Australia’s best new music for February

Maple glider – You are still the one

For fans of: Julia Jacklin, Lucy Dacus, Angie McMahon

It begins with darkness and emerges, slowly, into light. Subtle acoustic strums give way to a sweet, glorious rendition of Shania Twain’s classic ’90s love song, full of soulful harmonies. It’s simple, but therein lies the beauty – Melbourne musician Tori Zietsch has a relaxed way of singing that fosters complete emotional safety, with silky and soaring vocals. Long live love – and that’s coming from a cynic who might believe again after hearing this. – Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen

For more: Listen to the Maple Glider 2021 album, To Enjoy is the Only Thing.

Straight Arrows – Fast Product

For fans of: Oisees, Wavves, Stiff Richards

Four years since their last album On Top!, Sydney garage quartet Straight Arrows make a welcome return. And they haven’t lost any of their wit or energy since their 2010 debut, It’s Happening: Fast Product marching out of the gate faster than that album’s favorite Bad Temper. The sound is cleaner, but still catchy, economical and addictive – as the chorus rises, you eat it up and throw it out again (then hit repeat). Their aim is real. – Andrew Stafford

For more: They have released an album of live tracks – performed at Lansdowne in Sydney in 2021.

Cub Sport – Keep Me Safe

For fans of: Perfume Genius, Moses Sumney, Wolf Alice

Love, for Cub Sport, has always been a religious act, leaving you so drunk on devotion that it blocks any logical way of being. On Keep Me Safe, lead singer Tim Nelson revisits the love that defined their life and career: their relationship with Sam Netterfield’s bandmate, which started as a crush before they got into their music. “I just want to die in heaven,” Nelson warbles – a paean to the intertwined ecstasy and agony of desire. – Michael Sun

For more: Their new album – aptly titled Jesus at the Gay Bar, is out in April … on Good Friday.

Teether and Kuya Neil – RENO

For fans of: Billy Woods, Wu-Lu

The latest single from Melbourne rapper/producer duo Teether and Kuya Neil is a sharp left turn, finding Teether rapping over frantic breaks and a hearty irregular beat that feels indebted to footwork. There’s an atmospheric slaughterhouse to the proceedings here that wasn’t present on the Glyph pair’s 2021 mix. At the same time, it feels like their most direct nod to mainstream rap yet, even though it’s part of the acknowledgment that this music is coming from far from the middle: “If we had cash, we could take it all. ” – Shaad D’Souza

For more: His new mixtape Stressor drops February 3rd. In the meantime, listen to his 2021 mixtape Glyph.

Lachlan Denton – Lost

For fans of: the Ocean Party, the Clean, the Feelings

The prolific Melbourne musician returns with a sanguine single that explores a particular contemporary dilemma: how to protect yourself from the weight of the world’s ills. Focused on a friend in a slump, and the constant chatter around them, the song offers simple advice that we could all benefit from: “Close your laptop / call a friend / don’t let them bring around the boiler.” The song is delightful and delightful, full of brisk jangle riffs, effortless melodies and simple, urgent lyrics that get right to the heart of the matter. – Isabella Trimboli

For more: Listen to Emma Russack and Denton’s amazing 2021 record, Something Is Going to Change Tomorrow, Today. What will you do? What Will You Say?

The Kid Laroi – I Can’t Go Back The Way It Was (Intro)

For fans of: WLRD Juice, Lil Peep, you know

Related: ‘I lost out on being a kid’: The Kid Laroi on fame, fans and coming home to Australia

Since his early teens, Kid Laroi has been turning angst into shows of stratospheric proportions: taking the zoned-out melancholy of his SoundCloud ancestors and arming it with a fleet of stadium-ready hooks. This is the first taste of his new album (his first episode, after a trio of mixtapes) and in true Laroi style, it’s lugubrious and self-effacing, lamenting his lost friendships and childhood trauma – before ballooning out at breakneck speed, with thundering drums. and a gospel choir straight out of the Euphoria. – Michael Sun

For more: Kid Laroi’s album The First Time is out later this year. Another single, Love Again, is out now.

Babitha – Brighter Side Blue

For fans of: Big Thief, Cowboy Junkies, Gillian Welch

A sweet and bittersweet ballad, Brighter Side of Blue is a highlight from songwriter Sydney Babita’s (real name Imogen Grist) debut record of the same name, which plants itself somewhere between alt-country and rock. With tender vocals dripping with melancholy, Grist sings of one who is afraid to follow in the footsteps of troubled, flawed parents – and how one might tear themselves away from this trajectory. It is perfectly portrayed in the native land – with lines about swallowing one’s pride and refusing to feel lost. – Isabella Trimboli

For more: Listen to Babitha’s debut album Brighter Side of Blue.

Memphis LK – Too Much Fun

For fans of: Pinkpantherress, Mallrat

Too Much Fun lends itself to the free-associative, slightly absurd looseness of a post-breakup bender. Over a rousing two-step beat, Melbourne producer and songwriter Memphis LK warns her that “you’re having too much fun now that you’re gone” and she continues to create with a masterfully expressive and silly verse: “Real pain for my friends sham / Champagne Poppin’ with my real friends while you’re away.” No naughty old man deserved such a great kiss. – Shaad D’Souza

For more: Her EP of the same title is out now.

Mo’Ju – Money

For fans of: Genesis Owusu, Sampamore, Jen Cloher

Money is the second single ahead of the release of Oro, Plata, Mata, the fourth album by the artist formerly known as Mojo Juju. It is quite unlike the updated, snapping 70s funk of its predecessor Change Has To Come, but still extremely self-assured and imaginative, built on layered synths, burbling and another magnetic vocal performance, with Mo’Ju questioning how even the most dedicated artists. inevitably contained within late-stage capitalism. It is an old subject, perhaps, but also a very fresh take. – Andrew Stafford

Related: Summer in the City: your ultimate guide to the best events and things to do in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia

For more: Oro, Plata, Mata is out on March 24. Mo’Ju will be performing the album in its entirety with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on February 21st, and with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on March 17th.

Huntly – My Limits

For fans of: Banoffee, Caribou, Billie Eilish

Auto-Tune isn’t often given a taste, but it’s an apt way to describe its use on Melbourne electronic duo Huntly’s new single. Alternating between the manipulated and the natural, Elspeth Scrine sings softly about honoring boundaries – your own, others’ boundaries – over a shimmering synth bed. Halfway through, the sonic landscape expands, lush and dreamy, with subtle keys. Like a soft blanket, this song invites you to settle in and take your time. – Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen

For more: Huntly’s second album, Sentimental Still, is out on February 3.

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