A firm staple of Melbourne’s live scene, alt-rock singer-songwriter AL MATCOTT finds inspiration in classical literature, philosophy, poetry and bands like Interpol and A Place To Bury Strangers. His songs are punctuated with masterful songwriting craft, engrossing lyricism, caterwauling guitars, a blistering rhythm section and a dark, despairing mood. His forthcoming debut album Summer’s Coming, released in November through Cheersquad Records & Tapes, takes his songwriting to scorching new heights, and features collaborations with Freya Josephine Hollick, Jack Ladder, Kate Dillon and Taylor Hollingsworth of Conor Oberst’s Mystic Valley Band.
Fittingly named after a town on the border of California and Mexico, CALEXICO fuse the dusty sounds of the American Southwest with spaghetti western soundtracks, ’60s surf rock, cool jazz, Americana and a broad spectrum of Latin influences, creating a unique and distinctive sound described as ‘desert noir’. Formed in 1996 by Joey Burns and John Convertino, CALEXICOcontinue to break new ground and released their 10th studio album in 2022, El Mirador, a kaleidoscopic beacon of rock, bluesy ruminations, and Latin American sounds. Their music is a unique and immersive listening experience, and after decades on the road their music remains boundless and romantic.
CASH SAVAGE AND THE LAST DRINKS
A pillar of Melbourne’s music and queer communities, Cash Savage has spent the past decade making tough and tender rock’n’roll with her colossal band, The Last Drinks, a powerhouse of fierce and brooding energy. Their legendary live shows – a cathartic and communal experience – are an overwhelming flood of emotion and sound, with magnetic frontwoman Cash Savage at the centre of the storm. Their latest album, the critically acclaimed So This Is Love, is a commentary on fragile mental health, a fragile economy and the fragility of the environment and personal relationships and has been nominated for an ARIA Award, Music Victoria Award and National Live Music Award.
CIVIC are one of the most exhilarating and exciting bands to emerge in recent years, dreamed up in 2017 by charismatic frontman Jim McCullough as a musical project inspired by iconic Australian punk acts like Radio Birdman and the Saints. A captivating live act defined by masterfully controlled chaos, the Melbourne-based five-piece’s latest album Taken By Force was produced by their hero, Radio Birdman’s Rob Younger. Hailed by The Guardian as a “band to watch”, their dynamic and frenetic sound has earned them massive critical acclaim as well as admiration from the likes of punk legend Henry Rollins.
Delivering a sharp punch of garage, post-punk and new wave, Melbourne five-piece DELIVERY released their debut LP Forever Giving Handshakes in 2022, a 12-track “catchy as can be” garage-punk opus with one clear group mission – to rock! “Underneath the rapid-fire vocal delivery, intricate guitar interplay is rife; it’s always a case of more is more,” declared Tone Deaf, with NME giving the album 4 out of 5, stating the band “have debuted with one of the year’s best local punk albums”.
Iconic rock band DINOSAUR JR. formed in Massachusetts in 1984, founded by J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph. Known for their dynamic and raw sound, they have released some of the most influential albums of the past 40 years. Their distinctive blend of alternative, rock, punk and indie rock, characterised by their signature loud, raw, fuzzy, distorted guitar-driven sound, melodic hooks and introspective lyrics, saw the band solidify their reputation as influential figures in the alternative rock scene. DINOSAUR JR. have released several critically acclaimed albums and remain a force in the indie rock scene, releasing their 12th studio album in 2021, Sweep It Into Space.
Scottish rockers MOGWAI formed in Glasgow in 1995. Almost 30 years since their inception, the sonic architects have carved out a niche entirely their own. Transcendent and atmospheric, magnificent and mesmerising – often copied, but never bettered – the band continue to experiment with new instrumentations and technology, earning them a reputation as vast as their thunderous music. The hugely influential and ground-breaking band have released several critically acclaimed albums and classic songs over their 25-year career, with their latest album, As The Love Continues, scoring the band their first UK number one in 2021. With legendary live shows, you may know what to expect from MOGWAI, but you will never get the same!
Electronic producer and DJ OUR CARLSON feels like Café del Mar meets Toecutter blasting from the back of a VL Commodore in the carpark of Highpoint Shopping Centre circa 2000. Naming himself after “Our Kylie”, OUR CARLSON doesn’t hold back on his 2021 debut EP A Bit Much; his writing is both funny and frustrated as he speaks to the experience of living and of being diagnosed with epilepsy at age 33. Ranting over dance club and break beats, his music is honest and from the heart, pulling at heart strings, one relatable and witty existential crisis after another.
Revered Melbourne band RVG released their highly anticipated third album Brain Worms in June to critical and mass acclaim. Big and bombastic, The Guardian called it, “One of Australia’s finest,” with Rolling Stone declaring, “The sound of a band at the height of their rock powers”! After a momentous first five years which saw them find critical acclaim for debut A Quality of Mercy and land on countless end-of-year Best-Of lists, RVG then released their sophomore album, 2020’s Feral. Led by the charismatic Romy Vager on vocals and guitar, they are one of the most vital bands on the music scene today. 2023 is the year of RVG and the release of Brain Wormsis just the beginning!
THE BELAIR LIP BOMBS
One of Victoria’s most exciting upcoming bands, Frankston four-piece THE BELAIR LIP BOMBSreleased their sparkling debut album Lush Life in August. Purveyors of blistering indie pop, Lush Life paints a vibrant and emotive portrait of a formidable band built on strong, energetic, punchy songwriting with NME stating, “energy and experimentation collide on thrilling debut”. Blending striking melodies with thought-provoking lyrics, their songs are “naggingly catchy”, with their unique sound covering a range of influences from The B-52s, The Smiths, The Clash and Devo, to The Strokes and Talking Heads. Led by the creative vision of Maisie Everett, file THE BELAIR LIP BOMBS somewhere between punk, post-punk, jangle pop and new wave.