KCRW’s Global Beat is a new series highlighting emerging artists from around the world. We’re kicking the series off with our friends 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 this week’s Aussie artist spotlights on Infinity Broke, Larissa Tandy, and Snowy Band. Catch up on all the artists from the series (plus bonus tracks!) with our Global Beat: Australia playlist.
Infinity Broke is a Sydney band led by a guy called Jamie Hutchings, who to me is one of the most committed and driven artists in Australian rock. And he's been doing it a really long time. Back in the ‘90s, when a lot of indie rock was crossing over into mainstream courtesy of the grunge boom, one of the bands that had a lot of people buzzing in Australian indie circles was Bluebottle Kiss. They were signed to what was then a new offshoot label of Sony Music called Murmur alongside Silverchair. And they did a lot of touring with Silverchair because Daniel Johns was a massive fan of Bluebottle Kiss. And while Bluebottle Kiss might not have had the same stratospheric rise as Silverchair, they had an incredibly devoted following here. And they made a lot of great work that was always nothing less than passionate, searching, and always channeling some really fascinating elements into the rock template.
Now they’re no more, but Jamie has released a string of varied solo albums and also has fronted Infinity Broke for many years now. This is his new outlet for that crunching and crafty rock sound that he helped blueprint with Bluebottle Kiss. The twist is that Jamie Hutchings has quite the touch of poetry about his lyrics. It’s like at some point or another he heard Dylan go electric and went, “Okay, well get a load of this.” Infinity Broke has got a massive motor on them. And this one, “The Slide,” just flies. It's from the new album called “Your Dream, My Jail.” You might get the sense that they take no prisoners as a band. There's so much of this raw-and-ready stuff going around the country, but this one's a recent standout.
Larissa Tandy - “Sirens”
Larissa Tandy hails from rural Victoria, but she's now based in Vancouver, Canada after a stint in Nashville, where she was awarded the prestigious Nashville Songwriter Residency. And that's quite fitting because she's right in the pocket of Americana. I definitely think Larissa Tandy has some Lucinda Williams records in her collection. There's that really easy way that her songs roll out, coupled with a disarming way with words. Apart from “Sirens” being a great song, Larissa Tandy is a really great example of Australian artists who travel further afield to create new pathways for themselves and access different markets.
Snowy Band out of Melbourne have got a really nice, easy sentiment about surrendering to the now. The band features Emma Russack, who originally comes from the south coast of New South Wales, and she's edged out a series of really emotionally bare-bones solo albums of her own. So she fits right into the vibe here.
The U.S. indie guitar underground revival is in full swing here as well. This is from the more modest end of that sound, very humble and very affective in a gentle way, much like those early lo-fi Elliott Smith albums that touched a chord in so many and continue to do so today. I love the modesty of it. Humility in song is something we do well here in Australia, and we can still make a mark with it.