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Introducing Sydney folk-rockers Josh Orange

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Having formed in 2006, Sydney siders Josh Orange have just released their stellar fourth album Midnight Lights . An album that sees this “gang of brothers” hit their musical stride and start to propel them to the forefront of folk-rock artists here in Australia.

Lead single Little Miss America draws inevitable comparisons to the likes of the classics in Tom Petty and Dire Straits, but dig deeper into latest album Midnight Lights and there’s much more goodness to be found for anyone that loves their rock with a folky, alt-rock, rootsy kind of vibe.

We recently had the opportunity to fire some questions the way of the bands singer/songwriter Gordon Burke, read on below for more info into Josh Orange.

In 33 words or less, describe to readers what Josh Orange is all about?
A gang of brothers all striving for the same goal, great songs. We love to make music together and to constantly push our boundaries, to connect with our listeners by sharing our truths.

Ok, so I usually avoid this question – but in this instance I can’t help but ask where did the band name Josh Orange originate from! Especially given you’re a gang of brothers, rather than a solo artist haha!
The band name came about after a rehearsal session, we all went back to the apartment Andrew and Gordon shared at the time in Glebe, Sydney’s Inner West. The name Josh was suggested as a strong name for a front man, but when the little Orange box we kept our special rolling tobacco in was produced, well let’s just say the name Josh Orange came out of the very fluid conversation that followed.

Your new album Midnight Lights was released in February this year. Thinking back to the recording process for the EP, what are some of your most immediate memories of the process, the location etc?
We started the recording in Sydney in early 2020, summer time. Lots of warm days sitting around chatting and basically having a lot of fun, recording as a band, getting Alex Drums and Gavin’s bass, then Covid hit. After that it became very separated, with each of us doing our parts pretty much alone in the studio. Watching Andy (through the window I might add) recording his musical parts and building a landscape around the basic tracks was amazing. To hear the music building around the basic song structures is definitely a lasting memory of this album.

Whilst described as a “folk rock” band, listening to Midnight Lights hints at many different influences. How wide ranging are the musical influences of each member of the band?
I think we all love a good pop song, we often talk about different artists that we admire. Andy and I love the Cure album Disintegration, Alex is a big fan of Metallica. Some of the band names that come up a lot would be The Church, The Sunnyboys, U2, The Verve, Smashing Pumpkins….to name just a few.

Lyrically, what would you say is the greatest inspiration to your lyrics?
Lyrically on this album it has been about telling my truth as best I can, opening myself up as a person and not hiding behind third parties. I have tried to tell my stories in a personal way, show my fears and my hopes. A lot of the songs start in the first person “I”, and that’s deliberate. However, that’s just this album.

The song that was my first sounds of Josh Orange was Little Miss America, tell me more about this track and how it came together?
Little Miss America came about in Nashville in late 2018 on a trip over to Aussie Music Week. I got to spend a night in Kris Kristofferson’s old Nashville Apartment, where he lived in the early years of his fame, that’s where the chord structure came. In Jersey City at the end of the US trip I spent a couple of mornings in an old 50’s diner called Miss America. After observing the waitress and the customers I was struck by the importance her job was making to the older customers that came in each morning. It made me realise she was making a difference, in their lives. A simple smile, a quick chat, a connection. She was a real star, she cared.

With the story-telling aspects to your lyrics and each song, what Movie Soundtrack from the past would have been perfectly suited for the music of Josh Orange?
The one that comes to mind is Dead Man Walking, an absolutely beautiful movie with Susan Sarandon & Sean Penn. I think We’re All On The Run track 8 on the album, could work in there.

Share with us the last album you listened to and the last band you saw perform live?
The last album I listened to (today) was The Doobie Brothers Listen To The Music and the last band I saw live was Dyson Stringer Cloher at the Vanguard.

Looking ahead to the end of the year with much positivity, complete this… 2021 will have been an awesome year for Josh Orange, because…..?
1. We will have seen the back of Covid
2. The new album will get the exposure we absolutely believe it deserves. Album of the Year 2021
3. Back playing lots of live shows and meeting lots of muso’s and music fans.

The band will be performing Midnight Lights at their first full live performance since COVID-19 at Sydney’s Leichhardt Bowlo on Saturday, May 8th.
Tickets are limited and are available now – link to tickets here: https://leichhardtbowlingclub.com.au/gigguide/

More on latest album Midnight Lights…

Josh Orange has been releasing albums since 2015. Their debut collection Songs For The
Journey
started the ball rolling and now seven years later their fourth Midnight Lights has
just been released.

