Talent On Tap: New Music April


Words by Samantha Morris

A deeply eclectic offering this month, we have serious world-music and experimental vibes dominating, starting with the 6th self-produced album by iconic Gold Coast artist Cold Ghost and his ode to the Nerang River ‘Red Gold’. It sits alongside the man masquerading as a band Klee Shade, who’s releasing more than a song a week at the moment, as well as the hypnotic jams of Luja Murfi. Rock gets a look-in thanks to two-piece Atticus Chimps; blues is delivered adeptly by Hussy Hicks who return with new album ‘Swimming in Uncertainty’; and country darling Chloe Styler makes an appearance with her new song ‘Time Bomb’. And if that’s not enough, we have debuts from newcomers Alanah Stone, Alex Holiday and Tegan Clark. As usual, something for everyone. 

Listen to our curated Spotify playlist here or read on for details on the latest releases.


Red Gold a musical ode to Gold Coast’s iconic Nerang River

Red Gold is Fletcher Babb (AKA Cold Ghost)’s 6th self-produced record. Created while employed through HOTA’s ground-breaking ArtKeeper program, ‘Red Gold’ was recorded all along the Nerang River – from its headwaters, following its journey to the Broadwater. Songs feature the sounds of the river and its surrounds – cicadas, riffles and splashes, birds of many kinds. It’s eerie listening – as Fletch says in his blog capturing the creative process… “The river environment has become its own instrument, just as I hoped it would.” 

When you grow up here, you’re used to the sounds of insects and birds punctuating your music and as a listener, you need to take a moment to work out whether those sounds are part of the song or part of the environment around you. It’s difficult to review this release – Fletch is such an accomplished and talented musician – but on this album he’s done something really unique. Not only has he showcased his multi-instrumentalist excellence, he’s also created music that is quintessentially Gold Coast. From the hundreds of hours he spent intimately immersed in the wilderness surrounding the Nerang River, to his poetic songwriting ability and super-sharp mixing and mastering skills, what Fletch has delivered is something that’s part music, part science and part poetry. ‘Red Gold’ is something really special and you won’t get it until you listen for yourself – as he said in his blog that captures the recording journey.

Tide of Time by Luja Murfi

Gold Coast fellowship Luja Murfi, have released a live track ‘Tide of Time’ recorded in Nowave Studio – an evocative and hypnotic jam full of power-infused melodies, ethereal grooves and enchanting vocal harmonies. It’s a slow-burner, full of rhythmic pulses and good energy. This mystic quintet combines elements of alternative and psych-rock with funk and jazz to create a soundscape that’s at once unique and familiar.

2nd release for Prchr.

Since his debut in late 2021, 24yo Prchr. (pron. percher) has focussed on writing on the themes of isolation, love and fake people – speaking directly to listeners’ hearts. New track ‘2nd’, an early release of upcoming concept ‘Album One: Everything that’s wrong with Me’, captures a heavy gaze, with sound and lyrics speaking to being a burden and letting people down. With his massive, distinctive octave fuzz tones, this track burns in all the right ways.

Brain Electric deliver suave Black Cat Strut

Jazz-fueled grooves are the order of the day for new outfit Brain Electric and their track ‘Black Cat Strut’. Jazz-adjacent music is gathering pace in Australia’s contemporary music scene, with music-lovers of all ages lapping up the laid-back vibes and musical genius of artists who wouldn’t normally be heard on the wireless or popular playlists. That’s changing fast and artists like Brain Electric are right there, following in the footsteps of other local artists like First Beige, Sampology and David Vercase. ‘Black Cat Strut’ is a rhythmic, groove-filled number, with saxophone featuring prominently and R&B-style vocals tying it all together. On the band’s Instagram page they’ve labelled themselves ‘Jazztronichophouse’ – which seems on point. ‘Black Cat Strut’ is eclectic and hopefully a sign of more to come. Straddling the fringes of dance, jazz and experimental sounds, Brain Electric are ones to watch.

Heavy Wax say Let ‘em Talk

8-piece roots outfit Heavy Wax are back with their signature rock-soul-funk-reggae sound in new track ‘Let ‘em Talk’. Collaborating with keyboard slayer Liam (Life Is A Myth), ‘Let ‘em Talk’ is a song about hearing that people have been talking about you. Double-time snare and angsty guitar support the defiant lyrics. Heavy Wax are heavy on horns and ‘Let ‘em Talk’ does a sterling job of capturing the ensemble’s captivating and energetic live sound on a studio recording.

