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June 27, 2023

Adelaide’s best new music

New songs from Carla Lippis, Collarbones, Hilltop Hoods, Cult Nonsense, Plastiq, Godlands and more.

  • Words: Claudia Dichiera & Johnny von Einem
  • Graphic: Jayde Vandborg

Carla Lippis — ‘I Paint with the Brush of Violence’

The best part of every film is when the Big Bad reaches the height of its powers to become a seemingly indestructible, seemingly omnipresent chaos agent. This is the moment Carla Lippis’ new album, Mondo Psycho opens.


Listen to this playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.

If you’re a South Australian band or musician with a new release, let us know about it.

The singer is photographed on the record’s cover in Pagliacci garb, and on the first two tracks Carla screams and hisses in Italian over her cacophonous, stalking band, as though possessed by the vengeful ghost of Nedda. By the album’s third track, ‘I Paint with the Brush of Violence’, the murdered spirit fuses with Carla’s own, their combined power bringing the band into line under a pulsing, air-tight rhythm.

That’s just my interpretation, anyway. For more on what the Mondo Psycho is actually about, read InReview’s conversation with Carla. You can also catch her at The Gov on 1 July. JVE

The 745 — ‘Deserved’

Coastal punks The 745 know less is more. ‘Deserved’ has a simple chord progression, an uncomplicated structure, all of which brings the band’s brash attitude to the front. It’s an anxiety anthem, released in an age of anxiety anthems, but one you can mosh to. The film clip, produced by “The 745 and friends” has none of the narrative brilliance of ‘Goth Lock’, which we listed in March last year, but is unsettling in its own way. A full-length release is scheduled for release on 14 July, via Daybed Records. JVE

Cult Nonsense — ‘In the Yeah’

In the ever so slightly off kilter sounds of ‘In the Yeah’, Cult Nonsense encapsulates everything Australian artists hopes to be in 2023. Light, fun and the perfect road trip track to have on in the background while engaging in a daylong game of Spotto. Cult Nonsense claim their style as “music for the shower”, and CityMag is here for it. CD

Placement — ‘New Disease’

Sounding like a blend of Sonic Youth and Breeders, the subject of Placement’s latest single, ‘New Disease’, is far more contemporary than their reference points. Over fuzzy production, vocalist Malia Wearn sings, in an unaffected tone, about the social disease of our moment – the way social media permeates and poisons our minds. “Sometimes all we need is to be fed a line we can hold on to, an excuse to keep doing whatever we want to do,” Malia says via media release. I’m magnetised to this type of messaging, but if you’re less interested, still stick around for Stu Patterson on the sax. JVE

West Thebarton — ‘George Michael’

What initially caught CityMag’s attention about this song, from West Thebarton’s latest EP, Victory, was the title – an homage, we thought hopefully, to an ’80s superstar. How fun! In reality, there is no Wham! flair to be found, Instead, ‘George Michael’, the song, is a loosely restrained grunge track that sits neatly within the rest of the West Thebarton portfolio. CD

Hilltop Hoods — ‘Laced Up’

It’s been 20 years since Hilltop Hoods took a flute sample and broke national, and they’ve not aged a day since. ‘Laced Up’ sees the MCs going back to their pre-fame days, skint but living large to the best of their abilities, trying to show their significant others’ a good time: “Can’t afford any canapés, but damn straight Imma order the champagne”. The song displays the Hoods’ knack for a melody and a sing-a-long chorus guaranteed for radio play and hyped crowds. The Hilltop Hoods are currently touring Europe with Elsy Wameyo, but they’re playing Spin Off in July. JVE

Church Moms — ‘Kool Aid’

To pick a favourite song off Church Moms’s recent self-titled EP is to try to name a favourite band – so diverse are the genres on the record. The record opens and closes with a similar energy – punky freakouts ‘Fight Me’ and ‘Horse’, respectively – but the penultimate track, ‘Kool Aid’, pleasantly surprises. The song brings together Peaches’ grime, the DIY aesthetic of Le Tigre and some LCD Soundsystem danceability to boot. If ever Church Moms coalesces around a more unified sound, I hope it’s close to this. JVE

Collarbones — ‘Edging’

Described by CityMag writer Angela Skujins in this profile of the band as “an industrial, in-your-face ballad about giving someone ‘just enough to keep you on the edge’,” ‘Edging’ is also a prime example of the ways Collarbones have been a band made for this exact moment, ever since their breakthrough in 2014. It’s club-ready dance music made as a genre-blind pastiche, as melt-in-your-mouth as it is an earworm. It’s the third track from their new album, Filth, which is on streamers now, and you can catch Collarbones at Ancient World on 7 July as part of their Farewell Tour. JVE

Godlands — ‘Alone’

