Bridget Hustwaite

Sounds Of: May

Bridget Hustwaite
Sounds Of: May

May = MAGNIF. In no particular order, here's my fave songs from the month...


Back in 2015 I worked a job that had me stuck behind a desk in the basement level of Melbourne Central. Didn’t really vibe it, but the daily banking was something I would basically insist on doing because that 20 odd minute trip meant plugging in my earphones and cranking Wafia’s debut EP. It’s weird but also cool how a particular release can be such a distinct and fond memory of a time and that’s what XXIX was for me, so you can only guess how chuffed I was to hear new music from this stunner of an artist. Co-written by fellow legend Ben Abraham, “83 Days” is a luscious electronic tale rich in emotion and sentiment, with Wafia’s breathtaking vocals really leaving you in awe of her talent. I freakin’ love her and cannot wait for this next EP.


If you like Last Dinosaurs, Two Door Cinema Club and basically any good indie-pop that’s heavily driven by guitar, then Landings are a band you need to acquaint yourself with. Hailing from Brisbane, this young trio have unleashed some serious energy in new offering “I Tried”, a hugely impressive self-produced effort that soars in its melodies and also sees frequent collaborator JP Fung on mixing duties. Really tight stuff that I imagine would rip live.


My love affair with GLADES ain’t no secret and the Sydney three piece have solidified my admiration once more with new single “Keep It From You”. Another glistening slice of electro-pop that gives me a bit of a BROODS vibe through the intimacy of Karina Wykes’ vocals and the atmospheric synths. A total dream.


You may have caught this guy busking around the streets of Sydney, or maybe his feature on Horrorshow’s “Push” which scored some solid radio play. But did you know Taj Ralph is only 16? Yep, I know. WTF indeed. He’s just dropped his second solo single “Night Catcher”, a fresh psych-pop jam full of slick guitars and percussion but the real hero of this track is of course Taj’s vocals. SO. GOOD. If this is what he’s producing as a teenager, I can’t even begin to imagine what heights Taj will reach. He’s only getting started, you guys.


Okay so this gal has been hopping around the Brisbane band scene for a little while but within a week of dropping her debut single “Try”, Hatchie signs a management and booking deal. Like, who does that? It’s huge stuff, but you can totally understand why once you wrap your ears around this sparkling fusion of shoegaze and dream pop. So engaging, yet so darn effortless, ”Try” is a standout debut and  I’m really keen to check out what’s next for this Brisbane artist.


Electronic producer TOYO has only been kicking around for 18 odd months now but has really caught my eye this month with his new offering “Wilderness”, featuring an unlikely collaboration with fellow Queenslander, Asha Jefferies. Typically known for her stunning work in the folk/roots scene, I wasn’t sure how this team up with TOYO would pan out but boy, her vocals really shine over this dark and dreamy soundscape. The result is a real beaut, check it out below:


Let’s not beat around the bush here, Ainslie Wills has one of the most commanding and captivating voices in Australia. No doubt about it. I first caught Ainslie 5 years ago supporting The Paper Kites at Northcote Social Club and I’ve been hooked ever since. Every release of hers is so beautifully crafted, so sincere and the same can absolutely be said for her new single, the first we have heard from the Melbourne artist since 2015. A dedication of sorts to anyone who has ever felt inadequate, “Running Second” is packed with emotion but conveyed with such control through Wills’ vocals as she gently reminds listeners that there is “nothing to prove”. So affirming, so stunning.


So I stumbled across this one as I was driving home from Groovin The Moo and listening to London based DJ/producer Nightwave lay down a real bangin’ set on triple j Mix Up. Turns out she also runs this sweet af record label called Heka Traxx and the opening song from her set was this, from one of her signings, Tree Trunks. “You Say” is a cool blend of 80’s pop and modern electronica, with lyrics suggestive of a couple trying to connect but the trio wanting this narrative open to interpretation. It will 100% get stuck in your head for days but you will be thanking me for it, promise!


Like many fans, I’ve been wanting HAIM back for tooooo long and it is SO good to hear from the sister trio again. True to their polished pop-rock style, “Want You Back” is a tale of regret and taking love for granted, building around hand-claps, acoustic guitars and keys. HAIM’s second album “Something To Tell You” is set to drop July 7.


Following the news of his signing to Illy’s ONETWO record label, Citizen Kay has dropped a new tune in “These Kicks” and it’s a straight up pearler. Highlighting his vast musical palette, “These Kicks” is an infectious mix of new wave hip-hop, soul and jazz and also features guest vocals from fellow Canberra artist Georgia B.  Lyrically speaking, we see a promising progression for Kay who draws on the notion of ~simplicity/the best things in life are free~ and whilst only dropping quite late in the month of May, this is one highly charismatic output from an exciting act who really is just warming up.

How stunning is the header photo of Wafia? It was taken by Claire Wakeford, you can check out her work here!