There’s something very special about the enigmatic electronic duo Sumner, consisting of Jack McLaine and Chloe Wilson. The underground newcomers have already played alongside Vera Blue, The Smith Street Band, Montaigne, graced the Falls Festival stage and are a part of the upcoming Party In The Paddock…but in 2018, it’s about to get a whole lot bigger with the release of their exciting new single, Pictures, on February 9. This dark RnB track examines solitude, and is the first taste of Sumner’s upcoming debut EP, All That I Am (out Feb 16), a release that explores illness, diagnosis, personal struggle and catharsis, all within Sumner’s own very cool little world.
Pictures plays with a wide variety of elegant influences; the duo embrace the production style of Lorde’s first LP, while adding their own distorted pop/RnB stylings reminiscent of Frank Ocean and heavy bass that feels like something off an Arctic Monkeys record. It’s a potent combination that particularly shines on this single, as the duo have skillfully pieced together some seriously eclectic moments to create this one intelligent, mature, hooky song. Reflecting on the inspiration behind the track, Jack and Chloe agree it’s definitely about feeling very alone, “The song was inspired by the feeling of being alone in a packed club full of people. Feeling distant and out of touch with the people around you laughing, dancing and having a generally happy time.”
The EP All That I Am is further proof that Sumner are one to watch. This collection of songs is perfectly unique and completely self-assured, and not only is that very rare for such a young project – it’s precisely what makes them special. All That I Am is effortlessly cool and refreshing, with open vulnerability within the lyrics that overflow atop consistant beds of glowing, pulsating, dexterous production. Jack and Chloe share a little more about the process and the team behind it all, “The EP was entirely self-produced and recorded. We worked with some mates for particular parts such as Shanice Osita Chuku on additional vocals in 45 Roses and Pictures, and Billy Bennett (Save The Clock Tower) on additional guitar for Lover. We also worked with Ross Irwin (The Cat Empire, The Bamboos) for the horn parts on 45 Roses. The EP was mixed by Kevin ‘KD’ Davis (Rihanna, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Tupac) and mastered by Grammy Award winner William Bowden (Gotye, Hermitude).”
Music is the constant thread shared between Jack and Chloe, as they reflect on the theme of the EP and what it was that brought them together, “We used music as a catharsis, with the EP following a story from illness to a cleaner, healthier mind with a change of perspective through the process… We met living in the small town of Launceston and finding each other’s music through mutual friends. We decided to link up to play a one off gig as ‘Sumner’ and we haven’t stopped making music since.”
Pictures will be out on February 9 and All That I Am is set for release on February 16.
Quiet achiever Spectoral has today announced his new single Movin’ On, an ominous dedication to a lovesick friend, out October 12. Movin’ On is the very first taste of the upcoming new EP An Incorruptible Dream from Spectoral, the stage name of producer singer-songwriter Andrew Bitto. Also dropping on October 12, An Incorruptible Dream is an understated, considered and truly unique collection of songs from the newcomer.
Movin’ On feels evocative of some big names – Flume, Peking Duck, even Kanye West’s melancholy production style comes to mind – but there is something still so one-of-a-kind about it, something so uniquely Spectoral, that makes it such a special listen. Instrumentation features co-production from Martiln (one half of Twofold Vision) and sees synths glide effortlessly alongside each other, ducking perfectly behind carefully placed percussion, while Spectoral’s distinctive vocal leads the way with intensely relatable lyrics. Reflecting on the inspiration behind the track, Andrew says, “I actually wrote this one about a good friend of mine. We’d catch up and she’d always tell me news about this guy she was in love with. Things never really worked in her favour with him because he was already taken – it was this kinda Love Actually moment for her I guess, just in reverse. So anyway, we’d chat about it, and she just found it so hard to give up the dream of one day him being hers. So this song’s about that. It’s about accepting the loss and letting it go.”
Movin’ On appropriately precedes the highly anticipated EP An Incorruptible Dream. Working alongside Tim Watt and Tim McArtney of Hercules Studio in Sydney (Flume, Touch Sensitive, George Maple), fellow producer Alius aka Sebastian Ivanov (Blake Rose, Arizona Jones) and musician Robin Waters (Ella Hooper, The Boat People), An Incorruptible Dream fuses pop, R’n’B and electronic influences flawlessly, all amongst a sparkling bed of confessional, well-crafted lyrics. Andrew explains the themes behind the EP, saying, “The name An Incorruptible Dream is a line from The Great Gatsby actually. It’s this idea of always trying to reach for the unattainable, whether it’s a person, or a state of mind, or a level of perfection or success. Unfortunately for Gatsby it blinded him and led to his downfall. The EP explores this theme that is definitely in my life in different ways. I planned this EP back in January, but actually a couple of the songs here I’ve been sitting on for literally years.”
