ummer might be be over, but Gold Fang is still bringing the heat with his blistering debut mixtape, ‘Smoove Killa’. The 15-track Caribbean fever dream is due out independently on March 24, the same day Matt Corby will send his fans into a trance with his blissed-out third album, ‘Everything’s Fine’. Meeting in the middle is Mo’Ju, whose fourth album, ‘Oro, Plata, Mata’ balances transcendental tunes with lacerating lyrics.
- READ MORE: The Big Read – Ruel: “I don’t set myself goals ever. I just do everything when it comes and feels right”
Later in March, we’ll hear belting punk anthems from Dust and Private Function, plus the rich and textured third album from Flyying Colours. Those, too, come on top of the long-awaited debut album from Ruel – the arena-worthy ‘4th Wall’ – and another set of indie-pop bangers from the fast-rising festival favourites in Teenage Dads.
There’s plenty more to keep an ear out for in March, but as a musical tasting plate of sorts, these nine records all offer unique sounds and bewitching experiences; crank up the speakers and tuck in…
Over the course of his first three EPs, the NME Australia cover star solidified himself as one of the most exciting up-and-comers in Australian pop.
‘4th Wall’ doesn’t see him revel in the space he carved out, but rather dive miles deeper, perfecting the most gripping corners of his musicality – from the sticky sweet sheen of ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Like You’ to the heart-wrenching balladry of ‘Lie’ – and making it crystal clear: Ruel is one of a kind, and his elevation to the status of arena-packing pop star is well deserved. Ellie Robinson
Ruel’s ‘4th Wall’ is out March 3 via RCA Records / Sony Music Australia.
Refining the jaunty, synth-tinged indie-rock flair that steered their 2021 EP ‘Club Echo’, Teenage Dads approached its follow-up with a sharper sense of clarity.
- READ MORE: Teenage Dads on ‘Club Echo’, “a coming-of-age record, but with a different perspective than a cliché ’90s film”
On ‘Midnight Driving’ (which is best heard soundtracking its titular activity), they balance melodies with smokiness and wit. Nowhere is that clearer than the EP’s middle third, where the buoyant and anthemic ‘Teddy’ is contrasted by the soaring and silky ‘3am’. ER
Teenage Dads’ ‘Midnight Driving’ is out March 3 via Chugg Music.
‘You Never Know’
2021’s ‘Fantasy Country’ saw these Melbourne shoegazers demonstrate an ear for sharper, more melodic songwriting, beyond mere walls of fuzz and reverb. ‘You Never Know’ leans further into those tendencies, with excellent results.
- READ MORE: Flyying Colours – ‘Fantasy Country’ review: shoegaze’s heightened reality meets intense inner monologues
Opener ‘Lost Then Found’, ‘I Live In A Small Town’ and ‘Goodbye To Music’ – a heartrending meditation on potential hearing loss any musician or gig-goer will relate to – cleverly utilise poppier hooks and structures, without losing any of the band’s rich textures or intensity. Glistening above are the silky twin vocals of bandmates Brodie J Brümmer and Gemma O’Connor, which float sublimely beside each other. Alex Gallagher
Flyying Colours’ ‘You Never Know’ is out March 17 via Poison City Records.
Gold Fang’s debut mixtape is a wild wide, swerving from bouncy and blissful reggae to bold and biting rap. It’s said to show “both sides” of the Trinidad-born, Eora/Sydney-based artist, with the former ‘Smoove’ parts representing “the reasonable youth who is open to anything”, and the latter ‘Killa’ bars showing “the more authentic side where watered words and hidden reality ain’t a thing”. Light one up and play it loud. ER
Gold Fang’s ‘Smoove Killa’ is out March 24 via NLV Records.
For his slick and ethereal third album, Matt Corby learned to embrace both the good and bad in his life, “but particularly the bad”. There’s no edge of sarcasm to the title, he assures, with the album as a whole being about “managing your actual reality” – a topic close to Corby, whose home was destroyed by floodwaters on the day he planned to start writing ‘Everything’s Fine’. The album’s sound reflects this forced optimism, cool and cruisy with a palette of shimmering, groove-laden melodies and soul-gripping vocals. ER
Matt Corby’s ‘Everything’s Fine’ is out March 24 via Island Records / Universal Music Australia.
‘Oro, Plata, Mata’
When announcing their fourth album, Mo’Ju described feeling “more confident as an artist than I have ever been”.
That confidence is hard-earned, as ‘Oro, Plata, Mata’ fuses lyrics that cut deep – as soulful and stirring as they are sharp and assertive – with a kaleidoscope of sound that ebbs and flows between bold, sensual and cinematic. ER
Mo’Ju’s ‘Oro, Plata, Mata’ is out March 24.
‘Et Cetera, Etc’
From These New South Whales to Shady Nasty, there’s been a wealth of Australian bands colouring their searing punk with more left-field, experimental elements in recent years.
Dust‘s wildly promising debut EP firmly establishes the Newcastle quintet as part of that conversation. Here, the band channel raw, razor-sharp intensity through a broad range of filters – with textural, saxophone-assisted atmospheres (‘Alternator’, ‘Ward 52’) and off-kilter rhythms bordering new wave at times. A thrilling first release. AG
Dust’s ‘Et Cetera, Etc’ is out March 29.
The country’s reigning purveyors of irreverent, revved-up punk-n-roll return with a rollicking, very fun third album.
‘370HSSV 0773H’ retains all the piss, vinegar and charisma of 2020’s ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ while broadening the band’s sounds – from the sugary power-pop of ‘One Headed Dog’ to the bone-rattling thrash metal of ‘Seize & Destroy’. Ending with the one-two punch of their spin on Coldplay‘s ‘Yellow’ and the gloriously blunt, 30-second-long ‘I Just Met The Biggest Cunt In The World (It Is You)’, Private Function’s latest makes it abundantly clear: PF, unapologetically themselves, are still on top. AG
Private Function’s ‘370HSSV 0773H’ is out March 31.
Royel Otis are all in: “We’ve made sure that we’ve got no back-up plan beyond making music,” Royel Maddell told NME in January. His confidence no doubt stems from the deep bond he shares with bandmate Otis Pavlovic: “I trust Otis on such a deep level. With him, everything is so easy.”
And that ease comes through on the Sydney duo’s third EP ‘Sofa Kings’, which is full of riffs that will stick in your head and give you fresh hope for guitar pop. Keep an eye out for the NME 100 act’s new EP dropping at the end of March. Karen Gwee
Royel Otis’ ‘Sofa Kings’ is out March 31 via Ourness.