Posts By Sophie Benjamin

Tara Simmons



Tara Simmons –  ‘Domino’

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Forgive me for making  a broad statement, but it seems to me that most  piano-based female singer-songwriters in the 21st Century come from one of three strains:
The Tori Amos strain;
The Missy Higgins strain or
The Imogen Heap strain.

Brisbane singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tara Simmons shows the influence of all of the above (strings from Amos, jazzy phrasing from Higgins, glitchy beats and impressive self-production skills from Heap) but creates music far beyond the sum of her influences.
‘Domino’  is incredibly well-written and arranged, from opening lyrical couplet “So we like a reason so we don’t forget our place/if you lie a little, you might just be getting brave” over lush strings to the killer saxophone solo towards the end of the track.
Just quietly, Simmons is a major talent who is just getting started.

‘Domino’ is from Tara Simmons’ debut album Spilt Milk, which she is launching at Brisbane’s Judith Wright Centre  on the 14th of February.

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The Paper and The Plane



The Paper and The Plane – ‘All That I Had’ (mp3)

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Have you ever loved a band’s music so much that you wanted to live inside it? As wanky as that sounds, that’s  how I feel about Brisbane’s The Paper and the Plane. Described by the ever-reliable Wikipedia as “post-everything”, their music is a blend of atmosphere, angst and honesty that makes me want to slam-dance and sob all at once. The combination of their music and an impressive tour CV listing Brand New, Thrice and Minus the Bear as partners in crime has earned the band a reasonably sized and fiercely loyal cult following.

“All That I Had” is from the TPATP’s first EP, An Introduction. It’s my all-time favourite song of theirs, but their latest EP A Year, Two Months, Sixteen Days and Counting… is also well worth your time and money, especially if you buy the re-released Stomp version with a bonus DVD.

The band play the Pushover festival in Melbourne on the 8th of March.

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Little Birdy – “Brother”


Little Birdy – “Brother”

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Little Birdy have ditched the electro rock. Hooray! The new single “Brother” from their upcoming album Confetti sees them return to their alt-country beginnings, with acoustic guitars and duelling harmonicas courtesy of Paul Kelly. It starts out sounding a bit like that awful “Hey There Delilah” song, but redeems itself once the handclaps come in. I wonder who it’s about?

Little Birdy are handing out a free mp3 of “Brother” to anyone who signs up to their email list. Confetti is due out in May.

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Jackie Marshall

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Jackie Marshall – ‘You Want What I’ve Got’

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I think it’s a crime that Jackie Marshall isn’t nationally revered and living in splendour. When she’s not writing excellent MySpace blogs about being a starving artist, Marshall writes intelligent and articulate folk songs that sound like a less country and grating version of The Waifs.

‘You Want What I’ve Got’ is from her 2006 AMP nominated album Fight or Flight. Please buy it so she can eat.

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Kate Bradley


Kate Bradley – ‘Gold Body’

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Hey guys! Do you remember back in ’07 when US Billboard Magazine named Brisbane as one of the top five unlikely hotspots for new, original music? Do ya?  Well, they did and they also picked singer-songwriter Kate Bradley as an up-and-coming artist to watch.

Her songs are strong, her live performances are great, but both Bradley’s music and personal appearance strongly resemble “Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea” era PJ Harvey. That’s not a bad thing, I really like PJ Harvey, but if you’re one of those music snobs who won’t listen to anything even slightly derivative consider yourself both warned and deprived.

Bradley and her band The Goodbye Horses are the winners of the most recent Toohey’s UncharTED competition, scoring a slot on the 2009 Big Day Out tour.

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