We live in a world where society expects so much from creatives. Artists now possess contractual, social and cultural responsibilities that extend beyond an LP or tour. Whilst Kendrick and Bey are fronting the #blacklivesmatter movement, Frank Ocean has been insular, providing limited comment as an artist of colour. Four years after the release of his magnum opus Channel Orange, the rightfully busy, Frank Ocean has released a string of introspective tracks.
Ocean's prolonged marketing campaign commenced with #trendy visual album Endless. Rumour has it, the album was released only to fulfill his contractual obligations with his major, giving him the opportunity to release Blonde "independently". Exclusively released by Apple Music, the album offers a surprisingly limited insight into his creative process.
While Ocean's contemporaries (see Bryson Tiller, Miguel & Jeremih) have released instrumentally and conceptually elaborate LPs, Blonde finds power in it's simplicity and raw emotion. It is an album that comes across as subtle and subdued, but reveals its charms after repeated listens. Gradually, it's genius unfolded. "Nights" merges acoustic guitar with a strong urban styled base, fading into heavy synths demonstrating a diverse and ambitious aesthetic. "Self Control" and "White Ferrari" might just be the most quietly devastating tracks of 2016. "Pink + White" and "Ivy" are repeat offenders in the Isolated Nation office playlist. Team consensus on the remainder is whilst honest, intimate and soulful they are not 100% fulfilling.
With a rather strange list of featured credits including Brian Eno (minimal KING), Elliott Smith (the original sad boy), David Bowie (God himself RIP) and the Beatles (duh), Ocean has us questioning in what capacity did these artists contribute to the production of the album? Especially one that was on the ultimate DL? After a failed attempt at identifying relevant samples, sneaky Frank must be paying a lil bit of homage to the greats.
Franky~ Bueno follow up & looking forward to 2020.
Words: Sarah Marshman, Daniel Morey, Matt Spence & Megan Neale.
We got the opportunity to speak with Josh Pyke, one of the most influential and well-loved musicians in Australia, ahead of the release of his Best Of, B-Sides and Rarities album (out June 30) and national tour in July/August.
The best thing about "Meal Tickets" is that we're privy to a group of young, dumb, full-of-cum dreamers slowly acquiesce to being one of the millions who never got their big break; there's a raw poignancy to that, a unique quality which makes this 90 something minute documentary worth the price of a ticket.
Through the magic of Google Docs, Daniel Morey and Eemali McDonald were able to translate their post-viewing discussion of The Black Swan Theatre Company's The Eisteddfod into this review, for your enjoyment.
In Transformers: The Last Knight, the freak show has been toned down; there's precious little human bile forced down your throat this go around. Heck, there's even some attempts at respectability. Which is boring and nullifies the series' proudly nihilistic juvenile identity.
With a fervent belief that true commitment to bad-taste transforms it into something fashionable, fun and infectious, Kirin is a lot to take in.
Slowdive know how to play to their strengths, pulling from the best moments of their discography to present us with something that is at once familiar and refreshing.
I couldn’t think of anything more terrifying than playing a delicate set of acoustic jazzy music to room full of mostly black overcoat-clad, chin stroking, forty-something, ultra-discerning listeners. But for The Necks, that is the thesis for their completely improvised performances.
Remi & Sampa The Great had an amazing energy together on stage, and their genuine and down to earth nature shone through in a tight and powerful, albeit quick performance.
The Exes share a deep passion for vocal harmonies and heartbreakingly good songwriting. This killer combination has crystallised itself on their new album When We Fall. We caught up with the Exes ahead of their two gigs at Babushka and Fly By Night this weekend.
We caught up with Sydney singer-songwriter Montaigne to chat about making positive change, video games, life, death, and spirituality. Have a read, then do yourself a favour and purchase tickets for her performance at Capitol on the 29th of July.