australian music

JAPANESE WALLPAPER EMERGES FROM ITS COCOON
October 27, 2016 9:28 am

When I was 17 years old, I was doing what most other 17 year old teenagers do; playing sports, doing homework, driving a car for fun, I was even playing guitar a lot by most standards. But I was creating nothing like Gab Strum did in his seventeenth year.

He started the electronic pop project Japanese Wallpaper and released his first single “Waves” back in 2014. Even at this early stage in his career, the sounds he created were nearly on the same level as ambient titans Tycho and Boards of Canada. The ethereal, jovial tunes started drawing attention from some pretty well-known folks in the industry such as fellow Australian, Chet Faker. Also in Gab’s seventeenth year, he won Triple J’s Unearthed High competition. Oh, and his track “Breathe In” was also featured on the soundtrack for Zach Braff’’s follow-up to Garden State, Wish I Was Here. Seventeen! I think this goes to show how the state of modern music equipment has altered the music scene. If a high school kid fifty years ago wanted to make music with more than a guitar, he would find it incredibly difficult to do so. The tools to do so weren’t easily available yet. Now we can download software on our laptops and create magic.

Gab did his first tour of Australia back in 2014 with great success. He has since been putting out EP’s with some fantastic remixes in the last couple years. Most recently this year he released the single “Cocoon.” Earlier this year, he released a deluxe edition of his self-titled EP that came out in 2015 with a slew of new remixes. The remix of Between Friends” by Sable is a noteworthy track from the record. The single “Forces” featuring Airling is a smash. I think it’s safe to say that Japanese Wallpaper has a promising future ahead of him. He has a few tour dates left in 2016 if you happen to live in a major Australian city. I imagine he’ll make his leap over to the states soon enough and I for one will be right there in the crowd grooving along to these incredible tunes.

TROYE SIVANAUSTRALIA’S EMERGING PRINCE OF POP
August 2, 2016 4:34 pm

“I’m addicted to working. For me to be up all night writing songs and waking up early and posting teasers—it’s addictive to me. It’s just my natural state to be creative, even on my off days.” –Troye Sivan

The hard working Australian musician/Youtuber/actor Troye Sivan sounds like he could be an ATYPICAL SOUNDS staff member, but unfortunately he’s probably a little busy between touring, writing music and being the 3rd most subscribed to Youtuber in Australia.

Sivan says that it’s “not his job,” to disprove the stigma Youtubers might get, but when he makes such good music, why should he have to?

I care about my music, what people think of me. I just want people to hear my music with an open mind. If you don’t enjoy it, that’s cool. But don’t not listen because of that label. It’s going to take a few years before people take it seriously, but it’ll happen. –Troye Sivan

Sivan is on his way to becoming a bonafide pop star, 4,260,226 subscribers can’t be wrong. His debut Blue Neighborhood is airy, yet aching. His songwriting is innocent, smooth and brutally honest. Blue Neighborhood is such a perfect title, it’s filled with good vibes and yet there’s an underlying tinge of pain reminiscent of a midnight drive.

Not many artists can live up to the hype of 4 million people, but Troye Sivan does.

JUMP THE GUN WITH HOCKEY DAD
August 1, 2016 6:33 pm

After a long week of work, who can’t appreciate a nice beach trip. Windows rolled down and music blasting with your friends cracking jokes, this is the best way to relax during the summer. Two Australian men, Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming, and their passion for music and beach trips have crafted the perfect music for these beach trips inside their simple and beautiful band, Hockey Dad.

Dreamin’ was their first EP which was warmly welcomed among the alternative and indie communities in 2014. A great sound for their first EP: fully of energy, bright guitars and gritty drums. After touring and a few singles during the past years, their new album Boronia is due to arrive August 12th.

In the spirit of summer time fun, they’ve already released a few singles and just yesterday a new music video for their newest single from the upcoming album which is appropriately called Jump The Gun. The track starts with an addicting string of notes from the guitar as the bass and drums hop in a bit after. Just like the video showing Stephenson and Fleming jumping in the glistening water to surf, the song brings the feeling of diving into the cool ocean water to you wherever you are. A perfect song that is as timeless as a sweet summer sunset. With such a relaxing and enveloping music video, it will make us all say to our daily responsibilities the lines of the chorus, “I don’t want to go home, I’m having too much fun…I don’t want to go home, so leave me alone.”

