Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shiraz Tilley - Demos

Artist: Shiraz Tilley
Label: Independent
Format: iTunes download
Release Date: November 2008

The bandwagon of sensitive female singer/songwriters from Brisbane that was started by Kate Miller-Heidke a few years ago keeps on rolling and producing more and more upcoming goods. One of the most promising of the crop is music and theatre student Shiraz Tilley (yes, Shiraz *is* her given birth name!). Born to music loving parents who have nurtured her creative growth, Shiraz is not your typical Brisbane chanteuse. She is multi-talented and plays guitar, keyboards, harmonica, djembe, flageolet, and sax on top of her singing and not afraid of demonstrating her instrumental versatility at her gigs which she and her parents organise rather than leaving it to the local industry moguls.
Her voice is just as captivating and classy as her looks, it is full of soul and passion for someone her age whilst most of her peers are doing plastic disposable dance pop or reality tv cover ballads.
If you like Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos, Carole King, Carly Simon, Xavier Rudd, Bob Dylan and Crowded House then you'll get a very good idea of where she is headed with her music direction.
For an album that is modestly titled "Demos", this has a tight and polished production which is chock full of radio friendly tunes that sound just as much at home on 612 ABC Brisbane and Radio National as well as the likes of Triple M, Triple J and B-105.
Each song is a well crafted gem from the Eagle Eye Cherry-ish "Mellow Harmony", to the retrospective "Apple Tree", the feel good "All Together Now", the upbeat acoustic dance vibes of "Only A Step Away", and the dirgey "Among Us" which is right up there with Robbie Williams' "Angels" or "The Day You Went Away" to commemorate the passing of a friend or loved one - it starts off quiet before exploding into a power rock song reminiscent of a Meatloaf ballad with some nice horn riffs towards the end. Definitely one to release as a single in its own right. "Things Are Getting Better" has touches of Yael Naim's "New Soul" to it before going into a tune of its own. Shiraz is clearly a worldly young woman who has learned a number of hard life lessons and now telling the stories through her music.
This is highly edible, intelligent and first class contemporary rock that has the potential to do very well over here and overseas. Just like a bottle of wine that her namesake is, she's gonna get even better with age.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Artist: The Danger Bunnies
Format: CD EP
Released: April 18, 2010
Label: Self Released
Producer: Jeff Lovejoy
Recorded: Blackbox Studios, Brisbane

With the recent press attention this highschool girl dominated pop/rock band has been getting, everybody ought to love the Danger Bunnies. If the world becomes perfect within the next four years they will be even bigger and more memorable than Lady Gaga.
Formed whilst still in primary school in 2005 and led by guitarist/vocalist Indigo Keane, these teenage girls and guy drummer have delivered an EP that's full of cute, quirky but gutsy rock in a similar vein to previous bands I was a fan of like The Dream Poppies and Hot Liquid Sex. Open up with the sulky strutting bubblegum New Wave orientated rock of "Red Black & White" with it's yelled chorus and a gigantic thundering guitar and bass playing complete with some nice 60's garage-r0ck organ, the EP goes quickly into great melodic gems with "Grumpy" about the morning angst after a sleepover party, "Danger" has an urgent rushing sound about knowing where to stand your ground with the girls, whilst "Red Eyes" is about a sympathised allergy to cutesy furry animals. The EP softens up a bit towards the end with "Secret Admirer". In all, it shows a lot of promise for this band. With a good tight professional production courtesy of Brisrock maestro Jeff Lovejoy, and a good doting press it's a good indication that this band has much more to offer in the future. File somewhere next to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, and The White Stripes if you have any of their albums in your collection - the Danger Bunnies deserve such a slot.