Ruel: “I was listening to a lot of sad music, thinking, ‘What am I even doing?’ I felt a bit useless”
The truth is, the two subjects that inevitably come up in every conversation about Ruel – his age and the hype around him – are by far the least interesting things about him as a person and an artist. In a few years’ time, neither will be relevant. We’ll simply be talking about the music: a seamless blend of vulnerable lyrics, jazzy guitars, and both classic and alternative R&B, sung by a richly textured voice. Forget what you’ve heard – Ruel’s story has only just begun.
Modern art pop is often characterised as cold, academic, emotionally distant – sometimes rightfully so. But the best artists of the genre, from Kate Bush to Radiohead, have always made music that’s deeply human and passionate. With ‘Republic Of Paradise’, Aphir has cracked that code for herself. Whether the record feels challenging or peaceful, transcendent or intimate, it’s always inclusive in spirit.
My video interview with Troye Sivan, for NME Australia's August 2020 cover.
I profiled Troye Sivan for the August 2020 cover of NME Australia. "Not since Sivan was a teenager has he been so removed from the head rush of life as a global pop star..."
I directly inspired the recording of this cover for my 30th birthday.... what a concept!
At every step of the way, there was more to Silverchair than met the eye. They were the rare band who gave their all in every aspect of their art, delivering consistently great radio singles, B-sides, albums and live shows.
There’s no question that Women In Music Pt. III is HAIM’s best album. It’s both their softest and most daring work, with the most love to give.
I spoke to host Daniel Hedger about the career and legacy of Silverchair, one of my all-time favourite bands, and the strange trajectory of Australian popular music in the last 25 years.
It’s easier to define Dua Lipa by what she’s not, rather than what she is. She’s not the most anything — the most flamboyant, most emotive, most trendsetting, most relatable. Where does that leave her in the landscape of popular music in 2020?
The Weeknd’s music used to be thrilling for how dark and depraved it could get… but it was only a matter of time before we got desensitised. Now, what’s thrilling is how the glimpses of optimism are getting brighter. When pop culture feels like it’s forcing you to smile, nihilism can be truthful. But in the long run, now more than ever, we need so much more.
In 2020, Music now marks the halfway point of Madonna’s career. It’s arguably one of her best albums, yet rarely the first one fans or casual listeners reach for. But it’s to her, and Mirwais’ credit, that Music still feels like recent history. It’ll be remembered not just for the cowgirl outfits and choreography, but its restless, adventurous spirit, looking backwards and ahead to find a sense of belonging in the present.
So has Justin Bieber really changed? That’s in the eye of the beholder. It’s impossible to objectively assess this album — you’ll either retch at the thought of this many sentimental love songs, or be receptive enough to let it sink in.
It's been two weeks since Taylor Swift's Netflix documentary 'Miss Americana' made its Australian debut and produced the heel-face turn of the decade (so far). In this week's marathon episode, Emma and Sam sit down with Friend Of The Pod Richard S. He to discuss cancel culture, trials by Twitter, and how an editorial decision made on his behalf threw our very own Heartbreak Prince into a world of trouble.