ft. Hayden Calnin, The Strokes, Paul Banks (Interpol) and RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Beth Orton

jamesThe musical hype machine has been working over time with so many long awaited releases happening over the next couple of months. After finally getting the long awaited Radiohead album, The Strokes are back along with a pretty far out collaboration. Now all we need is The Avalanches and Frank Ocean to get their shit together. In the mean time we have the rise and rise of Unknown Mortal Ochestra, Beth Orton’s eclectic beats and Hayden Calnin’s latest tunes to keep us content.


hayden calninArtist: Hayden Calnin

Prime Cut: Ultra-Beast

Cut From: Red Hill, Australia

Flavours Of: James Blake, James Vincenct McMorrow, Bon Iver

Hayden Calnin is an Australian singer/songwriter and although receiving some great recognition in Australia, overseas this exceptional talent is getting all the praise from Consequence of Sound to fellow tastemakers, Stereogum and on the opening vocal of  Ultra-Beast, we are captivated in simplicity and emotion.


the strokesArtist: The Strokes

Prime Cut: Ublivious

Cut From: New York City, New York

Flavours Of: The Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, The Stooges

The hype for the release of new The Strokes material was up there with Radiohead’s release, a band that have built such a cult following the last 10 years, each album delivered broke ground and changed their direction.  It was always the question on where the band would go and what we got was something, well, very “The Strokes”  We are in two minds.


Bank-and-STEELZ-770x470Artist: Paul Banks and RZA

Prime Cut: Love + War

Cut From: Los Angeles, California

Flavours Of: David Bowie, Kanye West, Mos Def

Interpol fans will be unsure, Wu-Tang Clan fans may well ask, “who the hell is Paul Banks or Interpol” . This is 3 years in the making and very different for both artists, what we have is a smashed concoction of ideas that work together and on a few listens, really offers something so unique and in a league of its own. Compelling and boundary pushing.


unknown mortal orchestraArtist: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Prime Cut: First World Problem

Cut From: Portland/New Zealand

Flavours Of: The Avalanches, Twin Shadow, Toro y Moi

Following the release of one of the best debut albums of 2015, Unkown Mortal Orchestra were destined to get better and they have done just that with “First World Problem” (*despite the well intentioned but racist/classist undertones of the name and lyrical theme), giving them another nudge towards the main stage.  The track is ushered in by a surge of rich brass and glittering synths, followed by some of the grooviest, most soulful arrangements we’ve heard from the psych rock outfit.


beth ortonArtist: Beth Orton

Prime Cut: 1973

Cut From: Los Angeles/London

Flavours Of: St Vincent, Cat Power

Beth Orton is the chameleon of Folk music of the main stream type.  From the release of her debut Trailer Park, that showed her raw talent as a purist songwriter, her wonderful musical career has seen her collaborate with some amazing producers like the Chemical Brothers and Ben Watt.  With her collaboration with Fuck Buttons, her new album is another new director for her, 1973 is catchy, lushious electronic track that will again see her stealing some of the lime light back.

*First World Problems, while usually a well-intentioned  self referential term of  – particularly white – people’s privilege in the western world, it comes loaded with uninformed assumptions about the the socio-economical status, lives and challenges of POC all over the world.