Uptown (August 2014)

Alt-Country stylist Gretta Ziller’s story began in a country setting, specifically on the Muddy banks of the Murray River. Ziller spent a great deal of her youth dabbling in Musical Theatre, Jazz, Rock & Classical and enjoyed many household traditions like Saturday mornings spent watching RAGE and Video Hits, all of which fuel her Alt Country stylings to this day. Having come across country music through her sister, who loaned her a Garth Brooks album, she now points to as a defining moment in her journey as an artist. Her vocal stylings often likened to Emmylou Harris to her songwriting gods, Paul Kelly and Steve Earle, Ziller is finding a multitude of welcoming arms for her blend of Country Roots & Americana music. Hunt For Love, the first single from the Hells Half Acre EP is out at radio now and the launch show is only around the corner…one of the artists to watch on the ever growing country music scene.

Gretta Ziller plays The Gasometer, Smith St, Collingwood, on Sunday August 10 from 4:30pm w/- Bill Jackson and The Weeping Willows. More info at www.grettaziller.com.

Often called a poet and a storyteller Queensland’s Marcus Blacke is an artist with the ability to carry listeners closer to things not spoken enough. Never shying away from his inspirations give Blacke his unique sound, a magical touch on the guitar and a magnificent effect on the heart are what people come to his shows for. His new release is due Aug 2014 and to celebrate this wonderful occasion Marcus will be heading down the east coast of Australia for a number of intimate performances. If you missed his last visit to Melbourne, this is your chance to catch the orphean sounds that are Marcus Blacke.

Marcus Blacke plays the Luwow, Johnson St, Fitzroy, on Thursday August 14 from 8pm w/- Andrew Swift. More info at www.facebook.com/marcusblackemusic.

Melbourne five piece, Humans As Animals have announced the release of their debut single, Her Name lifted from their EP, Eukaria. It’s a fun, bold, eccentric number about the dilemmas of dating and sexual relationships. The interestingly husky yet smooth vocals and entertaining lyrics make this a song that will keep playing in your head long after the music has stopped. “Our attraction to the opposite sex puts us in situations previously unimagined. It forces us to bend and mould to positions we never favoured in the past. With the guys set to smash it out in their live set which will include guitar solos, twisted grooves, bombastic bass and then some chords, be ready for a compelling performance.

Humans As Animals play The Evelyn, Brunswick St, Fitzroy, on August 14 from 8:30pm w/- Mercians and Purple Tusks. More info at www.facebook.com/humansasanimals.

A born and bred country gal, Celia Pavey grew up surrounded by music, brought up listening to folk music thanks to her Irish ancestry and having learnt the violin at an early age really did set the scene for this talented young artist, finding her biggest inspirations in her older sister and Joni Mitchell. A young Pavey at only nineteen made the move from Forbes to the bright lights of Sydney to chase her passion for music. Attending AIM in Sydney, Pavey blind auditioned for The Voice, this has led to Pavey having had 4 singles hit the Top 10 on iTunes charts with more success to come. Pavey is bringing her Bodies EP tour to town, this is your chance to see her live.

Celia Pavey plays The Toff In Town, Swanston St, Melbourne, on Thursday September 11 from 7:30pm. More info at www.facebook.com/celiamaypavey.

Starting out as a founding member of Perth music and arts collective The Community and heavily involved in underground hip hop and electronic music since 2004, it’s only more recently that master MC/producer/singer/ genre-bender/song psychologist Mathas is truly beginning to make his mark. 2013 was a massive year for the masterful lyricist, with the emotionally stirring, socially conscious Nourishment – featuring Australia’s newest queen of seductive electro pop Abbe May – leaving lasting impressions. Nourishment also dominated the WAM Song Of The Year competition, winning the Hip Hop and Electronic categories, and ultimately the coveted Grand Prize. The track was then nominated for Single Of The Year at the WA Music Awards and won Urban Act of the Year. Armwrestling Atlas is set to redefine how Australian hip hop is viewed and who listens to it. With a unique style appealing as much to indie kids as future-diggin’ hip hoppers and electronic souls, it’s some next level shiz. It appears that collabs with two of Perth’s biggest names wasn’t enough, the LP’s diverse collaborations including Mei Saraswati, Ylem, Empty and Archi amongst others. And of course the live arena is where Mathas truly stuns. Having wowed the touring likes of Ghostpoet, Shabazz Palaces, RZA, Grey Ghost, Harmonic 313 and Mantra in support mode, Mathas is a hypnotising, natural born performer.

Mathas plays The Laundry Bar, Johnson St, Fitzroy, as an August Residency, every Friday night from 8pm. More info at www.facebook.com/MathasOfficial.

After five years and a hell of a lot of adventures, Howlin Steam Train – a Melbourne institution on the music scene have decided to call it a day. They are thankful for the support they’ve been given, the people who’ve taken care of them whilst on the road and all the amazing bands they have had the pleasure of playing shows with. HST say’s “we have got memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. We are playing our final show at Yah Yah’s and we’d love for you to come down and celebrate all the awesome times we’ve had and to say goodbye to Howlin’ Steam Train”.

Howlin Steam Train play Yah Yah’s, Smith St, Collingwood, on Saturday August 9 from 8:30pm w/- The Strange and Blackwood Jack. More info at www.facebook.com/HowlinSteamTrain.

Jinja Safari co-frontman and East Coast musician, Pepa Knight, has been developing an impressive amount of buzz since launching his own solo venture in early 2014. After accumulating a notable degree of praise for his debut single release – the emphatic Rahh! – Knight has released the follow-up track Clams. Rahh!’ was embraced by worldwide tastemakers and music lovers alike after its release in April, with rave reviews arriving from the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia and even India – via an in-depth interview between Pepa and Rolling Stone India about the writing and recording process behind his debut collection of songs titled Hypnotized. Tantalisingly good tunes, I’m hooked, but then I was from the beginning.

Pepa Knight play Northcote Social Club, High St, Northcote on August 7 from 7:30pm. More info at www.facebook.com/pepaknight.

David Cosma or as he is know to me “DC”, is one of Melbourne’s most respected troubadours with a difference. Uniquely playing the guitar upside down adds to his interesting sound, which at times is somewhere between Zydeco meets Sun Records and Cat Stevens meets Crowded House. With the acclaimed debut album Hanging From Aldo and The Tale EP and the follow up single release all available on itunes, you can find Cosma playing the local joints filling them with his unique sound! Could there be new music on the way? One way to find out is to get along to see him live.

David Cosma & Friends play The Rainbow Hotel, St David St, Fitzroy, on August 23 at 9:30pm. More info at www.facebook.com/DavidCosmaMusic.