Who is Young Franco for those who don’t know you yet?
An Australian kid with a love of all things funky.
Can you/are you able to describe your music?
A mix between Fergie and Jesus. I don’t know! Maybe a bit of disco, a bit of funk, bit of future sounds and a bit of hip hop.
You recently released your debut EP, how has the response been?
Really Good! So happy with the response and super stoked people have been vibing on my stuff lately. There are also lots of cool comments by some pretty big influences.
Who or what influences you while producing/making music?
A bit of everything really! I started out making hip-hop beats and that’s what influenced me heaps when I first started making music. I’m all about rare samples and old disco records these days. I love dudes like Darius, Onra and Wolfwolf among others.
You’ll be doing shows throughout February and some in March, are you excited?
SSSUPPPER EXCITED! It should be good, even more excited to show some unreleased tunes.
What are the ingredients that go into a Young Franco show?
Haha depends! Usually its a hybrid DJ set kind of thing, so, laptop with either Serato or Ableton +APC, sometimes I bring my synthesisers in and on VERY special occasions I whip out the trumpet.
What else can we expect from Young Franco in 2014?
Heaps and heaps of tunes baybeh! Just some nice releases and hopefully some cool gigs. Also heaps of good vibes and love.
What do you think Pharrell Williams is hiding under his hat from the Grammys?
HAAHAHA apart from one of the most musically gifted brains, probably a smaller hat and inside that hat is another smaller hat then another hat etc.
Dream-pop purveyors, I Know Leopard have returned with a second single, Hold This Tight, off their forthcoming EP, due out later this year. This idyllic single was written as a tribute to friendship and the strong creative ties that they’ve developed in the Sydney community since leaving their hometown of Adelaide.
Their first single, She, was heralded by the likes of triple j, Indie Shuffle and Yen Magazine which helped put them on the map as kings of the ‘indie’ jungle.
After playing to a sold-out Sydney audience as part of a National tour off the back of their single release, I Know Leopard are ready to send you soaring through a tangerine dream-lit sky with their floaty vocals and awe-inspiring soundscape of melodies.
Their melancholic pop aesthetics have launched them into comparisons with Beach House, Jesus and Mary Chain and Brian Wilson, touching on elements of isolation as this five-piece glide through their other-worldly dreamscape, taking you along for the ride.
Hold This Tight was recored at Sydney’s iconic REC Studios at 301 Castlereagh Street (former EMI Studios) with young producer Craig Willson (Flume, New Navy, The Church). I Know Leopard have performed alongside the likes of Deep Sea Arcade, The Rubens, Goldfields and Miami Horror.
‘HOLD THIS TIGHT’ IS OUT ON MONDAY 3RD FEB, 2014
If Australia’s recent bloom of young prodigies might be enough to make you question what the hell have you done lately, then this is one that will probably hurtle you into a quarter-life crisis. 19-year-old producer Young Franco is Brisbane’s newest wunderkind who’s offering up his debut EP ‘FUTUREFUNK’ for FREE as well as performing at a slew of national shows.
FREE DOWNLOAD URL: http://on.fb.me/1du4LVw
‘FUTUREFUNK’ is making waves around the Australian dance music scene, earning approving nods from Motez, Indian Summer, Alison Wonderland, Peking Duk and Allday alike. The 4-track EP is a medley of awesomeness; described as funky beats meets old disco records meets 90’s hip hop with a ‘gameboy’ twist.
This rebel without a cause has been pushing genre boundries from an early age. Inspired by hip hop legends DJ Premier, J Dilla, ATCQ, Madlib and more, he began learning his way around turntables at age 15, playing at friends parties.
Once 18, Franco was picked up by Brisbane artist Mr Hill and toured with Aussie hip hop heavyweights Illy, Drapht and Seth Sentry. He went on support some of Australia’s Dance Music royalty including Nina Las Vegas, Yolando Be Cool, Alison Wonderland, Willow Beats, Flight Facilities and What so Not, as well as playing at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Brisbane and Splendour in the Grass 2013.
Keep an eye on this rising music star, 2014 is set to be a huge year for Young Franco. Catch him when he tours nationally.
