INTERVIEW: Em Gayfer of Rock4Renewables

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yes friends

If you’re out and about in Melbourne you’ve probably been touched by the ambition and grace of Em Gayfer in one sense or another; chances are you’ll recognise them foremost as the vocalist for the fearless Chelsea Bleach, but they’ve put their hand to their fair share of grassroots activism too. This brings us to Rock 4 Renewables, a micro-activism festival to push for renewable energy in Victoria. Far be it from me to explain the whole thing – instead, I spoke to Em recently about R4R’s upcoming gig at The Old Bar on 14 August.

What can you tell us about Rock 4 Renewables?

Rock 4 Renewables is a fundraiser event to raise money for Yes2Renewables – a Friends of the Earth collective. The group has been campaigning in Victoria for over four years to ensure legislation around renewable energy is fair in the state. We’ve been able to get the Daniel Andrews government to commit to repealing the worst of the state’s anti-wind farm laws, as well as commit to a Victorian Renewable Energy Target!

After some major wins, however, this grassroots organisation is running low on funds. We’re calling for Melbourne’s rock n roll community to support us in raising some much needed money so that we can keep working in Victoria to secure a 100% renewable future for the state!

The gig will feature some of Melbourne’s great musical talent, including Huntly, Elizabeth Mitchell (Totally Mild), Brat Farrar and Lalic. We’ll also have a raffle with some amazing prizes going on the night.

How did you get involved in the project?

I’ve been volunteering with Yes2Renwables for over two years. This event will be the second Rock 4 Renewables we’ve hosted – we called on the Melbourne music community to help us out a few years ago in raising some funds, so when we were having financial troubles, it was a good first place to start.

I’ve been volunteering with Yes2Renewables for over two years now and am pretty active in Melbourne’s live music scene. Combining two areas I’m really passionate about seemed like a great solution to me!

What can you tell us about the artists on the bill?

We’ve been lucky enough to secure an absolutely amazing lineup for the event, and just goes to show that Melbourne’s musos are ready to rally behind a great cause. We’ve got Huntly, who describe themselves as “doof you can cry to” and who recently released this amazing EP. Elizabeth Mitchell from Totally Mild will be playing a dreamy solo set, Brat Farrar will be bringing his fuzzy new wave style. Lalic will also be joining us with their experimental psych stylings. And we’ll have DJ Nature Girl playing tunes in between bands, so there will really be no reason to leave the dance-floor!

The event mentions the Victorian state government undertaking “ambitious renewable energy goals”, for the uninformed, can you tell us what these entail?

During Tony Abbott’s prime ministership, the renewable energy sector was dealt a harsh blow, with the national renewable energy target slashed by 20%. This meant that in Victoria, the renewable energy sector was stunted and no new projects were being built due to uncertainty over what would happen in the future.

In light of this, the Yes2Renewables campaign worked hard to ensure the Daniel Andrews government committed to renewable energy in Victoria. The main way to ensure this has been through a Victorian Renewable Energy Target. Recently, the Andrews government announced two renewable energy targets for the state: 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2030 – which is a great step towards transitioning to 100% renewables!

What kind of renewable energy mediums (or methods) is the state government supporting?

Plans for how the VRET will be implemented are still underway so we still don’t know exactly what the state’s renewable energy sources will look like. Their plans show so far that the targets will double the amount of wind energy capacity in the state by 2020 and triple it by 2025, not only increasing the amount of renewable energy but also creating 10,000 jobs which is pretty awesome.

Where to from here?

Victoria’s renewable energy targets are an important step in ensuring a clean energy future for Australia, but there are still a number of other steps to take. The VRET has set a strong baseline for Victoria, but across the country we need to see renewables growing. As well as this, across Victoria, communities have been calling for a permanent ban on unconventional gas (fracking) and are currently awaiting a decision from Resources Minister Wade Noonan, so there are still a number of other environmental threats outside of just increasing the amount of renewable energy in the state that need to be addressed.

Rock 4 Renewables poster

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INTERVIEW: Chasing Paradise with Lucy Roleff

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I’ve met Lucy Roleff a little way down the road from Triple R studios. She’s finished up doing an in-studio performance of her song ‘Every Time’ on The Grapevine with Kulja Coulston and Dylan Bird, and now we’re sitting over our hot beverages of choice, picking through the last couple years of writing and travel that led to the release of her new album, This Paradise.

