Here he comes, to save the (Fri)day! Tim Lambert has sliced up five tune-wedges for you to jam onto the side of your cocktail glass, in celebration of the upcoming weekend: Skegss, Gabriella Cohen, WAAX, Gretta Ray, and the phenomenal Hayden James.

Skegss, Up In The Clouds 

“I might not ever work things out, might live my whole life not knowing how/ I’ve survived up until now, and it’s all been worth it,” Skeggs frontman Ben Reed rumbles at the start of brand new track Up In The Clouds – and it kind of sums up Skegss as a band.

Criminally underestimated and dismissed as a stoner rock band (don’t get me wrong, they are one), there is much more to the trio: “The song’s about being unsure but realising it’s OK to have uncertainty and it’s regular,” the band said of the track. “Some things will always be left uncertain. As soon as we figured that out we made a song about it.”

The trio set off on the national Groovin The Moo festival tour this week, and have announced a bunch of dates with mates Dumb Punts and Los Scallwags to support the fresh single.

‘Up In The Clouds’ Single Tour
Sat 09 Jun – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne U18
Sat 09 Jun – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18+
Sun 10 Jun – The Factory, Sydney AA
Fri 15 Jun – The Triffid, Brisbane AA
Fri 22 Jun – The Rosemount, Perth U18
Fri 22 Jun –  The Rosemount, Perth 18+
Sat 23 Jun – Fowlers, Adelaide  AA

WAAX, Labrador

The press release for the Queensland punks’ new song describes it as “walloping”, and honestly, that’s exactly what Labrador is. Lead by the enigmatic Maz De Vita – who is the best frontperson in the country at the moment, IMO – the track tells a tale based around the suburb of Labrador, on the sunny Gold Coast.
I also have a tale to tell about Labrador: When I was 16 I played football for the mighty Burleigh Bombers, and one day we played the Labrador Tigers at their home ground. I took a mark and dislocated my finger, and while having the shot at goal before going off the ground, a lovely lady on the sidelines threw a stubbie at me.
I think De Vita tells better stories than I do.

“This song is the first time I’ve ever spoken so candidly about my past,” De Vita explains. “The title is named after the suburb where I spent a lot of time when I was in my late teens, and it’s where a significant relationship ended. Basically, the song underpins the way I felt around the time. I feel like this was the time I began to struggle with depression and when I was about 18, battled with body image issues. When my relationship ended, I didn’t really write music for a couple of years, I smashed my guitar. I felt kind of worthless. I clung to self-deprecation, I felt safe there. I had voices around me that said I wouldn’t amount to anything musically and I thought ‘you were right all along, you’re better than me. I’m never enough.’”

The group have been touring relentlessly the last 18 months and it isn’t slowing down at all. Catch Maz and the boys at one of the following shows, if you know what’s up.

Supporting Biffy Clyro
Fri 27 Apr – Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sun 29 Apr – Eatons Hill, Brisbane, QLD
Mon 30 Apr – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

WAAX ‘Labrador’ Single Tour (tickets on sale now)
Fri 11 May – Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast Qld W/ Crum, Deluso & Cake
Thu 31 May – Ed Castle, Adelaide Sa W/ Siamese
Fri 01 Jun – The Sewing Room, Perth Wa W/ Sly Withers
Sat 02 Jun – The Odd Fellow, Fremantle Wa W/ Sly Withers
Fri 08 Jun – Rad, Wollongong Nsw W/ Moaning Lisa
Sat 09 Jun – The Lair, Sydney Nsw (Aa Early Show – Doors 4.45pm) W/ Moaning Lisa
Sat 09 Jun – The Lair, Sydney Nsw (18+ Evening Show) W/ Moaning Lisa
Sun 10 Jun – The Cambridge, Newcastle Nsw (Long Weekend Party) W/ Northeast Party House, Antonia & The Lazy Susans, And Dave.
Wed 13 Jun – Barwon Club, Geelong Vic W/ Moaning Lisa
Thu 14 Jun – Pelly Bar, Frankston Vic W/ Moaning Lisa
Fri 15 Jun – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne Vic W/ Moaning Lisa
Sat 16 Jun – The Zoo, Brisbane Qld W/ Moaning Lisa
Splendour In The Grass 2018, Friday 20 July, Saturday 21 July And Sunday 22 July – North Byron Parklands

 

Gabriella Cohen, Music Machine

Our own Gabriella Cohen has released Music Machine, a minimalist, lo-fi number off of her upcoming album Pink Is the Colour Of Unconditional Love (out Friday 1st June via Dot Dash/Remote Control), and announced an East Coast tour in support of it.

Gabriella shared this story about the track: Music Machine was born about the time I came back from my first U.S. tour, and found myself down and out, crashing on a friend’s couch in West Brunswick, Melbourne. It was a strange patch of time, where I felt comically displaced, coming from the glitz and glamour of New York straight to desolate suburbia and Centrelink queues.”

Maybe it was the weather, or the jet lag, but in that short time I felt drugged, hazy; I got lost far too many times on bike paths, dry gusty December heat blowing me through parks and scrubland… In my delirium, I went on my first Tinder date and, thank g-d, because I made a very good friend who led me to a farmhouse where I would record Pink Is The Colour Of Unconditional Love. All in all, Music Machine was written out of a delirious boredom, and in turn became a song I’m grateful to have written.”

‘Pink Is The Colour Of Unconditional Love’ Album Tour
Fri 8 Jun – The Northern, Byron Bay
Sat 16 Jun – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Fri 22 Jun – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine
Sat 23 Jun – The Gasometer, Melbourne
Sun 24 Jun – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Fri 29 Jun – Waywards, Sydney

 

Gretta Ray, Time

Sometimes I pinch myself that we live in a world where we get to see the career of Gretta Ray unfold. Time is the first track she has released in over a year, but things will start to heat up now she’s back from a recording expedition to Nashville, with a new EP (Here & Now, release date TBC) in her hot little hands.

Time is a break-up song – a breakup song without any sense of aggression, frustration or disagreement,” Ray said of the track. “It is a song of acceptance, the atmosphere of it intended to be thick with melancholy and memory.”

If you’re keen to catch Miss Gretta Ray on her first ever headline shows (!!) in August, check out the dates below:

Thu 16 August – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Fri 17 August – Jive Bar, Adelaide
Sat 18 August – Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth
Thu 23 August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Fri 24 August – Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane

 

Hayden James, Just Friends feat. Boy Matthews 

BANGER ALERT! Not that you’d expect anything else from rising superstar producer Hayden James, with his impeccable release history. You may recognise the smooth-as-silk vocals of Boy Matthew from Duke Dumont’s Ocean Drive.