YOUNG FRANCO ‘FUTUREFUNK’ TOUR
SUNSHINE COAST | JAN 26TH | SUMMER SESSIONS
With Miami Horror DJs , Touch Sensitive , Indian Summer
Tickets from moshtix.com.au
SYDNEY | FEB 5TH | SOSUEME @ BEACH ROAD HOTEL, BONDI
With DJ Butcher
ADELAIDE | FEB 7TH | CATS @ ROCKET BAR
Tickets from eventbrite.com.au
GOLD COAST | FEB 15TH | KOMUNE
PERTH | FEB 19TH | AKUNA CLUB
Tickets $10 on the door
PERTH | FEB 21ST | MONDO
Tickets $10 on the door
MELBOURNE | MAR 6TH | REVOLVER BANDROOM
Tickets $10 on the door
BRISBANE | MAR 15TH | BOWLER BAR
Tickets $10 on the door
Do I feel quiche? Yes. How quiche? Lorraine (ultimate quiche). I’m going to lie and say all the songs on the new EP are actually about her trials and tribulations as a high school student, and particularly about Mitchell.
Pigeon are releasing their second EP on the 24th of January, what can we expect? Will it be any different from the first EP?
We have choruses, verses, intros, outros and even a whole bunch of bridges. Not just individually, but structured into the songs. We wrote most of the demos up in Airlie Beach earlier last year, so the whole EP has a strong tinge of tropical-party-alcoholism.
While recording the EP, who or what influenced the band?
Friendly Fires, Simian Mobile Disco, Foals, all those funky upbeat (yet sometimes quite dark) bands you see at festivals, and make you dance your festival pants/dress/muumuu clean off. The kind of music that undresses you with how fun it is.
Just after the release of the EP Pigeon are going on tour across the east coast, are you excited?
YES! We’ll be flying in a big jet plane to all of our favourite places, playing music for people and loitering.
How would you describe your live shows?
Party, Party, Party #PARTY
I have also found the closest way to recreate the live experience. What you do is to simply put our EP on and turn the nearest light on and off to the beat, or faster (feel free to take some liberties with this step, you’re the senior lighting director of this show).
Have you had any crazy or bizarre experiences while performing?
We have had a few injuries and near misses. Danny fell off a speaker stack once and Chris has sprained his ankle. We have even had some of the not so bright members bleeding from the face, because I have thrown my head into my knee. I also have strange memories of the guys from Northeast Party House jumping up onstage with us and rocking out stupidly late at a rural festival. From memory, I think we were all having a pretty solid time.
On Facebook there was a photo of Pigeon on set of their new music video, how’s it coming along?
Excellent! Should be available… right… about… NOW!
A couple of shows here and there, maybe a bunch of remixes. We’ll probably just be causing some shenanigans in some part of Australia, or being kicked out of bars for having pillow fights.
Here is our interview with New Zealand band The Naked & Famous. We had the chance to catch up with the band during the Big Day Out 2014 tour to discuss their new album In Rolling Waves, touring and what high school was like for the band.
As a fan of Sarah Blasko, I was determined not to miss her last Brisbane show before a new album. So there I was: sitting in a church pew surrounded by about 200 other fans while fanning myself with a programme. Was it uncomfortable? Of course. Did I care? Absolutely not. I was getting to see one of my favourite musicians ever.
When the opening act, Appleonia came on stage I had no idea what to expect from her. All that I knew was that she released her album that day in quite an unusual, but quite thoughtful and generous way. I won’t go in to that, you can find the details on her website. Anyway, while she had an extremely strong and quite beautiful voice, I felt a little bit uncomfortable. It was just that she became a little bit weird towards the end of her set and the music steered that way too, just a little bit.
By this time all I wanted was to see Sarah Blasko singing some of my favourite songs while I was ten metres away. Luckily that was granted almost immediately and the room fell silent as soon as she, accompanied by pianist David Hunt and guitarist Benjamin Fletcher took to the stage. Opening on older songs from her first three albums, the tone was set for the night. With favourites Bird On A Wire and All I Want in the first few, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
As the set progressed, we were treated to very different arrangements of a lot of her songs from previous albums before anything from I Awake (2012) came out. With the album being recorded with an orchestra, and her last major tour featuring different orchestras from around the country, I was worried about how this would turn out.