As someone to sit down and chat to, Roleff certainly doesn’t channel the crystal fragility that comes through on a lot of her records. Lively and seemingly constantly amused, she’s honest and self-deprecating about her musical career to the point where you could be tricked into thinking she isn’t making some of the best folk music around. She carries a small notebook and pen neatly tucked into a plastic sleeve, possibly a home for the many illustrations that find their way into watercolours and drawings on her blog, but today we’re together to talk about her new record.

This Paradise is a considered and deeply rewarding album, and while Roleff is clearly a passionate musician, a life lived through records and microphones in the traditional album cycle sense isn’t something she’s interested in being defined by. This Paradise is composed of songs of varying ages; the longest and most verbose on the record, ‘Two Children’, is around five years old, having been written around the same time as songs that eventually showed up on her 2013 EP, Longbows.

‘They just kind of trickled together over time, and then when I knew I was going to record the album that’s when I had to sit down and go, “which songs am I going to use?”. I think I had eleven songs all together…one of them was really recent; I wrote it when I was learning the harp. It was kind of a mix of years of songs, going back through the back catalogue.’

Roleff says she isn’t prolific, but later tells me a story about how she came across binders lying in some disused part of her closet, holding songs from different periods of her life. Songs about boys, ditched partly in an effort to create a stronger voice for herself, but also to stop getting teased; songs about esoteric concepts, songs about Dalmatians, even. This Paradise sounds like a consolidation of these binders (without the boys and Dalmatians, though). It skips through varying phases of life and the concerns held within. Whether or not the album is going to go the way of those dusty old binders – shuffled away within a closet, to be discovered later in life as a time capsule of these past few years – Roleff isn’t sure.


During the recording of This Paradise, Roleff and producer Tony Dupé (Holly Throsby, Jack Ladder, Sui Zhen) made use of an old hall built off a house Dupé once inhabited. Apparently it had been used as a kindergarten at one point or another, a bathroom to the side equipped with tiny basins and toilets for the little ’uns, which Roleff described as ‘really spooky’. Over the course of three days they recorded vocals and guitars, Dupé often pausing their focus so they could go for a walk to browse the local Salvos or watch YouTube videos.

Roleff says the space itself found its way onto the recording – ‘Especially on songs like ‘Haus’ and ‘This Paradise’, which are kind of meant to be lofty and enormous. We had a lot of mics set up around the room, getting the ambience.’ The use of the hall didn’t stop there; electronic guitar and bass were pumped into the room through an old amplifier and re-recorded by Dupé.

This Paradise is, in large part, carrying on the influences established on Longbows: European art and literature have a major influence here.  Roleff says, ‘[its] the idea of tradition, I suppose. Or maybe because of my classical training I’m drawn to strange intervals or whatever. I never try, I’m never like –’ putting on her best stuffy musician-academic voice for effect – ‘I’m gonna make it really interesting and weird so people think I’m cool – “it’s so Motzartian, Wagner was a big fan of this method” or whatever’.

That European influence is homegrown, too. Sandwiched between a German dad who still bursts into operatic song at the kitchen table, and who Roleff describes as being ‘pretty damn German’, and a Maltese mother, Roleff says her upbringing in Melbourne’s Ferntree Gully didn’t expose her to the Anglo culture that dominates the childhoods of many Melburnians.

‘Growing up, family was our friendship group. My parents never really had friends outside of our family. My cousins and I are basically siblings; raised in each other’s households, that whole thing. That seems to be a European thing, especially when they’re immigrants.’

I ask whether a song off the record, ‘Haus’, is inspired by her childhood home, but its genesis was more a conceptual place than a lived one – ‘kind of the sense of being trapped in [an old house]. In the verses I talk about the decaying house and the lushness of the garden, but in the chorus it talks about there being a gate, so there’s a way out.’ Roleff’s style isn’t totally owing to Europe, though. She tells me that ‘Haus’ is also inspired by the 1977 Nobuhiko Obayashi film Hausu, a psychedelic horror freak-out in which a house tries to devour a group of Japanese schoolgirls.

Unlike her father, who still performs in choirs at the age of 82, Roleff doesn’t find herself inevitably drawn to the stage as a performer. ‘I just…don’t. I don’t wake up in the morning and need to go play a show. The music is the end goal for me. I like [performing], I definitely get a kick out of it, but I need to be pushed to do it. Maybe because I’d been doing it since I was a kid I got fatigued…When I think about that road-dog, rock-show kind of lifestyle, I get deeply despondent.’

