Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Pop

Contemporary Music Recording
‘Happiness Is …’ Leanne Tennant

Artist/s: Leanne Tennant (guitar and vocals), Travis Jenkins (guitar), Kram (drums / piano), Konstantin Kersting (bass / synth), Phil Roach (bass), Yanto Browning (guitar / piano), Ed Ruben (keys). Recorded and mixed by Konstantin Kersting and Yanto Browning.
Category: Contemporary, Funk, Pop
Label: Artist release
Reviewed by

“Right at the heart of this colourful reinvention is Everspin, recorded in one breathless take. It’s one of those songs that just sounds like audio sunshine.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Adventure Beyond

Artist/s: Starflight
Category: Contemporary, Pop
Label: Self-release, distributed by Mondo
www.starflightband.net
Reviewed by

This is an album of pure pop music joy. From its highly produced opening track – the uncharacteristic single Phasers on Stun, though to the album closer, Starship Take Me Home, the overwhelming emotion is the joy of making music.…

Contemporary Music Recording
Ashfield Skyline

Artist/s: Family Fold. Paul Andrews (guitar/vocals), Brad Jones (producer/bass/guitar/keys), Dan Cohen (guitar/mandolin), Jason Cheek / Nick Buda, (drums), Steven Byrom (keys), Chris Carmichael (strings), Carey Kotsionis (backing vocals), Jim Hoke (sax).
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock
Label: Family Fold
www.familyfold.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by

“It might not be the stuff that generates hits and clicks but this is music that puts its hooks in far deeper than that.”

Choral Music Music Recording
Clarion/Whisper

Artist/s: Gian Slater and Invenio: Gian Slater (composer and director), Miriam Crellin, Georgie Darvidis, Gemma Tully, Bronwyn Hicks, Natalie Carolan, Lisa Salvo, Loni Thompson, Audur Zoega, Louisa Rankin, Jeremy Hopkins, Jem Savage, Tilman Robinson, Ed Fairlie, Sam Young, Ben Harrison, and Ben Taylor.
Category: Choral Music, Jazz, Pop
Label: Invenio Music (inv001)
www.inveniosingers.com
Reviewed by

“Gian Slater and Invenio’s second album is a lighter, more lyrically-focused collection of eight compositions.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Cub Sport

Artist/s: Cub Sport.Tim Nelson (vocals), Zoe Davis (vocals/guitar/keyboard), Sam Netterfield (vocals, keyboards), Dan Puusaari (drums) 
Category: Contemporary, Indie, Pop
Label: Cub Records CUB005
Reviewed by

“Cub Sport had to be an eponymous album. It is, in many ways, a musical gift to a lover, with the positive impact of that love being shouted to the universe.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Enter the Woods. Sacred Shrines

Artist/s: Sacred Shrines. Phil Usher (vocals / guitars), Beata Maglai (vocals / keys / percussion), Robbie Zawada (bass), Matthew Weatherall (guitars),  Jonathan Pickvance (drums)
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock
Label: https://sacredshrines.bandcamp.com/
Reviewed by

“Beauty comes in all kinds of guises here, and by the time you reach the end you’ve been taken on a trip that is both stimulating and surprising.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Field Recordings

Artist/s: Blackbirds FC. Gina Hearnden (vocals/acoustic guitar), Jeremy Gronow (vocals/acoustic and electric guitars/string arrangements), Bec Long (cello), John Jackson (violin), Julien Chick (bass), Phil Campbell (drums), Cam McKenzie (producer/guitar/keys).
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock, Singer-songwriter
Label: Popboomerang (PB:116)
http://popboomerang.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by

“A great song lives beyond your time and mine. You can find 12 of them on Field Recordings.”

Alternative Rock
Glace 

Artist/s: Desmond White (voice/ guitars / piano / double bass / synths),  Mark Whitfield Jr. / Nate Wood / Ben Vanderwal (drums), Kate Kelsey-Sugg / Raye Zaragoza (voice ), Carl Morgan (guitar)
Category: Alternative Rock, Pop
Label: Self-release
https://desmondwhite.bandcamp.com/releases
Reviewed by

“Des White’s Glace is part of a rich vein of current music made by virtuosic jazz musicians who turn away from the bandstand to explore more solitary modes of songmaking.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Golden Boy

Artist/s: Nick Batterham with guest musicians Nick Murray, Raif Rehak, Craig Mitchell, Erica Manting, Jethro Woodward, Andrew Batterham, Gareth Skinner, Nick Milwright.
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock
Label: Popboomerang, PB 112.
www.nickbatterham.com
Reviewed by

“Batterham is one of this country’s most acute observers of matters of the heart, and Golden Boy is as powerful as it is intimate.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Good Mood

Artist/s: Ball Park Music. Sam Cromack (guitar/lead vocals), Jennifer Boyce (bass), Paul Furness (keys), Dean Hanson (guitar), Daniel Hanson (drums)
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock
Label: Stop Start SSM52CD
Reviewed by