So it’s no secret that this EP has been a long time coming, especially for Spectoral’s dedicated fanbase – and Andrew is thrilled to finally be ready to unleash these never-before-heard tracks onto the world, enthusing, “I’m so pumped! It’s like seeing a little bonsai tree that you’ve been caring for finally sprout flowers…I feel like I’ve really nestled into my sound over the past year, thanks to the experience of working with so many awesome engineers and co-producers all over this project. It’s been the most eye-opening and fun experience.”
An Incorruptible Dream is out October 12.
Much loved Melbourne nine-piece Echo Drama have today announced their new single Insanity, a heavy condemnation of the selfishness that rules in today’s society.
Hot on the heels of this massive track is the accompanying clip, directed by Carl Allison (Hilltop Hoods) and reflecting the band in an apocalyptic performance space. Insanity will be launched in style with a celebratory show at The Workers Club Melbourne on July 26, where fans will be able to catch Echo Drama in their element – on the stage.
Insanity is a bold name for a bold track. Echo Drama’s enormous sound is captured perfectly here; distorted horns draw the listener in immediately with an undeniable melody, while Alex ‘Sinks’ Sinclair’s (Recipient of 2017 Hilltop Hoods Initiative) verse is full of hard-hitting criticism on egocentrism. Zimbabwean born Soul singer Thando Sikwila’s hook is similarly condemning, and sits proudly atop Echo Drama’s signature amalgamation of reggae, hiphop, rock, and dub. Reflecting on the inspiration behind the track, Thando explains, “This song explores how people are so fixated with self preservation and tend to turn a blind eye to bad things that happen because they’re not affected by them. My hook is about looking inwards and confronting what being a human being really means, when people no different like us halfway around the world are left destitute all for the sake of profit. It’s not sustainable.”
The clip is suitably bleak in colour; muted greys are accented by intricate lighting displays while the band perform the track in a destitute, industrial environment. It’s quick, energetic, and cut with an urgency that suits Insanity perfectly. Speaking on the making of the clip, Echo Drama’s drummer and founder Jeremy Schiftan says, “The clip was directed and conceptualised by Carl Allison, who is a wizard! We have been wanting to do a clip with Carl for a while, as he has worked with a few members of the band on other projects and consistently delivers the goods. The track is pretty hectic, so went for fast cuts, and the set was a great space he sourced to get that big open space we wanted for the largeness of the tune. It’s big to match the sound, but bare to mirror the blunt nihilism of the tune’s themes.”
Echo Drama are thrilled to celebrate the release of Insanity with a killer live show at Melbourne’s renowned indie music venue, The Workers Club. A mainstay on the Melbourne music scene since 2012, the band are renowned for their enormous sound and high-voltage live performances, appearing at many festivals including St Kilda Festival, Rainbow Serpent Festival and Strawberry Fields. Looking forward to hitting the stage, Jeremy enthuses, “We really cut our teeth as a live band…you can expect slick, well rehearsed high impact performances from a large group with a large sound. Echo Drama has always been about doing our own thing rather than conforming to genre expectations so Insanity really hits that point home for us…we went a little outside the box on this choice of track to show you all, and we’re excited to see how it’s received.”
Echo Drama is Thando Sikwila (vocals), Alex ‘Sinks’ Sinclair (vocals), Jeremy Schiftan (drums), Steve Phillips (keys), Duncan Schmoll (guitar), Stephen Lane (bass), Anthony Foon (trumpet), Jay Scarlett (trombone), Greg Sher (saxophone).
American newcomer Eleon is thrilled to announce the Australian release of his debut single, If It Ain’t Me, following the global success of the modern electro-soul track, set for release in Australia on April 27.
If It Ain’t Me is a heady track, evocative of the cool pop sounds of ZAYN, but it also harks back to a classic soul feel as well – and that’s what makes Eleon so unique. Those sultry vocals dip effortlessly in and out of skillful falsetto amongst a clever arrangement of dazzling guitar riffs, a pulsing synth, fizzy hi-hats, heavy hitting kicks and current trap-influenced production. It’s subtle, but those melodic hooks are undeniable. This unique track was produced by Eleon’s collaborator, genius musical enigma Kubla Kahn (Wiz Khalifa, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo, Akon, Frank Ocean) and it has amassed a remarkable critical response worldwide with support from the likes of DJ Booth, Revolt, Hilly Dilly, aipate.com, KRXM Killjoy Radio and more.
