Top Ten EPs of 2021

Delving into a given year’s finest EPs often feels like gazing into a crystal ball for a brief glimpse of the future. It’s with releases such as these that many up and coming artists first make their mark on the world and become the name on people’s lips. It’s often here that the brightest stars of tomorrow are forged, and so this list in particular is one of our favourite ways to sing the praises of the wealth of talented new artists on the scene, alongside outstanding projects from old favourites. Continue reading

Top Ten EPs of 2020

The medium of choice for rising stars, an invaluable tool for up and coming artists, EPs are the oft overlooked lifeblood of the music industry. It’s always been our most hotly contested list as the wealth of great EPs often represents the very best and brightest new acts on the scene. In a music industry decimated by Covid-19 however, these artists are amongst those hardest hit. So as we reel off our favourite EPs from our least favourite year, if you stumble across a release that resonates with you, we ask that you do your bit to support the artists in whatever way you can. Continue reading

Interview: Tiny Castle

tiny castle 2It’s safe to say that 2020 doesn’t have a lot going for it. That does mean however that each little oasis of joy and beauty that we stumble upon in this monumental clusterfuck of a year feels all the sweeter. There’s plenty of great new music despite everything, and one of the finest escapes I’ve stumbled across in the past six months has been the brilliant debut EP from Australian indie quartet Tiny Castle. Blending post punk rhythms, retro synths and slick indie hooks, Perspectives is the kind of record that takes everything you know and love and serves it up on a silver platter. I fired a few quick questions over to Chris from Tiny Castle to find out how their stunning first EP came to life. Continue reading

Spotlight!: Tiny Castle

tiny castleA lot of time and energy in the music world is devoted to finding something fresh and new. While it can certainly be a thrill to find a band that breaks the mold, I believe there is an undervalued charm in familiarity. Encountering a new act is a first meeting of sorts after all, and there are few greater pleasures in life than meeting someone new and falling into a natural rhythm. That moment when you and a total stranger are so perfectly tuned in to the same wavelength that you suddenly feel like you’ve both known each other for years. The debut EP from Brisbane based indie quartet Tiny Castle evokes that same sensation. Perspectives doesn’t feel like a first meeting, instead it’s as warm and familiar as a record that you’ve grown up listening to. It leaves you feeling nostalgic for some alternate history where the EP was the soundtrack of your youth.

‘Black Dove’ ascribes to The Cure’s school of being equal parts sweetness and sadness, reflecting on past love and enveloping the listener in gorgeous melodies, while frenetic synth driven rocker ‘World’ is the perfect soundtrack for hurtling down an empty highway faster than your demons can follow. The bright balladry of ‘Composure’ and ‘Madeline’ make you want to slow-dance around the room, ‘I’m Like A River’ is reminiscent of The Killers as it blends the synths with a dash of Americana, while closing track ‘Sentimental Holiday’s robust bass line, emphatic drums and light snappy riffs reminds me of The National. Perspectives is a swirling melting pot of everything from 80s AOR and post punk to modern indie and alternative.  It never feels like a Frankenstein’s monster of styles however, rather a spectrum of colour combining into a brilliant white light as the band craft a sound all their own. Even on first listen it feels like they’ve already been one of your favourite bands for years and you just didn’t know it. This Tiny Castle just feels like home.

Fans of The National, The Cure, Holy Holy and The Paper Kites should check out Tiny Castle’s debut EP Perspectives

Top Tracks: Tiny Castle – Composure

Brisbane’s Tiny Castle are back with a brilliant new single. From the frenetic retro rocker ‘World’, this new release leads you in a different (but no less stunning) direction. ‘Composure’ is a gorgeous anthemic ballad that once again makes superb use of vintage 80s synths, but this time also drawing from the new romantics and classic indie to create a tender-hearted atmosphere. The way the ballad builds towards a cathartic guitar solo at its conclusion reminds me of Journey’s ‘Who’s Crying Now’, albeit with a more loving vibe. Lyrically ‘Composure’ lives up to its name, as the track is concerned with taking a step back to be able to look at hardships with the necessary perspective to endure them. Musically however it feels more like a slow-dance at the end of the world, offering a feeling that the storm that rages around you can do its worst so long as you can look into the eyes of someone that loves you. It offers the refrain of “I don’t ever wanna drag you through hell”, but the flipside of love is the willingness to walk through hell regardless for the chance to lend a helping hand.

Top Tracks: Tiny Castle – World

I keep an ongoing list of standout songs of 2018 as the year ticks by, but in the end the best song on the list boils down to whichever track most makes my heart sing when I hear it. ‘World’ is one of the first major contenders for that title. Aussie outfit Tiny Castle are on par with some of the best Australian bands going right now, and given the high standards I’ve seen in recent years that’s no mean feat. ‘World’ combines the retro 80s synths and airy atmosphere of The Paper Kites with the soaring indie riffs of Holy Holy, and with some truly electrifying drums thrown in for good measure. A song all about not wasting your energy on negativity, that surplus spark is channelled into making this track an intoxicating thrill ride, like some high-speed chase along shimmering neon-lit highways. It’s the kind of song that makes you feel invincible; bursting with technicolour life and an inescapable aura of joy.