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April 5, 2023

Adelaide’s best new music

We've rounded up Adelaide's best new music for March, including Stellie, Katie Pomery, Tushar, Bad//Dreems and Godlands.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem & Shannon Pearce

Stellie — ‘Softly’

Adelaide emerging pop star du jour Stellie recently opened for Lorde at the Entertainment Centre and is about to embark on a four-date tour through Adelaide and the eastern seaboard. ‘Softly’ is sharply produced pop fit for gargantuan crowds and radio airplay, which Stellie wrote in collaboration with Melbourne producer Alex Markwell and Sydney-based songwriters Isabella-Kearny-Nurse and Pat Byrne. (JVE)


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.

Tushar – ‘Exit Sign’

The first track from Tushar’s most recent EP, ‘Exit Sign’ is a light yet full-sounding taste of psychedelia. Thanks to the solid rhythmic base of the opening guitar, the floating melody sitting atop still feels grounded. Opening with a light strumming guitar, it doesn’t take long before the groove takes off. With that unmistakably Australian sound of so many Adelaide artists, it’s difficult to sit still from start to finish. (SP)

Kirby — ‘Don’t Get Mad’

Adelaide rapper and producer Kirby Richards released his debut album, Kirby’s Dream State, in March. The release comes after the musician appeared alongside Claz at WOMAD, as part of the NSS Studio activation. ‘Don’t Get Mad’ highlights Kirby’s unfussed flow and predilection for Golden Era-influenced beats. (JVE)

Southpaw — ‘Nobody But U’

Following a series of single releases (‘Gameboy’, ‘That Feelin’’ and ‘Miss Potential’ and ‘Honeybee’), Adelaide R&B slow-jammer Southpaw dropped her new album In Good Company on 1 March. The 14-track release offers plenty of time to spend in the mind of singer and songwriter Nevada Paige Knight. ‘Nobody But U’ is a microcosm of the album as a whole. Southpaw croons in a soft rhythm about being in the company of the one you love. (JVE)

Plastiq — ‘Killer’

Although Plastiq describes itself as a Melbourne outfit, one half of the musical duo, Quartz Pistol (aka Abbey Howlett), is “Tarntanya/Naarm”-based, so we’re going to count this as a local release. In ‘Killer’, Plastiq, which is the meeting of Quartz Pistol and Melbourne-based producer Moses Carr, has created a sweet soundscape of apocalypto-pop. The accompanying video, made by local video artist CAPITAL WASTE, is beautifully desolate, a mixture of Blade Runner city-dearth and dream-reality animation. (JVE)

Godlands — ‘U Want Me’

A big club banger from the queen of big club bangers, and the first taste of an upcoming Godlands EP. (JVE)

Dilettantes — ‘Abdabs’

Opening with a sample from 1971 Australian film Wake in Fright, ‘Abdabs’ is an anthemic post-hardcore waltz from Adelaide mainstays Dilletantes. The song comes from their latest EP, Everything is Not Beautiful, released on 13 March. (JVE)

Bad//Dreems — ‘See You Tomorrow’

Five-piece pub-rockers Bad//Dreems have dialled up the Australiana on this fourth teaser from their upcoming release, Hoo Ha! Ben Marwe inflects his usual ockerism with a sinister air and stream-of-consciousness lyricism. Each “I’ll see you tomorrow!” spat at the end of a verse feels as congenial as a headbutt out front of the Rosemont Hotel at 3am on a Saturday. The song’s film clip, directed by Sydney-based Kaius Potter, opens with violence – a dead kangaroo hung from a road sign – and Ben is giving Jack Torrance vibes on the Hoo Ha! album cover. It seems the upcoming record might have something to say about the Australian national character. (JVE)

Delivery & Workhorse — ‘Who Makes Demands?’

