There's so much great music being released all the time, and it's easier than ever to listen to it on a whim. But we tend to be a bit spoiled for choice; Choosing what to listen to can turn enjoyment into a chore. But never fear, because Sydney Scoop is here with five music scoops to make the choice a little bit easier.
Winters End Strike a Blow Against Domestic Violence
Sydney-based brother and sister duo Winters End released their storming single "Mayfair" late last year, along with its striking and pointed self-directed music video that offers a dark and unflinching look at the isolation and hurt caused by domestic violence. Along with the atmospheric rock production and Marissa Pinto's soaring, heartfelt vocals, the track and video make for a searing and attention-grabbing combination. Now, on the back of "Mayfair," Winters End have been awarded with a win for Best International at MusicOz's Australian Independent Music Awards, which took place at the Enmore Theatre on October 26th. Winters End are heavily involved with Sydney's independent music scene, and it's terrific to see such principled and dedicated artists rewarded for their hard work.
Melbourne Singer-Songwriter Noah Earp Releases Debut Album
Melbourne's Noah Earp is shaking up the folk-rock template with his tightly coiled and dramatic take on the genre. His debut record, Disinheritor is drenched in strings and full of mercurial melodies and gripping dynamic shifts. From the opener "Old Shadow," which recalls Townes Van Zandt's classic "Kathleen" in its gravity, through lighter fare like the sun-dappled "Open Road" and the delicate chamber folk of first single "The Raw and the Cooked," Earp reveals a brilliant ear for idiosyncratic composition. There is a wisdom to Earp's slightly grizzled tenor, and also to his very personal and insightful lyrics that make this album a standout from the indie-folk pack that is more than worth checking out.
Allan Smithy Launches Debut EP
The project of Sydney's Matt Amery, Allan Smithy has quickly gained prominence for his bright, melodic, jangly guitar pop inspired by bands like Real Estate, R.E.M. and The Smiths. Across the four tracks that make up Allan Smithy's debut EP I See a Palm Tree, Amery and his mates play with both ebullience and a sort of self-effacing ennui. Amery's simple but clever lyrics tap into something very real about being a young person in Sydney - expensive rent, fading glory, dreamy romance - while guitars patter like Spring rain and Amery's voice sighs and yelps with feeling. Along with the nakedly emotional single "Air," the clear standout is opener "The Streets," which already sounds like a classic. Catch Allan Smithy launching the EP with a free show at Waywards in Newtown on November 25th.
Vocab Lessons with U.K. Four-Piece Syd Arthur
"Apricity" is an oddly specific word that refers to the qualities of the month of April. For U.K. band Syd Arthur, who named their fourth LP Apricity (released October 21st), it refers to the lightness and brightness and newness of Spring, which we are lucky enough to be enjoying right at this very moment. The angular chamber-rock of Apricity is a perfect antidote to the end-of-year doldrums that many of us are surely feeling right now, which enlivening rhythms, angular melodies, effervescent strings and keyboards, and singer Liam Magill's tender vocals. For a taste of this beautiful record, which is often reminiscent of The Strokes and Phoenix with a little bit of prog rock flavour thrown in, check out the swelling "Sun Rays" and the inventive title track.
Sydney Festival Announces Killer Music Lineup for 2017
Every year without fail, Sydney Festival returns with a music lineup that is forward-thinking and diverse, celebrating Australian and international acts that are the most deserving. Following on from this year's highlights like Kate Tempest and Jenny Hval, 2017 finds first announcement PJ Harvey joined by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, a winning combination for anyone with a taste for dark and brooding blues-influenced rock. Other highlights include Los Angeles future-folk artist Moses Sumney, synth explorer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, retro baroque pop from Weyes Blood, innovative electro R&B singer Jessy Lanza, plus heaps more. To read more about the 2017 Sydney Festival, visit the festival website. Sydney Festival takes place from January 7th to 29th.