Monday, 2 September 2013


Cloud Control's highly anticipated sophomore release Dream Cave is a boundary-pushing album that seeks to shake up the band's poppy sound.

We had quite high expectations for this album, considering the critical success of their debut album Bliss Release. The lead single, 'Dojo Rising', while not as initially as catchy as 2010's 'There's Nothing In The Water We Can't Fight', is a more experimental and floaty track. In fact, the entire album is a bit of a musical trip, filled with weird vocal wobbles and swirling backing tracks.

The whole trippy feel of the album is great. It definitely pushes the boundaries of the band's easy-going dream pop sound, dipping into dark percussion on 'Island Living' and reverting to further exploration of an iconic sound on 'Ice Age Heatwave'. There are beautiful sections within songs where the lyrics and musical craftmanship mould together with delicacy or anthemic vigour or sheer energy, and there is the continual sculpting of the eponymous 'dream cave', with the addition of (sometimes rather odd) drips of water and arching vocals.

Overall, the entire album does a very sensory justice to the cave, and adventures to very exciting places with the sweeping vocals, sweet harmonies, dreamy backing and eclectic percussion. At times, however, it just feels a bit disconnected and wandering into too many different dimensions - in their pursuit of a new sound they seem to have been a bit confused as to which sound that is. However, it is still a very solid release that I can say I did indeed enjoy.


Australian synth-pop act We Are The Brave will be launching their new EP on Wednesday 11 September at Good God Small Club in Sydney's Chinatown.

The act consists of singer-songwriter Jess Chalker (featured on recordings with Passenger) and underground hip-hop producer Ox Why. Their sound is quite Bat for Lashes, although at times it felt like a fresh Florence remix. They craft together the catchy nostalgia of the 80s with funky modern vibes, as seen in their first single 'All Good Things Must Come to an End'.


Their debut EP 'Noctua', which was produced, mixed, written and performed by the pair entirely at their home studios, will be launched September 11. Come down and check out this fresh new act - but if you can't we'll still fill you in on the (hopefully) epic happenings of the night!

Get your tickets here at:

Here is their first single, 'All Good Things Must Come to an End'.

In light of their exciting new launch we caught up with Ox Why for a Q & A.

What's in a band name? 
Both Jess and I are really inspired by a lot of youth films from the '80s dealing with teenage angst. We wanted a name that sounded like one of those cheesy, but sort of life changing films you grow up watching and quote from your entire life. The Breakfast Club was a big inspiration - watching that final scene where Judd Nelson freezes in the air mid frame, We are the Brave felt like it could have been an ironic, alternative title. We both pissed ourselves laughing at first, but the name We Are the Brave kinda stuck.
How did the band start?
Jess was putting her studio together and came into Billy Hydes, where I was working at the time, to get some advice about gear. I always think it's cool when a girl knows her stuff. Once we started talking about Peter Gabriel and Fairchilds, I knew straight away this could be a great working relationship. Jess and I fight like siblings, but I think it's that wanting to kill each other kind of passion that helps us create our landscape musically.
Who are the members/music history?
I've been a hip hop artist and producer in the Sydney underground scene for a while now. Jess had actually never sang in front of anyone until she posted some of her original tunes on Youtube a few years back, which went mental overnight. She started getting all these emails from around the world, from people like Norah Jones's manager. I think it freaked her out, as she stopped posting tunes, and went to uni instead. Jess has been in the Sydney folk scene a few years now, focusing a lot on playing/writing, with everyone from Passenger to Lior. We're also really lucky to have some amazing musos play live with us, including Pat Taylor on guitar, and James Hill on drums.
Who are your main influences?
We're both into artists like Kate Bush, David Bowie, David Byrne, Bjork, Bat for Lashes, Tears for Fears. I'm really into a lot of the old school hip hop stuff like Pharcyde, Hieroglyphics, Wu Tang, DITC and Boot Camp.
Jess and I are also massive Prince fans, and Jess is also heavily into Springsteen, Dylan, Paul Simon, and Joni Mitchell.
What motivates you to make music?
There's a huge amount of potential in a single sound, so many ways you can tweak and manipulate and alter its original shape to create something new and exciting. We're both really fascinated by that, and the range of emotions that sounds can create.
Where to from here?
We're just about to release our debut EP, Noctua, and with it our sophomore track, Sparrow and a music video. We're also really excited to have been invited to join the incredible Ngaiire for some of her national Lamentations tour, so if you're in Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra, come and say hi at one of our shows in September!

So catch We Are The Brave at any of their gigs and make sure to grab a copy of their EP!