The new album’s songs go from folk-infused rock to country’esque balladry, utilising an accessible mixture of intimacy and universality. With subjects such as relationships, intimacy, escapism, and societal observations explored, the album covers a lot of conceptual ground without ever losing its most vital elements: persuasive performances and refined song writing.

Whether it’s the Dylan, Dire Straits sounding splendour of the opening track Little Miss America or the pensive, reflective air of I Feel Love, Josh Orange has delivered a cohesive, subtly seductive collection of songs that have a sense of vulnerability and endurability about them. Midnight Lights is sure to make a
lasting impact on audiences across the globe, initialising the next chapter in Josh Orange’s soaring trajectory.

This new record comes off the back of several successful singles and features the band’s three AMRAP number #1 breakthrough smashes, I Will Follow You, When Tomorrow Comes and Midnight Lights. Hitting the iTunes top 200 Australian singer-songwriter charts upon release, the new album was also Album of the Week on the ABC, Triple H and in the running for the coveted spotlight on Good Morning Country in April.

The band also landed its first officially curated Spotify playlist, with Lost in the Woods attracting 300k plus spins. The new album’s closing track, the contemplative Three Words, was also recently added. And reaffirming the band’s massive streaming success is the album’s opening song Little Miss America, which has now scored over 54k Spotify streams and added to over 100 playlists. Not only a satisfying array of life-affirming songs, Midnight Lights also affirms the band’s tenacity and thriving creative spirit.

Website: https://www.joshorange.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshorangeband



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Bad Juju Unveil Touching New Single ‘In The Clouds’

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Following on from their critically praised EP ‘You’re Not Alone’, Melbourne-based alternative rock group Bad Juju have just revealed their sentimental new single ‘In the Clouds’ – produced, mixed, and mastered by Callan Orr at Avalanche Studios (Young LionsBad/LoveStepson).

‘In the Clouds’ opens with colourful guitar chords and emphatic drums, as the diverse vocals of Russell Holland guide the melody through calm verses, floating with ghostlike atmosphere, before reaching an impassioned singalong chorus, textured and pervaded with maturity. A vigorous instrumental bridge leads into a heartfelt finale, as the song delivers a poignant message about chasing youthful imaginings.

Holland talks about the meaning behind ‘In the Clouds’:

“The song is about ignoring people who tell you your dreams are out of reach and pursuing your goals regardless of what others say about them.”

To coincide with the release, Bad Juju will be performing launch parties at  at The Workers Club in Melbourne and the Crown and Anchor in Adelaide. This continues on from a slew of shows around Australia, having shared stages with international juggernauts Mayday Parade (USA), along with local heavyweights Trophy EyesYoung LionsDream On Dreamer, and Press Club. The band also performed showcases at BIGSOUND 2018.

Singles off ‘You’re Not Alone’ were widely embraced by SpotifyApple MusicPileratsDepth MagazineThe AU ReviewHysteria MagHeavyMagTone Deaf, and Everyday Metal. Their tracks have also received support from Australian community radio stations 4ZZZ2RRR, and Radio Adelaide. They have been featured as a triple j Unearthed Feature Artist, and their single ‘Moving On’ was added to rotation on triple j. Its accompanying music video recieved support from MTV Upload and ABC’s rage.

In the coming weeks Bad Juju will reveal an accompanying music video for ‘In the Clouds’.

‘In the Clouds’ will be available worldwide on Friday, April 16

BAD JUJU ‘IN THE CLOUDS’
LAUNCH PARTIES

FRI 4 JUN | CROWN AND ANCHOR, ADELAIDE SA
SAT 5 JUN | THEWORKERS CLUB, MELBOURNE VIC

FOLLOW BAD JUJU

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | SPOTIFY | APPLE MUSIC

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Hailmary release first new music in 5 years with new song Raiser

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“Intricate yet accessible throughout, this is music that packs a punch, soothes the soul and reminds you of why you started listening in the first place” – Loud Stuff UK

“Hailmary are an amazingly solid live act, backed by one of Australia’s best vocalists, with the potential to mix it with any of the top tier bands, not only in Australia, but worldwide”. Heavy Mag AUS

Australia has produced some quality hard rock in the last 50 years and that honest, straight up no bullshit rock n roll attitude is still prevalent and very much a part of today’s music scene.  Perth’s Hailmary live and breath it. The blood, sweat and tears, the denim and leather, the wall of sound. Stand in front of this band when they play and you cant help but get moving!

