Ahh July is music to our ears, with a glorious bundle of new tunes to get us through the cold winter days. Curated by Samantha Morris and Zac Fahey, this month’s #goldcoast tunes are a must for your Spotify playlist.
Old Soul In The New World
Gabrielle Kerr is yet another glorious product of the Gold Coast talent-producing machine that is (was) Griffith University’s Bachelor of Popular Music. The young songstress describes herself as an old soul watching the new world spin, and from the sound of her debut EP ‘Truth In The Flowers’ it would be easy to mistake her as someone who’s been releasing music for decades. The four track is a beautifully dark mix of alt-country, rock and folk, touching on heavy hitting themes such as death, facing inner demons and the sting of unrequited love. The highlight track ‘Pointless’ is truly haunting and offers a unique progression from her influences such as Aurora and The Dear Hunter. ‘Truth In The Flowers’ is strong, timeless sounding debut; something that Gabrielle Kerr can be proud of.
Byron Bay All-Stars
Northern NSW favourite Hayley Grace has been winning the hearts of audiences along Australia’s surf coast for many years, catching waves and bringing good vibes wherever she goes. After many successful self-titled releases, Grace has now teamed up with a collection of Byron Bay’s best musicians to release a slick EP of soul infused reggae tunes under the moniker Hayley Grace & The Bay Collective. The opening track ‘No Idea’ sets the EP’s tone with a solid reggae groove that could have easily come directly from Kingston Jamaica in 1975. It then builds around Grace’s soulful vocals, developing into an outright party track showcasing what this all-star collaboration is capable of. The band is already getting labelled as a “must see” live act after lifting the newly installed roof off Miami Marketta at their EP launch in June, so be sure to keep an eye on the band’s socials for upcoming GC dates.
Seaside: Believe The Hype
It’s been an almighty 12 months for Byron indie heroes Seaside. They’ve impressed local crowds at Splendour and Shakafest, enjoyed triple j and Spotify additions and toured the country supporting major acts like Angus And Julia Stone and Last Dinosaurs. Believe the hype because the four piece have just upped the ante with their strongest release to date. ‘Sycamore’ is the band’s glistening new single inspired by a need to persevere through social anxiety and self-doubt. Whether through the band’s growing musical maturity or the depth of the muse, ‘Sycamore’ seems to offer a more than your classic indie-rock tune. It still follow’s the traditional indie formula of jangly guitar and dreamy production but there’s definitely something special and unique about Darcy Dexter’s melody that sets the track apart. Together with the clever pace changes by the band, ‘Sycamore’ evokes emotions like all good music does. Add it to your playlist.
Slow Burn a sleeping hit
Not just another psychedelic band chasing Tame Impala fame, Sleeper Hit are the real deal, and can prove it with their debut single ‘Market Fair’. The debut single takes a more low-fi approach to that of their contemporaries, swapping synthesisers for reverse delayed guitar noise and stereo panning trickery. The first listen may leave you a little confused but by the fifth play you’ll be hooked and start recognising the song as the band’s name suggests – a sleeper hit. The track has been out for a few months already but in true sleeper hit style they’ve let it marinate, and it’s only just been formally launched at a live show at HOTA, celebrating the re-opening of the Basement space.
Bioluminescence for Monica Adair
Monica Adair has recently relocated from North Queensland to the Gold Coast and brought a gem of a debut single along with her: ‘Stars In The Water’. The indie-pop track was inspired by a night spent on one of her local beaches up north – the “stars in the water” literally refer to the rare phenomenon known as bioluminescence which create phosphorus specks along the shoreline. It’s an impressive first offering for the 19 year old, complete with backing string sections, layered harmonies and slick production. Monica Adair is showing all the signs of a star in the making and is definitely one to watch in 2019.
Anthemic Debut for Raw Deep
Local rockers Raw Deep met and formed at high school and have been have been honing their skills playing local gigs ever since. Their debut single ‘Give Me A Reason’ shows that the hard work has paid off. ‘Give Me A Reason’ is an anthemic rock belter featuring soaring vocals, screaming guitar solos and a classic rock power cord progression. The track builds towards the distorted riff-based chorus that makes you want to join the nearest mosh pit. But it’s not all horns-to-the-sky head banging. The track also has some really nice moments with the piano and acoustic guitars taking the limelight. Their last show was the single launch at the Coolangatta Hotel in June but Raw Deep are the kind of band that can’t keep off the stage so keep an eye on the band’s socials for their next local gig.
Torrents by Lemaire
Byron Bay based independent 21 year old singer/songwriter and rapper LEMAIR, has released his second single, titled ‘Torrents’. It comes ahead of a debut EP due later this year. The rap track channels r ‘n’ b vibes and will stick in your ears long after its final moments. This young man has already had sets at Bluesfest, Mullum Music Festival and Buskers by the Creek and at just 15 years of age won the Lismore Young Songwriters Competition. Get your ears around ‘Torrents’ and your eyes around its new video before the full EP is released.
Sally Sa’s Mama hits the airwaves
Sally Sa has delivered one of the smoothest songs out of the Gold Coast this year. Easy listening hip-hop infused with soul and laced with jazzy beats (not to mention sexy sax), ‘Mama’ is a treat for the ears as well as the hips which will no doubt be sashaying their way around lounge rooms and dance floors this winter. With the recent resurgence of neo soul as a contemporary artform, it’s wonderful to hear an artist with as much talent and musical sensibility as Sally living a humble life here on the Gold Coast. Keep your ears peeled for new tracks and shows in coming months.
Tania Kernaghan’s Better Worn In
With lyrics making reference to life being like a well worn pair of boots and with tell-tale country guitar twang, Gold Coaster Tania Kernaghan is the master of delivering simple country songs that appeal to swathes of people. New track ‘Better Worn in’ is a slice of country perfection. It’s out now.
Tully John and Liza-Jane drop embers
Gold Coast duo Tully John and Liza-Jane have released new track ‘Embers’, a delicately layered and sincerely crafted number, complete with guitar and piano as well as beautiful melodies and seriously honed vocals by both members of the band. There’s a touch of pop, a touch of folk and more than a touch of winding country roads on a grey day. The lyrics – which deal with love and loss – match the sometimes muted, sometimes bright tones emanating from ‘Embers’ and the ease with which this duo comes together makes me super excited to hear what might come next.
Hannah Campbell’s east coast dream
‘East Coast Dream’, the new song from Hannah Campbell is an anthem for adventurous spirits. Recently locating to the Gold Coast, Hannah’s song is a follow-up to highly-praised single ‘Run Like Wolves’ with an echo of folky roots, catchy chorus and great lyricism that together deliver honest humility while exploring failings and hopefulness as well as emotional vacancy and unspoken truths. It’s out now and you can listen via all the usual channels.
Yorke announces headline tour + new single
In the past year, Byron Bay based Yorke has given us a bold string of singles as a result of finding her feet in adulthood – a confusing and daunting time. Floating in a confident indie-pop dream space, she embraces her vulnerability and provides a glimmer of hope through her captivating sound. New single ‘Thought I Could’ explores continues on that journey, exploring her sound with a sense of hopefulness as well as poppy hooks. Yorke has just announced her maiden headline shows (Sydney and Melbourne) and is fresh from supporting Ruel on his national tour and right now is on the road with Jack Gray. It’s been a big year for Yorke and it seems that trajectory is going to continue.
Super Massive Meltwater
After playing their first show together in four years earlier this year Gold Coast’s newest sci-funk-alternative-rock outfit Super Massive have released a brand new single ‘Meltwater’. The track features the truly super massive drum sound of ex-Machine Gun Fellatio drummer/composer/producer Glenn Abbott (AKA Bryan Ferrysexual). Heavy drums and layers of pulsating (the media release accurately describes them as “squonking”) synths and guitars are juxtaposed by the intimate vocals of Malina Hamilton-Smith making for a unique style that sounds like a modern mix between Divinyls and Regurgitator. ‘Meltwater’ was literally written about the planet’s ice caps melting, inspired by a David Attenborough documentary on global warming. It’s out now and it’s a doozy.
Sugary Sweet release for Saint Lane
Gold Coast rapper Saint Lane released new single ‘Sugary Sweet’ earlier this month and it’s landed on ears with serious impact. The track comes on the back of the release of ‘Zip Code’ and ‘Compliment My Shirt’ which have seen Lane support Baker Boy, pop up at Vivid’s Inner Westival and score a slot at Korea’s Ultra Music Festival just in a matter of a couple of months. The track lives up to its name as a sugary sweet (and short) number coming in at just 2:00 and featuring Lane’s signature rhymes laid over a sparse soundscape. Saint Lane’s got some big things in the pipeline and I reckon 2019 will be the year he’s well and truly beatified.
Hanlon Brothers go renewable with new single
Chilled Gold Coast groove merchants Hanlon Brothers, have well and truly returned with in the delivery of radiant new single ‘SOLAR’. The track finds the brotherly trio, Ruka (MC), Saia (Drums) and Omar Hanlon (Bass and Vocals), lay down a soulful, hip-hop inflected r’n’b groove, perfect for those lazy, sundrenched winter weekends which are sure to be bountifully bestowed upon the Gold Coast over the coming months. ‘SOLAR’ serves as the title track to an upcoming new EP of material, lovingly crafted over the past 12 months as the brothers strive to definitively capture their ethos in a purpose-built studio, morphing their sound palette into exciting new realms.
Aaron Can’t Lose
17 year old Aaron Gannaway has infused loop-based ambience with some sweet indie folk vibes in new single ‘Can’t Lose You’, released last month. The up-and-coming singer-songwriter from the Gold Coast has a distinctive gravelly voice but the thing that stands out the most in this track – his third – is his exceptional songwriting talent. His emotive storytelling and acoustic instrumentation shine alongside lyrics which pull at your heart strings. Aaron’s debut EP is in the wings too, set for launch on 12 October this year, the same day as his 18th birthday. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
Paige Bottriell’s emotional fatality released
When a debut release includes the work of both Paul Blakey and Nik Carpenter (Core Studios), you know it’s going to have some legs. Paige Bottriell was ‘discovered’ just last year and thrown straight into the studio to work on her debut album. Described as “hauntingly beautiful” the five-track EP includes tracks that swing between heart-filled ballads and soulful and uplifting pop numbers with every song shining a light on Paige’s vocal ability. The EP ‘Emotional Fatality’ is out now.