Anyway, playing most of the songs from I Awake, Blasko’s voice didn’t fail to impress, as I knew it wouldn’t. As far as I noticed, we only missed about three new songs, one of which was recent single Fool. I completely understand that, because it relies so heavily on percussion but that’s why I feel a drummer was necessary. Not necessarily possible in that setting but for any of her shows, it’s a huge part of Sarah’s music.
I loved the new arrangement of God-Fearing, I thought it was a really beautiful sound when stripped back from the heavy string arrangements. As they closed the set with Cast The Net and Not Yet from the new album, I was disappointed. Not about the performance at all, but the fact that I hadn’t heard my favourite song from the album, Here.
Along with her band, Blasko left the stage and the cathedral through a little side door to thunderous applause. It was obvious that they were coming back, they always do… It was just a matter of how long that would take. After about three minutes of cheering and applause from the whole room, Sarah returned to the stage with David Hunt who picked up the ukulele. We got to hear none other than that favourite song that I was so disappointed about her not playing. SHE PLAYED THE SONG! I loved that song when it came out on the record, but hearing it live honestly almost reduced me to tears.
Closing on Showstopper, I was so happy with the performance from the band given it was about 35 degrees in that church. Of course I stayed behind to get photos and whatnot before having to leave and accept that I won’t see her again for quite some time. Sarah summed up my thoughts on the show for me saying “Where better to sing (other than the shower) than in a beautiful church?” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Being my first Heavenly Sounds event, you can guarantee it won’t be the last.
Bluesfest, held at the Tyagarah Tea Farm as come out with a 6th artist announcement for their 25th anniversary festival. With a mix of incredible local acts and a few internationals in here, it certainly adds to what is already an huge lineup.
“It’s our birthday year – and we have pulled out all the stops to present our best ever Bluesfest” said director Peter Noble. Having announced some of the world’s best blues, soul and funk acts, it’s hard to believe that this has come through.
Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
Dyson, Stringer & Cloher
Glenn Cardier and the Sideshow
Nahko & Medicine For The People
Public Opinion Afro Orchestra
Cambodian Space Project
Jack Johnson – John Mayer – Dave Matthews Band – Erykah Badu – John Butler Trio – Jeff Beck – Buddy Guy – Aaron Neville – Passenger – Iron & Wine – Elvis Costello & The Imposters – Michael Franti & Spearhead – India.Arie – Gregg Allman – Boz Scaggs – Doobie Brothers – Dr John & The Nite Trippers Morcheeba – Gov’t Mule – Steve Earle & The Dukes – Kasey Chambers – KC & The Sunshine Band – Devendra Banhart – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – The James Cotton Blues Band – Booker T. Jones – The Wailers- Jimmie Vaughan – Gary Clark Jr – Jake Bugg- Kate Miller-Heidke – Suzanne Vega- The Charlie Musselwhite Band -Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Ozomatli – CW Stoneking – Allen Stone -Larry Graham & Graham Central Station – Eric Bibb – KT Tunstall – Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes – Robben Ford – Grandmothers of Invention -The Magic Band – Beth Hart -North Mississippi Allstars – Walter Trout – Trixie Whitley- The Soul Rebels – Valerie June – Devon Allman – Nikki Hill – The Paladins – Music Maker Foundation Feat. Pat Wilder, Cool John Ferguson, and Little Freddie King- Candye Kane Band Feat. Laura Chavez -Saidah Baba Talibah – RocKwiz Live
If there’s one sign that a festival is thriving, it’s adding (and selling out) an extra event. So was born the Byron Bay edition of the Falls Music and Arts Festival. While never having been to Falls before, I always got the impression that the organisers of Falls have a very strong idea of what they want the festival to be. However, this desired image is quite out of touch with the reality of the experience.
Not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself. I wholeheartedly did but it just kind of felt like the “arts” portion of the festival really wasn’t all that necessary. The comedians just weren’t what you wanted to see take the stage moments after being punched in the face repeatedly during Violent Soho and the Art installations were boring, contrived and altogether too much effort.
