Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
Dublin post-punk sensations Fontaines D.C. have released their widely anticipated sophomore effort A Hero’s Death, and boy what a doozy it is. Fusing Grian Chattan’s gloomy gothic songwriting with brooding, sparse arrangements and a strikingly crisp production, this record is a marvelous journey from start to finish, and could very well go down as one of the year’s best rock albums. Considering Fontaines D.C. actually withdrew from their last scheduled Australian shows to complete A Hero’s Death earlier in the year, I think there’ll be no love lost with fans here down under – this album is well and truly worth it. A stellar effort from one of rock’s most exciting groups today.
Hockey Dad – Brain Candy
Hockey Dad have slogged it on the Australian live circuit for years now, and the success of their past releases Boronia and Blend Inn proves testament to the power of building a fervent live following. Their new record, Brain Candy, sees the Windang duo at their prime, with Zach Stephenson’s surging guitars and rousing vocal performances and Billy Fleming’s red hot drumming working wonders together for the band’s third full-length effort. Drawing on the likes of grunge, Britpop and garage, Brain Candy goes the distance to reaffirm that Hockey Dad are one of Australia’s premier rock groups today, with tracks like ‘In This State’ and ‘Milk In The Sun’ sticking out to show that there’s plenty more to come from these guys.
Alanis Morissette – Such Pretty Forks In The Road
Alanis Morissette’s decade-defining album Jagged Little Pill established her as one of the biggest voices of the ’90s, and her new record Such Pretty Forks In The Road seeks to remind listeners of her might as a vocalist and songwriter. The first studio effort since her maligned 2012 release Havoc And Bright Lights, Such Pretty Forks In The Road sees Morissette tackling bolder lyrical themes and embrace the piano as her instrument of choice on ‘Reasons I Drink’, ‘Diagnosis’ and ‘Losing The Plot’. For anyone who grew up with Morissette’s music, this album’s definitely worth a listen: it’s a unique release from one of the most popular artists of the ’90s, and proves that her songwriting only keeps evolving.
E^ST – I’M DOING IT
After releasing a string of successful EPs and landing supporting gigs for huge international acts like Panic! At The Disco and Twenty One Pilots, Australia’s own E^ST has shared her full-length studio debut, I’M DOING IT. Combining her immensely powerful voice with contemporary pop and indie leanings, I’M DOING IT positions E^ST as a force to be reckoned with in the Australian music industry, with tracks like ‘FLIGHT PATH’ and ‘I’M NOT FUNNY ANYMORE’ underscoring just how good a simple song can be when paired with a catchy hook and poignant lyrics. Definitely one to keep an eye on.
Alain Johannes – Hum
If you know anything about big names in contemporary guitar, then you ought to be familiar with Alain Johannes. As the former host of D’Addario’s Guitar Power and a prolific session player in his own right, Johannes has shared studios and stages with Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures and Eagles Of Death Metal, and his pedigree is on full display across Hum. Minimal in its production and abundant in unique compositional ideas, Hum is mainly comprised of Johannes and a primarily acoustic palate, with each track showcasing the session hound’s clever songwriting chops and instrumental ability. It’s a rather laid back affair, but it’s certainly an engaging listen nonetheless.
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