What are the Gold Coast’s best albums?
There’s regular chatter in the music industry about the future of the album format. Artists regularly opt to release multiple singles in a year, sometimes packaging them up as an EP, but often not. With the ease of releasing a song digitally, it’s hard to gather the resources, time and team to record and release a full-length album. But it still a think. There’s a large number of musicians opting for the longer format of an album, and of course, a consistent number of music fans looking for the same thing.
The album of the year category for this year’s Gold Coast Music Awards, has unearthed a treasure trove of longer format releases from Gold Coast artists. With finalists revealed this week, we thought you might want to know more about the albums judges felt were the city’s best.
Finalists for the Gold Coast Music Awards Album of the Year category, sponsored by beatniks are a mixed bag. Heavy metal, alt-country-blues, traditional country, funk and contemporary rock all get a look-in.
Let us introduce you to the Gold Coast’s best albums – our GC Music Awards album of the year finalists:
About Gold Coast Album of the Year finalists
Wanderlust by Hollow Coves
Recorded in Montreal (Indica Studios) and Brisbane. Track “The Woods” reached #1 on both Hype Machine and THR’s Top TV Songs chart and has since gone on to receive millions of plays across the globe. The song anchors their debut EP, released in February 2017. Hollow Coves’ signature sound has been described as “warm, emotional and neatly-packed with imagery of nature and travel.” They’ve got just shy of 30,000 Spotify followers with more than 1 million monthly listens and 3 million monthly streams.
On The Boundaries by Hussy Hicks
Hussy Hicks say this album concept was to avoid being beholden to a live band sound but to build all songs of a very simple shaker and vocal groove so they were based on the same basic groove/feel as they would have if being performed in a stripped back way. The team involved was Julz Parker and Leesa Gentz in collaboration with Producer and long time friend Raphael White (who has performed on bass with the Hussy Hicks for many european tours and appears on ‘The London Sessions’ and ‘Postcards and Previews’ albums). The album was released towards the end of 2017 but has had multiple plays on JJJ as well as community radio all over the country including full featured slots on 2SER Sydney with Stuart Coupe and a three-hour special on Australian Spectrum with Ross Fear – both shows syndicated nationally.
Breathe Hope by In Ashes
“We started writing at the back end of 2013, and had whole album worth of demos only to scrap them and start over. It was a long two years of writing and demoing before we actually hit the studio. We didn’t want to put any time constraints [on ourselves] in the studio so we took our time to get everything right and did it in blocks. This allowed us a lot more freedom in getting everything just how we wanted. In the end we were in and out of Core Studios over about a 12 month period. We have hit a few road blocks along the way and it has been a long journey toward releasing Breathe Hope – four years to get to the final product! We couldn’t be more stoked with the outcome.” In Ashes started about 17 years ago as In Ashes We Lie, with the band playing an active role in the original North Coast Hardcore group of bands that included Parkway Drive (they played their first show ever with In Ashes We Lie!) The Amity Affliction, Mourning Tide, Against, A Secret Death.
Rip it Up by Jase Lansky
Jase has lived on the Gold Coast for 22 years and has released to radio three singles from the album, “Rip it up” (the single), “Ain’t Thinking About Monday”, and “Back To Blue”. All three singles hit the Top 40 Australian Country Tracks Charts, with “Ain’t Thinking About Monday” topping at number four and “Back To Blue” topping at Number five. The tracks are also receiving airplay on international stations. The album received the 2RRR/AAAMusicLinx “Male Album of The Year” at the 2018 Tamworth Country Music Festival, while the single “Ain’t Thinking About Monday” hit Number 1 in Tasmania and was awarded the Number 1 single at the 2017 TICMA Awards. The album (and singles) are all streaming via iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music and all other leading platforms.
Ocean Tone by Mekong Merchants
The title of the EP is a reference to the surf guitar bands and sounds that Mekong Merchants like, and also a small nod to the beach location that the band is from. The songs are formed around the band’s love of rolling guitar rhythms, fuzz, wah, reverb and the spaces in between with the lyrics based on universal human experiences but with an eye on the poetry and art of imagery. The band recorded the album ‘Ocean Tone’ at Love Street Studios, with Stu Tume (Guitars & Vocals), Kenji Tamura (bass), Scotty French (drums / percussion) & Rhea Robertson (vocals).
Seduced by the Light Side by Reichelt
Seduced by the Light is the fifth album from local Gold Coast power folk artist Reichelt – the spark of indie artist Luke Reichelt and the combination of producer Guy Cooper with some performances by Ian Peres (Wolfmother), Sammy Griffin, Jeff Paton and Guy Cooper. Luke has a long history in the local music scene, collaborating with Guy Cooper to start Undertow Street Press in and being the first artist to sign with Guy’s label Human Records. The album is currently being released one single at a time with local Gold Coast filmmaker Nils Nilsson. ‘Seduced by the Lightside’ is an audio and songwriting monster with the eleven tracks carefully constructed over a period of 14 months by Luke and Guy in Ashmore. With many inspirations and connections between religion, spirituality and nature, Luke and Guy have managed to sculpt and construct a multilayered beast with multiple local musicans: drums, bass, synths, guitars, accordian, organs, choirs and all of the colors of the musical rainbow.
Paradigm by Wayward Suns
Paradigm is the debut album release by local Gold Coast groove instigators, The Wayward Suns. Recorded at Love Street Studios in the beautiful Currumbin Valley, and produced/engineered the gold coast’s premier engineer Scotty French, this album has a broad palate of musical flavours. The Head bopping rock/funk/reggae rhythms, roots-inspired vocals, the lyrical flow of Aussie hip-hop and blues-inspired guitar hooks meld together in a tantalizing blend offer a juxtaposition of genres that runs throughout this whole album. Though each song explores different genres of music, all of them have a backbone of creative samples, lyrically dense hip-hop messages, in the pocket drum grooves, soulful roots singing, smooth funky bass and gritty catchy guitar.
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Gold Coast Music Awards Album of the Year is sponsored by beatniks. Winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on the beach at Surfers Paradise on Thursday 3 May. Tickets will sell out so get in quick via Oztix.