Missy Higgins, Luke Steele and Ball Park Music: The best new Australian music for March | The music

Luke Steele – Ordinary Man

For fans of: MGMT, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the Sleepy Jackson

After traversing the cosmos with Empire of the Sun, producing pop songs for Beyoncé, and swapping sequencer settings with Daniel Johns in Dreams, Luke Steele is back where he once belonged with Common Man. Steele’s first solo single picks up sonically where Sleepy Jackson’s 2006 second album left off. upside down to suck you into a vortex. Above all, it looks like Steele is revisiting the songwriting style that commanded his Sleepy Jackson debut, Lovers, with acoustic strumming, thoughtful melodic leaps and wordless vocal beds, all creating an otherworldly sound. without delving into the science fiction that has often made Empire. of the Sun seem robotic and forced.

For more: Steele’s debut solo album, Listen to the Water, will be released on May 13.

Missy Higgins – Full Control

For fans of: the Motels, Divinyls, Cyndi Lauper

For someone who showed such supernatural songwriting talent at a tender age, Missy Higgins seems more comfortable performing other people’s songs. In 2014 she released a cover album featuring songs from Something For Kate, Slim Dusty and Kylie Minogue, while more recently she recorded a song written by Tim Minchin and performed at New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney with a cover of Perry Keyes. Here she slays the classic Total Control of the Motels, opting for a faithful interpretation rather than a reimagining (if not broken). Total Control is the title track and entry drug to her new EP inspired by calls for widespread change prompted by the horrific experiences and awesome strength of Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins. In this context, it casts the fiery lyrics of Total Control in a new and more urgent light.

For more: Total Control EP is out now.

Beddy Rays – Milk

For fans of: the Get Up Kids, Bodyjar, Tuesday

Brisbane band Beddy Rays: carrying the pop-punk torch for a new generation. Photography: Luke Mckenna

Avril Lavigne works with members of Blink-182, and tattoo-walking Machine Gun Kelly has a guitar slung over her shoulder in every second promotional photo. Pop-punk must be back! In truth, bands such as Brisbane’s Beddy Rays, as well as Bugs and Luca Brasi, have carried the torch of pop-punk to Australia for the new generation, while stalwarts such as Bodyjar and Frenzal Rhomb continue to sell out venues around the world. all the countries. Milk is a tour de force, with more hooks than Alf Stewart’s bait shop, tight chorus harmonies and a joyful, dizzying sense of forward propulsion. “Milk is about getting out of a tough time, moving on, and remembering that sometimes you have to let go,” frontman Jacko shares. Momentum never felt so sweet.

For more: Check out recent singles On My Own, Week on Repeat and Wait a While.

Screamfeeder – Don’t Get Me Started

For fans of: hummingbirds, the pains of being pure in heart, Smudge

“We just need to look away,” sings Kellie Lloyd on Screamfeeder’s new single, coming 30 years after the Brisbane band’s debut album Flour and sounding like it could have been pulled from the same sessions. Despite the fuzzy guitar, 90s pop production and Lloyd’s distinctly twee melodies, Don’t Get Me Started is a track built for 2022, referencing Trump’s less than stellar advice to watch the sun to avoid Covid, pleading people turning away from their smartphones, and yearning for slower, more thoughtful thinking in a world of hot plugs and reactive culture wars (not to mention real wars). “Time feels like it doesn’t exist anymore anyway,” Lloyd thinks in the presser for this single, and listening to Don’t Get Me Started, it seems she’s right.

For more: The new Five Rooms album is due out on May 8. The band is on tour in June.

Hobsons Bay Coast Guard – Love Song

For fans of: the B-52s, Waves, Passion Pit

If Prince had grown up on the beaches of California, riding a longboard and studying the vocal harmonies of the Beach Boys, he would have come to sound similar to this tanned, sunburned Coast Guard track from Hobsons Bay. Love Song has more falsetto vocals than the entire Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, wrapped in tremolos and funky guitars that urge you to catch a wave or hit the dance floor and boogie at the surf club. Love Song is the final single from HBCG’s album Tubular Swells, which is replete with the same frenetic songwriting and genre-hopping contained here.

For more: Listen to Tubular Swells, or the band’s 2019 self-titled debut album.