A rock band that makes you remember why you got into it in the first place! Loud guitars, even louder drums, vocals that send shivers down your spine and make you involuntarily raise your fist in the air. 

Hailmary have the goods and are ready to deliver once more!

Listen to their brand new single, Raiser distrokid.com/hyperfollow/hailmary/raiser

Raiser delivers like a punch to the face with its hooky melody, massive guitar riffs combined with the right amount of pounding drums and groove.

Hailmary has been a key figure of Australia’s underground Hard Rock scene for the past decade. They have touring nationwide multiple times, playing festivals across Australia including Rock The Bay, Rock N Load, Brewtality, Wallapolooza and Perth Hard Rock Festival.

Gaining national attention in Australia by winning Best Heavy Rock release in the WAM (West Australian Music Awards) for their debut EP, Lottery Of Life, Hailmary rode the momentum and began touring incessantly.  Releasing EP number two A Million Miles And Days in 2009, the band quickly became national road dogs but also set their goals higher and achieved them with s string of successful US dates. 

Their debut full length, Choice Path Consequence Solution in 2012 saw them release their first music video for Yellow Light Of Death and continue their live assault on the nation, playing every festival and venue possible and earning their reputation as one of the hardest working bands out there.  In 2014 the band released their Navigate The Sunrise EP that saw them undertake an epic 26 date national run.  They also released a video for the track My Song which is now a live favourite for the band and crowd alike.

2016’s Evolve Dissolve EP saw them gain more momentum and lead to the band touring with Ugly Kid Joe extensively all over the UK, as well as playing the Hard Rock Hell festival alongside such acts as Living Colour and Ratt

With a sound so varied in flavours of different rock genres, Hailmary has supported FuelThe Screaming Jets and Superheist

2021 will see Hailmary release a plethora of new material, including a brand new album planned for later in the year.

Follow Hailmary
Web | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

Check out some of the latest Vinyl additions…


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ALBUM PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE: M Hofmann releases debut album ‘Lavender Sleeping’

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Sydney based Indie Rocker M. Hofmann this week is unveiling his debut album Lavender Sleeping and you can hear it exclusively on Rock Lives Here ahead of it’s official release this Friday, 16th April.

Click here to listen on Soundcloud

I’ve had this album on high rotation since it first came through, it’s songs bursting with layers of Heartland Rock and Americana and so incredibly well crafted.

Whilst you are listening to the album, be sure to read through the Track by Track below. Hofmann lays it all bare in his recollections of recording, penning and the inspiration behind the songs on Lavender Sleeping, which focus on themes of relationships, grief, and the rippling effects of mental health.

Hofmann has also announced his album launch show at The Vanguard, Sydney on April 21, details below.

Hofmann teamed up with fellow collaborators Tim McArtney and Charlie Finn to record his debut album, which was mostly tracked live. The first single Feel The Fire from the album was released back in March. The single was premiered via AAA Backstage and received airplay on radio stations nation wide, with a video that really captures the spirit of the song.

Debut album Lavender Sleeping is available on all major online stores from Friday 16, April.

LAVENDER SLEEPING TRACK BY TRACK….

Click here to listen on Soundcloud

OLD HOME

Old Home is a bit of a self encouragement song. The verses are just little reminders to myself that when the depression sets in, things will still be ok. The sun is still shining, the world is still turning, your friends and family are still there, and life will carry on. I am rather cautious of toxic positivity, especially in the mental health realm, and I was initially worried this song would come off cheesy, but I think the simple truths it represents are just enough to get the message across. Initially this song had a real Birds-y chime to it, with a lot of 12 string guitar. But I really wanted this song to feel bigger, even though it’s just two verses and a chorus. David Andrew came in and played organ and synth and piano all over it and with a little slide guitar I think we sent it into a really strong atmosphere to kick the album off with.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY

This was the first song I released as M. Hofmann back at the start of 2020, and doesn’t that feel like an eternity ago now! Actually both this and Old Home were two songs I wrote at the beginning of a super productive writing streak which lead to this album even existing so it’s nice to have them as track 1 and 2 respectively. To me this song fits right into the pocket of ‘my sound’. There’s 12 string guitar, chorus and a lot of reverb, acoustic rhythm, synths, and a strong bass line holding it all together. Johnny Marr is one of my all time favourites so there’s a lot of his influence in there. Lyrically this is a classic break up song, in this case it’s about calling out all of the signs that point to something going nowhere. 