Similarly the festival kicked off in a weird round about sort of way, with Britishband Legs Akimbo, who were basically in charge of manufacturing that classic “festival spirit”. Sadly all they managed to do was to make you impatient while waiting for the other, much more entertaining acts to get on stage.
Falls began on New Years Eve, which felt kind of strange having only one stage open for the first night, especially when it’s such an important occasion. The first act (bar DJs) to hit the main stage was beatboxer Tom Thum, who was a very weird person to see performing. His set was really interesting but also kind of boring. You became amazed that he could do that with his mouth but it wouldn’t be at all interesting if the tracks were recorded conventionally. Next was the Correspondents, who I was unfamiliar with yet ended up quite liking. I’ve always had a penchant for UK dupstep/garage, which is almost exactly what the Correspondents delivered. However, they did seem limited in terms of their sound and sample palette, with the same setting obviously appearing more than needed.
Next up came the behemoth of eastern funk, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro, personally one of my most anticipated acts at Falls. They definitely lived up to my expectations with their insanely talented and in sync playing, one of the best performances I’ve seen in a while. Then came two acts that I wasn’t particularly keen on (yet I couldn’t move because I didn’t want to jeopardize my spot for the Roots). The first was Hot Dub Time Machine, basically just a chronological playlist of the last 60 years. The second was Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, who were undoubtedly the worst band there. It was all pseudo-sexy-soul music, bland as all hell. On top of that Clairy went off at someone who threw a glowstick on stage, which of course only made sure that people threw them at her all night.
Finally the Roots came on and really demonstrated why they deserved to play insuch an auspicious slot. The Roots demand respect and it’s hard not to oblige when everything was so tight up on stage, with Questlove and Black Thought so in tune with one another that they may have well been the same person. Questlove always receives the most attention and for good reason as he is without question one of the best drummers alive right now.
While I am really bad with track names at shows, I’ll say that everything you wanted to hear, the Roots gave you, as well as a medley of covers at the stroke of midnight. All together a very worthy New Year’s Eve lineup.
After the Roots were done there really wasn’t that much to do apart from go to bed, which is what a large number of people did, as New Year’s day held a lot of promise. Kicking off the new year were Triple J Unearthed High winners Lunatics on Pogo Sticks, who seemed to know exactly what their role was: To play and then get off stage.
After that I saw one of the most fascinating images I’ve seen in a while. For the 15 minutes preceding Chet Faker’s set about 10,000 people walked over the hill into the Amphitheatre. It felt like some kind of bizarre apocalyptic gathering. Chet Faker is one of those acts that get that “festival ready” accolade written into their bios, when in reality he’s really boring as both a performer and a songwriter and is (along with best mate Flume) ruining what Australian’s consider “good” electronic music.
Thankfully I could get that odd taste out of my mouth when the Preatures began their infectious set They’re talented song writers, having written possibly the best chorus of the year in “Is This How You Feel”. The rest of their songs hold their own too, from a nod to the current prime minister’s shortcomings to a Saints cover thrown in for good measure.
I then hotfooted it to the second stage for the first time of the festival so that I could catch the last of Violent Soho, which was all I really needed since they aren’t particularly strong outside of their singles. Man can they get a crowd going though. No other act on the lineup could have turned a 1:30 pm crowd into such a thriving mess.
The next act of note was verifiable legend Johnny Marr from influential 80s band the Smiths. Interestingly no one seemed to give a damn, probably because he was overshadowed by Smiths lead singer Morrisey, who always demanded attention because of his fey and charismatic persona. The only time the crowd seemed to give anything back to Johnny was when he played Smiths tracks, which was a shame because his new solo work is really quite good.
In an obvious ploy to get everyone back on the way up, Bonobo strutted up on stage and played probably the most obnoxious set of the festival. Electronic music is so hard to get right live and no one at the festival really seemed to nail it but most people in the crowd seemed to be enjoying it enough to begin their synthetic ascent. It was a real shame because while I really quite like Bonobo’s production he just couldn’t quite translate what I loved live.