Hobsons Bay Coast Guard
Hobsons Bay Coast Guard: purveyors of slinky, sunburned songs. Photography: Mucho Bravado

Archie Roach – A Song

For fans of: Bob Dylan, Paul Kelly, Will Oldham

Archie Roach has spent the past few years looking back. He wrote his moving memoir Tell Me Why, re-recorded his classic 1990 debut album Charcoal Lane, and will soon be releasing a career-spanning anthology, before setting off on his final national tour. Fittingly, Roach’s new song ends his best-of collection and finds Roach sharing ancient wisdom, reaching across waters, land and time to instruct younger generations: “Remember well what we told you, and don’t forget where you come from. Mother earth will always hold you, and you were born with one song. Roach’s voice is a remarkable instrument, no longer imbued with the pure, youthful timbre of his early work, but worn and cracked by experience, like calloused hands from a lifetime of honest and good work. It’s a beautiful, timeless melody. Hopefully there are many more to follow.

For more: My Songs: 1989-2021 is out March 11.

Ball Park Music – Stars In My Eyes

For fans of: the shins, the spoon, the iron and the wine

Another sublime single from Australia’s most cohesive pop group, Stars in My Eyes challenges the faulty mechanisms of memory as lead singer Sam Cromack looks back on his romantic past and wonders how far what he felt was actually real. He also projects himself into the present, hoping he is still able to conjure up that same starry vision of life. Like any nostalgia worth its weight in gold, it’s bittersweet and fuzzy, well accompanied by loud guitars kicking in and out, and Cromack’s falsetto leaping into the chorus. As with last year’s Sunscreen, this track adopts a wonky structure, with more than a little ELO informing the spatial and distorted final half. Ball Park Music’s next album, Weirder and Weirder, was recorded at the band’s home studio in Brisbane, and the extra space and time to expand experimentally seems to have brought out their best instincts.

For more: Bizarre and Bizarre comes out on June 3. The band will tour nationally in support of the album.

Jet City Sports Club – She Needs Nobody

For fans of: Hayley Mary, the Go-Betweens, the Stone Roses

A burst of sunlight shimmering through heavy curtains, She Don’t Need No One contains many little moments of poetic romance: a seatbelt tan line after driving topless in the sun; a momentary crush caused by the brief contact of an arm; a city that no longer feels the same, despite a 40C day. Sydney’s four-man Jet City Sports Club formed in mid-2020 as the pandemic raged. Somehow they managed to get into a studio during this time to create an EP of scorched pop anthems that yearn for lazy summer days that now seem like remnants of the distant past. , both sonically and thematically. She Don’t Need No One builds on this model, with widescreen sound and an emotive, chiming voice. Hopefully they can tour the country soon, illuminating the corners of the country.

For more: Discover their first EP September Sun.

Jet City Sports Club four bedroom Sydney.
Jet City Sports Club four bedroom Sydney. Photography: Tom Wilkinson

Body Type – Sex and Rage

For fans of: Sonic Youth, Placebo, Magic Dirt

It’s been four long years since Body Type released new music, a curiously long wait considering the momentum created by their twin EPs, rave reviews from the coolest music outlets around the world, and UK tours. UK and USA. As with any unexpected downtime these days, the answer is obvious: Covid. Sex & Rage was actually recorded, with the rest of the band’s debut album to come, in early 2020, before the pandemic devastated society (and release dates) as we know it. Two years is a long time, but luckily Sex & Rage explodes with an urgency that seems to have been taped the other day. A dissonant lead guitar creaks throughout the song as vocalist Sophie McComish laments the banality of modern life while celebrating every drop of passion that can be squeezed out of it. It’s a decidedly post-Covid notion, underpinned by a steamy rhythm section and a very present production from Jonathan Boulet.

For more: The debut album Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising will be released on May 20.

Bones and Jones, Folk Bitch Trio – Friendly Neighbor

For fans of: Lucinda Williams, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris

Bones and Jones’s Ginger Gold was an easy contender for Australian Album of the Year in 2021 – except nobody seemed to care. Filled to the brim with country tunes that seem to breathe the same mountain air as the legendary Laurel Canyon troubadours of the late 60s, it was music far removed from the era. The same goes for Friendly Neighbour, who sees the six-piece team up with fellow Melburnians Folk Bitch Trio for a chilled-out slice of Americana. With a chorus built on a soaring major scale countered by tumbling drums and more than a liberal smear of pedal steel, this is a masterful and heartfelt single, seemingly recorded in a cool disused room. You can almost hear the crispiness.

For more: 7 inch Friendly Neighbor / If I were a man is now available.