The greatest artists are often those who have experienced a tough time. They sing from the soul, possess an emotional connection and pain that can be relayed to an audience and result in special moments. John Grant could be described as one of those people. He’s struggled with depression throughout his life and whilst he’s never once used it for sympathy his music holds an undeniable quality that possibly wouldn’t be present without it. His band The Czars went their separate ways in 2004 after their differences could no longer be put aside. John took some time off from music to try and rediscover himself and had undeniably had some dark days during this time.
That was until dear friends and labelmates Midlake stepped in and offered him to come and stay with them in Texas and they would be his backing band for a new album. For a band of Midlake’s calibre to do this was of huge sentiment to John and it helped pull him out of what seemed like a bottomless pit of depression. John has gone from strength to strength ever since and received numerous accolades for his work including Rough Trade’s Album of the Year for 2013 with his revolutionary release Pale Green Ghosts. He is currently residing in Iceland which he now calls his outright home and is set to embark on the long journey down under at the end of this month for his first visit to Australia.
You can catch him at the beautiful Mona Foma festival in Hobart before he pays visits to Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. Full tour details here. This is one for the diaries, I’ve been lucky enough to see him before and it’s more than just a gig.
Triple J unearthed high alumni / grand champion Asta is setting off on her first headline tour this September/October which is kind of awesome because well… she’s kind of awesome. She’s also kind of young so it’s probably one of a series of ‘firsts’ that she’ll be dealing with as she progressively blows up bigger and bigger. She also successfully deciphered what the sample in Flume’s Holdin’ On says so like I said she’s awesome… Sorry I’m gushing, I need to center myself again.
Ok I’m back. She’s hitting the road but amid her busy schedule she generously donated some time to the good folk at Cool Accidents (us) and knocked together a little something something for our brand new Spotify App. Yep, WE HAVE ONE. We asked her to fill us in on her musical influences and current audio loves and she then waxed lyrical about a few of her faves. Check that out below and make sure you check her live in action later this month and the first part of next.
1. Salt n Pepa ‘Independent’ 2. Destiny’s Child ‘I’m a Survivor’ 3. Billie Holiday ‘Summertime’ 4. Bjork ‘Hyperballard’ 5. Cat Power ‘Cherokee’ 6. Cat Stevens ‘Moonshadow’ 7. Daft Punk ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’ 8. Enya ‘Sail Away’ 9. Jamie XX ‘Beat For’ 10. Joan as Policewoman ‘Human Condition’ 11. Mark Ronson ‘The Bike Song’ 12. Mazzy Star ‘Fade into You’ 13. Moby ‘Porcelain’ 14. Nina Simone ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ 15. Portishead ‘Glory Box’
Salt N Pepa I heard blaring out of my brother’s room when I was a child. He had good taste in music and I was always sneakily stealing his CD’s. When I got my drivers license last year I blasted ‘Independent’ and felt way cool. I loved the beats and lyricism and could tap into that at a very young age.
Cat Power’s most recent album changed my life. It was a real refreshing dirty sound and it felt like she had just gone into the studio and put her arms up in the air and in a chilled manner said “Just record what ever I do. What ever I hit or sing just record it”. ‘Cherokee’ is a great track that will always appear in my head on a sunny day whilst riding a bike.
Nina Simone came into my life when I was around 14. I found her CD in mum’s dusty draw and was hooked on it. Over and over I would play ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ swinging about and lighting candles acting as if I had a hot date over. Nina to me was a queen and her songs spilled honestly and were painted gold. Her songs encouraged me to write even more openly.
Daft Punk I never got into fully until their latest album flooded and oozed itself into my senses and body. ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ is so funky and vibrates my world. It’s perfection, and that is what has inspired me to reach new heights with my sound and work harder at it, that is, if I had millions of dollars of course.
Mark Ronson I stumbled upon when I was 16 and oh was I a happy person for a while there. I would ride my bike home from school, listening to of course ‘The Bike Song’ on repeat, with the wind blowing through my hair, I felt on top of the world.
