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December 1, 2022

Adelaide’s best new music

We've rounded up Adelaide's best new music for November, including Sour Sob, Kurralta Park Grocery Club, Instant Classic and Towns.

  • Words: Angela Skujins and Johnny von Einem
  • Graphic: Jayde Vandborg

Kurralta Park Grocery Club — ‘Waste That’

The spoken word poetry that opens ‘Waste That’ – the third single by solo singer songwriter Kurralta Park Grocery Club – reminds us of Kae Tempest. The mostly mono-syllabic utterances are despondent, dramatic and pure gold. Lyrically distilled in the tension afflicting most young Adelaideans (whether we should stay, or move interstate) with a sparse skeleton of lo-fi, clanging guitar chords and drums, Bindi Jack McCallum drowns us in pints of dole-wave rock. And as much as the song begins with the possibility of journeying eastward, it ends by staying put. (AS)


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.

Sour Sob — ‘New Wood, Old Ashes’

Metronomes are a time-keeping device traditionally used for practice purposes. But indie shoegaze four-piece Sour Sob use the consistent bleeps as an instrument in their official debut single, ‘New Wood, Old Ashes’. As the song attempts to cut us adrift with unravelling feelings and sonic textures, backdropped by beautiful vocal harmonies and twinkling piano keys, the reassuring beep keeps us moored. (AS)

marcello – ‘prompt respondent’

We’d like to think of ourselves as prompt respondents to other peoples’ emails and phone calls. But we’re probably not. marcello probably isn’t either. (We read somewhere there is a direct correlation between creativity and productivity, but don’t fact-check us on that.) ‘prompt respondent’, the first single off the jazzy, psychedelic singer-songwriter’s six-track EP whether the storm, meanders across keys, guitars and pitch-shifted vocals. As the song progresses it unfurls brilliantly, and at its own pace. (AS)

Dead Roo — ‘Compare Yourself’

Combine the guitar lick from ‘Compare Yourself’ with the lyrics – written by Jess Johns and Jason Katsaras – “look after my mental health” – and you have a gut-wrenching moment. The melancholic ‘Compare Yourself’ is the first single from the four-piece’s debut seven-track self-titled EP, which will officially launch on Saturday, 10 December at Nexus (with Sour Sob in support). Like a flame in the wind, the song flickers with anxious emotion, and works two-fold as a dirge for the band, as it will be their last recorded material. (AS)

Workhorse — ‘Rode a River’

Sounds familiar, right? We first named this track back in our August roundup (which was maybe our 100th Workhorse mention in this column). The song, at that time, was our favourite non-single track from the band’s moody, driving No Photographs, but it’s now been given an official release and video of its own, with some exceptional cinematography from filmmaker James Haskard. It opens with Harriet Fraser-Barbour walking down a wide road at dusk and breaks into a series of broad landscape shots of apocalyptic sunset, a backdrop for the songwriter intermittently strumming a Telecaster and cracking a whip. As the sun sets, the visuals become more frenetic, pitching into the darker tones of the song. If you’ll allow us one more Workhorse indulgence, it’s well worth a view. (JVE)

Mark Curtis and The Flannelettes — ‘Kilometres’

On a hot summer day, I’ll jump in my car, turn off the street I live on and head west down Greenhill Road towards the ocean. Some days I’ll head north to West Beach, other days, when I have a full day to kill and feel lucky enough to chance it on the Southern Expressway, I’ll head south to Moana or thereabouts. There’s a camaraderie between cars on an above 30-degree weekend that does not exist at any other time on any road anywhere. Mark Curtis has captured this feeling well in his light-footed, occasionally odd folk release, ‘Kilometres’. (JVE)

Gratts — ‘Euphoria’

Save this one for the end of the week. It’s a cruisy number from producer (and new Adelaidean) Tristan Jong, the artist known as Gratts. Suffice to say the song befits its beachy accompanying video. ‘Euphoria’ builds to a sparkly crescendo, with soulful vocals from Brian Ruiz. It should be on your pre-drinks playlist. (JVE)

Instant Classic — ‘We Fly’

This is not rapper Themba Shumba’s first single, but ‘We Fly’ is an introduction of sorts to the stylings of Instant Classic. Where earlier release ‘Uncle’s Chess Moves’ and the more recent ‘Ronaldinho’ have a softer RnB edge, ‘We Fly’ is a chest-pumping bravado track from the South African artist. (JVE)

Stormy-Lou — ‘Nothing To Me’

Stormy-Lou is but a year old, but the band has launched fiercely into one of the noisiest genres in Adelaide music – that fun, brash, nostalgic pop-punk that CityMag loves so dearly. ‘Nothing to Me’, the band’s second single, is a beautifully structured pop song with singalong choruses and hummable melodies, despite it being about realising you’re dating a dropkick. (JVE)

Toob Scoots — ‘Fall Hard’

Melding pop-punk prankishness with guitars writ-large, the second single from two-piece Toob Scoots is whiny, wistful and exactly what you want from two teenagers. ‘Fall Hard’ is mercurial – it includes lyrics about not knowing where your heart is, and finishes with the sound of clinking of beer bottles and jeering from friends, which we see in our mind’s eye are sitting on a cigarette-burnt couch in a tin garage. This is a single for those nostalgic for Blink-182, Vans Warped Tours and chequered slip-ons. (AS)

Towns — ‘L.D.L.W.’

Hometown favourites Towns dropped their debut album this month, things you might feel sometimes. Six of the seven tracks are the type of high-energy pop-punky fare you’d expect from the duo, but the penultimate track, ‘L.D.L.W.’, departs into rougher territory. It feels like a breakaway reference to some of the harder-edged punk that might still act as inspiration for Ashton Valladares and Daniel Steinert. It’s a genre detour in the album’s tracklist in the vein of ‘Territorial Pissings’ and ‘Tourette’s’, which is to say a not unwelcome non-sequitur. (JVE)

Endless Loss — ‘Serpent Spell’

Black metal two-piece Endless Loss is absolutely terrifying. ‘Serpent Spell’ is the third song from recently-released five-track EP Bloodletting Narcotic Divination and will immediately lock you into a nightmare with the crushing opening guitar riff. The rabid track is filled with muddy vocals – calling for listeners to join the “eternal dance of death” – and hits its climax with a high-pitched scream emanating from what sounds like a banshee. (AS)

Strict Face – ‘Platinum Strength’

Good music is the subtle power of building and successfully releasing tension. This heater by Strict, Face aka Jon Santos, aka Adelaide’s king of hard-hitting electro, nails that premise. The single ‘Platinum Strength’ is the first drop from SF’s upcoming EP Focus, Explode and is four minutes of searing drum claps and satisfying techno. (AS)

Holly Harrison — ‘Swoop’

Holly Harrison’s four-minute composition ‘Swoop’, performed by the Australian String Quartet, builds and dissolves into stringed decadence. Part of the Adelaide-based Australian String Quartet’s Encore! Encore! musical series, which commissioned composers to make four-minutes of music delivered at the end of live performances for audiences hungry for more, this song, filled with nose-dives and peaks, is a standout. (AS)


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