Sarah Blasko – Phantom (Exclusive Premiere)
Ahead of her two solo shows in the UK next week, God Is In The TV can bring you the exclusive premiere of the video of Sarah Blasko performing ‘Phantom’ live. Here she creates an intimate piano reading of the opening song, and lead single, taken from her recently released sixth studio album Depth of Field. Filmed in a church close to where Blasko lives in her home city of Sydney, the footage was shot by Alex O. Smith on his vintage 1980s TV studio set-up and mixed by him live to tape.
It captures the Australian singer-songwriter in suitably spellbinding form as the graceful elegance of her voice reflects perfectly the sacred, spiritual nature of her surroundings. (SG)
1st May – Islington Assembly Hall, London
3rd May – Unitarian Church, Brighton
Coco Reilly – Define You
Speaking about her first ever release, Nashville’s Coco Reilly says that the music in ‘Define You’ “matches how I think love should feel – happy, warm, easy-going and free”. It is an unerringly accurate description of a tune that effortlessly replicates those beautifully fuzzy feelings of helpless devotion. Produced by Philadelphian guitarist/producer Jerry Bernhardt and backed by a stellar band that includes Dom Billett on drums, electric guitarist Ian Ferguson and Will Brown on keys, Coco Reilly creates a gently lysergic swirl of sound that drifts towards a reverb-drenched technicolour coda evoking fond memories of The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. (SG)
Amy Shark – I Said Hi
All the way from Australia’s Gold Coast, where she shares her adopted name with quite a few elasmobranch fish, is Amy Shark (Amy Billings), described as “musically contemplative and soulfully brooding” and “the creatively complex girl next door”. ‘I Said Hi’ is the first single from her forthcoming debut album ‘Love Monster’, which is released on 13th July. She says it “summarises my journey, it’s a little passive-aggressive but it’s the story of how I became Amy Shark. It’s a fiery song about strength and persistence and it’s for anyone waking up each morning willing to challenge all the negativity in the world while fighting for what they believe in.”
Amy Shark first came to the attention of the Triple J radio station in Australia in 2016 with her single ‘Adore’, which reached #2 in the hottest 100 chart before becoming certified double platinum and that was quickly followed by her debut EP, ‘Night Thinker’ which came out in April 2017. ‘Adore’ resulted in a bidding war amongst labels, which was won by Sony Music Australia. She performed at the recent Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.
She played several sold-out dates in the UK in March.
Often compared to Taylor Swift. Certainly sounds like her. (DB)
Aurora – Queendom
Aurora has released only one single since her debut album, namely ‘I Went Too Far’, in advance of her second album which is expected in autumn 2018. Now up pops another one.
There is something of an alternative fantasy world in many of Aurora’s songs and ‘Queendom’ isn’t too different as she sets herself up as a champion of all of the oppressed:
“The underdogs are my lions/The silent ones are my choir/The women will be my soldiers/With the weight of life on their shoulders”
Soldiers and warriors are never far from her thoughts (warriors is a term of endearment she uses for her fans, along with weirdos), and we know she worries incessantly about the world and its problems, but is she setting herself up as Jesus here? Surely not.
“Drink until you’ve had enough/I’ll drink from your hands/ I will be your warrior/I will be your lamb.” Intentional or not, that’s replete with biblical references. She even mashes up the Lord’s Prayer later: “Till queendom come/My queendom come/Our queendom come”
This single has more of a dance beat than most of her previous work and there are strong suggestions that will feature throughout the album as well.
If you want to see how Aurora’s “will be done”, she headlines the Bushstock Festival in West London on 23rd June, returning to the UK in October (presumably the album will by then be released) to play Manchester Academy on 10th October and the O2 Forum (Kentish Town) in London on 11th October. Further dates could follow. (DB)
The Love-Birds – Angela
San Francisco’s The Love-Birds are ready to unveil In The Lover’s Corner, their debut album and first release on their new home, Trouble In Mind. in anticipation they have released the brilliant ‘Angela’ speeding down the freeway on the back of driving baselines, sinuous licks and vocals that are dipped in bittersweet ode to Angela, possessed of the same ragged glory as early Lemonheads or a more lo-fi Big Star this is garage pop with a throbbing heart and killer hooks.
Aside from mastering by Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), In The Lover’s Corner is a decidedly local affair, with album art by Shayde Sartin (Fresh & Onlys, Sonny and the Sunsets) and recorded in two sessions, one with engineer Glenn Donaldson (Art Museums, Skygreen Leopards) and another with Kelley Stoltz. (BC)
Kiefer – What a Day
Los Angeles musician Kiefer Shackelford is a multi talented pianist and producer whose patchwork of soulful beat music is bright and inventive reassembly of his influences. ‘What a Day’, the excellent first single off his forthcoming album Happysad out June 8th on Stones Throw Records, is a jazz flecked gem redolent of the imagination of an artist like J Dilla or Herbie Hancock, piano dapples, sumptuous grooves and sun kissed beats are decorated in improvisational flourishes. At once in the jazz tradition yet lifting from ’70s soul and early ’90s hip hop it’s a delicious tall ice-tea cocktail on a sweltering day.
Kiefer describes his new album Happysad as “my emotional journal of the last year. I struggle emotionally a lot, and yet I feel pretty damn good much of the time. This album is focused on both joy and sadness, and how they are always intertwined.” Whereas Kickinit Alone was “90% focused on all types of sadness,” He adds, “I love jazz musicians more than any other type of person in the world. They are brilliant, dedicated, thoughtful, creative, and usually funny. I hope to be considered one someday.” (BC)
ACCU – Did You Count Your Eyes?
ACCU is a multifaceted multi-genre artist based in Cardiff has released the intriguing Avant pop of ‘Did You Count Your Eyes?’ fusing elements of the frazzled psych-pop of Stereolab and the otherness of Nico are fed through a unique dreamlike imagination. A unique songwriter possessing an offbeat exploration of sound and the subconsciousness her debut album will be a similar trip into the unknown. Check your eyes! (BC)
Photo: Sarah Blasko by Kylie Coutts