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 You Am I, Jack Ladder, and Holiday Sidewinder. Catch up on all the artists from the series (plus bonus tracks!) with our Global Beat: Australia playlist.
You Am I - “The Waterboy”
Andrew Khedoori: “You Am I is one of Australia's most loved bands, and they have been for about three decades. But despite having a really good crack at it, they never got much due in the U.S. ‘The Waterboy’ is from album number 11. … They also toured the U.S. a little bit with The Replacements, who were very much kindred spirits. If you know that band, You Am I’s sound springboards from the classic ‘60s, ‘70s rock template. They tear a lot of pages out of those songbooks.
One of the things that's always made this band stand out is frontman Tim Rogers. He's got a real larkin-style energy to his rock and roll. But more importantly, his lyrics paint character and place with a lot of heart. He's not afraid to let you into his personal world and he would probably just love to share a beer with you and rock out with you, as well. And that's his charm.
And that's a big part of the band's enduring appeal here for so long. Their new album is called ‘The Lives of Others.’ It's been a long time coming, and it's also seen them at the top of the charts here yet again, and deservedly so, because this is their most inspired and expansive set of songs in ages. The first song released is called ‘The Waterboy.’”
Jack Ladder - “Astronaut”
“Not to be confused with the lead singer of You Am I, this artist is also named Tim Rogers. Way back when, he decided he better get an alias. He’s super tall, so he decided to name himself Jack Ladder. But more importantly, he's got the best baritone this side of Nick Cave.
And he's also got one of the best bands backing him as well. One of the members that he's got in his band The Dreamlanders is Kirin J. Callinan, who's carved out a singular solo career in his own right. He's currently also doing time with rapper Genesis Owusu. Previously, Jack Ladder has done a really lush duet with Sharon Van Etten. And he's played in the live bands for Alex Cameron, Weyes Blood, and Bill Callahan.
Jack Ladder has got a new album on the way called ‘Hijack.’ ... What really gets me about these new songs is how personal they feel. We're getting right down to the core here. But at the same time, there's an otherworldly atmosphere that puts these songs into a different orbit. The Nick Cave comparison really ends with his voice, but if you love someone who takes that Phil Spector wall of sound and then shoots it into space without losing those classic elements, I think you'll be really fascinated and really charmed by Jack Ladder.”
“Holiday Sidewinder comes from strong entertainment family stock. Her mom is actor and singer Lo Carmen, who also based herself in Los Angeles for a while. She was in a classic Australian film called ‘The Year My Voice Broke’ with Noah Taylor, who also happens to be Holiday’s godfather.
Holiday used to be in a band called Bridezilla who did a really nice line in sweeping romantic pop. Now she's two albums into her solo career. She keeps things nice and swoony, but it's a lot more starry-eyed on this record. It's called ‘Face of God,’ and it's produced by Nick Littlemore from Empire of the Sun, who's helped get these songs really slinky and dreamy. For me, it's like a rich dessert that you can't get enough of.”