When you think of Palm Beach, Florida, what comes to mind? Palm trees swaying gently in the balmy breeze? Scantily-clad bikini buxom babes rollerblading down an infinite slab of coral-coloured concrete? How about anthemic, bombastic, life-affirming indie pop? If the latter didn’t occur to you, let us introduce you to Surfer Blood:
In the three years since their debut appearance at Splendour in the Grass, Surfer Blood have managed to earn coveted spots in ‘best of’ lists from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NME and the BBC. Not bad for a bunch of guys still in their 20’s. The band consists of four main members: John Paul Pitts, Thomas Fekete, Kevin Williams and Tyler Schwarz.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the name, the band ain’t got no surfer blood in them at all. The name “Surfer Blood” actually arose during a conversation with Pitts about his surfer backpack from his high school days.
Surfer Blood have dropped their brand new album “Pythons” after just finishing an extensive two-month trek through the United States with our good buddies Foals. Now they are set to bring their summery magic back to Australia!
“Pythons” is the follow-up to critically acclaimed debut “Astro Coast” and sees Surfer Blood break free of their ‘bedroom rock band’ status and into a fully-fledged rock outfit. It’s the sort of record that forces you to get loose, forget your worries and just party hard. No matter where you are or what kind of day you’ve had, listening to “Pythons” will make you realize that the sun is shining somewhere.
Floridian alt-rockers Surfer Blood will be hitting our ears with new music when they release their sophomore release Pythons in June and also hitting our shores the following month for the sold out Splendour In The Grass and some sideshows which luckily you can still lock tickets down for HERE.
In the mix below (via Under The Radar) guitarist Thomas Fekete plays a selection of his current go to jams both old and new. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“Here are a few of my favorite tracks at the moment,” he says of the mix. “Some of them are new, some of them not so much. It can be difficult to keep up with music while on the road, but my recent time off between record cycles has given me a moment to sit back and enjoy new music. I feel I’m somewhat caught up, but more importantly I am extremely excited about music again. I decided to share some songs that have really moved me in the past year. I hope you spend some time with them and fall in love in with them like I have. Enjoy!”
1. Angel Olsen: Tiniest Seed 2. Connan Mockasin: Megumi the Milkyway Above 3. Neil Young: Heart of Gold 4. The War on Drugs: Come To The City 5. Angel Olsen: The Waiting 6. Grand Rapids: White Walls 7. Can: Mushroom 8. Bob Dylan: Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 9. Foxygen: San Francisco 10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: From The Sun
Self proclaimed international crime fighter and skinny half-arsed English country singer Frank Turner is headed our way in May for a run of shows and was nice enough to take 5 with Cool Accidents to let us know what he’s looking forward to most about the upcoming visit -
- Bringing my band to Australia - it’s my third visit down under, but it’s the first time I’ve been able to bring my band (the Sleeping Souls) with me, and they’re very much part of the full experience.
- Playing shows with Will Whitmore. Will and I have covered some ground together before and he’s a great guy, a road warrior, an old soul. It’s always a pleasure sharing a stage with him.
- Some decent weather. I know it’s coming up for Winter for you guys, but it’s still nicer than it will be in England.
- Seeing more of the country. I’ve been to the metro areas before, but this time I’m hitting the Northern Territories, Townsville and so on. I always like going to new places, especially when they’re further afield and off the beaten track.
Catch Frank & The Sleeping Souls along with William Elliott Whitmore touring Australia in May. Click HERE for all the info and in the meantime wet your appetite with this fan video from Frank’s Wembley Arena show earlier this month, which despite being terribly shot (bear through the upside down intro!) manages to capture what looks to be a fun and rockin’ live show.
Just a Guy Up Here With a Banjo, Singing His Heart Out
One man show William Elliott Whitmore is bringing his unique brand of bluesy folk and soulful Americana our way in May for a string of shows with Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and being his first time down under we asked him for a quick rundown of what he’s looking forward to most about the upcoming tour.