Workhorse have released a cross-border collaboration with Melbourne band Delivery, recorded at Sing Sing East at Box Hill Institute. ‘Who Makes Demands?’ was released in the lead up to Victorian music festival Meadow and draws heavily on Delivery’s staccato post-punk, inflected some lush and dreamy guitar and vocal layers from Workhorse. (JVE)

Street Legal — ‘Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow’

A band after the heart of ‘80s babies everywhere, ‘Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow’ is a fun (if unwelcome) reminder that the days of Millennial youth are over and mortality is coming for us all – even the idols we’ve spent a lifetime looking up to. The programmatic beat and flanged bass guitar harks back to the post-punk sound of the aforementioned decade, with some grinning smarm from singer Matt Hayward. (JVE)

War Room — ‘Pumpkins’

Listen if you like soft and sparse spoken word verses punctuated by high-energy bluegrass freakout breaks. (JVE)

Slowmango — ‘Ride On, Brocoly Cowboy’

Experimental global groove collective Slowmango is due to release its first long-player in June, and the first sample of the album is ‘Ride on, Brocoly Boy’, which dropped at the end of March. There’s some country twang in the song’s opening bars, which spills into an immensely danceable Afrobeat rhythm. Keep an eye out for more from Hypercolour Miscellaneous in the coming months. (JVE)

Harsh Mellows — ‘One of a Sum’

Released at the end of March, metamorphosis is a four-track EP from harsh mellows, which is a musical moniker of Marcello, which is a musical moniker of Noah Marcello Bevan-Parrella. To create the EP, harsh mellows called upon the talents of Stuart Patterson, Lauren Bull, Maya Adamson and Joseph Major. ‘One of a sum’ carries some of the off-kilter jazzy exploration heard in Marcello, but within a more structured package. (JVE)

Katie Pomery — ‘The Water’

This pain is from a while ago, but I still feel it is a new three-track EP from pop-folk artist Katie Pomery. Opener ‘The Water’ discusses the power dynamics within a relationship between a 17-year-old and a 24-year-old: “My head was empty and my eyes were wide / but I opened up and you came inside”. The relationship ended, but a piece of it is caught in the narrator’s heart: “Every time I see the ocean / and every time I smile, the sea / whenever I taste the water / I wonder if you ever think of me”. The EP’s two other tracks continue a story of learning to grow beyond an ended relationship and appreciate the people you’re close to, regardless of how much time you have with them. (JVE)

Ella Ion — ‘My Own’

The title track from Ella Ion’s debut album, Waiting, is a sombre chamber of doubt. It’s quiet and mournful, wishing at a crossroads for a sure path to appear and lead you into the life you’re meant to be living. (JVE)

Maisie B. – ‘Dreaming’

When pop meets jazz, these are the kinds of songs that come out. Beginning with drums and a trombone solo, this tune has a charming bossa feel, with Maisie B.’s sweet vocals floating on top. The addition of horn solos to a pop tune are hard to come across, but Maisie B. proves they have a place. She has been generous with this five-minute tune, giving plenty of time to dream about someone you used to love. (SP)

Axe & The Ivory – ‘Pinball Machine’

Four-piece folk act Axe & The Ivory follow up their November 2022 single ‘Find It’ with the decidedly more twee ‘Pinball Machine’. Featuring plucked guitar, banjo and mandolin, the song is an ode to finding the person you need right now, even if they’re not the one you’ll be with forever. (JVE)

Sons of Zöku — ‘Earth Chant’

Sons of Zöku have been kicking around the city for the better part of a decade, known as psych-rock stalwarts for much of their earlier years. Recent releases, such as their 2021 long-player SÜN and this most recent single, have seen the band drift further away from the ‘rock’ half of that epithet. Like the title of the song suggests, ‘Earth Chant’ is a mantric call to a simple, elemental life: “Air is all I got”. The band released the song ahead of their appearance at this year’s WOMAD, where, according to InReview, they played a set of slow builds and heavy climaxes. (JVE)



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