This Paradise has roots in those burnt out and anxious feelings. On the title of the record itself, Roleff explains, ‘I went through a lot of anxiety, and when I was going through that I got confused about what “real happiness” was. The word “paradise” would get thrown around, and I would just think, “what does that even mean, I never feel that”. I think it was about touching on that and getting an idea of what it was, or a reflection of it. It’s elusive.’


Lucy is launching her new album This Paradise at The Gasometer Hotel on July 28th.

This Paradise is out on Lost and Lonesome Records.

Facebook / Bandcamp

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MAP – January 2016

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Here’s another round of new tunes from our blog friends around the globe. White Lodge is our Australian submission this month, serving up some loose vibes with their track ‘Bleach Coma’.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 15-track compilation through Dropbox here.


ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Sebasti·n KramerAbsolutos Principiantes

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2016 started with sad news about the passing of rock legend David Bowie, so we thought it would be a good time to share this cover of Absolute Beginners. It was recorded 10 years ago by Sebasti·n Kramer, former member of Jaime Sin Tierra, for a Bowie tribute album by independent netlabel Licor de Mono. Long live the Thin White Duke!

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
White LodgeBleach Coma

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Brisbane four-piece White Lodge have been busy the last few years, touring Taiwan with acclaimed Taipei-based band Forests, and supporting the likes of The Growlers and Thee Oh Sees on tour. Their latest single, Bleach Coma, serves up equal parts Brylcreem, surf scuzz and a dose of relentless psych-garage peddling. When artful balladry or an experimental noise opus just doesn’t cut it, White Lodge proves you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to have a good time.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Elza SoaresMaria Da Vila Matilde

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Maria Da Vila Matilde is one of the strongest tracks on A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo, the acclaimed album released by Elza Soares in 2015. At 78 years old, this is her 34th album. This song has an experimental approach of samba, rock and jazz, and lyrics about a woman rising against domestic violence.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
MerivalA Better Deal

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First Rate People’s Anna Horvath is releasing solo music under the moniker Merival. You may recognize her voice from Swim Good’s song Since U Asked, which was featured in Ryan Hemsworth’s label Secret Songs and remixed by Star Slinger a while back. Now swing back with the gorgeous folk tune A Better Deal.

CHILE: Super 45
Oso El RotoOrdenacion

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To define Oso El Roto in a musical genre may be problematic. At the same time, it’s one of the best indications that we have something interesting on our hands. In Ekeko, his most recent record, Oso El Roto aka David Loayza is loyal to his own lo-fi style, developed during the 90s, which is characterized by absurdity, madness and childishness, and all amplified in his bizarre live shows. Ordenacion (featuring Dadal˙) is brand new for 2016.

(Listen to the full playlist below). 



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MAP: December 2015

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JAALA_2_Jess Gleeson

2015 is done, and it’s been an excellent half-decade for tunes from all our MAP friends around the world. Our final submission for the year comes from the delightful Cosima Jaala who’s almost left Mangelwurzel in shadow with the debut record from her solo project, JAALA

On the subject of solo projects, if you’re wondering where Operator Please fizzled out to since temporarily insulting everyone’s musical memory with that song ten years ago, lead singer Amanda Wilkinson has has relocated to Glasgow and popped up as Scotland’s MAP pick this month – teaming up with Dananananaykroyd drummer John Baillie Jnr for a Christmas cover.


Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Rubin y Los SubtituladosAdiós, Torino

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This year marked Zonaindie’s 10th birthday, so for this last MAP of 2015 we wanted to share a track from Rubin y Los Subtitulados’s first album, Esperando El Fin Del Mundo, which was released during our first year as a music blog. Adios, Torino is a beautiful ballad and one of our favorite songs by this great songwriter from Buenos Aires. We recommend all of his discography, which is avaliable on Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
JaalaSalt Shaker

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Salt Shaker is the second single from Melbourne art-punk Cosima Jaala’s debut album, Hard Hold. It tracks the troubles Jaala has coming to grips with her upbringing in a far-flung suburb on Brisbane’s coastal fringe. The lyricism of this track is emblematic of the raw earnestness you hear across the entire album, with Jaala seemingly pulling melody out of thin air. The unpredictable spikes and troughs keep you engaged throughout, as if you needed any more reason other than her finely executed vocal gymnastics. The track is a refreshingly honest account of a troubled time that avoids indie tropes and turns complex emotions into a beautiful song.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Alice CaymmiComo Vês

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Como Vês is the opening track of Alice Caymmi’s 2014 album Rainha Dos Raios. Born into a family of famous musicians, Alice is surrounded by some of the most prominent artists in Rio de Janeiro and contributes to Brazilian pop music (known as MPB) with contemporary electronics and experimentation.