A superb addition to the repertoire of Hockey Dad’s summer surf songs that makes me all that more excited for Boronia later this month.

AGE 18, LUPA J PULLS US IN
April 11, 2016 11:16 am

Sometimes it’s difficult to enjoy a prodigy, not because their inherent level of talent isn’t drop-dead impressive, but because we’re confronted with the stinging reality that we’ve inadvertently missed the opportunity to attain a similar level of mastery.

Enter Imogen Jones, aka Lupa J, an Australian electro-pop songstress with a naturally well-built set of bells, and impeccable songwriting chops to boot.  She also happens to be a mere 18 years old.

Lupa J parses together her ethereal intone with an eclectic pallet of atmospheric samples, sharp beats, and shimmering violin, for which she’s also classically trained. Lupa J’s immersive concoctions pull you deep into her shadowy abyss: a love affair that’s equal parts Grimes, Kid A-era Radiohead, and the stylized theatrics of Kate Bush and BJork. Her music twists your nerves down your spine like the negative space in a horror film–These aren’t the dabblings of a typical high school music student, Lupa J is a true example of an Atypical Beast, through and through.  And her moniker is fitting indeed, as Lupa translate from Italian to “She-Wolf.”

Lupa J also already has a moderate collection of tracks that are available via her SoundCloud, including her newest single “Numb” which will be including on her forthcoming debut EP My Right Name, which will see release later this year. While she hasn’t ventured abroad yet, you can only assume it’s inevitable a music label scoops up an artist as ambitious and marketable as Lupa J in short order, hopefully granting us a chance to catch her state side in the near future.

TALK IS CHEAP: CHET FAKER’S DOWNTEMPO SEDUCTION
March 2, 2016 10:40 pm

Some artists are easier to “get into” than others.

Nicholas James Murphy, aka, Chet Faker, is an electronica artist that has you covered in the “chill” department. He effortlessly fuses sleek downtempo grooves with his seductive R&B-leaning croon.  Whether you’re lounging around after a long day, or on an extended evening spin, Chet Faker provides a perfect dose of ambiance and substance to keep your ears entranced.

Chet Baker hails from Victoria, Australia, and since breaking onto the scene in 2011, he’s had no trouble finding an audience for his tunes both at home and abroad. His 2014 full-length debut Built on Glass, made waves internationally, and debuted at the number 1 position on Australia’s ARIA charts.  I’m sure by now you’ve heard Talk is Cheap.

Most recently Chet Faker released Work EP, a collaboration with London-based DJ Marcus Marr. He also put up an immaculate performance for Boiler Room’s #Campaign4Change last October,  I encourage you to give it a spin.

While he might be keeping things on the down-low this year, Chet Faker will certainly be making a splash this festival season – catch him stateside at Ultra, Sasquatch, or Governor’s Ball.

KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD IS A REAL BAND AND THEY ARE REAL COOL
June 24, 2015 3:22 pm

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, a band that originally started out as a self-admitted “joke”, came all the way from Melbourne, Australia to play New York City’s Bowery Ballroom this weekend. With a name like that, seven members, a harmonica and a jazz harp in their camp, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard does sound admittedly ridiculous, but their live show and musical repertory is anything but. The psychedelic-rock band is on their fifth album and played to a sold out room.

Organized chaos is the best way to describe the band’s set. Trippy visuals were projected on the background and perfectly supported their eclectic sound. Set highlights were “Hot Wax” off their last album Oddments, which has growly lizard-esque vocals and pounding bass, and “Cellophane”, which sent many audience members crowd surfing and moshing like mad-men (and women).

As is often the case with psychedelic music, it either clicks or it doesn’t. Not every band can be Yes or Jefferson Airplane, but King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard come close. Not to mention, they have the coolest merch I’ve seen.

Written by Alessandra Licul