Category: Pop

Melanie C has today released brand new single ‘Blame It On Me’. This follows the success of latest track ‘Who I Am’, which went top 10 on iTunes across Europe, South America and the UK, was playlisted at Radio 2, and saw Melanie perform sets from her home studio ranging from The Late Late Show with James Corden and BBC 1’s The One Show to a specialist mix for i-D Magazine.

Furthermore, Melanie has been busy under lockdown adding the final touches to a brand new studio album, further previewed today by its euphoric second single, ‘Blame It On Me’. She has also brought fans together around the world in a series of quarantined live-streams, featuring Q&As on physical and mental wellbeing, the next generation of Girl Power (see a conversation with Rina Sawayama for Crack Magazine), plus some familiar faces (Melanie B, Sink The Pink cohort Glynn Fussell and frequent-collaborator Biff Stannard, who co-wrote ‘Who I Am’ with Melanie, have also guested thus far).

‘Blame It On Me’ is another blast of unapologetic modern pop from Melanie C, calling out toxicity in a relationship over a life-long love of disco, electronic music, and the sometimes-life-long journey it takes to stand up for yourself. It’s the perfect follow-on to the anthemic ‘Who I Am’, a track that embraced the power of vulnerability and also (in its affecting video) saw Melanie explore the past, present and future of Sporty Spice.

2020 has seen Melanie C return to the solo pop stage on her own unequivocal terms. A vital voice in the modern discourse on depression, body positivity, and the LGBTQ community, her trailblazing influence has arguably never been more apparent. Whether presenting her friend Billie Eilish with a BRIT Award, being remixed by a hero like Joe Goddard or discussing her journey thus far on a recent episode of Desert Island Discs, Melanie is also hard at work on her most celebrated music in years. New single ‘Blame It On Me’ continues to evolve her sound as much as it sees Melanie look back to her roots: she did, after all, cut her teeth not just in the biggest girl band in the world, but in the club-culture surrounding her childhood of Widnes (where she’d sneak off and attend Prodigy raves). With over 100 million records sold and multiple BRIT, Ivor, Billboard and Olivier Awards under her belt, her forthcoming album nonetheless feels like new, more assured ground for Melanie C – and a glorious new chapter for Girl Power. 

Kate Miller-Heidke’s ethereal voice makes this empathetic gesture on her new single, “This is Not Forever.” The sentiment behind the song is simple but weighty – a plea for a loved one to hand over their hurt.

“I could see someone very close to me was falling into a depression. I’d seen it before and I wanted to let them know I was there for them in a very serious way. The song was written about six months ago, before all this happened,” she explains, referring to the global shutdown amidst the spread of Covid-19 – a context that imbues “This is Not Forever” with new resonance. “Listening to it in these changed times, I feel it more deeply than I did before. It just seems like the right time to put it out.”

Cinematic in scope and sound, “This is Not Forever” is a testament to people: trusting them with your ideas and your emotions, and allowing yourself to be close to them emotionally if not physically, just for now.

That belief extends into the music video for “This is Not Forever”. A collaboration with director Christiaan Van Vuuren and choreographer Lucas Jervies, the poignant video sees dancers trade the stage for their living rooms and backyards, encapsulating the hopeful spirit of the song in communal motion. Shot in isolation by each dancer on their phone and pieced together by Van Vuuren, you can watch the video here:

In late 2019, just months after Kate brought her unique blend of indie-pop, folk and opera to the Eurovision Song Contest with her song‘Zero Gravity’ and where she was also the first Australian artist to win the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award (an award presented to the best artist as voted by the Eurovision commentators) – she threw herself into another new challenge. Paired up with producer Justin Stanley and songwriter Ingrid Andress at the APRA AMCOS SongHubs on the Gold Coast, and challenged to make a song in a day, the trio embarked on a collaboration that had evaded Kate during her career.

