ONE-TIME Newcastle musician Mojo Juju has never been afraid of testing new musical frontiers.
She’s done everything from punk and cabaret with her rotating Novocastrian outfit The Snake Oil Merchants to jazz, swamp blues and soul through her two-album solo career.
The Melbourne-based Juju has taken another radical turn, teaming up with Novocastrian producer Jamieson Shaw, for a funky dance number, Think Twice.
Shaw has been in hot demand since working as senior music editor on Baz Luhrmann’s ill-fated Netflix series, The Get Down.
Only a small sample of the single has been released, but Think Twice shows Juju embracing back beats and a more contemporary pop vibe. Think Twice will be released on August 1, followed by her third album in 2018.
To celebrate the new single Juju is doing her first national tour in a year and she performs at her old stomping ground, the Cambridge Hotel, on August 25.
NEWCASTLE multi-instrumentalist Alex Knight, aka Brightness, could potentially break into the massive American indie market after receiving a rave album review from highly-respected US music site Pitchfork this week.
Knight’s first album Teething received a 7.4 rating out of 10 and reviewer Shaad D’Souza wrote,“It’s a dry, beautiful debut that pushes beyond ’90s indie rock trappings and into rougher, more interesting terrain.”
Knight said he was “in high spirits” following the review. However, it might be more than his spirits that soar following the glowing praise.
Pitchfork is the world’s most popular online indie music-focused publication and boasts a daily readership of 240,000.
END FOR BEN
FORMER Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies has launched into the final stages of a new solo album he hopes to release later this year.
The 37-year-old was back home on Monday to attend his wife Jackie Gillies’ civic ceremony at Fort Scratchley where she received the key to the city from Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.
Gillies flew to Byron Bay following the reception to add the finishing touches to his debut solo album. It follows his previous post-Silverchair release with former act Bento.
BOO SEEKA TOUR
THERE aren’t many more hotly-anticipated local releases for 2017 than Boo Seeka’s long-awaited debut album Never Too Soon on August 4. Naturally, the electronic soul duo’s accompanying album tour is equally anticipated.
Newcastle’s Ben Gumbleton and Sydney producer Sam Croft are hitting the road in spring and perform at the Cambridge Hotel on October 21. Last year Boo Seeka sold out the venue, so expect history to repeat.
RAAVE Tapes like taking indie rock into places it rarely sees the light of day.
Last year they launched their self-titled debut EP at renown dance nightclub the King Street Hotel. The venue sold out and punters were lined up in the street.
On August 20 The Newcastle three-piece are taking their music to arguably the city’s most iconic nightclub, Argyle House or as we remember it, Fanny’s. Raave Tapes aren’t going alone. The evening will feature music across three stages from 20 acts.
ADELAIDE roots musician Kelly Brouhaha has sacrificed plenty to follow her dreams.
In the three years since her last release, Brouhaha has left an unhappy marriage and her mortgage behind to travel around Australia, sleeping in her van while on tour.
Brouhaha’s van rolls into Hamilton’s The Commons next Thursday where she’ll unveil her new single As Long As There’s A Smile.
AMERICAN melodic hardcore band Outline In Colour are coming to Islington’s Small Ballroom on September 24, the final show of their seven-date Australian tour.
The five-piece from Tulsa spectacularly sacked their vocalist K.C. Simonsen in December and outlined alcohol abuse and his accusations of financial mismanagement by other band members as reasons for his departure in an incredibly detailed and honest Facebook post.
Outline In Colour have since reunited with their original vocalist Jonathan Grimes.
DIRECT HIT MADE
OUTLINE In Colour aren’t the only angry young American band coming to Newcastle this spring. Milwaukee punk quartet Direct Hit will play the Hamilton Station Hotel on September 1 with Ebolagoldfish and Hack The Mainframe during their first Australian tour. The prolific rockers have recorded five albums since 2012, including this year’s Domesplitter and their first internationally-successful release Wasted Mind (2016).