There were some amazing releases that come out in 2016, and as with every year, I start out with the best of intentions keeping a list of my favourites as they hit, only to let it fall by the wayside by about March. Yeah I know, it doesn’t last long! So undoubtedly I will forgot lots of great releases from 2016. There’s been the talked about releases like Metallica’sHardwired… To Self Destruct (which for me has been quite a disappointment, some moments of clarity and power but as whole, it wasn’t the driving force I was hoping for), then there’s been some that have come out of left field that have really thrown me for six and impressed me quite a lot, like Electric MagusOlympus Noms, which is Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt, River Of Snakes, Midnight Woolf) latest offering through Wild Animals Records. Like with John Frusciante’s solo albums, some sound quite unique and very different to his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers (which is an awesome thing these days!) yet his style and soul still comes through in various ways. Electric Magus is like this for Sanchez compared to his ‘usual’ guitar driven work. It’s totally different yet still somehow connects with me for the same reasons.
I still listen to loads of releases from all around the world, but more and more as time goes on I find myself mainly listening to local bands. Possibly for a few reasons, I like to support local muso’s and friends, it’s possible to see them more live which in turn gets us more stoked on listening back to a band later, and maybe most importantly, there are just so many fuckin incredible bands in Melbourne and throughout Australia that there’s not enough time to sometimes reach out further. Continue reading →
For me, there are a select few musicians that can cut through anything their band is playing with their vocals, and shine like rays of light through storm clouds to bring a slice of heaven to a room. In Melbourne, think Adalita, Amaya Laucirica, Rich Davies, and on this night at The Gasometer Hotel, we were lucky enough to have Ella Hooper.
The launch is for New Magic, the “90s tinged swirling pop piece” follow up to last years heartbreaker EP, Venom. It feels like the whole idea of the new EP was to create something that could be played first and foremost live. With the creation of a new band and a month long launch by way of Wednesday residencies, and with an eclectic mix of supports, it’s a great way for punters to experience these songs for the first time.
I reckon it must be a tough gig to be Ella Hooper. She has been present in mainstream pop culture through music, TV and radio for years now, but with the mere mention of her name, Killing Heidi is still the first image to spray across my mind. Admittedly, four ARIA awards on your debut album isn’t a bad way to start your career, especially for a couple of kids from the very small (but very cool) Violet Town. It’s a hard feat to top as it kind of sticks and can preserve you in the national pop consciousness as being that young 16 year old full of dreads in that film clip with the picture frames.
That said, Ella is back on the scene music wise. ‘The Red Shoes’ is the third single to be launched from her new album ‘In Tongues’ which is set for release in September. She has slowly been dropping tracks from the album over the last year, and from what I heard at the launch, this release will be her new ‘coming of age’ album. Hooper’s chance to really Kill Heidi, or at least put her in her place. It has an implied darkness in its sound and lyrics which serrates the edges from what could have been a clean pop record into a much fuller and interesting body of work. Vocally, her wide range was exercised in full with swirling dark melodies with impossibly catchy choruses. The slow release of the singles through a series of launches suggests that she is taking her time developing this new project; keeping in mind she is also extremely busy professionally in other mediums.