“I’d always kind of shied away from the pop song-writing tradition of baring your soul to strangers, and then writing a song. But I think after the whole crazy Eurovision experience, how exposing that was and that super hectic year, I was just feeling confident enough for the first time to do that, to sit in a room with strangers and write a song that way. And I’m so glad I did, because it’s really changed my whole approach.”

Kate had been writing music for over two decades, during which time she followed the path laid by her idols, one that involved channelling her deepest feelings alone in a room. “It was personal. It was like a pure channel, between the muse and the songwriter.”  But following her experience at Eurovision, she realised there had been seeds of fear and social anxiety that led to her distrust of doing it any other way.

“After Eurovision I felt like, I can do anything now. Nothing’s going to be as exposing; I’ve been as vulnerable as I can be.”

In surrendering to the collaboration, she tapped into the intimacy of the song, and found that writing with others led to her ideas becoming more distilled, more effective.

Kate Miller-Heidke is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, a sublime vocalist who effortlessly traverses the worlds of contemporary pop, folk and opera. She has released four studio albums including O Vertigo! which debuted at number 4 on the ARIA Albums Chart, Nightflight, which reached number 2, and Curiouser, which reached double platinum sales and spawned the multi-platinum hits ‘Last Day On Earth’ and ‘Caught In The Crowd’. Her yet to be titled fifth studio album is slated for release later this year.

 

Today, global superstar Sam Smith releases their brand new single “I’m Ready” alongside international music sensation Demi Lovato. Download / stream HERE.

Also unveiled is the video to accompany the single – directed by award winning director Jora Frantzis (Cardi B, Rosalia) and renowned choreographer Sean Bankhead (Normani, Missy Elliot). View HERE.

The last twelve months have also seen Smith release singles “To Die For”, “How Do You Sleep?” and “Dancing With A Stranger”, a joint release with Normani. The new single follows on from Smith’s recent album postponement announcement (full statement here) with further details regarding this third studio album to be revealed in coming months.

On the local front, Smith returned to Australia in February to headline the 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Official Party where they performed a medley of hits including multi-platinum singles “Dancing With A Stranger” and “How Do You Sleep?”.  Both tracks will feature on Smith’s forthcoming album.

Lovato kicked off 2020 with the debut of her powerhouse ballad “Anyone” during a stripped-down performance at the GRAMMY Awards, and then quickly followed it up by performing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIV, proving that she is back stronger than ever. Most recently, the multi-platinum, GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter released her up-tempo, self-reflective new single “I Love Me” that was accompanied by a colourful official music video directed by Hannah Lux Davis (Ariana Grande, Drake, Nicki Minaj). Watch HERE. 

 

Multi award winning vocalist Jasmine Rae has announced her new album ‘Lion Side’ will be released on July 24th and is available for pre order now. The brutally honest songwriter and electrifying live performer has also released the video to her current single ‘Green Light’ – watch here.

‘Lion Side’ is a culmination of several years of soul searching, rigorous and often tortuous self-assessment, indecision and the need to find greater inner-purpose and direction. Ultimately, Jasmine Rae has rediscovered that her true path to self-enlightenment is through her music.

“I took a long time to make this album, but ultimately I simply had to do it,” says Jasmine Rae“Music has always been my way of thinking out loud and figuring things out. Writing and performing allows me to express those feelings… to be dramatic… be loud or be fragile… be emotional… and be real.” 

Recorded in both Sydney and Nashville with producer Lindsey Jackson (Jessica Mauboy, Tori Kelly, The McClymonts), Lion Side comes from an artist who is an inspiration to everyone around her, while often wounded, angry and fragile. In fact, she would even go as far as saying ‘Fraudulent’ at times.  

The album’s current single ‘Green Light’, which is being embraced by both pop and country formats, reflects Jasmine’s battles with anxiety and indecision. “There are always opportunities: The opportunity to take action, or to purposefully let something go; to make a call or leave things unsaid; to change or try again or try differently,” says Jasmine Rae of the song. “No decision – is a decision in itself. This song is the inner dialogue of one of those experiences. These are some of the circling thoughts of doubt and indecision that drive me crazy.”