There is little known about the mysterious man behind the project, but Eleon has offered a little insight into the making of If It Ain’t Me, saying, “I write to express what’s going on in my life and those around me. I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember – I wrote songs to deal with life growing up. If It Ain’t Me was created after meeting Kubla in the studio and he played that guitar riff. Immediately we vibed out and the song was born.”
With plenty of material set to drop across the globe in the near future, one thing is certain, the hype for Eleon is real – watch this space.
If It Ain’t Me is set for release in Australia on April 27.
If falsetto-laden vocals are your thing, we suggest you hop on the ELEON bandwagon, because the LA-based singer’s debut, “If It Ain’t Me”, is a modern soul admirer’s dream. Though ELEON’s vocals are certainly the song’s cornerstone here, tantalizing guitar riffs and hat-heavy drums also shine – Hilly Dilly
Following his massively successful debut single Need To Know featuring vocals from heavyweight Oliver Tank, Aussie born, LA-raised Hansaa is back with an elusive new single Primavera, produced alongside LA duo soso (30 Seconds To Mars, Anna Lunoe) and featuring the irresistible vocals of Peruvian, LA-based RnB star A.CHAL, out October 13.
2017 has been Hansaa’s year. The man behind it all, Vinay Matta, is on a roll; his debut single Need To Know has had over 100,000 streams on Spotify in the past two months – and all the right ears are listening.
Primavera occupies the space between hip hop, RnB and electronic music; Drake-like vocal melodies are spun effortlessly by A.CHAL atop a smokey arrangement, propelled by clever bass lines that bounce throughout and seamlessly cool production. Piano samples add a soft, organic element to the track, and maybe the piano is a surprising addition – but fans of Hansaa will know by now to expect the unexpected, particularly after the jaw-dropping guitar solo that tore through Need To Know. Vinay is pretty stoked with the new track, as he explains the meaning behind it, “Primavera translates to Springtime. In a nutshell, the song is about trying to rekindle the memories of a past relationship, yet coming to the conclusion that unfortunately, no flame is going to spark.”
Hansaa has a proven ear for the extraordinary, with this feature from vocalist A.CHAL further demonstrating his skill at curating the perfect track. Vinay is a huge fan of A.CHAL’s work, as he reflects on the first time he heard the artist’s work, “I was hanging out with a girl I used to date in freshman year, and she was showing me A.CHAL’s debut album Gazi – and it caught my ear straight away. soso and myself ended up emailing his management the instrumental and he was vibing…A.CHAL is an artist that intertwines the hypnotic and the mysterious elements of songwriting, and takes you into a dream-sequence of a person reflecting on their past in a corrupt city.”
With an impressive haul of killer tunes sitting pretty in their back pocket, Hansaa and soso have recently been in the studio, teaming up with US indie rock buzz band Foreign Air. Splitting his time between Australia and adopted homeland Los Angeles, Vinay enthuses, “I’ve been spending a lot of time in Sydney with my dad and my sister, and in the studio. I’m just ready to release more dope music.”
Primavera is out October 13.
Contemplative and soulful, MAYA is back with a powerful new single What We Are Worth, a meaningful song that pleads with the listener to look inwards and understand just how much they are worth to this world. It’s the perfect follow-up to her equally provocative previous single What After Now, and it’s set for release on October 27. MAYA will be celebrating the release with a launch show at Melbourne’s iconic The Night Cat on December 1.
Flitting between Los Angeles, New York and her hometown of Melbourne, MAYA has been hard at work, and What We Are Worth is the product of an artist who has found her true calling. Intellectual, introspective and philosophical, MAYA extends the boundaries of pop and soul, building herself an intriguing niche between the two. MAYA’s distinctive vocal guides the track completely; each dynamic leap is led by her inimitable voice, all the while dealing with some complex subject matter. “What We Are Worth is a conversation with myself about my constant questions about humanity – it’s a song about respecting yourself and the earth we live on. My music has to inspire people to reflect on both our actions and reactions to life,” MAYA passionately explains. “The song was made to shock and excite, while also opening up and expressing my feelings with intensity. This song was made to spread a message – to wake up and understand what we are worth to this earth.”
