Author: Jared McCunnie

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Alicia Keys – ‘Blended Family’ Track Review

Alicia Keys has been an all-time favourite artist of mine since I was a young-un, and I’ve loved following her progress alongside my own musical endeavours. Her songs are heartfelt, raw and passionate, with this natural feel drawing both from her craftsmanship as a songwriter and a pianist. Hence, her latest release ‘Blended Family’ brought me great excitement, in anticipation for her new album being released November 4th!

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Tash Sultana Kicking Goals with Debut EP ‘Notion’

A Bourke Street Mall busker, Tash Sultana has truly taken the world by storm. She is currently on a massive Australian tour (after an eventful luggage mishandling incident that made global news), and is set to become a major name in Australian music. So for those of you who have not seen her fantastically engaging and charismatic sets in Bourke Street, I strongly suggest you check out her EP Notion.

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‘Neon City Pilot’ Soars with their Debut Album “Ghost Wings”

I don’t know what Australian musicians have been up to recently, but it seems every second artist is changing their stage name. Even the Melburnian jazz scene has gotten into the mix of this “evolution” la-di-da, with a fusion quintet that came to my attention earlier this year pulling a “Prince” manoeuvre, to change their name from ‘Pilot’ to the increasingly vibrant, but also confusing ‘Neon City Pilot’. But despite all the befuddlement that comes with changing a name, the group has just launched another incredible release, with their debut album Ghost Wings.

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Felix Riebl – “Paper Doors” Review

I’ve been a Cat Empire fan since their hit ‘Hello’, and have loved their distinctive Australian take on ska and jazz. The Cat Empire have toured the world countless times, and their music is loved internationally for the band’s stupendous brass lines, keyboard finesse and thrifty use of vinyl scratching. Front-man Felix Riebl has been the mastermind behind the majority of the band’s success, with his charismatic performance style and intelligent song-writing.

 

But, following on from the band’s successful 2016 album Rising with the Sun, Felix has decided to go solo once more and release a second album. Paper Doors, released 2nd September 2016, may be short (totalling only 37 minutes), but certainly has a great variety of content. With guest artists including the likes of Emily Lubitz, Katy Steele and Martha Wainwright, it is certainly nice to hear a more intimate canvas for Felix to sing with.

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Snarky Puppy Blows the Roof Off The Forum

If you have seen my earlier reviews, you will know that I am a massive fan of US jazz fusion supergroup Snarky Puppy. Too many times in previous years have I seen them headline the Melbourne International Jazz Festival or tour their latest album, and been unable to attend due to my age. But this year, I vowed to see them, at last an adult. Within a minute of receiving the email that Snarky Puppy had announced a new concert in Melbourne, I had the ticket booking page bookmarked to my laptop, and the opening time for tickets added to my phone’s calendar. I was not going to miss out this time!

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Surprises, Stunts and Sex Tapes: Selling Albums in 2016

In a society where music streaming and (heavens forbid) music piracy reign supreme, it is terrifying to watch what extremes musicians now need to go to sell their albums and make an income. With an absolute bombardment of music in every corner of our busy lives, it may be difficult to imagine how hard musicians and their publicity team work. Yet, it now takes a huge publicity stunt to get sales rolling for even the musical legends of our era. Long gone are the days of poster advertisements and a good review on Countdown. Artists are resorting to unusual and ridiculous measures to sell their musical products to you. Read more …

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Snarky Puppy Barks Up Different Tree with Latest Studio Album

Before I begin, I must disclose that Snarky Puppy are my all time favourite musical ensemble, and I can guarantee bias on so many levels.

 

That being said, quite honestly, if you love Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Adele, Martin Garrix, Beyoncé, literally anyone, you must check out Snarky Puppy. I promise there will be an absolute bare minimum of one song on each of their albums that you will fall in love with, for some reason or another. Whether it be the funky grooves, the juicy keyboard lines, the diverse cultural embracement or even the vocalists from the Family Dinner album series, there is something inextricably likeable about Snarky Puppy. Read more …

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Vintage Done Right in M83’s Latest Album

Just listening to the last 12 months of pop charts, funk looks like it’s back in town. with tracks like Uptown Funk and The Trouble with Us employing slap bass and rhythm guitar to create a refreshed vintage sound, labelled as “Future Funk”.  So with the past becoming the present, it seems only right that the fat synth glory and screaming sax solos of the ‘70s ought to be making a return, right? Read more …

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Gallant showcases his best in debut album “Ology”

For many, Spotify is just another free, easy-to-use music streaming service. What makes it better than other services, however, is its ability to spoon-feed us listeners recommended artists and albums based on what we’ve listened to and, whilst the suggestions can sometimes be pretty damn awful, Spotify still manages to find new music for music hoarders like myself that connect with us on a musical level.

 

Spotify did just that in the middle of last year when it suggested to yours truly contemporary R’n’B singer Gallant, through Brasstracks’ blasting remix of his single Weight in Gold, and boy, can the guy sing! See just what I’m talking about right here: Read more …