Also available today is a second album release track with album pre-orders, ‘Carrying The Flame. The song is a tribute to Jasmine Rae’s greatest mentor, and the friend who is now carrying on his legacy, while creating his own. 

“Being real is a superpower. It’s what heals us together.”

It’s the mantra behind Jasmine Rae’s album Lion Side, which will be released on July 24, 2020

Pre Order Now

It was the day when all of Australia pitched together to raise money for all of those that suffered during the devastating bushfires and Subculture was there to make sure we kept you right up to date. Here are all of our reviews of the artists playing at Fire Fight Australia.

 

LEE KERNAGHAN

 

Poor Lee Kernaghan had the unfortunate task of kicking of Fire Fight Australia to a near empty stadium. He didn’t let that worry him though and after a mellow start his catchiness caught on and had the small crowd starting to sway along to things. His highlights were clearly the beautiful duet ‘Where I Want to Be’ which saw his wife Robby X join him on stage.  Then anybody who was already caught up with the emotion of the day would have had it flow over them as Kernaghan launched into his final song – the thought provoking ‘Spirit Of The Anzacs’ which he dedicated to all the firies who have put their lives on the line this summer.

 

CONRAD SEWELL

 

Conrad Sewell arrived on stage looking like a very young John Farnham and then delivered with the voice to match. Festivals like this are important to artists like Sewell as it opens up their music to a lot of people who perhaps would have never have heard their music before. With that in mind Sewell really delivered. He eased into things with ‘Start Again’ before his backing singers really kicked in on ‘Healing Hands’ almost making themselves sound like a choir. Anyone that doubted the talent of Sewell though was really put in their place though with his amazing falsetto vocals on ‘Changing’.

 

BAKER BOY

 

Somebody had to finally get the crowd moving that that somebody ended up being indigenous rapper Baker Boy. His loud clothing really made a statement… as did his music. He fused all genres together and rap suddenly turned to didgeridoo, but more important was the fact that his tracks like ‘Cool As Hell’ seemed to get the crowd moving and on their feet.

 

DARYL BRAITHWAITE

Of course this wouldn’t have been an Australian music festival without one of Australia’s best performers – Daryl Braithwaite. As usual though Braithwaite did not disappoint. He overcame early microphone issues to deliver a great version of ‘As The Days Go By.’ That was quickly followed up by ‘One Summer’ which again had the crowd singing along. Then came the song that everyone wanted to hear from him – ‘Horses.’ Once again the crowd joined in and even MC Celeste Barber returned to the stage to ride across on her wooden ‘horsey.’ One thing became very apparent as the strong crowd sang along, even acapella at time, more people know the words to ‘Horses’ than do the words of the national anthem.

 

PETE MURRAY

 

The Aussie rock royalty then continued with Pete Murray arriving on stage and going straight into a mellow version of ‘Opportunity.’ The audience then joined in again as the sweet acoustic sounds of ‘Better Days’ filled ANZ Stadium and we were once again reminded of what an amazing artist Murray is. That audience then listened in total silence as the beautiful sound of ‘So Beautiful’ filled the stadium. He then closed the set with a great performance of ‘Feeler’ and once again we were reminded just why Pete Murray is one of the best Aussie artists going around.

 

GRINSPOON

The grunt finally arrived on stage with alternative rockers Grinspoon. They started out mellow with ‘Chemical Heart’ but then hit full stride when they launched into ‘Just Ace.,’ the track that finally see some moshing start. They intensity continued with the ferocity of  “Lost Control’ leaving those that were there for the pop artists a little confused. To close out their set they celebrated the fact it was Sunday by delivering another fan favourite – ‘Hard Act To Follow.’

 

JESSICA MAUBOY

 

ANZ Stadium then become part central as Australia’s soul queen took to the stage. Jess Mauboy kicked off with ‘Saturday Night’ before the funky guitar riffs of ‘Can I Get A Moment’ took over. She then toned it back a little with ‘Honesty’ a song that really did showcase the fact that she has one of the finest singing voices in Australia. The energy returned then as she performed ‘We’ve Got Love’ a track that now means a hell of a lot more to Australians then it did when she performed it at Eurovision. Lyrics like ‘don’t give up’  now have an entirely different meaning to Australians than they did a few months ago.