This exciting artist has been spending 2017 moving between Los Angeles, New York and Melbourne, writing, performing, and honing her craft. Reflecting on everything she has learnt and achieved, MAYA speaks about her time overseas, saying, “It was unreal. I honestly can say I achieved everything I could have hoped for and more! I did a bunch of performances and attended live jam nights close to every night. I sung at Rockwood Music Hall, Catalina Jazz Club, Hotel Cafe, Sofitel Beverly Hills and more… The music culture in The States is massive, with live music at every corner and iIt’s exciting being able to connect with different people.”
The experienced performer is set to launch What We Are Worth at The Night Cat on December 1 with support from Melbourne artist Tanya George. Teasing a little of what fans can expect from her shows, she says, “People can expect some serious euphoric dancing and soul-searching. I put so much effort into my shows, hoping to bring a whole new level to live entertainment with dancers, feature singers and Melbourne’s finest musicians. I have also been working with a few artists to present live art. Live performances are my favourite part of my career and I will always ensure memorable moments.”
What We Are Worth will be available from October 27.
MAYA ‘WHAT WE ARE WORTH’ LAUNCH SHOW
THUR NOVEMBER 30 | FERDYDURKE, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
FRI DECEMBER 1 | THE NIGHT CAT, FITZROY VIC | 18+
Tickets available from www.thenightcat.com.au
One of Australia’s most exciting pop newcomers, TAMMA, has today announced her glistening new single Beat You Down, out October 12. After a rough few years of loss and devastation for TAMMA, real name Tammy Martin, and her family, Beat You Down feels like a true triumph over hardship. TAMMA has also announced a happy-go-lucky video to accompany Beat You Down, directed by Damien Blue (Slow Pulp) and filmed at the iconic Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California and will celebrate the release of Beat You Down with a performance at Farouk’s Olive in Northcote on October 21.
Beat You Down is the ultimate pump-up song – one to bust out in the car as you head away on a road trip, when someone in your life is being a total jerk, when you are on your last dollar and your landlord kicks you out – but it’s more than that. Sparkling guitars, hard-hitting pop percussion and a killer vocal hook from TAMMA lead the way – but the reason Beat You Down hits so hard is its deep roots in vulnerability. TAMMA offers insight into the deeply personal inspiration behind the track, saying, “As I was writing Beat You Down, I thought about my family and the hard stuff we have faced in recent years. I’ve had vocal surgery twice – however, losing my voice and identity seemed trivial after the tragic and sudden loss of my nephew Buddy in 2016. The loss threw me into an unknown and scary place, as I realised how quickly life can change and turn on you. Suddenly my main priority in life was to get my sister, family and myself through the grief and confusion.”
TAMMA continues, “Music is my healer and I wanted to write something to make them feel uplifted – the way music does for me. I was thinking about my little nieces (and nephews) navigating through life at different ages and stages; it’s confusing enough as a young one, but then trying to understand that loss on top of that is so hard. I thought about my own journey, what it’s like to be a female today. Beat You Down came at the last minute, and it’s a message for my nieces: if they ever feel discouraged or hurt, don’t let it beat you down. Stay close to your loved ones…it’s a message for anyone who needs a pick-me-up. Life’s bigger than letting toxic people or trivial things get to you.”
The clip for Beat You Down is soaked in summery nostalgia, as TAMMA and her friends skateboard their way around Venice Beach. It’s fun and uplifting, pulsing with young energy and life, and the picturesque visuals fit in beautifully with the message of the song. TAMMA explains the concept behind the clip, saying, “Venice Beach is place close to my heart for many reasons, the warmth, the weirdness, the music, blue skies and palm trees, but mainly because of my awesome mates who live there, who also feature in the clip. We filmed some of it in their backyard in their amazing airstream caravan. I picked skateboarding because I wanted a visual representation where persistence and resilience pays off. I have always loved and respected skateboarding since I was a kid, it’s an artform that requires courage to master it. You get physically hurt as well as rejected from society and little recognition, you eat shit and you get up again!”
TAMMA is set to perform Beat You Down and a bunch of never-before-heard tracks live for fans at Farouk’s Olive in Northcote on October 21. Stoked to be showcasing her new music, TAMMA enthuses, “My shows are playful – I tell stories through my music that people relate to, we have laughs and an there is a lot of rawness and honesty in the room. My songs are catchy, warm, summary and soulful. This show will be performed with a live band which will be such a good vibe!”
