Let’s welcome in 2021 with a slew of fabulous new music from Gold Coast and Northern Rivers, curated as always by our new music guru Zac Fahey.
Charlie Rebel’s Christmas Anthem
Loveable local rascals Charlie Rebel are on a 10-year mission to release a Christmas album at the rate one track per year. 2020’s installment ‘We Didn’t Order Bat Soup’ is a catchy punk rock commentary of the year that was, featuring classic lines like “Christmas is canceled but I’m still here” and “2020 can kiss my ass”. Featuring a punk/ska breakdown, a classic guitar solo and a Christmas vocal scat section to top it all off ‘We Didn’t Order Bat Soup’ is a whole lot of fun and should be on everyone’s Christmas playlist next year.
Amela’s Unlikely Collaboration
Prolific collaborator and musical chameleon Amela has surprised us yet again, this time teaming up with spiritual motivator turned rapper Nicole Gibson for the feel-good anthem of the month ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’. Lyrically addressing some of the socio-political challenges that humanity faced throughout 2020, the track features the unmistakable production wizardry of Josh Beattie and is topped off by one hell of a catchy chorus melody by Amela. Refreshingly different stuff here from this unlikely collaboration.
Kye Grant’s Glitchy Dance Floor Banger
Kye Grant has given us yet another dance floor banger for our silly season with the glitchy, Flume-inspired new single ‘What It’s Like’. Ambient synths provide backing for the verses that build nicely over commanding female vocals into an instrumental chorus that drops hard. With the track already starting to get traction on national radio you can expect to see more of this young producer in the coming months.
The Goldhearts Wage War
The Goldhearts are waging war on plastic with there bright new single ‘Beach Bums’. Lyrically taking the listener on a walk down a Gold Coast beach polluted with “Bongs and thongs”, “plastic forks” and “sweet & sour sauce” the band have clearly had enough. Musically the track mixes 50’s do-whop vocal styles with 90’s guitar driven indie pop resulting in a sound that is truly unique, unlike anything else being released on the Gold Coast at the moment.
Mass Sky Raid’s World-Class Single
Adding to the wonderful musical diversity that we have here on the Gold Coast, Mass Sky Raid have just released an outstanding new alt/rock single ‘Breakthrough’. Soaring layered guitars, commanding drums and powerful vocals are delivered through squeaky clean production creating a world-class sound for this local four-piece. With an equally impressive accompanying video that emulates the pure epicness of the song, Mass Sky Raid have us very excited for what’s to come in 2021.
Akurei’s Impressive Finale
One of the most constantly impressive artists of 2020 Akurei finished off the year in style with the release of the third installment of his epic three EP series. Title track ’CLOVER’ is a low-key electronic indie-pop stunner that gets better with every listen, showcasing Akurei’s intimate vocals and tactful, simplistic production techniques. B-sides ‘BUTTERCUP’ and ‘QUASIMODO’ complete the experience cementing the young producer/songwriter as one of the Gold Coast’s most exciting artists coming into the new year.
Lecia Louise Shines Bright
Lecia Louise has read the room well with the release of her bright, summery new single ‘My Everything’. Led by an uplifting ukulele part, the track builds nicely adding beautiful layered vocal harmonies and of course Lecia Louise’s signature electric guitar shredding. Written to a loved one separated by the trials of Covid-19 ‘My Everything’ has been released as a three track single which also includes an acoustic live take and a karaoke version if you want to sing along.
Rae Leigh’s Upbeat Collaboration
One of the most prolific Gold Coast artists of the past 12 months Rae Leigh has released yet another single with the upbeat ‘Find Another Day’. Steering away from the acoustic singer/songwriter style of her previous material Rae Leigh invited Nashville based collaborator Mary Haller and producer Jason Millhouse to create a fully-fledged band sound on this new offering. Set to continue her impressive work rate through to 2021 Rae Leigh’s debut EP is expected for release in the coming months.
