William Crighton preaches positivity with power
Make sure you subscribe to our Spotify playlist if you want to make sure you're always up with the latest and greatest in new music.
William Crighton – ‘Happiness’
It’s been a steady build for Riverina-bred singer-songwriter William Crighton. A veritable truckload of live shows across the country, a well-received debut record, and a reputation that has slowly built up to make him one of the country’s most celebrated new troubadours.
‘Happiness’ is him at his most succinct, a hell of a long way from his epic ‘Hope Recovery (Talking To God)’ single of last year. It’s no less profound though, Crighton’s confident delivery ensuring you grip onto every word he spits through the sub-three-minute track.
I’m not yet sure what he means when he said he got the meaning of life from an insect, but you can’t really deny the sentiment behind it. It’s all about happiness, baby. And when positivity is delivered with this kinda power, it’s just gotta connect.
Crighton plays Bluesfest this weekend, and will no doubt be in a town near you real soon. Great as this song is, you really need to see him live to get the full picture of this exciting Australian artist. His second Empire will be out in May.
Laura Jean – ‘Touchstone’
Forget everything you know about Laura Jean. Okay, not everything. Definitely don’t forget that she’s a really, really great, often very relatable songwriter with a great voice. But Don’t go expecting ‘Touchstone’ to sound like the Laura Jean of old. This is a definite foray into indie pop and we are 100 percent here for it. This song is deep and dreamy, with a distinctly 80s synth pop feel and a bag full of brilliant melodies. Laura Jean’s new album Devotion will be out in June.
serpentwithfeet – ‘bless ur heart’
Josiah Wise – aka serpentwithfeet – has one of those voices that sends chills down your spine. It holds immense power, the kind of power that only the very best gospel singers possess. Soulful, commanding and beautiful beyond belief. It’s a force of nature.
Fans of Frank Ocean’s latest couple of records will go nuts for the precious but powerful ‘bless ur heart’. The world will fall hard for serpentwithfeet when his debut album Soil comes out in June. We just hope someone can convince him to come to Australia before he blows up too massively.
Gabriella Cohen – ‘Baby’
Beautifully slack, lackadaisical indie rock from the always charming Gabriella Cohen. At first, there’s a little touch of influence from Mac Demarco and a little Travelling Wilburys (as if you’re not getting ‘Tweeter and the Monkey Man’ vibes…), then it unfolds into a gorgeous, almost Mariarchi sounding horn part that you really don’t see coming. Cohen’s second LP Pink is the Colour of Unconditional Love will be out in June.
Speedy Ortiz – ‘Lucky 88’
This new track from Speedy Ortiz is a serious departure from the post-emo indie rock that we heard on their first couple of records. It sounds a lot closer to what frontwoman Sadie Dupuis did with her Sad13 solo project last year. It also sounds really damn good. ‘Lucky 88’ might lack some of the grit of early Speedy Ortiz, but the songwriting is just as sharp, just in a different, more pop, definitely more electronic way. Their new LP Twerp Verse will be out in April. Cannot wait.
Iceage – ‘Pain Killer’ (ft. Sky Ferreira)
The progression of Iceage’s sound may have already lost them a few early fans. The often harsh and gloomy sound that won them such acclaim at the start of their career is essentially gone now, with a more danceable, more approachable, more fun mood pumping through their latest work.
Sky Ferreira is not prominent on ‘Pain Killer’, but her contribution on backing vocals adds just as an important an edge as the big ‘Know Your Product’ style horns that blast through much of the song. These Danish dudes are no less powerful for letting their hair down, just a little more approachable.
N.E.R.D – ‘Don't Don't Do It!’ (ft. Kendrick Lamar)
N.E.R.D with Kendrick Lamar, co-written with Frank Ocean. As if we need to say any more… Classic 70s soul meets 2018 hip hop with that beyond-classic Pharrell Williams production. The song jumps all around the place musically, but Pharrell and Kendrick stay on topic in the lyrics. It’s steadfastly about living as a black American in this era, with a particular focus on recent police shootings. Political music is important in this era. It just so happens to sound white hot, too.
Plutonic Lab – ‘Give It Up’ (ft. Natalie Slade, Raiza Biza and 8H)
Former feature album artist Plutonic Lab has dropped a new double A-Side on us, and it sounds pretty stellar. Natalie Slade (who you might have heard in Yum Yum) delivers a sleek vocal over squelchy, laidback funk, and burgeoning New Zealand-based rapper Raiza Biza swoops in with a perfectly measured verse halfway through. This is suitable for only the very finest cocktail parties and only for the most discerning funk fans.
77:78 – ‘Love Said (Let’s Go)’
Remember The Bees? They haven’t done anything for close to a decade now, but its members Aaron Fletcher and Tim Parkin are still making music together as 77:78. Their debut single is a dazzling piece of vintage pop, replete with woozy synths, female harmony vocals and the mandatory handclaps. It proves that their songcraft has not dulled in recent years and that they just have so much more to offer with this new project. What a delight.
micra – ‘Child Grows Old’
A very intriguing and very strong debut single from Sydney duo micra. It’s nice and polished, but adventurous enough to set it apart. It takes about 90 seconds for the obvious Radiohead influence to really kick in, but, unlike so many other bands, micra make it work. Plus, its melded with so many other interesting sonic elements that it’s not too obvious. Really slick and impressive work that’s a little bit familiar and a little bit unexpected.