New & Noteworthy is a weekly CFOX feature showcasing rock, indie and alternative bands and musicians on the rise. We want to share our love of music with you and give exposure to some of the best up-and-comers in rock music. Check out this week’s roundup of New & Noteworthy acts below!
Johnny Hunter first hit my radar when they played Australian Music Festival BIGSOUND back in 2019. The Sydney-based band were billed as one of the must-see acts and since then have continued to gain momentum, building a solid fanbase and headlining shows across the country.
Johnny Hunter make unapologetic avant-garde punk music. Their songs all have a solid post-punk foundation, which they build out with heavy guitars, thrashing drums and killer riffs to take you on an emotional rollercoaster. The band’s frontman Nick Hutt is as dynamic and captivating as the music he plays, with an incredibly distinctive voice, an iconic mullet and smudged black eyeliner that would put Robert Smith to shame. His voice has a sense of urgency that compliments the chaotic energy that vibrates through each song.
Johnny Hunter’s upcoming EP Early Trauma is set to be released this August. I’ve shared the link to the band’s most recent single ‘Hollow Man’ below however, I recommend watching the video for ‘Try As You May’ to really understand the band’s aesthetic.
Coach Party are a self-described “beige indie band” hailing from The Isle of Wight. That’s a pretty accurate description, though in this case being beige is a good thing. Although the four-piece doesn’t stray too far from the confines of indie-rock they have still managed to define themselves in a genre saturated with up-and-coming bands. Their relatable lyrics, punchy guitars, straightforward rhythms and maybe a tinge of grunge combine to create a fresh, youthful sound.
‘Bleach’ is the second track on their debut EP Party Food and has gained a lot of traction since it release. Speaking about ‘Bleach’ lead singer and bassist Jess Eastwood says, “It’s a song for anyone who feels unsatisfied and frustrated with the routine of normal life and finds it hard to get excited about existence.” Through this song and it’s accompanying video, Coach Party have done a really fantastic job of capturing the apathy many of us have felt during isolation. This UK band are ready to (casually) take the world by storm.
Sweater Curse are an understated three-piece from Brisbane who make emotive, relatable indie-rock music. What started off as three friends writing for fun has quickly evolved into a band that is becoming a fixture in the Australian music scene.
Sweater Curse are honing their sound with each new song and have really upped the ante with their new single ‘Close’. The song is the band’s first release of 2020, following the release of their debut EP See You in 2019, which garnered international praise. The lyrics speak of the angst and regret surrounding the breakdown of a friendship and the desire to remain close to people through hard times. The song starts off with a melodic guitar intro before building up to a belting chorus of soaring vocals, thrashing guitar and hard-hitting drums. No matter how many times I listen to ‘Close’, the moodiness of each verse and cleverly crafted build-up to the chorus always feels new and exciting, like an emotional tide rolling in and bringing all of the feels with it.
The video for ‘Close’ is another shot in isolation, this time on Zoom, and features a plethora of Aussie musicians including Lahey, Julia Jacklin, various members of Bad//Dreems, Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon, Patience Hodgson from The Grates and many more. According to Wikipedia (a very reputable source of information) the term “sweater curse” is “the belief that if a knitter gives a hand-knit sweater to a significant other, it will lead to the recipient breaking up with the knitter”. I don’t think I’ll be breaking it off with this band any time soon. Check out ‘Close’ below.
New Zealand four-piece The Beths have an infectious energy that makes them hard not to love. The band’s debut album Future Me Hates Me drew international acclaim and since the release, they have supported some huge acts including Pixies and Death Cab For Cutie, as well as being on the bill for the Australian leg of the Greenday/Fallout Boy/Weezer Hella Mega Tour.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes has a vibrant clean-cut voice that is perfectly suited to the high-energy guitar rock The Beths make. Put simply, their music is up-beat, catchy and easy to listen to. This band has found the sweet-spot between indie-pop and guitar rock to create their own recognizable and unpretentious sound and I’m here for it. ‘I’m Not Getting Excited’ is about imposter syndrome as was written in 2019, during a year packed with overseas touring, support slots and music releases. Check out the video below, which captures the song’s frenetic energy in all it’s glory. The Beths’ sophomore album Jump Rope Gazers is out on July 10. There’s one thing that’s for sure: I’m excited to see where this band is heading.
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