Date: 15 May 2017
Venue: The Sebright Arms, East London
Words and photography: Steph Baker
Lately, it seems that only once in a blue moon do you come across a band that not only pleasantly surprises you, but also manages to genuinely captivate a pub basement full of unsuspecting 9-to-5ers on a Monday evening. Tonight the Sebright Arms was graced with Middle Kids, the Sydney-based trio composed of Harry, drummer and bringer of all energy; Tim, the perpetually mysterious dude strumming in the corner, and the truly uplifting presence of front-woman Hannah. You know when you saunter into a gig not really knowing what to expect with a mate after work and then after hearing one chorus you realise you’re in exactly the right place, witnessing something really quite exciting? Yeah, that was what happened tonight.
Many indie groups of late seem attached to the idea that in order to be the coolest kids around, you’ve got to strip back all personality from your live set, and look as angsty and misunderstood as possible. Sure, it’s a fine act for the first ten minutes, but it was refreshing to see a new band not give a shit about that and instead concentrate on making genuine connections being made with the crowd throughout their set. The authenticity in what they are doing and what they’re trying to achieve is clear. Recent hits such as ‘Edge Of Town’ and ‘Never Start’ nonchalantly tell their wise stories and bleed out bittersweet memories while also creating an infectious and simply fun vibe around the room. One song is all you need to both get out deeply-hidden frustration into the open, and also ready your care-free self to get pleasantly drunk on a Summer’s day – I reckon that’s the idea anyway.
And then we have tracks such as ‘Old River’ and ‘Your Love’, touching on more emotive confessions and melancholy moments. Middle Kids manage to seamlessly transport you from delicate moments of contemplation into dizzy whirlwinds of power and pounding guitar riffs, without blinking an eye. It’s no wonder that music royalty, Sir Elton John has passed on his seal of approval to this group ahead of their debut album – which the crowd were understandably excited to hear about. We also got to witness Hannah perform a solo track, which showcased her powerhouse vocal range and ability to fill the room with only one instrument and a set of very raw lyrics.
The final few songs of tonight, which included the new track ‘Mistake’ brought the crowd a stirring mix of easy-going folk-pop and spontaneous melodic madness. With a taste of what’s to come with the debut album, this Aussie trio is surely one to watch and definitely one to seek out live, whether it’s around Europe, or Down Under.
Release date: Out Now!
Genre: Indie Rock
Words: Scott Murray
The Seefelds have slowly immersed themselves in Brisbane’s bustling live music scene, playing gigs all over Brissy throughout 2016, culminating with the release of their debut EP “Temple” at the Empire Hotel in late November.
The public got the first taste of the EP when the lads released their lead single, and title track, ‘Temple’ onto Triple J Unearthed in early October. This slow jam opens with a quiet, cut-back riff by guitarist Alex Lim before building to resounding heights thanks to the crooning vocals of Nick Boxall. The Brissy four piece then gave us the rest of Temple, an absolute cracker that highlights the genre hopping range of the group. The EP kicks off with ‘Tell Me (That You Want It)’, another tune similar in tempo to ‘Temple’. However, this tune takes the time to concentrate on the instrumentals of the band, with drummer Lachie Atkinson, bassist Josh Bartlett and Lim providing an intriguing and striking contrast to Boxall’s slow croon.
The EP then moves onto the fast paced ‘Curiosity & Boredom’, a deceiving track that begins with light relaxing guitar before building into a drum driven bustle that lifts the pace of the entire record. Following on from the title track, the lads build on the slow, drawn back vibes of Temple in ‘Cradle’. This track is just full of soul, and again highlights the intertwining voices of Boxall and Lim in a manner reminiscent of the DMA’s ‘Delete’.
The EP ends on its seemingly most zealous track, ‘Fly Away’ kicks off with driving guitar riffs and a bustling drum line showcasing the more upbeat tendencies of The Seefelds . However, as the song draws the EP to a close, Boxall utters “I need to slow down and find myself again” and suddenly the pace shifts. The lads like to keep listeners on their toes through tonal juxtapositions like this, making them refreshingly unpredictable. In fact, this track manages to encompass what The Seefelds are all about: delivering relaxing contemplative tunes for when you need to slow down, whilst also providing energetic party jams.
Overall, the self-described “Brisbane boys making mediocre music” have stepped far beyond that with their debut EP, creating a fantastic introduction that is undoubtedly a sign of bigger things to come.
You can see the lads perform on the 22 December at the Zoo, Brisbane.
Release date: 15th November 2016
Genre: Ambient/progressive rock
This Blackpool quartet seems to have arrived out of nowhere and caught many peoples’ attention almost overnight. Welcome to the world of blanket, one of the country’s most intriguing and exciting bands around at the moment, with their stunning post-rock inspired ambient track, ‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’.
This track catches you off-guard and forces you to do a double-take due to its almost startling grace. It opens with immersive ambient sounds from guitarists Bobby and Simon and pulls you in as the soothing vocals seamlessly appear. As the song goes on, and all of the raw sounds join together, blanket create a totally immersive journey, one of huge power and emotions. This journey is constantly ebbing and flowing, building and breaking; all with delicate and complex layers. A futuristic crescendo envelops your ears, and refuses to let go. This song is the first from this group, and the statement it makes is one of anticipation for what could possibly come next within their debut album ‘Our Brief Encounters’, to be released 10th February.
‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’ is about “going against those that wish to hold you back”, and the potential within blanket to explode out of the arms of anyone holding them back is unquestionable. Their post-rock influences reminiscent of the like of Caspian and Circa Survive are apparent, but you get the feeling like this band have something much grander in the works.
Immerse yourself into blanket below:
The debut album is now available to pre-order here
Regardless of tastes and preferences, ArchiveX will prove to be one of the most intriguing and alluring artists on your radar right now. You will understand why when you listen to the anonymous artist’s most recent single (released last week), ‘Hard Times‘ (link below).
This California-based artist is a tough cookie to crack: is he a gospel angel? Is he hip-hop? Is that a bit of mowtown thrown in there? No one knows. But we want more. The most recent single, ‘Hard Times‘ is making its rounds and being picked up by people all over the place, it is the perfect introduction to the powerhouse of soul that is ArchiveX. We begin with a very old-school piano melody being set down as the foundations of this track, it’s then continuously build upon with bass bringing the depth needed to suck us in. Then all of a sudden, just when you start to fall into a daze due to the artist’s irresistibly soulful vocals, telling us heartbreaking tales we get thrown into a reverb-heavy bass drop out of nowhere as the vocals go to the next level of crazy.
On the other side of the spectrum, upcoming single ‘Drink The Water‘ is a whole different story. With classic blues vocals reminiscent of the likes of Percy Mayfield and Ray Charles, and a sharply contrasting bassy undertone to the whole affair, you begin to wonder how one artist is capable of plucking themes and sounds from a melting pot of influences to create such a varied repertoire. If these completely distinct singles are anything to go by, ArchiveX’s debut album ‘Some Ungodly Hour‘ set to be released later this summer should be something very interesting and distinct from anything else.
Give ArchiveX a listen and make up your own mind here:
Music Video of latest single ‘Hard Times‘ here
Some more ArchiveX magic: