KCRW’s Global Beat is a new series highlighting emerging artists from around the world. We’re starting in Australia by partnering with The Australian Music Alliance and the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap), a uniquely Australian organization designed to support Australian music on public radio. KCRW DJ Raul Campos hosts along with Amrap Manager Andrew Khedoori for weekly Aussie artist spotlights.
This week we’re getting nostalgic as our year-long Australian partnership begins to wind down. For our first episode of 2022, we’re doubling our usual offerings with a best-of selection from the series. Our hosts each picked new songs to share with you from six of the standout artists featured over the past year of Global Beat Australia.
Enjoy all of the Aussie jams we’ve gathered for you so far (plus bonus tracks!) on our Global Beat Australia playlist.
The following has been edited for length and clarity.
Miiesha just won song of the year at last year's National Indigenous Music Awards, which is huge for a young artist. To recap, she’s from the small Indigenous community of Woorabinda in central Queensland. She perfectly channels the emotion of soul, gospel, and R&B into her music. She also has a clear eye on the modern experience of being a First Nations Australian. Miiesha delivers everything in a really personal way, but then takes it into this much bigger space. Her material goes down so well, and before you know it, you're grooving away to a song about grief.
Glass Beams - “Mirage”
Instrumentals are not uncommon in the modern vernacular of Australian music. We've got a diversity of influences that you can absorb and deliver in a unique way without featuring any vocals whatsoever. Of the instrumental music projects that we featured on Global Beat Australia last year, a favorite was Glass Beams out of Melbourne. We heard their tune “Taurus” before, which had this real psychedelic overlay and drift about it. Let's have a second bite of the cherry now with the title track from their debut EP “Mirage.”
Hector Morlet’s song “Picture Frame'' clearly captured a lot of hearts on KCRW. When we initially featured him in August, he had about zero profile and just that one song. It’s entirely possible that it was the first song to use a clarinet line as its hook. Very clever, but also just so warm and sweet. It was so irresistible, a bit like early Frank Ocean from out of a bedroom studio. Since then, Hector has released just one more song, the aptly named “Surprise!,” so we had to bring it to you.
We’re such huge fans of what these guys have put together, especially given their origin story. And now we're going into remix territory. We’re all about remixes here at KCRW, and there really is so much to the idea that a piece of music is never 100% finished. You can just do so much with it. This particular remix comes courtesy of beloved LA-based producer meija, and appears as part of Telenova’s latest EP “Tranquilize (Remixes)”.
We shared Logic1000’s sublime breakbeat single “Safe In My Arms'' in early September. Since then, she’s released the EP “In The Sweetness Of You.” We weren’t exaggerating earlier when we professed our love for instrumental tracks. We’ve got another one from that latest Logic1000 EP, and it’s an absolute groover. It’s a bit more on the mellow tip than what you may have heard from her before, but such a beautiful piece of breakbeat.
Looking to the future of 2022, we have to spotlight an artist who previously appeared as a feature on another GBA artist’s track. We were so taken with the voice that appeared on rapper Dallas Woods’ “Stranger.” So we dug a little deeper to find out more about Australian singer-on-the-rise Kee'ahn. Much like Miiesha, Kee'ahn has gained plenty of recognition from the National indigenous Music Awards. It’s no surprise she’s considered so award worthy, given her soulful sound that contains equal parts heart and edge. Please enjoy her gorgeous cover of Moses Sumney’s “Man on the Moon.”