Maple Glider – You’re Still The One
For fans of: Julia Jacklin, Lucy Dacus, Angie McMahon
It begins with darkness and slowly emerges into the light. Minor key acoustic strums give way to a smooth and glorious rendition of Shania Twain’s classic ’90s love song, packed with sumptuous harmonies. It’s simple, but therein lies the beauty: Melbourne’s Tori Zietsch’s music has a soothing way of singing that creates a sense of complete emotional safety, with silky, soaring vocals. Long live love, and that’s coming from a cynic who might believe again after hearing this. – Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen
For more: Listen to Maple Glider’s 2021 album, To Enjoy is the Only Thing.
Straight Arrows – Quick Product
For fans of: Osees, Wavves, Stiff Richards
Four years after their last album On Top!, Sydney garage quartet Straight Arrows make a welcome return here. And they haven’t lost any of their vibrancy or vigor since their delightful 2010 debut, It’s Happening: Fast Product is out the door faster than that album’s favorite Bad Temper. The sound is cleaner, but it’s still catchy, cheap, and addictive: as the chorus gets amplified, you just eat it up and spit it out again (then hit repeat). Your goal is true. – Andrew Stafford
For more: They have just released an album of live tracks, performed at Sydney’s Lansdowne in 2021.
Cub Sport – Keep me safe
For fans of: The genius of perfume, Moses Sumney, Wolf Alice
Love, for Cub Sport, has always been a religious act, leaving you so intoxicated with devotion that it precludes any logical way of being. On Keep Me Safe, lead singer Tim Nelson revisits the love that has defined his life and career: his relationship with bandmate Sam Netterfield, which began as a repressed crush before blossoming into his music. “I just want to die in our sky,” sings Nelson, a paean to the intertwined ecstasy and agony of desire. – miguel sun
For more: His new album, appropriately titled Jesus at the Gay Bar, is due out in April…on Good Friday.
Biter and Kuya Neil – REINDEER
For fans of: Billy Woods, Wu Lu
The latest single from Melbourne rapper-producer duo Teether and Kuya Neil is a sharp left turn, which finds Teether rapping over frantic breaks and a pounding, irregular beat that feels indebted to footwork. There’s an atmospheric wickedness to the proceedings here that wasn’t present on the pair’s 2021 Glyph mixtape. At the same time, it feels like his most direct nod to mainstream rap yet, even though it comes embedded with an acknowledgment that this music is far from the center: “If we had money, we could build it all. ” – Shaad D’Souza
For more: His new mixtape Stressor is out on February 3rd. Meanwhile, he listens to his 2021 mixtape Glyph.
Lachlan Denton – Losing
For fans of: the ocean party, cleanliness, feelings
The prolific Melbourne musician returns with a straightforward single that explores a specific contemporary conundrum: how to ward off the weight of the world’s ills. Aimed at a friend in a slump, overwhelmed by the relentless chatter around them, the song offers some simple advice we could all benefit from: “Shut your laptop / call a friend / don’t let them drive you around the corner of the street.” corner”. The song is lovely and lush, filled with jangly, energetic riffs, effortless melodies, and simple, urgent lyrics that get to the heart of the matter. – isabella trimboli
For more: Listen to Emma Russack and Denton’s brilliant 2021 record, titled Something Is Going to Change Tomorrow, Today. What will you do? What will you say?
The Kid Laroi – I can’t go back to the way I was before (Intro)
For fans of: Juice WLRD, Lil Peep, Iann Dior
Related: ‘I missed out on being a kid’: The Kid Laroi on fame, fans and coming home to Australia
Since his teens, Kid Laroi has been turning heartbreak into a spectacle of stratospheric proportions: taking the melancholy of his SoundCloud ancestors and weaponizing it with a fleet of stadium-ready hooks. This is the first taste of his new album (his debut, after a trio of mixtapes) and, in true Laroi fashion, it’s gloomy and modest, lamenting both lost friendships and childhood traumas, before bolting off into dizzying speed, with thunderous drums. and a gospel choir straight out of Euphoria. – miguel sun
For more: Kid Laroi’s album The First Time is due out later this year. Another single, Love Again, is out now.
Babitha – The Brighter Side of Blue
For fans of: Grand Thief, Addicted to Cowboys, Gillian Welch
A soft, bittersweet ballad, Brighter Side of Blue is a highlight of Sydney songwriter Babitha’s (real name Imogen Grist) debut record of the same name, which falls somewhere between alt-country and rock. With tender voices that crackle with melancholy, Grist sings about someone who fears following in the footsteps of troubled and flawed parents, and how one might stray from this trajectory. It’s rendered in perfect country vernacular, with lines about swallowing your pride and refusing to feel defeated. – isabella trimboli
For more: Listen to Babitha’s debut album, Brighter Side of Blue.
Memphis LK – Too Much Fun
For fans of: Pink Panther, Mallrat
Too Much Fun channels the slightly nonsensical, free-associative looseness of a post-breakup binge. Over a melancholy two-step beat, Melbourne producer-songwriter Memphis LK warns that he’s “having too much fun now that you’re gone” and proceeds to prove it with an illustrative and masterfully silly verse: “Real pain for my sham friends / Having champagne with my real friends in your absence No annoying ex ever deserved a big kiss. Shaad D’Souza
For more: His eponymous EP is out now.
Mo’Ju – Money
For fans of: Genesis Owusu, Sampa the Great, Jen Cloher
Money is the second single before the release of Oro, Plata, Mata, the fourth album by the artist formerly known as Mojo Juju. It’s quite different from the up-to-date, uptempo ’70s funk of its predecessor Change Has To Come, but it’s still incredibly self-assured and imaginative, built on layered, bubbly synths and another magnetic vocal performance, with Mo’Ju interrogating how they are even the most committed artists. inescapably enmeshed within end-stage capitalism. It’s an old theme, perhaps, but also a very new version. – Andrew Stafford
Related: Summer in the City: Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Events and Things to Do in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Across Australia
For more: Oro, Plata, Mata comes out on March 24. Mo’Ju will perform the album in its entirety with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on February 21 and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on March 17.
Huntly – My Limits
For fans of: Banoffee, Caribou, Billie Eilish
Auto-Tune isn’t usually called tasteful, but it’s an apt way of describing its use on Melbourne electronic duo Huntly’s new single. Alternating between the manipulated and the natural, Elspeth Scrine tenderly sings about respecting boundaries (her own, other people’s) over a bed of shimmering synths. Halfway through, the soundscape expands, luscious and dreamlike, with subtle, tinkling keys. Like a soft blanket, this song invites you to settle in and take your time. – Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen
For more: Huntly’s second album, Sentimental Still, is out on February 3.