Our 120th mixtape is full of some local and international tunes built to get you through the last month of winter! Kicking things off is a collaboration we’re super excited about between Elvis Costello and The Roots. We’ve also got some local gems from Sons Of Rico, Damn Terran, and Bell Weather Department as well as some jams from across the pond in the form of new tunes from Mazzy Star and Arms. Check it all out!

Elvis Costello & The Roots – ‘Walk Us Uptown’

In one of the funkiest additions to our mixtape in a while, the one and only Elvis Costello lends his husky vocals to a soul-infused instrumental backing courtesy of The Roots. ‘Walk Us Uptown’ serves as the first single from their upcoming, and quite improbable collaborative album, Wise Up Ghost. If this is what’s on offer, we can’t wait to hear the LP.

Mazzy Star – ‘California’

As Hope Sandoval’s familiar vocals drip with woozy mystery and David Roback’s acoustic guitar elliptically shifts from major to minor it’s clear that Mazzy Star have reconnected with what made them so great to begin with. Breaking the 17 year drought, ‘California’ wells like a shimmering – sparse, gorgeous, moody – it will warm the cockles of long-term fans and likely subtly dazzle those who are discovering them for the first time. Shine on, Mazzy Star.

Arms – ‘Comfort’

Though cooling the gas on his post-Harlem Shakes solo project to go back to college, Todd Goldstein has lost none of the edge he sharpened from 2011’s Summer Skills (still an undervalued gem) on his first single back in the game. Paced on Tlacel Esparza’s up-tempo drums and brightly-hewn guitars, it’s easy to access the alt-rock momentum, but its the shimmering flourishes – twinkling piano, Goldsten’s laconic phrasing – that glint at the edges that are the real hook. Take a close listen to the sound of your new favourite Brooklyn band.

The Holidays – ‘Voices Drifting’

The first taste from the Sydney trio’s forthcoming sophomore release demonstrates just how much the band have grown since 2011’s Post Paradise. The jangly guitars might be toned down but the overlapping synth textures ensure that the song isn’t lacking in any pop essence. Simon Jones’s vocals are also evidence of the band’s evolution. A combination of better production and maturation has allowed the lead singer to sound far more assured on ‘Voices Drifting’. If this track is anything to go by than The Holidays needn’t worry about the thought of any ‘slump’ when it comes to their upcoming album.

Alta – ‘To The Water’

Down-tempo electronics and Hannah Lesser’s mature yet soulful vocals give each other plenty of space on the Melbourne duo’s latest offering. The dark intermittent sonics piercing through the track provide ‘To The Water’ with some edge. It’s an integral component of the song given the lyrical content. “I’ll be waiting for you,” Lesser yearns repeatedly. In most other contexts that might sound more tender than anything, but on ‘To The Water’ Lesser’s message is haunting and powerful.

Bell Weather Department – ‘ St Michael’s Episode’

The trippy rockers are back and prove why they’ve been labelled Australia’s answer to The Polyphonic Spree. With a very vintage guitar line repeating throughout the tune layered on top of some heavy instrumentation, sweet background vocals and lead singer Jacob Moore’s deep crooning voice, it’s a perfect mish-mash of well-building facets of musicality.

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Damn Terran – ‘Lost’

Melbourne’s favourite post-punk three-piece have released another killer tune ahead of the release of their debut LP due out in September of this year. As usual the boy-girl vocals add a vintage touch of rock ‘n’ roll importance to the tune, with bassist Ali Edmonds and guitarist Lachlan Ewbank sharing singing duties. Not unlike previous tracks ‘Rebels’ and ‘Pills’, ‘Lost’ is a heavy, dirty, rock ‘n’ roll tune bound to get you moving.

Sons Of Rico – ‘Get To You’

It’s official. Songs Of Rico can no longer be considered a side project. With sophisticated vocal layering, catchy as hell lyrics and dreamy, hazy instrumentation, the Beatles-inspired jam is just what we needed to round out this mixtape.

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