1. Seeing my old buddy Frank Turner
2. Soaking up the sights and sounds of a different place and culture
Everyone’s favourite popstar-with-credibility, Kimbra is going to be back in town having spent a little while travelling inter-continentally. Her star is now rising in the UK and the US, and she’ll be playing a delightful showcase at a little ol’ event called SXSW next week. No biggie. Anyway, get in before the tickets move, because they sure as hell will move. I really wanted a good simile there, as in…
[THOSE TICKETS ARE GOING TO MOVE FASTER THAN “INSERT HUMOROUS COMPARISON HERE”]
In my laziness, I’ll personally send a copy of Kimbra’s Vows CD to whoever leaves the best ‘will move faster than…’ simile on our facebook wall, so that I can come back here and edit your wit into this post. And if you don’t know what a simile is then you’re automatically precluded from the competition. Get at it.
Dates for the Kimbra tour are below and it looks as if she’s bringing a few buds along with her. You’ve got to wonder if touring with Kimbra is a good or a bad thing sometimes. On the one hand, your music gets exposed to a sizeable audience, but on the other her performance undoubtedly will make yours look rubbish.
Tommy Loft, front man of Australia’s high octane garage rock outfit Dangerous! dropped by the Cool Accidents HQ before hitting the road on their east coast tour (see dates below) and ran us through his selection of 5 hardcore records to listen to before you die! Cop it!
Day Of Contempt- See Through the Lies
Local Adelaide Hardcore legends that set paths for young hopefuls in the Adelaide scene when they signed a deal with Epitaph back in 2005. This album was the one that was out when they were cracking it hard down under, pre moving to Hollywood, disbanding and being on TV shows about tattoos and becoming hairdressers. This band was Always better live, in fact they always sounded amazing! I’m glad i was there so that the CD can bring me back nostalgic memories whenever played. Fucking moshhhh!
I Killed The Prom Queen- When Goodbye Means Forever
Another Adelaide band. Some of these songs were in a class of their own. Breaking grounds And doing things that kids will copy for years to come. Lyrics that also define an era of Australian HC, and what better ambassador to burp heart wrenching poetry through a microphone than Internet and Big brother celebrity Michael Crafter. This was my favourite Time growing up in the Adelaide Hardcore scene!
All the great HC bands I Listened to and went and saw live growing up in South Australia ripped riffs from this daddy of all albums. You can exceed your personal limits with this album penetrating your ear drums. Say no to meth say yes to Hatebreed And lift a fucking fridge up some stairs.
Zao- When Blood and Fire Brings Rest
Creepy christian HC kids singing about the devil and SOUNDING like the devil. Cool hardcore bands to me were cheap sounding recordings that still managed to set scenes and themes, draw pictures and depict moments and ideas. This album showed me that this sort of art is Possible. It had a bunch of cool as hell riffs that made you wanna dance and mosh to as well, and maybe a seeming less underlying death metal parodic humour too it too? I don’t know, but this album was so interesting to me in so many ways.
Glass Jaw- Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence
This was a fave for me growing up. You could tell there Was serious musical talent and that vocalist Daryl Palumbo would probably go on to do much more musical expanding projects other than Glassjaw.(which he did) They were kind of like the ‘Faith No More’ of hardcore. This album was produced by Nu-metal production legend Ross Robinson. Hes known for his raw and brash but perfect moment capturing techniques. It sounds like fucking shit! brash and offensive as hell. Perfect for an angry teen that just wanted to alienate others with their loud music. But there was something epic past it all, so it takes time and ear adjusting to be privileged to the hidden pop melodies and inviting song structures. There was a reoccurring theme to this album which all great albums have. From the beginning to the fading outro it will take you somewhere much further than where it sounds like it was recorded. 1 small room with a brash as hell post hardcore band.
Catch Dangerous! live in action on their east coast tour in March/April
and cop their Teenage Rampage album out now through Epitaph in all good record stores and online at JB Hi-Fi & iTunes