“The Perfect Life Does Not Exist finds a perfect balance between conversational tone, philosophical insight and a melody that just won’t let you go.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Hope

Artist/s: Meg Mac. Produced by Myles Wooton; Something Tells Me produced by M-Phazes.
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Singer-songwriter, Soul
Label: Little Big Man/EMI, LBM11
Reviewed by

“Commercial pop music can be a strictly delineated commodity these days, but Mac injects soul and vitality into the framework here.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Into Other Arms. Sleep for Years. (Two recordings)

Artist/s: Into Other Arms: Clio Renner (voice, piano, Rhodes, Hammond organ), James Gilligan (baritone guitar), Marty Holoubek (double bass), Daniel Farrugia (drums, percussion). ///// Sleep for Years: Clio Renner (piano, vocals), Ross Irwin (arrangement/orchestration, flugelhorn, percussion, keyboard, glockenspiel), Daniel Farrugia (drumkit, percussion), Marty Holoubek (double bass), Hannah Cameron (backing vocals), Blair Harris (cello), Aaron Barndenand (violin), Kieran Conrau (trombone), Lachlan Davidson (flute, bass clarinet).
Category: Contemporary, Folk, Pop
Label: Self-release
https://clio1.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by

“Clio’s music is evocative and elusive. Her personal lyrics conceal their sources, eschewing narrative in favour of allusion and intimation.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Monument. The Bell Streets

Artist/s: The Bell Streets. Played and sung by Nick Batterham and Josh Meadows. Kelly Day (vocals), Craig Mitchell and Joel Sprake (drums), Phil McLeod (cello), Jenny M. Thomas (violin and viola). Recorded and mixed by Nick Batterham.
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock
Label: Popboomerang, PB 118
Reviewed by

“Fragile is a song about being open with another person about vulnerabilities, and that’s what these two did in the course of writing the album.”

Contemporary Music Recording
My Friend The Chocolate Cake. The Revival Meeting

Artist/s: My Friend the Chocolate Cake. David Bridie (piano, pump-organ, vocals), Helen Mountfort (cello, vocals), Greg Patten (drums, percussion), Hope Csutoros (violin), Dean Addison (double bass), Andrew Richardson (guitar, ukulele), Andrew Carswell, (mandolin)
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock
Label: Self Release
Website: https://www.mftcc.com/
Reviewed by

This is a great album by an important Australian artist and band. It transcends ordinary pop by a very long way. It sparkles with originality and superb musicianship. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Contemporary Music Recording
Real Feel

Artist/s: The Holidays
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Techno
Label: Liberation LMCD 0237
http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/news/38559/Track-by-track-The-Holidays-Real-Feel
Reviewed by

After four years The Holidays, a Sydney-based indie-pop band, have released their second album, Real Feel. How does one describe the sound? It’s rich, harmonically warm, techno-infused, ethereal pop. But such a description does little justice to an album which…

Contemporary Music Recording
Respect All Lifeforms. Custard

Artist/s: Custard. Dave McCormack (guitars/vocals), Paul Medew (bass/vocals), Matt Strong (guitars), Glenn Thompson (drums/vocals)
Category: Contemporary, Pop, Rock
Label: ABC Music
Reviewed by

“A lovers’ tiff, ills ancient and modern, great records past and present, the lengthening shadows of loves, record shops, hangovers: it’s all fuel.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Science Fiction

Artist/s: The Belligerents. Lewis Stephenson (lead vocals/guitar), Konstantin Kersting (bass/vocals), James Griffin (lead guitar), Andrew Balzat (synth/vocals), Samuel Sargent (drums)
Category: Contemporary, Electronic Music, Pop, Rock
Label: Sony Music 889854607623
Reviewed by

“Brisbane-based band, The Belligerents, have released their first album and it’s a doozy.”

Contemporary Music Recording
Solastalgia

Artist/s: Missy Higgins
Category: Contemporary, Pop
Label: Eleven (EMI) ELEVENCD140
Reviewed by

“The seductive power of Missy Higgins’ sensual voice can place one in such a transcendental state that there is a need for self-discipline to jolt the body back in order to discover what lies beneath.”

Pop
Sometimes I Just Don’t Know

Artist/s: Bryan Estepa. Bryan Estepa (vocals/guitars), Russell Crawford (drums/vocals), Brian Crouch (keys/guitar), Dave Hatt (guitars/vocals), Dave Keys (bass). Guests: Peta Caswell, Tom Sowonja (vocals), Josh Schubert (percussion), Michael Carpenter (drums/bass/organ/vocals) on Rattled and Rolled.
Category: Pop, Rock, Singer-songwriter
Label: Lilystar Records/Rock Indiana, cat no: Cindi-479
Reviewed by

 “I’m Not Ready for This is going to be one of those songs that stays in my personal playlist as one of the finest of the year.”

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