Beat You Down is set for release on October 12, via True Music.
SUN 21 OCT | FAROUK’S OLIVE, NORTHCOTE | 18+
Sassy LA-based Australian force, Lili Kendall has today announced her sultry new single Lifetime, a cosmic love song to a young partner, set for a global release on December 1.
Lifetime is bound to catch listeners off-guard – it’s a surprisingly mature love song from this young artist, who has already reinvented herself several times throughout her short career. But Lili is fully formed on Lifetime; relaxed and in control, her unmistakable voice glides above world-class production from her collaborator Deaneaux. Lifetime is the most appropriate name for this slow-burning track – RnB and hiphop influences are sprinkled throughout, but there’s a cosmic force underlying that somehow places this song on the edge of this universe and the next.
Speaking about the track, Lili enthuses, “I wrote Lifetime when I first moved to LA in June. It’s about the chase that you and the other person are on at the start of a relationship. The back and forth, and lust, the want of each other. It’s also about being ride or die for that one person because you know that you have been lovers in previous lifetimes, and it is something worth fighting for.”
Lili has settled into the creative LA lifestyle without a hitch, and is currently putting the finishing touches on her new EP. “My EP is finished and we’re in the final stages of mixing and mastering, as well as making some amazing visuals for each song,” she says. “I am home in Australia for the holidays and will be heading to Sydney and Melbourne for work, I’m so excited to be back on home soil and get into the studio with some local creatives.”
Lifetime will be released on December 1.
After a massive 2017, neo-soul vocalist Maya is back with a stellar new single Blackout, about a moment forever lost in time, out tomorrow May 11. Produced by the renowned Joel Quartermain (Eskimo Joe, Meg Mac, British India), Blackout is an exciting addition to Maya’s impressive discography. The young artist has also dropped a video to accompany the track, directed by Grace Moore. To celebrate Blackout, Maya will be performing at The Penny Black in Melbourne on May 10, Rising Sun Hotel in South Melbourne on May 12 and The Toff In Town on May 26.
Blackout is ominous, and intuitive – as though Maya knows something we all don’t, and she’s trying to let us know. Her flawless vocals sit atop a motivated rhythm section with urgency and skill, as her lyrics persuade the listener to pay attention. Joel Quartermain’s expert touch has propelled Blackout into a whole new dimension for Maya, and as her star begins to rise one can only wonder what’s to follow. Speaking on the creation of the track, Maya says, “Releasing this single has got to be one of the most exciting times of my career. Blackout means so much to me lyrically and I feel like the production is the next step sound that really represents my aesthetic…Most people have ‘blacked out’ before, whether it’s when they drink, if they black out a bad memory, or if they just forget certain things. This song takes you through my perspective and how I felt when it happened to me – it was inspired by so many moments of blackout in myself that I still fight everyday.”
The video is as striking as the track itself. Dramatic lighting cloaks Maya and her sisters, as Maya tries to navigate her own personal blackout. Maya was specific about her goals for the video, as she reflects, “The Blackout video shows a cross between the dark reality and positive space. It captures a representation of the dark energies that are felt in those fragile times, juxtaposed with a bright, welcoming space that leads to happiness. The video, set the morning after the night before, features the Blackout Girls chasing me out of my dark memories until finally I arrive at a space where there is no black. There I’m free from the watchful eyes of the blackout, and surrounded by positivity and light.”
With three hometown shows coming up, these intimate gigs are Maya’s element, and fans are lucky enough to be able to catch her before she jets off to New York City to continue writing with world-class musicians over there, as she enthuses, “I have been working with many writers and producers in NYC on my next project, and I’ve been writing a lot and am now just doing the final touches on some seriously felt and fresh music. I’ll be doing more writing in Australia, and working on production of the tracks I already have written in New York. Some more release this year, and an EP toward the end of the year, with a full insight into my new sound.”
Blackout is set for release on May 11.
BLACKOUT LAUNCH SHOWS
THURS 10 MAY | THE PENNY BLACK, BRUNSWICK VIC | 18+
Free entry all night
SAT 12 MAY | RISING SUN HOTEL, SOUTH MELBOURNE VIC – SPECIAL JAZZ SHOW | ALL AGES
Tickets available from https://www.ellasmusicclub.com/maya
SAT 26 MAY | THE TOFF IN TOWN, MELBOURNE VIC – LADYHOOD SUPPORT SHOW | 18+