I knew I didn’t want to see the Rubens and Rufus, simultaneously on different stages so I decided it was a good a time as any to go and get a bite to eat and maybe check out some of the other activities. None of these were appealing but it was a nice way to relax, which is paramount if you’re planning on enjoying the entire festival.
After that I continued my more subdued portion of the evening getting down at Questlove’s DJ set. Damn that dude has good taste. Lots of soul, r’n’b and hip hop and a good healthy dose of A Tribe Called Quest, all wrapped together into some incredibly deep, enthralling grooves. The grooves continued with dance-punks !!! (Chk Chk Chk), who probably performed my favourite set of the week. There was just such an energy coming off stage that it was impossible not to get into it. They played the perfect mix of new and old songs with multiple forays into the crowd for a bit of communal jumping around. Must Be The Moon was far and away the highlight – there is just such a good hook on that track.
Arguably the most anticipated act of the festival were Wednesday headliners Vampire Weekend. The only problem was that their set sucked and that failing was perhaps made worse by the fact that I knew they could do better, having seen them before. It doesn’t seem like their new material, of which they played a fair chunk, really goes down all that well live. The pitch bending on tracks like “Dianne Young” and “Ya Hey” sounded completely accidental. There was just no sense of energy coming off stage, the mix was poor and it seemed like they were majorly overcompensating for their lackluster performance with an excessive use of crowd strobes that didn’t even fit. All in all a huge disappointment.
While I like all of the stuff Vampire Weekend have done, I seriously think they’re hugely overrated. This definitely has something to do with just how “internet” lead singer Ezra has become. There were multiple shouts of various “famous” tweets of his and I ended up just wanting to slap everyone.
Thankfully I had a while to calm down on dirty day three of the festival, which had some of the strongest acts on the lineup. From the mid afternoon you found yourself in just the right kind of vibe for the final day of a festival. The John Steel Singers did what they do at almost any show, playing some pretty impressive tunes with a strangely charismatic awkwardness to them at the same time. Following that was “Hendrix of the Desert” Bombino, a guitarist from Niger who I was quite excited to hear. I have a real interest (yet criminal lack of knowledge) in world-music and non-western interpretations of stereotypically western genres, so I basically got all I wanted there didn’t I?
I realize that I did tend to spend a fair bit of time at the main stage, mainly because that is where my taste lay but also because I wanted to assure a good spot for certain acts. Chief among those acts were Western Australian legends Pond. In my mind, Pond is far more interesting than Tame Impala and I hate being the guy that makes that comparison. There’s just a level of unhinged-ness and mania to a Pond set that is so enthralling regardless of any psychedelics that may or may not have been ingested by half the crowd. Their riffs are absolutely insane, yet they also have an amazing ability to capitalize on so called “lulls” in a set.
Since the beginning of the week I’d had one thought in my head “I hope Violent Femmes don’t bomb”. Violent Femmes were for me the first band that I really liked that no one else liked (bear in mind I was in primary school at the time of discovery). So they’ve always been a band that I’ve loved. So even though their set was utter garbage, even though I really wanted to see Cyril Hahn who was playing, I felt like I owed it to them to watch their set and make myself enjoy it. It was painful to see a band that you love so old and out of touch, yet at the same time I’m sure it was a very meaningful experience that I could learn a lot from.
I don’t know why but the crowd at Falls couldn’t respect any influential and seminal musicians. I am of course referring to the fact that no one really cared about Neil Finn, who’s set masterfully ebbed and flowed from intensely accessible and gratifying, to confounding and musically amazing. In complete contrast to this was the Wombats, (another early years act for me). They played merely surface level pop interspersed with great surface level pop. Like a lot of bands on this lineup, the Wombats early work was really good and important to a lot of people, yet they’ve just totally dropped the ball after Girls, Boys, and Marsupials.
Finally closing out the night were two dudeswho by all accounts are terrible live, yet fascinating at the same time. I really think MGMT are one of the better “anti-sell-out” stories of late. They’ve totally stopped caring about what their previous fans liked about their music and make music that while it certainly has a market is exactly what they want to make. It’s much the same with their live set. Disregarding the blatant self-aggrandisement of the fancy dress contest winner turned cowbell player – to which MGMT seemed quite like victims – their set was challenging, anti-festival material.
