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 Quivers, Fenn Wilson, and Kučka. Catch up on all the artists from the series with our Global Beat: Australia playlist.
Quivers - “Hold You Back”
Andrew Khedoori: “I love a band where every member sings, and in perfect harmony. I'm a sucker for the Beach Boys and Teenage Fanclub, bands like that. And now have fallen for Quivers, who started life in Tasmania, but they've since moved to Melbourne. We're talking two guys and two girls coming together in the name of great pop, playing on that classic combination of bright, happy melodies and lyrics with a melancholic tinge as well. That classic combination really emanated from the Beach Boys way back when, but has just held true when done well, for years and years and years.
This new single, “Hold You Back,” just sparkles out of the speakers for me. And then it stomps its way into your ears. Australia's got a really big line role in smart, literate guitar pop, and has for decades, going way back to the Go Betweens. More recently, we've heard the likes of Courtney Barnett ruling the roost with this kind of sound. There are plenty of others in Australia, but for me, Quivers stands out from the pack. Wait till you hear these harmonies roll.”
Fenn Wilson - “Love Again”
“There's that incredible pedigree that Fenn Wilson has. And if you don't know his father Chris Wilson or Crown of Thorns, he was one of the great Australian blues men who passed away in 2019. And he possessed one of the most incredible voices that we've ever heard in this country. And probably I'd say that he's the best voice that Americans have never heard. He had a great solo career here as well. And he was also just so loved for who he was as a person.
Fenn has taken on the mantle of making the blues beautiful again, just like his dad. This new single is dedicated to his mom, after Chris passed away. It's got that classic booming sound. I really hear Roy Orbison in this, and he just knows how to tug at the heartstrings. You'll really need some tissues for this one, so get them at the ready. The universal feeling in this song is just something that everyone feels when you lose love. ‘Will I ever get love again?’ It's a beautiful song.”
Kučka - “Your World”
“Kučka’s real name is Laura Jane Lowther. I met Laura at an Amrap listening session at Australia's biggest music industry conference, Big Sound, about five years ago. I was really impressed by her vocal and production style, which had amazing atmosphere and this future soul vibe about it. It just felt unlike anything else going in Australia at the time, which is amazing for a person who was at the demo stage of their career. Dance and electronic music productions have really come of age in Australia. It felt a lot more tentative years ago. And there's a lot happening here that can take it to the world stage.
I always hoped all those years ago that Kučka would be one of those acts to do that. And here we are. She's since gone on to collaborate with A$AP Rocky, Flume, and Vince Staples. She was living in Western Australia when I met her, and since then she's been living in LA. She's got her new album out called ‘Wrestling.’ And she's got even more great support in her corner with production from Nosaj Thing and one of Frank Ocean’s collaborators, Vegyn. I really like how she's able to get a lot of sweetness and light in her songs, but also pull some really dynamic production out of the box. It's all really catchy and brain bending at the same time, which is something that I love.”