such an infectious piece of music that will liven up any party and start some pretty deep and important conversations should you want it too.
Charlotte Day Wilson – ‘Nothing New’
Canadian artist Charlotte Day Wilson drops a slinky piece of indie-R&B that lifts the lid of frustrating, stagnant relationships. You can hear the frustration and resignation in her voice as she sings lines like ‘But it's hard, and it hurts, and I'm tired’ and ‘Are we really this far gone?’. It’s subtle but powerful.
Beach House – ‘Dive’
Swirling, spaced out beauty from one of the dreamiest bands in rock’n’roll today. ‘Dive’ begins as a gloriously hushed slice of melancholic pop and morphs into a gently rollicking shoegaze masterpiece. Beach House drop their new album 7 in May, and if it features more gorgeously restrained moments like this it’s going to be life-affirming. Hell, it probably will be regardless.
Dessa – ‘Fire Drills’
Dessa takes some musical inspiration she found on a holiday to Istanbul and mashes it up with a powerful take-down of the vigilance women are expected to exhibit in any given situation. “I tried to include the bodily sensations, the logistical considerations, and the philosophical consequences of the daily vigilance that’s asked of women—to keep their bodies safe and reputations clean,” she said. It’s a powerful piece.
Luke Million – ‘Alive’ (Ft. Fluir)
That retro-futuristic funk that Luke Million is so renowned for serves as a strong foundation here, as Melbourne singer Fluir delivers a stunningly breathy vocal over the top. Another great example of a modern artist making disco relevant again. His Come Together EP is out now.
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – ‘White Flag’
We now finally know that there’ll be a new Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders record, Blue Poles, out on Friday 4 May. ‘White Flag’ sees Ladder go further down the Nick Cave rabbit-hole than ever, and anyone who tries to deny it is a fool. No Jack Ladder record is ever like the last one, so we look forward to seeing how this new one fits into his excellent catalogue.
Screaming Females – ‘Agnes Martin’
Straightforward, driving rock’n’roll with a heavy groove from New Jersey’s Screaming Females. It’s like if Tool was fronted by a compelling woman (Marissa Paternoster) and didn’t take themselves quite so seriously. The track comes from their very highly regarded record All At Once, which is out right now.