Driving the two and a half hour trip home in the middle of the night, empty highways, a nice playlist and the blinding headlights of cars who refused to turn their high-beams off provided quite a convenient metaphor for my festival experiences. Falls was a well-rounded festival. Not outstanding, just well done. Of course their were those acts that you wouldn’t miss even if your wife was in labour but there were also a lot of sub-par acts, often big acts too, but in between those two polar limits, were a raft of enjoyable acts that you were glad you saw.
As earlier reported, Sydney singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko is touring for Heavenly Sounds in January 2014, her first Sydney show has sold out within a week of tickets going on sale and Heavenly Sounds is pleased to announce a second show for Sydney fans. Taking place at St Stephens Uniting Church on Tuesday January 14th 2014, tickets are on sale now through www.heavenlysounds.com
Sarah’s Brisbane show at St John’s Cathedral has also sold out in recent days with unfortunately no chance of a second ticket release. Most fans however managed to get their tickets in time for her tour kicking off next week.
A reminder this will be Sarah’s last live performances for her ‘I Awake’ album, set in beautiful churches these shows will be the most intimate concerts she will perform for some time. These memorable events will take in songs from her catalogue of material and fans can expect the emotive spine tingling performances which Sarah is renowned for.
Tickets for all of Sarah’s Heavenly Sounds shows are selling fast, we recommend you get in quickly to avoid disappointment.
Tickets for Sarah Blasko’s Heavenly Sounds shows are $62.50 + transaction fees and are open to ALL AGES.
Tickets on sale through www.heavenlysounds.com
Tuesday 14 January St Stephen’s Uniting Church, SYDNEY
Wednesday 15 January St Stephen’s Uniting Church, SYDNEY – SOLD OUT
Thursday 16 January St John’s Cathedral, BRISBANE – SOLD OUT
Wednesday 22 January St Michael’s Uniting Church, MELBOURNE
Friday 24 January Flinders St Baptist Church, ADELAIDE
2013 has been a massive year for pop music all over the world. The charts have been jam-packed with amazing songs throughout the year and now, as the year is drawing to an end, it’s time to list the Top 5 Pop Releases of 2013.
Get Lucky- Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams
The song ‘Get Lucky’ has definitely been lucky in topping charts in various countries around the world. This party song guarantees to be stuck in your head for days even on your first listen. Daft Punk certainly deserves the recognition and spot amoungst the Top 5 Pop Releases of 2013.
Wake me up!- Avicci
Avicci has definitely made himself known over the past year in particular and has released some incredible songs. His song ‘Wake me up!’ has been his most popular song this year, with ‘Hey Brother’ not too far behind. ‘Wake me up!’ has made it to number 1 several times and held it’s position in the high ranks of the charts throughout the year. Can’t wait to hear what 2014 will hold for Avicci.
Roar- Katy Perry
Katy Perry knows how to produce a killer pop song which always manages to hit number 1 around the world and her song ‘Roar’ is no different. It’s catchy and upbeat lyrics lay the foundation for the songs success and it’s certainly payed off. Perry has been a chart topper since the early days of her career and still deserves her position today with the number 3 Pop Release of 2013.
Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell & T.I.
‘Blurred Lines’ has definitely sparked some controversy in the media with it’s lyrics but nothing is more clear than the line proving the huge success of the song this year. At number 2 in this countdown, Robin Thicke has marked his place amoungst the greats and the song still continues to be a success.
Oh Lorde, she’s done it. With all the sales of her song ‘Royals’ she can afford her own crown. At only 17 years of age she was able to make a song which has topped some of the biggest charts around the world. Her success with this song has been incredible and definitely deserves it’s number 1 spot of the Top 5 Pop Releases of 2013.
Although 2013 has had some amazing Pop Releases, these have been my personal favourites and clearly the favourites of the public as they all made it to the number one spot in not only Australia but many countries around the world. Bring on 2014!