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October 4, 2022

Adelaide’s best new music

We've rounded up Adelaide's best new music for September, including Nathan May, Junk Harmony, Nu Article and My Chérie.

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

Nathan May — ‘Fix It Up


Listen to this playlist on Apple Music or Spotify.

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

The three and a half minutes of ‘Fix It Up’ is pure bliss.

Arabana solo musician Nathan May deftly blends bluegrass and country sounds while spinning a just-sweet-enough narrative of enduring love, strength and finding ‘The pieces / To your broken heart’. Punctuated by mandolin and fiddle flourishes by four-time Grammy-winning instrumentalist Andy Leftwich, this song will both lift you up and devastatingly tear you down. (AS)

Junk Harmony – ‘Tunnel Vision’

Bubbling with oblique synths and bright guitars, ‘Tunnel Vision’ is a shining testament to Junk Harmony’s bursting musical talent. The second lo-fi indie-rock song from the musician’s new eight-track EP Old Chords is a starry-eyed solitary spiral. Despite its focussed title, this beautiful track — by Tom Matheson of local imprint Swirl Records — goes off-course with curious confessionals and anomalous production. We’re here for it. (AS)

Nuclear Family — ‘Womb’

In a press release, Nuclear Family bassist and vocalist Erin Levy says the band’s shoegaze song ‘Womb’ explores how people come and go, and sometimes this absence can lead to a “harsh adjustment” of how we view ourselves. Filled with muddy guitars and downtempo drops, the fourth song from the alt-rock four-piece’s debut five-track EP Collecting Dust makes you stop and take stock of the silence. (AS)

Honeybeam — ‘Belong

Every lyrical utterance in the shiny, psychedelic song ‘Belong’ seems to have been selected with purpose. The verses follow iambic metre, making coolly delivered lines like ‘Frowns in the open / How are we supposed to / Keep it in the bag / It’s broken’ simulate the rhythm of a heartbeat. The ethereal Honeybeam – aka Maya Adamson – has come out with a blistering and brilliant debut four-track release, with ‘Belong’, backdropped by stop-start guitars and deftly stressed drums. It’s one of the most absorbing songs we’ve heard in a while. (AS)

Workhorse — ‘Mary Maiden’

We’ve written extensively about our love of Workhorse’s debut long player, No Photographs, including in our latest print edition (pick one up now), but yet another single, ‘Mary Maiden’, has emerged from the album. A reimagining of Joan Baez’s ‘River in the Pines’, the track has a dark medieval folk sound, matched in the associated film clip in which songwriter Harriet Fraser-Barbour enjoys the sights and sounds of the Adelaide Medieval Fair(JVE)

My Chérie — ‘Playing These Games’

There’s a darker turn taken in My Chérie’s ‘Playing These Games’. The artist dabbles in avant-garde production while commenting on “hustle culture and the universal craving for inner peace”. There are repeated musical refrains and tweaks of production reminiscent of FKA Twigs’ earlier work with Arca. It’s a side to My Chérie the CityMag office would love to see more of(JVE)

Kate Neville — ‘3am’

A glossy pop track about the distance that brews in bad relationships, ‘3am’ has cute and relatively upbeat production considering the heavy heart of the 19-year-old Kate Neville(JVE)

Kirby — ‘Check

The latest cloud-rap single ‘Check’ by musician Kirby is slippery. Maybe it’s the runaway keys or the languid bars, that lap around your ears like a lazy hug from an acquaintance before they split, that gives it such a fleeting feeling. ‘I spit like it’s a myth but it’s legitimate’, the bedroom musician purrs almost pre-emptively. The haze only adds to the intrigue. (AS)

Shi’LO — ‘Breathe

‘Breathe’ by Shi’LO brims with ominous energy. Veering into horror-core hip-hop territory – with brooding bass lines, breathy samples and macabre lyrics – the opening song from the recently dropped four-track release 27 is an experiment in juxtaposition. The young musician opens the song detailing his ‘nightmares’ and fears but closes it out with a marching snare and lyrical optimism. (AS)

Critical Mass — ‘Five Days Late to the Future ft. Claz’

Splintering off into a million pieces but anchored in local rapper Claz’s mercurial musings, ‘Five Days Late to the Future’ is a cobweb of stories tied to disparate, dubby beats. A track about being present and ‘making songs for the love’, croons Claz, producer Critical Mass creates his own mindful moment with misty loops, blinking thumps and atmosphere. (AS)

Vanz — ‘Floatin’’

A member of the BARKADA hip-hop collective from south of Adelaide, Vanz’s ‘Floatin’’ is a pensive, rainy day cut about staying grounded: “I feel like I’m floating and I don’t want to look down no more(JVE)

Tunnel Vision — ‘Surf’

‘Surf’ is the first single from Adelaide hardcore band Tunnel Vision since the release of their Shame Spiral EP, both of which were given a limited release onto cassettes – an increasingly popular distribution method for DIY artists. The song starts at blistering speed, with a mix of growling vocals and more melodic singing. Midway through, things slow down and the melodic side truly takes over(JVE)

Travis Cook —  ‘guardian_angel’

It is extremely hard to choose only one song from Travis Cook’s 24-track full-length album Juice to spotlight. But ‘guardian_angel’ is a fly-kicking rave anthem. A remixed version of t.A.T.u.’s 2003 banger ‘Not Gonna Get Us’, laid on a bed on warped hardstyle beats and carefully produced manic euphoria, ‘guardian_angel’ by the firebrand local musician absolutely rips. (AS) 

DJ TR!P — ‘Stone Cold’

The latest from DJ TR!P is a gritty club track and the soundtrack to your Windows 95-era computer hacking fantasy. The same could be said of most DJ TR!P tracks, but this one feels particularly tuned for warehouse dance floors(JVE)

Nu Article — ‘Slippin

‘Slippin’ is a universe of different ostinatos. The second song from the latest five-track release 9 to 5 by jazz, neo-soul infused fourpiece Nu Particle teems with supple keys solos and gentle bass lines. The track isn’t straight-up ad-hoc, though. It gently nudges into totally live territory with bursts of what seems to be improvisation, but a steady unruffled groove keeps the members gripped. (AS)

Southpaw — ‘ALL THE FEELS’

Adelaide R&B artist Southpaw has released Field Notes, a collection of songs that is a teaser of another work to come at a later date. The record consists of fully formed, slow-moving sultry ruminations broken up with shorter tracks – one minute or so ideas in progress, beats that perhaps led nowhere but were too good not to give air time. Southpaw’s vocals are airy and intimate with a loose sense of control, making for a record that feels like the first days of a newfound romance. According to Field Notes’ liner notes, this tempered sound won’t be what listeners an expect from the upcoming release(JVE)

Wake in Fright — ‘Nobody Wants’

Though it starts sleepily, there’s no shortage of energy on ‘Nobody Wants’, a track taken from Wake in Fright’s latest EP, Wake in Fright are a Band in the Room, which was mostly recorded live (save for the vocals, added after the fact). A delicately fuzzy bassline breaks out into pop-inclined jazz, moving between opened-up choruses and quieter breaks, over which Sam Wilson’s vocals consistently soar(JVE)


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