music

music December 19, 2020

Music’s year of reckoning

In 2020, the inequities between major-label artists and indie musicians became untenable – and it has led to a surging politicisation of the music industry.

music December 12, 2020

We Will Always Love You

The Avalanches’ third album is their most explicitly spiritual record – and their best yet.

music November 21, 2020

Drill rapper Snoee Badman

Snoee Badman – the first Australian to release an EP from inside a maximum-security prison – embodies a punk defiance to institutional brutality. “I have a lot of violence to write about. Jail is not good for anyone … Prison gives you a lot of hatred.”

music November 14, 2020

Hey u x

New Zealand Spotify star Benee is preternaturally talented, but her debut album isn’t enough to drag her out of sludgy easy-listening playlists.

music November 7, 2020

Singers Vika and Linda Bull

The Bull sisters took their gospel-singing Tongan background and perfectly blended harmonies and carved a decades-long career as both quintessential musician’s musicians and popular favourites. “I like the challenge of creating something out of nothing,” says younger sister Linda. “And then what happens at the end of that process is you get a song that you can sing for years.”

music October 31, 2020

Niscitam

Blake Scott’s new solo album shows off his prowess as one of Australia’s most important songwriters.

music October 17, 2020

The Ascension

Sufjan Stevens’ new album reinvents his aesthetic as he confronts the psychic terror of contemporary America.

music October 3, 2020

Former Spice Girl Mel C

For Melanie Chisholm global fame came at a high price, but she lived to tell the tale. At 46, she has just released her eighth solo album, which she says is her most vulnerable yet. “All of that time I spent searching, trying to find myself, trying to move away from Sporty, I felt like that’s what I had to do: to become an individual I had to leave her behind.”

music August 22, 2020

Indie folk icons Bright Eyes

Ten years after their previous album, Bright Eyes’ latest release brings a new lightness to their apocalyptic imagining. “Lyrical and generous, it feels like a new beginning for Oberst and co on their own terms, despite the weight of its conception, and despite the pain that it holds.”

music August 22, 2020

New Music online

Small, quirky and weird – Australian New Music ensembles have moved their inventive processes online, with some delightful results.

music August 15, 2020

James Nguyen and Victoria Pham

Through their new work for BLEED 2020, artists James Nguyen and Victoria Pham reanimate the Đông Sơn drum, an ancient instrument with great cultural significance for their Vietnamese heritage. “We wanted to build a body of knowledge around this instrument in a way that just isn’t possible in academia or museums.”