(Listen to more songs below)


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LOOK: Meredith Music Festival 2015

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Words by Meredith Music Festival punters, compiled by ALLEE RICHARDS

Photos by BEC CAPP

* * *

Friday, 9AM.

“Where are you camped?”



“How have you been?”

“Where are you camped?”



“Hey, how are you?”

“Good, but I just saw someone I went on a Tinder date with, and I’m trying to ignore them. Where are you camped?”



“Hey, where are you camped?”

“It’s a good spot, and we’re next to this guy I have on Tinder. I hope he doesn’t recognise me, but still finds me hot in person.”



“Where are you camped?”



“Is it time for lunch yet?”



“Ah, so fresh.”

“I love oysters.”

“Smoked trout, what a delight!”

“Crostinis, cute!”

“Where’s the Prosecco?”

“I love your fur.”

“That’s not Prosseco, that’s sparkling shiraz!”


“Are we ready for the pork?”

“Why are we playing the second movement? It has to be Spring!”


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“I’m so full I can’t stand.”

“Beer is going down very badly.”

“I don’t think a four course meal was a good idea after all.”





(more below)


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LOOK: Paradise Music Festival 2015

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Photographs by Nelson Armstrong and Bec Capp


If you thought the barrage of FOMO-inducing photos on of picturesque Lake Mountain was over – then shame on you. Good things take time. You should have known that we’d post our Paradise Festival photos a week later than everyone else with these film photos capturing moments of bliss, tinies and 90s latex cameos.

Film takes time to process, and so does the brain to process memories. The week after a festival, (especially one with a club) can be a rough one. Congrats to those who did attend. You made it. Thursday was a particularly shit one for me. Now that I feel good again the memories feel even better.

For those of you who did attend, maybe you will find your face in the crowd, maybe not. Either way you will look back with nostalgic warmth on the weekend that was. Maybe you are traumatised from lugging heaps of unnecessary crap up a mountain. Perhaps you only remember watching hippies making bubbles and wondering why club kids wear white at a festival.

Or maybe you don’t latch on to the negatives. I remember watching an unbelievable sunrise on Saturday morning that I wasn’t able to photograph with justice – and don’t have a big enough vocabulary to describe. Maybe it was dancing in the afternoon sun to Totally Mild and The Harpoons and thinking that everything in the world was alright. Whatever it was, this three-year-old baby of a festival is located in the most picturesque setting.

Paradise Festival is truly unique and will continue to do great things for local music. For those who missed out this year, the feeling that you could/should/would have attended will only intensify as Paradise grows older.


See you in 2016.



Check out our previous Paradise photo essays, here and here.


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See full photo set below.



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Craft is transient, as are its makers. When the creative hunch strikes, it’s not uncommon to move as far as we can from familiarity – but more often than not, we seem to return back to the places from where we begin. We spent a day driving around suburbia with Melbourne based alt hip hop group RaRa for our new ‘Suburbs’ series, which aims to shine a light on local musicians and their ongoing relationship with the places where they live.

Nestled in the cosy suburbia that is Melbourne’s inner east is Doncaster; more commonly known to locals as ‘Donny’. A leafy, working class suburb bordered by Eastlink and the Yarra, ‘Donny’ is marked by prams, modified Commodores and rendered 80s brick family dwellings with sloping double carparks.

Middle class Pleasantville seems miles from the the stomping ground where you would have expected RaRa’s slanted genre-bending hip-hop to have taken shape. But from what we saw driving around the neighbourhood; touring empty swimming pools, wandering into unused houses that were former party sites and visiting the family homes the boys still reside in – even if the four boys claim they’re “from another planet”, this will still be home.

Director / Film: Anthony Juchnevicius

Photography: Bec Capp

Animation: Nelson Armstrong

With thanks to: RaRa, Bec Capp, Annie Toller, Oscar McMahon

Featuring: RaRa (Ll’vo, The Lovely Me, KL, River Deep)


RaRa are launching their new EP Planet 2016 at Shebeen in Melbourne on the 19th of December, supported by ESESE & friendships.

Planet 2016 is out now via Zero Through Nine.

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