 

ILLY

The new wave of Australian music then went on show with rapper Illy bringing some sweet, melodic rap as he started out with ‘Then What.’ He really found his groove though with ‘Catch 22’ as he crooned ‘stay another round’ and you just knew that people were hitting up Spotify to add it to their collection. Then in act of sheer bravery (or should that be stupidity) Illy decided to debut his new single ‘Last Laugh’ in front of a lazy 70,000 people, the biggest crowd he has ever played in front of. He then showed more of his skills with an stunning rendition of ‘Paper Cuts.’

 

GUY SEBASTIAN

Anyway who had forgotten the power of Guy Sebastian’s voice was very quickly reminded as he launched into the soulful ‘Bloodstone’ before following it up with ‘Before I Go (You’ll Know My Name)’ a track that took his voice to even deeper depths. Sebastian then showed his talent by rapping while holding an acoustic guitar as he performed both his part and Lupe Fiasco’s during their hit ‘Battle Scars.’

 

PEKING DUK

The vibes at ANZ Stadium rose as Peking Duk took to the stage. A real summery vibe swept in as they belted out ‘Stranger’ and then took it to a whole new level with ‘Say My Name’, complete with some Inni Kamoze inspired melodies. In what was one of the most sombre parts of the day both members of Peking Duk shared personal stories about how they had relatives and close friends who lost their homes in the fires… it is moments like that that kept reminding us why we were all there. Rightfully so they followed the stories up with a haunting rendition of ‘Take Me Over.’ To finish off they closed with ‘High’ which had the audience screaming the moment the first strains started to play… yes Peking Duk were one of the highlights of the day.

 

DELTA GOODREM

Delta Goodrem walked onto the stage draped in the Australian flag looking more like a prize fighter walking into the ring rather than a singer about to sing in front of one of the biggest crowds she will ever perform in. She quickly won over the audience with a cover of The Seekers’ ‘I Am Australian’ before then performing one of her biggest hits – ‘Born To Try.’ Then while seated at her piano Goodrem performed the song she wrote during these fires – the extremely emotional ‘Let It Rain’ while reminding us all that when Australian hurts we all hurt. Goodrem then sent all of her fans into raptures with a melody that consisted of some of her biggest songs.

 

RONAN KEATING

 

Next to take to the stage was honorary Australian Ronan Keating who flew in from Malaysia just to perform at Fire Fight. He kicked off with of his biggest hits ‘Lovin’ Each Day’ before then crooning ‘When You Say Nothing In’ while walking through the crowd. Keating then kept the hits coming when he sang ‘Rollercoaster’ which again had the audience joining in.

 

TINA ARENA

 

Tina Arena’s set started with a funky flashback to her past with ‘The Machine’s Breaking Down’ before continuing the flashback with ‘Chains.’ While many Australians would have not seen Arena perform for a number of years she showed that she has a strong fan base when singing ‘Heaven Help My Heart’ and having a lot of audience joining with her. Then in a complete shock Arena delivered one of the biggest surprises of the night when she rocked it out when a cover of The Divinyl’s hit ‘Boys In Town.’ Now we know that Arena is that good at rock… we can only hope that one day we see her do a rock album… seriously everybody people were freakin’ head-banging to Tina Arena.

 

ALICE COOPER

 

Looking like a rock n roll pirate Alice Cooper stormed onto the stage and launched into ‘Department Of Youth’ before Nita Strauss took centre-stage with an epic guitar solo in the middle of ‘I’m Eighteen.’ The youngsters in the audience then got a rock lesson as Alice and band took it to the next level with an energetic version of his greatest hit ‘Poison.’ It was then time for the teeny boppers in the audience to duck for cover as Alice’s fans started to mosh during ‘Schools Out.’

