New Melbourne music

By Chris Mineral

Courtney Barnett has a new album coming out in November via Milk Records, and first cab off the rank, the first single Rae Street, is a ripper of a tune. 

Barnett has lined up an extensive tour of Europe and North America to help promote the new album. Word is that it is a return to her first album’s atmosphere, though with the addition of a cello that we first heard at her extra special live podcast of a performance at the Royal Exhibition Building. The rhythms are denser, intriguing and more dynamic.

Rae Street sounds very southern California in terms of lush laid production and multiple vocals appearing. Barnett is firing on all cylinders on this one.

For the collectivist and the Courtney Barnett cognoscenti there’s a choice of nine different colours of vinyl styles. 

JP Shilo (Hungry Ghosts, Mick Harvey) has a great new album, Jubotjé, that was recorded on the Melbourne Town Hall Grand organ. After the rock ‘n roll songs of last year’s Invisible You album, this is a much more challenging, diverse and rewarding experience. This could be JP Shilo’s magnum opus. Strong, visionary, challenging and dark material. JP tapping into his insectoid’s realm of work. He has been getting great press and radio play, it is well deserved because it is a brilliant album. Bravo JP. Kudos to Miles and the team at Heavy Machinery Records. This one delivers, like Jamie Kah riding Deep Speed to victory at Caulfield for Team McEvoy!

There are many great buskers performing in the CBD, adding life, love, colour, vibrancy to the citizens, the streets, the alleyways. Renowned photographer Michael Ball is someone who encapsulates and chronicles the musical journeys of many of Melbourne’s finest buskers. His photographs of these musical artists performing on the street are phenomenal. 

Popular busker Jessica Paige has been working on a musical project with jazz maestro Paul Grabowsky.

Alicia Sometimes, one of Melbourne’s most innovative and exciting writers poets, is getting greater recognition around the world with her work being published overseas in Spanish language magazines and books. Viva Alicia Sometimes!

Melbourne musician Andrew McCubbin has been busy of late, building a proper studio out in the Dandenongs. He was deep into the project when we had those clutches of days where it was sub-zero in the mornings, stark frost on the grounds of footy fields on the edge of greater Melbourne. Irish coffee or tequila in the hot chocolate helped with the carpentry, perhaps.

Once the studio is completed, there’s a bunch of musos looking forward to recording material there at Chillys Studio. Musos like A little Ray of Silver’s Julitha Ryan and Penny Ikinger.

McCubbin has released a song, Run All Night, and it could’ve the best song he has ever recorded. Smooth rock ‘n roll song like something Jerry Harrison and the Casual Gods would do. McCubbin has got a pastoral sound similar to Died Pretty, his vocal styling more chilled out and laid back than the epochal, biblical, fire and brimstone essence of Ron S Peno. Run All Night has Gary Aspinall involved as well, and Andy Pav on the bass guitar. Run All Night should be on a film soundtrack someday. It’s very moody and atmospheric  •

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