Riley Pearce, Spacey Jane, Ah Trees + more: Covering a stacked week for Perth music
WA music has always shined, but with Australian music growing stronger and stronger every week, here's our chance to remind you of that.
Some big names in music have made their way through the past few weeks, including the likes of Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Although we love to keep up with these artists and the releases they are throwing around, we also know how important it is to shed light on the music that’s coming out of Australia. It’s that time again where we take a brief look at some specific songs that are circulating the West Australian music scene and reveal what we have been loving and why we think you should be too.
Riley Pearce – Free Coffee
Young alt-folk artist from Perth Riley Pearce is humbly spreading his sound and growing as a musician and has been since a young age. With respect to the industry and those around him, he would learn by busking at farmers’ markets and taking the stage at open mic nights, wooing audiences with his honest songwriting. It’s clear he’s making his way after hitting over 19 million plays on Spotify with his track Brave (an emotionally powerful tune that will hit you in all the feels) as well as being featured on two US TV shows. Now, after touring Europe last year, Riley Pearce has revealed his new four-track EP, The Landing Songs, which features recent single, Free Coffee. This opening track is comforting and features Pearce’s warm vocals accompanied by a steady drumbeat and melodic guitar that can be compared to the likes of Ziggy Alberts or Matt Corby. The entirety of the EP is all about coming to terms with experiences that can’t be altered with Pearce explaining that “the four songs on the EP follow the process of accepting you have a problem, realising there are things in your life you can’t control, finding the thing to smile about when things go wrong and finding something therapeutic in your life to keep you balanced.”
Spacey Jane – Good Grief
This four-piece band of mates from Freo have grown incredibly and have made sure to keep the ball rolling. Spacey Jane began three years ago, when two best mates, Kieran and Caleb found their passion for music again and then welcomed in Ashton and Meils. With about 58,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and a number of places on festival lineups, they’ve definitely come a long way since their first gig in Caleb’s backyard. On top of this, they’ve become known for selling out shows around Australia and are slowly realising just how big of audience they truly have. With the success of 2017 single Feeding the Family and 2018 single Cold Feet, comes their latest release, Good Grief, a track that has that classic Spacey sound. The melodies ringing out from the electric guitar resemble those found in many Australian rock songs while the tempo creates a calm and content atmosphere. Singer and frontman, Caleb says this track was supposed to be written at a previous time but didn’t feel right until now, saying “It feels like it's about how the further I get away from parts of growing up that I don't like so much, the better I get at seeing how they shaped me for the better.” With a tour around Australia kicking off on May 9th at Jive in Adelaide, it’s clear these Fremantle friends have big things in store.
Ah Trees – Shark Bait
Another Perth band on the rise that’s becoming known for their unique and dreamstate-like sound is five-piece Ah Trees. Their sound is like a mega-mashup of Tame Impala’s distortion and hazy at times melodies while incorporating vocals that reflect that of Arcade Fire’s Win Butler. Since their beginnings in 2015, their sound has moulded into a neo-alt-rock/post-punk combination that resembles that of early 90s bands. The eeriness that shines through their latest track Shark Bait is empowered by the use of reverb and almost creates a feeling of being trapped or sucked into the unknown. Ryan Adair, the frontman of Ah Trees has revealed that the meaning of Shark Bait is all about the “age of fear” we are living in: “Shark Bait is all of this burning venom sharpened to a point, a middle finger to all that ails us. The music is aggressive and fast, the urgency of our impending demise is not lost on us, but neither is our willingness to fight, and that's the message we finish with. They will attack, we will fight back. The time for metaphors is over, choosing life isn't politics, it's just wanting to live”. Be sure to catch these guys as they play on May 31 at The Bird in Northbridge.
Jamilla – Bloom
Elegantly powerful in her words, Jamilla is setting her self up as a strong player in the music industry game, daring anyone to try and tell her she’s “not good enough,” just so she can prove them wrong with tracks like Bloom. Before we even hear her silky voice, listeners are welcomed by this iconic interview starring Nina Simone, who promotes and enforces black culture and identity. It’s a clever moment that teases listeners and prepares them for what Bloom is about, which according to Jamilla, “is a track that has changed and formed in different ways over the last three years and has become a way for me to educate and inform the people around me, without having to do it too often in my personal life.” She is melodically stepping up and embracing her roots using inspiring samples and alternative R&B beats, and with a simply influential music video to accompany it (directed by SAKIDASUMI), Jamilla’s Bloom is a defining moment in her career. Jamilla is set to tour the nation supporting Tijuana Cartel across Australia at 17 shows across the country.
Your Girl Pho – Five-Thirty PM
Another major representative from the west coast is the big ball of energetic jazz Your Girl Pho. The alter-ego of Phoebe Gunson is becoming so well known for the number of producers and collaborators itching to work with her. Her sassy and contagious attitude, accompanied by her incredible vocal range, which she shares through looping, is a major part of what makes her such a talent. Her latest release is Five-Thirty PM a track that allows her soulfully funky vocals to shine over a bouncy electro-pop backing that is bound to get listeners leaving this one on repeat. Playing as a three-piece band with drums and saxophone, Your Girl Pho will be performing at three shows in Sydney, Melbourne and finishing in Perth.