The Shambolics’ Authentic Punk Belter
The Shambolics have well and truly ditched their alt-country twang with their raucous new single ‘(Not A) Spectator Sport’. With a song length coming well under three minutes, distorted, passion-filled vocals and a raw recording quality that sounds like a few microphones in a garage ‘(Not A) Spectator Sport’ is as authentic as punk rock comes. Recorded by fellow Gold Coaster Benny D. Williams, this is the second single from the band’s forthcoming album that is shaping up to be an absolute beauty.
Joseph Vea Hits The Heart Strings
Joseph Vea is melting our hearts with his soulful voice yet again with the release of his reggae/RnB single ‘Find Me’. Building in intensity from just vocal and guitar, Joseph subtly adds layer after layer of instrumentation transforming the track into a full body of sound that comes to an almighty crescendo at the three and a half minute mark. If you like Fat Freddy’s Drop, you’re sure to love Joseph Vea.
Business Channel 80’s Resurgence
Indie-pop trio Business gave us their second offering at the end of 2020 with the funk driven groover ‘I Wish I Knew’. Complete with bass slapping and a tasteful saxophone solo the track channels the 80’s resurgence brought to life by bands like Client Liaison. With suits and briefcases to match these boys certainly mean business.
The Ancient Bloods’ Powerful Debut Album
First nations collective The Ancient Bloods have followed up their 2020 debut single with the release of an eclectic and immensely powerful full-length album ‘Where We Stand’. With backgrounds including Kabi Kabi, Bundjalung, Wiradjuri, Jabirr Jabirr, Garrwa, Butchulla and Darug the group explore a range of stories, truths and musical styles from their own unique perspectives. Mixing smooth RnB (‘Where I Stand’), with fuzzy grunge rock (‘Crying in the Dreamtime’) and everything in between the album takes the listener on a lyrical, musical and cultural journey like no other.
Skyway Are Back
After giving us their first single in almost 10 years in October local punk legends Skyway have backed things up with a blistering new EP titled ‘Hope Floats, Love Sinks’. Four fast paced, polished punk beauties complete with a hunting, ambient intro make for an impressive start to finish listen. Highlight tracks include the full throttle ‘Glasshouse’, the pop-punk vibes of ‘Heart Anchor’ and the triumphant guitar driven final minute of the closing track ‘The Day You Went Away’.
Dawn Of Dusk Bring The Grunge
Describing themselves as ‘Vagabond Rock’, Dawn Of Dusk draw influences from 90’s grunge legends Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam on their latest offering ‘IN2U’. Deep jangly electric guitars and a driving rhythm section move the track along while the brooding, off-kilter vocals provide the depth and obscurity that make it unique. Complete with an extended instrumental outro Dawn Of Dusk’s ‘IN2U’ is 90’s grunge to its core, a solid offering from this local outfit.
The Vultures’ Almighty Return
Returning after a five-year musical hibernation, Gold Coast local favorites The Vultures are back in a big way with the release of their brilliant single ‘Every Night’. Crafted in Berlin and self-produced in Melbourne during COVID lockdown the track showcases the band’s maturity as musicians, offering an abundance of hooks and technical proficiency while still managing to keep things simple. Released alongside the equally impressive B-side ‘Uncomfortable Unknown’ The Vultures prove that they have only gotten better with age.
TINY’s Experimental Winner
TINY is extending the festive season with her epic party starting pop gem ‘Good Life’. A strong follow-up to her successful 2020 debut ‘On My Mind’ TINY took more of an experimental approach here, describing the track as “a vulnerable expression & extension of herself”. The song’s musically sparse verses build gradually into a massive sounding chorus that will casually smack you in the face every time it drops. A modern day self-contained artist TINY writes, produces and performs all the music herself giving the finished product a real authentic, holistic type of sound.
Josh King Finds The Winning Formula
Josh King is continuing his run of low-key electro-pop bangers with the latest release ‘Cuts’. Driving, bass-heavy synths lay the foundation and are tactfully decorated with well-placed audio bites and clever production. Wearing his heart on his sleeve Josh sings of a relationship breakdown and the pain that was left in its wake. Co-produced with fellow Gold Coaster Jared Adlam the pair seems to have found the winning formula and have excited for what’s to come in 2021.