RAIN IN THE SUMMER

You know when you’re dating someone early on, and you’re getting to know each other and everything is awesome and for some reason your insecurities try and fuck with you and make you question everything? Well this song is about that. But it’s also about how two people can create a safe place for each other to feel insecure but then work through it and begin to to trust each other and start to build a life together. 

PERCY STREET

In my experience of grief and loss, I’ve noticed that as time passes and life starts to move on, there will be moments when it all comes flooding back. These moments can be rather random too; disjointed memories, words spoken, scenes long forgotten. Nothing that ties in and forms a complete picture, but rather a series of frames that are there to sit with you in that specific moment. Indeed one of those moments came to me one afternoon and Percy Street was born. 

LAVENDER SLEEPING

If Percy Street is a moment of recollection, then Lavender Sleeping is the morning after the event. This is a song that just fell out of me. I was having one of those moments where it all came surging back to the forefront of my mind and then these six verses came out. And they were the perfect six verses that sum up exactly how I felt the morning after my mum passed away. This song is more of a poem, it didn’t require a chorus or any kind of traditional song formation. It was written exactly as it needed to be, accompanied by a very Smiths-esque guitar hook over three chords. To me this song is the lynchpin of the album. The very centre piece that brings everything else together.

END OF TIME

End of Time rounds out a trilogy of sorts that heavily ties to the previous two tracks. It’s another perspective, actually more leading up to the event than looking back, about preparing yourself in a way for the grief and loss that you know is coming. It might seem strange chronologically having these three songs in reverse after you know what they’re about, but to be honest I really like it that way and it works really well musically. I love all the moments we have on this song, David’s piano and organ parts, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing the guitar parts for this song. It’s an arrangement I really like and I think suits the song perfectly. I almost named the album after this one but it did seem a touch dark!

FEEL THE FIRE

Feel The Fire speaks of someone who is going through the process of deconstructing their worldview, which is something I have found myself doing a lot of as I get older. We all come from times and places that inform our beliefs and I think at some point we have to put those beliefs to the test, to sift through the things we maybe never questioned before.  The idea of ‘feeling the fire’ happens as we grow and learn about the world and those around us. We may have views and opinions that we’ve inherited that don’t sit right, and that can create a friction within us. Once that process starts, then there is a need to reconcile those views with what you have learned. I think that’s just about learning and growing into awareness of what is happening in the world outside of your own little bubble. This song attempts to capture the thoughts and feelings of going through such a process. I was listening to The Stone Roses a lot when we were recording this one. We recorded this in a really short time frame too, my producers and friends Timothy McArtney and Charlie Finn and I played all the rhythm section live on the first day, I over dubbed all guitars and synths the next day, and I may have done vocals that day too? Then we mixed by the end of the week! It was a whole lot of fun. The band and I are loving playing this one live.

ALL ALONG

The second break up song. Sometimes when you are on the receiving end of a break up, you can’t help but wonder if the other person always knew this was going to happen, right? Well that’s the question posed in this song. This is maybe my personal favourite arrangement wise. There’s 12 string, acoustic and an electric guitar hook all moving around each other, we layered synths, piano and Wurlitzer as well. And Charlie’s harmonica right at the end is the perfect send off.

IN THE DARK

One night last year I was just strumming on a single chord for I don’t even know how long, I believe it was an A; I looked down at my phone and realised it was 11.30pm, and so this song was born. This song is just about getting caught in your own thoughts late at night and feeling a touch lost in it all as the questions roll in one after the other. I actually wrote this maybe a couple of weeks before we were due to record the last few tracks for the record and decided that this one had to be included. We kept the arrangement pretty simple and as it started to form I knew this would be the final track on the album. Our good friend and all round gentleman Jy-Perry Banks laid down the luscious pedal steel you hear in the instrumental and bridge.

LAVENDER SLEEPING | ALBUM LAUNCH

Apr 21st – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
W/ Lady Lyon
Tickets available via www.moshtix.com.au | 18+ only




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