March 2nd marks the release of Historian, the sophomore album from Virginia-bred indie singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus. Due out via new label home Matador Records, it’s been teased thus far with breakup track “Night Shift” and now a song called “Addictions”.
It’s easy to see why the 21-year-old’s star has risen so quickly. Her songs walk a line between grunge-indebted indie rock and alt-country, with the appealing warmth of Neko Case and, as many critics have noted, the self-deprecating wit of Courtney Barnett. More importantly, she has a voice we haven’t quite heard before and a unique talent for encapsulating the emotional truth of a moment in impressionistic lyrics that feel effortless.
Compared to the great ladies of contemporary folk such as Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen and Courtney Barnett, the Australian singer Julia Jacklin has sneaked onto the best of the year list with a surprisingly mature album that travels from the rock and roll of the fifties to the best of contemporary folk through songs which include “Coming Of Age” and “Pool Party”. A delightful timeless album that Jacklin, who is just twenty-five, imbues with her elegant and velvety voice to become one of the surprising phenomenon of 2016. This year she will be playing at Primavera Sound.
Rising Alternative rock stars Flyte have released their latest track ‘Victoria Falls’. The London-based four piece are currently out in Australia recording their debut album with Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett). ‘Victoria Falls’ is the second track off Will Taylor’s (lead vocals, guitar), Sam Berridge’s (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Jon Supran’s (drums, backing vocals) and Nick Hill’s (bass, backing vocals) upcoming debut album. They’re a scratchy funk band who also do jerky new wave indie and mature MOR.
She made a name for herself with two self released in which she made it clear that she wanted to tear down all singer songwriter conventions, but it was the album “Bury Me At Makeout Creek”, her debut on Dead Oceans, that confirmed that this New York based Japanese artist was a sort of enigmatic cross between the Cocteau Twins and Courtney Barnett. With her new album “Puberty 2”, Mitski Miyawaki has done nothing more than underline her ability to alternate melancholic rock with outspoken ballads smouldering with intensity and has done more than enough to make a place for herself on the best of the year lists.
Hailing from the remote fringes of Perth, Western Australia, linchpin Jake Webb started Methyl Ethel in 2013 as a way of getting his bedroom recordings out in the public domain. The assonant moniker takes its name from the chemical compound Webb’s father uses to make fibre-glass – methyl ethyl ketone peroxide. Webb wrote, played and recorded everything on full-length debut “Oh Inhuman Spectacle”. Crafted in isolation, its understated psychedelic pop quickly drew positive plaudits from local media, leading Webb to recruit Chris Wright (drums) and Thom Stewart (bass) –friends from the tight-knit and thriving music scene in Perth–. With “Oh Inhuman Spectacle” given a national release by local label Dot Dash Recordings, Methyl Ethel’s impact on home soil has been palpable. The trio has grown into a must-see live act and shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize alongside Courtney Barnett and fellow Perth act Tame Impala. Now, having joined 4AD, Methyl Ethel have the opportunity to take their music to a greater audience. And probably will.