Have You Heard: Elephant Eyes

It can be easy to scoff at bands that come out of music courses, mostly due the assumption that all bands should come out of sticky carpet and beer instead of, you know, an ability to play their instruments. That, and the result is usually as pretentious as fuck. Elephant Eyes are the exception to this rule. Forming at NMIT in Melbourne just over a year ago they are really starting to find their feet as a live act and if their debut single is anything to go by, their recorded work will rule.

With a mix of jazz, pop and a hint of electronica the result is a sound that familiar enough to enjoy if you stumble into once of their gigs by accident, but different enough for them to stand out against the current crop of artists doing a similar thing.

Kate McMahon’s vocals switch from jazz to pop effortlessly and with the recent inclusions of an effects pedal in live shows the band could probably go in an direction. Stu Hazelman from The Hazelman Brothers is on drums and back-up vocal duties and fans of his other band will probably dig this too.

Their debut single I Want To Know is available from Bandcamp and if you’re keen to see them live you can catch them at Moomba this weekend or at the Wesley Ann on the April 1.

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Have You Heard: Boom! Bap! Pow!

If you threw Motown, doo-wop and a healthy dose of rock n’ roll into a blender, you would end up with Boom! Bap! Pow! a Perth band who make music that is both infectious and ridiculously fun.

They’ve just released the No Pleasin’ EP, a collection of 50’s inspired tunes that go from the hip-shaking No Pleasin’ to the slow dance of Liar without sounding contrived or missing a beat. Hell, they even have a saxophonist in Jack Doepel, which instead of sounding cheesy, helps set them apart from other retro styled bands.

While the EP is all kinds of fantastic, it isn’t until you see them live that you can really appreciate what they do. The whole band is completely captivating and seem to be having as much fun as the audience. Vocalist Novac Bull is the perfect atidote to the current crop of Julia Stones, with a powerful voice and a charismatic stage presence while the rythm section, including Clint Bracknell on double bass are close to flawless. They’ve been playing larger venues on their most recent tour as Royal Crown Revue’s support band, but could easily headline, despite their relatively short time as a band.

Their EP can be picked up from shows or on iTunes. It’s $5 you won’t regret spending. Their debut album is also on Itunes, which I’m sure is just as amazing as the EP.

Otherwise, they have a few songs up for download from their Unearthed page:

http://www.triplejunearthed.com/BOOM!BAP!POW!

 

Have You Heard: Carus

Carus Thompson’s music falls into that awkward gap between folk and country. His music doesn’t sound like it comes from Nashville yet he has too much swagger to fit in with the current crop of folk artists filling the airwaves. He hasn’t been played on Triple J or won a Golden Guitar but he has a very loyal following and is one of the greatest hidden gems in Australian music.

He plays both solo and with his band The True Believers and has released a number of albums, including Three Boxes which is a must-hear for any folk music fan. His songs range from the joys of erm… spare room horticulture (Grow To Overthrow) to the heartbreaking loss of a friend (Thrown) with the odd political song thrown in for good measure.

However it’s his live shows that are truly something else. He seems to have an ability to read the crowd and tailor the gig accordingly. Oh, and he has this habit of playing on a milk crate in the middle of the crowd:

He will be playing some Christmas shows next month and I highly recommend you come along.

December 1: Grace Emily, Adelaide

December 9: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

December 29: Lost Lakes Winery, WA

January 1: Southbound Festival, WA

January 2: Fremantle Arts Centre

Carus and The True Believers- This Time.mp3

http://carusthompson.com/