March in WA Music: Carla Geneve, Grievous Bodily Calm, Jack Davies + more
In your one-stop guide to the highlights of West Australia's music scene, we also covered new ones by Ghost Care and And Beyond.
The West Australian music scene has well and truly been shining in a lane of its own and its time we shed some light on the talented artists, making their name in and around Perth. Take a look at a few artists we are loving at the moment that are creating sounds that are cleverly defining WA’s music scene.
Carla Geneve - Don't Wanna Be Your Lover
It's hard to find someone quite like Carla Geneve in Australia, let alone just in the western half. Over the last two years, the Perth-based musician has become a go-to for potent, lyrically-powerful indie that often teeters on the side of the genre most gripping and emotionally intense, whether it be through singles like her break-out - 2018's Greg's Discount Chemist - or last year's charming self-titled debut EP, which brought old favourites together with new singles that place Carla Geneve amongst the upper echelon of West Australian musicians bound to dominate the year ahead.
Don't Wanna Be Your Lover is her first single since her debut EP, and it's one that shows Carla Geneve's music simultaneously at its most charged and gripping. It sits on the rock-ier side of Carla Geneve's work, with her powerful vocal in the foreground as thick guitar work and pace-keeping percussion line keeps everything in check. It's an exploration of the grey areas in romance, she says, and with a full-length record expected later this year, we can't wait to hear Carla Geneve tell more stories like these with the gut and heart she constantly brings.
Grievous Bodily Calm - Sync Step
Perth-based instrumental group Grievous Bodily Calm are already favourites of the local live music world, and now it seems like the rest of the country is keeping up too. Last year's Repel EP was a potent seven tracks of driving funk and layered jazz in its most quick-firing and short forms - many of the tracks on the EP fail to hit the two-minute mark, let alone the three - but also it's most long-winding and drawn out, taking the time to layer up melodies and create swelling pieces of art that constantly move with this passionate, charming groove.
Their new single Sync Step - their first in 2020, and their first since Repel's release last year - keeps this continuing. Heavily weighed down by their signature brass sections and the layers on layers of percussion that keeps everything rolling, Sync Step features Grievous Bodily Calm at their most joyful and flowing, aligning themselves more-so within the jazz-centric realm for a track that doesn't just show that captivating instrumental music can still be made in Australia, but that it can also be made pretty damn well too.
Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks - Half Frozen Beer
It's hard to find a songwriter as remarkable as Jack Davies, especially within the 'up-and-coming ones-to-watch' realm. Since his break-out 2018 debut single Vegemite Sandwich, Jack Davies - often joined by his well-named live band - has become a favourite amongst heart-tugging indie-folk and the brilliance that often lays in subtle simpleness, with last year's sound-encapsulating EP Cleaning The Dishes, for example, often seeing Jack Davies' swirling vocals find a home nestled in comforting, warm guitar melodies and strumming movement.
His new single Half Frozen Beer proves that consistency is a thing in Jack Davies' world, with his folk sound feeling its richest as he takes a more calm and collected route with the track, largely keeping things to just his wishful vocal and a stripped-back instrumental layered underneath. Eventually, however, the track opens up to a lush soundscape full of choiring vocals and even a bit of harmonica, capturing Jack Davies at his most lively and animated - despite what came before it. Davies is a national treasure - or, at least, a state treasure soon to find his footings on a greater national scale.
Ghost Care - Midnight
It was just two months back when we last covered Perth indie-rock group Ghost Care, who at the time, were sharing a four-track introduction to the group and their grooves through their debut EP, Outdoor Recreation Centre. "It's four tracks of breezy alt-pop brilliance, with lead vocalist Beau Torrance and vocalist/bassist Tanaya Harper sharing their spotlight with their clear-cut vocals as they swirl and glide amongst guitar-driven rock that teeters on the more indie-adjacent side of things," we said on the EP, which captured the band's work thus far and teased more to come in the year following.
Midnight, which arrived just a month later, unfortunately didn't make it on the EP, and to be honest, we're not too sure why. It's a dancing three-minutes-twenty that takes us back to the charming days of early-10s indie-pop, following in the footsteps of groups like San Cisco and their ability to craft their guitar-backed indie sound into moments of glistening indie-pop, with a heavier emphasis on hooks and lyricism in the spotlight. There's yet another track still to come - their social media has been teasing a single called Oxygen for a while now - and with it, it's clear that Ghost Care are going to be a to-watch band in the year, despite everything going on right now.
And Beyond - Back Then feat. Shadow
Changing pace to Perth's bountiful hip-hop world, And Beyond is someone quickly finding attention. Over the last few years, a consistent stream of singles - eight in 2018 alone, and a further five last year - has set And Beyond as a dynamite duo in Perth's hip-hop world that pairs rapid-pace verses with sharp, snapping productions; the verses Insane the Prince guides us through only becoming amplified and more spectacular when placed alongside productions from his brother and collaborative partner, ZYTGYST.
Their track Back Then is amongst the strongest they've done to date, and it's a track that's almost certain to increase their presence on a local scale, if not national. Featuring Perth hip-hop heavyweight Shadow, the single is a lyrical onslaught that barely takes a breath until it's over, with the pairing's Insane the Prince holding the steering wheel and barely letting go, albeit for an appearance from Shadow to elevate the track to the next level. They've already shared another one, titled Changes, and considering their history, there's no doubt plenty more to come too.