 

AMY SHARK

Amy Shark showed why she is one of the biggest stars in the Australian music scene at the moment with a mellow version of ‘I Adore You’ before launching into ‘All Loved Up’ while looking at home performing in a stadium. Her electronic and more aggressive sound then came through with ‘Mess Her Up.’ One of the highlights was the motivational speech she gave before ‘I Said Hi’when she reminded Australia that we are one of the strongest countries in the world and that we should never give up. Continuing to watch Amy Shark grow as a performer has been one of the highlights of being a music journalist in Australia over the past few years and seeing her perform so well in front of a stadium audience has been one of my highlights of the past couple of years.

 

5 SECONDS OF SUMMER

In one of the biggest shocks of the night 5 Seconds Of Summer really blew things up with an almost hard rock sound before returning to their more familiar pop punk sound of ‘Easier’. Still the epic jam in the middle of the song sounded a lot heavier than I expected they would sound. Their new track ‘No Shame’ had a catchy vibe to it as did ‘Want You Back, but nothing else matched that early hard rock sound they managed to deliver. One of the biggest cheers of the day though was reserved for when 5 Seconds Of Summer started ‘Youngblood.’ The song had their fans singing along from start to finish.

 

QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT

What do you do when you are a band with a plethora of hits spanning decades but are playing a small festival slot? Queen + Adam Lambert solved that problem by beginning their set with a mash of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Radio Ga Ga.’ It was obvious from the start that Adam Lambert was at his full vocal best while Brian May showed that age certainly hasn’t sowed him down any as very soon the strains of his guitar were soon filling ANZ Stadium.

Queen then showed why they are still one of the best rock bands in the world with a high energy version of ‘Hammer To Fall’ complete with an amazing guitar solo by Mr. May himself. To follow on from that Adam Lambert then did a great mix of Elvis Presley and Freddie Mercury as the band performed ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ The pumped up crowd then happily joined in when the band decided to play ‘We Will Rock You,’ there enthusiasm surprising considering many of them had now been standing for eight hours. Not even those hardened fans could match Adam Lambert’s vocals on ‘We Are The Champions’ as he reached notes that many of us could only dream about reaching.  Yes, if you go back over the set list it is the same set list that played at Live Aid… respect, guys, respect.

 

THE HILLTOP HOODS

Following a band like Queen is never something that you would look forward to but The Hilltop Hoods did in their stride bouncing onto stage with energy as they performed ‘Leave Me Lonely’. With a full brass section their version of ‘Clark Griswold’ had a very funky vibe. They were then joined by Australian Eurovision 2020 winner Montaigne for a smooth version of ‘1955.’ Things really picked up though when the crowd started jumping as the band sang ‘Crosby Sweater.’

 

K.D. LANG

One of the hardest jobs of the night was given to Canadian songstress K.D. Lang who was given the task of being next on stage directly after the one minute silence for the 33 people that perished in this summer’s fires. She was up to the task though with a haunting, piano driven version of ‘The Valley’ that gave people more time to reflect on those that had lost their lives. She then followed it up with an amazingly powerful rendition of ‘Hallelujah’.

 

ICEHOUSE

 

The Aussie legends kicked off their set with an atmospheric version of ‘Great Southern Land’ complete with didgeridoo, then came the moment we had all been waiting for as the band sand ‘Electric Blue’ and ordered the crowd to sing along with them… as if anybody needed any urging. They then closed their set as their fans danced along to ‘We Can Get Together.’

 

JOHN FARNHAM & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN

 

And with the biggest cheer of the night the legend himself John Farnham walked onto stage and dove straight into ‘Age Of Reason.’ In full flight Farnham then jumped straight into ‘Pressure Down’. As the crowd begun to settle they were then whipped into a frenzy again when the recently Dame’d Olivia Newton-John joined Farnham on stage and joined him for a duet of ‘Two Strong Hearts.’ Farnham’s greatest hits package then continued and as he sang ‘That’s Freedom’ it became very clear that his vocals are still as strong as ever… there seems to be no slowing down Farnham at all.