Most of Godlands’ latest EP, Bleach, is a callback to the punk-rave days of the early 2010s, but on the record’s closer, ‘Alone’, producer Annabel Hartlett travels into hyper-pop territory. The song opens with pitched up steelpan and an afrobeat rhythm, but before long descends into a sweaty jungle raver. It’s a mishmash of some fun and disparate styles, but Godlands makes it work. JVE

Plastiq — ‘dolphin’

‘Dolphin’ displays a softer, more intimate side to electronic pop duo Plastiq, following on from their debut, ‘killer’, released earlier this year. Plastiq has publicly dedicated this new track to “all the darlings who feel like they are drowning in the capitalist shit show race”. The song is delicate and soothing, still with a gritty electronic twist that sounds like no one else. Fit to the Plastiq vibe, the visuals are strange and unfinished, showcasing the digital idiosyncrasies of CAPITAL WASTE. CD

Avalon Kane and Stu Patterson — ‘Dreamers’

‘Dreamers’ is an indie dance beat from Avalon Kane and Stu Patterson — the latter of whom is the eccentric frontperson of The Empty Threats. According to Avalon, “‘Dreamers’ is a song that highlights the need for us all to set our sights on something greater than ourselves”. Stu’s charisma burbles beneath the surface of the song until its final minute, when ‘Dreamers’ turns from a mantric, glacial rhythm to a dance beat. CD

Gratts — ‘Pretty Lights (feat. Brandon Markell and Leito)’

The Belgian born DJ Gratts found his way to Adelaide in 2020 and, thankfully for us, got stuck here.  Teaming up with Brandon Markell Homes and Leito, Gratts has released ‘Pretty Lights’ – an electronic symphony made of soft textures, giving CityMag all the warm feelings, with a soulful, funk disco edit. CD

Hi, I’m Jack — ‘Take Me’

The latest release from local dance label Slip System comes from Hi, I’m Jack, the inventive moniker of producer Jack Williams. Hi, I’m Jack released new EP Continuation at the beginning of the month, which features the ethereal deep house track ‘Take Me’. Best experienced wherever good lasers and smoke machines are found. JVE

Shanaya Silva — ‘Solitude’

Singing about love and catching someone’s eye in the early hours of a Sunday morning, ‘Solitude’ is a pop-dance banger made for the Adelaide nightlife. The story follows Shanaya as she finds a love interest on a night out and continues to entertain the idea of a potential relationship: “I’ve felt like I’ve had to wait, but now you’re taking me on dates… this idea’s not the worst thing, you just might be the best thing.” Confused as to whether the relationship is real, the songs grapples with her perplexed feelings of love and lust in an upbeat, Dua Lipa-esque way. CD

Alieysha — ‘Falling For You’

Alieysha’s debut single ‘Falling For You’ is a slow, sentimental song about love. The rigid ballad reaches its peak when Alieysha’s powerhouse voice conveys the humble lyrics: “I keep falling for you, wake up calling for you”. The modest mix of the commanding piano and a soft touch of percussion results in a heart-wrenching narrative following the feeling of falling in love, falling out of love and trying to “focus on the real life”. CD

Ella Ion — ‘Need Your Love’

Ella Ion paints a delicate picture in her latest live rendition of ‘Need Your Love’. Taken from her debut album Waiting, ‘Need Your Love’ is a soft ballad that grapples with being completely enveloped by someone’s love, and feeling empty without them: “See I’m no good alone… I need your love, don’t set me free”. Although the song was released with the album in April this year, the live version, recorded at Palomino Sound Recorders with cello accompaniment from Lucinda Machin, hit laptops early this month. It’s a raw, flawless performance of a deeply emotional song. Ella will be performing at The Wheatsheaf on 18 August, as part of Ramblin’ Moon Revue. CD

The Yearlings — ‘Luck’

The titular track ‘Luck’ from The Yearlings’ recent album reminds CityMag of days sitting in the countryside, tucked into a woollen blanket, breathing in fresh air while a UE Boom keeps us company. Self-proclaimed as quiet, intimate, raw and powerful, ‘Luck’ – both the album and the song – make this scene material, taking listeners to a place of tranquil relaxation. As an ode to the good old days, Luck is available to purchase on vinyl. CD

Mark Curtis and the Flannelettes — ‘Letter from Diceys’

From Mark Curtis and The Flannelettes’ new long-player, ‘Letter From Dicey’ is a waltzy number about doomed love. The song starts brightly, with Mark singing from the rosey perspective of a smitten beau, before reality sets in that the pair don’t see eye to eye. Beginning with light finger picking and brushed drums, in its last minute of the folk song takes a turn, Mark now accompanied only by piano as a third perspective is revealed: his partner’s mother, who knew all along their fate. JVE


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