On of the highlights of the night though was when Brian May and Adam Tambo joined Farnham on stage for ‘You’re The Voice.’ It was no secret that a few years ago May was trying to get Farnham to join Queen so this was a rare opportunity for the pair to work together… and a moment that Aussie music fans wills remember for a long time to come. We were promised that this would be a day to remember… and that moment with two music legends made sure that was certainly the case.

 

 

Multi talented artist Misha Bear has just released her new album ‘Heart Gallery’, which was recorded with producer David Herzog.
The album is a raw and emotional reflection of Bear’s life that is conveyed through a collection of catchy Electronic Pop tracks.
Bear has also announced a launch show at the Northcote Social Club on 22nd February, with support from Duxie Franklin and Them High Spirits.
Misha Bear has had a very prolific career to date, 2019 saw the release of her third studio release, the EP ‘Stories’. The EP was aired on many radio stations throughout Australia and received positive coverage from The AU ReviewThe PartaeAMNplify and many more.
Bear recently released her single and video ‘Lifestyle Lover’, which was the first offering from her forthcoming album. The single has received airplay on many radio stations throughout Australia.
She then followed up with the release of single and video ‘Love Reflected’.
Misha Bear‘s new album ‘Heart Gallery’ is available for download on all major online stores.
MISHA BEAR
‘HEART GALLERY’ | LAUNCH SHOW
22nd Feb – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available at www.eventbrite.com.au | 18+

The prestigious and highly-coveted Australian Music Prize has unveiled its Shortlist for its 15th anniversary year, with a cohort of the country’s most respected music experts narrowing down the of 107 nominated albums to just the finest nine Australian releases of 2019.

The shortlist reflects Australia’s diverse pool of talent with an unrivalled consistency of quality continuing to rise to the top not only at home but across the world stage; Ainslie Wills’ introspective, folk-pop debut album ‘All You Have Is All You Need’Amyl And The Sniffers reverence for 1970s punk in their self-titled album, Julia Jacklin’s honest journey through heartbreak and reconnection with self in ‘Crushing’Methyl Ethel’s closure-seeking third album ‘Triage’Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds latest epic ‘Ghosteen’, the eclectic dance album ‘Rebel Force’ from Sleep DThelma Plum’s story of culture, heritage, love and pain in debut album ‘Better In Blak’, the uncompromising, unapologetic sounds from Dispossessed’s ‘Warpath Never Ended’ and previous winner Sampa The Great with her acclaimed record ‘The Return’.

 

 

It’s always great when an album as a body of work is recognised, The Return was one hell of a journey. Being nominated again feels very special,” said Sampa The Great.

This year’s awards see an overhauled judging process featuring forty of the country’s most admired tastemakers, retailers, media and artists participating in creating what is an amazing list of Australian albums. The shortlist has been chosen by a final judging panel who will come together in person for a day of discussion, debate and perhaps argument to decide the musical merits of each release and ultimately select Australia’s most prestigious music prize recipient, to be announced in March.

As a first time AMP judge, binge-listening was a chance to revisit great albums and discover albums that had slipped through the cracks now we’re all seemingly bombarded with more music than ever before. Heaven knows how they managed to cull all those albums down, but they’ve come up with a fine nine that is a killer snapshot of Australian music in the last 12 months,” said Australian Music Prize judge Cameron Adams.

Inspired by the UKs coveted Mercury Prize, the Australian Music Prize has previously recognised artists including Gurrumul, Sampa the Great, Courtney Barnett, Hermitude, The Jezabels, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and The Drones, and continues to thrive with the support of the industry it serves.

The Australian Music Prize has never been more vital in our music ecosystem, providing a separation from the fight for commercial success and encouraging a reconnection to the very heart of what draws us to music. We are proud to lift up music that inspires lives and change our culture for the better,” said Australian Music Prize director Scott Murphy.

The 15th AMP is also increasing its consultation and inclusion across the industry to showcase the album format, shine a light on amazing records which may not have had the support they deserve and to celebrate great Australian albums.