Mid Drift drop Ice Cubes

Straddling SEQ and Northern NSW is 5-piece act Mid Drift who have established themselves quickly, landing support slots with artists such as Great Gable, Surf Trash and Old Merves and selling out their first headliner show. New single ‘Ice Cubes in Hot Tea’ showcases the band’s indie-surf sounds with what they describe as coastal guitar licks coupled with vocalist Sarah Engstrom’s warm and raw melodies. ‘Ice Cubes in Hot Tea’ is a laid-back summery song, which comes ahead of an EP due in May. It tracks a temperamental relationship and the frustrations felt with someone running hot and cold– a lovesick anthem of sorts. It’s smooth, drenched in reverb and jazz-like vibes and is a sassy and soulful indie number worthy of your chill playlist.

Alanah Stone makes a stunning debut

Vocal coach Alanah Stone is showing her students how it’s done with stunning debut ‘Seasons’. With serious earworm potential, this soulful number showcases Alanah’s vocal capability – with sincere lyrics layered over dynamic percussion, undulating synths and groove-driven bass and guitar. Alanah’s a fixture in the local music scene, but this is her first single with more on the way in coming months.

I know everything, thanks to Bella Paton

Sparkly synths sweeten the deal in this indie-pop-psych track just out from Gold Coast’s Bella Paton – an artist who has been experimenting with original music since before she left high school. Bella has a penchant for catchy pop songs and you can hear the range of diverse influences in her music – always delivered with depth and sincerity. ‘I know everything’ is testament to this diversity – delivering a unique combination of nostalgia and sunshine – perfect for experiencing live or on your favourite summer playlist.

Alex Holiday is living for the weekend

An absolute banger, this track could come straight from a 1998 triple j Hottest 100 countdown. With anthemic sing-a-long qualities, this track – produced by Serotonin Productions – speaks to a generation of partying people blowing all their money on the weekend. It’s a perfectly produced single – the band’s debut – and old-school fans of indie rock will find solace in its riffs (and no doubt its lyrics).

Getting loose with a Cav Ave Kebab

“Born on a wild night at the clubs in Cavill early last year,” Cav Ave Kebab is 100% Gold Coast. With indie surf guitars, the right amount of distortion and lyrics that capture a wild night out in the heart of Surfers Paradise, this chaotic four-piece do a flawless job of serving up classic indie rock ‘n’ roll that will please the masses.

Tegan Clark delivers perfect ballad

I listened to ‘Comfort Zone’ a dozen times before reviewing it and was captivated each time. It’s a perfect ballad, delivered straight from Tegan’s heart to ours and a stunning debut from such a young artist. At just 20, Tegan is finding her feet as a singer and songwriter, and with live shows now in the mix she’s fast building a reputation as a bubbly and versatile performer. Definitely one to watch as she builds her repertoire and her team.

Harrison Cramond’s coastal blues

Delivering coastal blues reminiscent of Jack Johnson, Harrison Cramond’s new track ‘In The Dark’ showcases a soulful melody busting conventional limits; blending folk, pop and acoustic rock. Guitars take centre stage for much of the song, as do Cramond’s soulful vocals, beautifully complimenting the laid-back rhythm which ties it all together.

Da Manager drop Max20

Fresh outta Caba, Da Manager is a powerhouse 4-piece teenage rock band, making waves in Northern NSW since winning Bluesfest’s Busking Competition in 2023. Combining the sounds of 90s grunge (I’m hearing Silverchair) and contemporary alt-rock, Da Manager bring youthful energy to their new track ‘Max20’, which is a dazzling blend of fiery riffs, driving rhythm and soulful lyrics. Produced by Grammy winning Nick DiDia, ‘Max20’ shows the recent growth in this fledgling outfit, but also, how much more is yet to come.

Love Situation for Ronan MacLean

Ronan is back with new single ‘Love Situation’ – a well-crafted pop song, that continues to showcase this talented artist’s penchant for clever songwriting. With an upbeat and groove-laden sound, ‘Love Situation’ is fresh and captivating – building on his consistent repertoire of strong, well-made music, slowly coming together since launching less than two years ago. ‘Love Situation’ shows once again Ronan’s commitment to his craft, something he’s been working on since a young age. This multi-instrumentalist and talented producer produces and records all his own music – making him one to keep a firm eye on.

Hussies are Swimming in Uncertainty

After 16 years working together, you’d think the duo of Leesa Gentz and Julz Parker might soon run out of inspiration for new music. But whenever you listen to new songs from this duo and their band, you realise they’re just getting started. ‘Swimming in Uncertainty’ is their new album – not yet available in its entirety on streaming devices but being released one track every month. (If you do want to listen to the whole album, head over to Bandcamp and buy the digital version for just $9). The album is a classic mix of ballads, blues and rock numbers, expertly delivered by the best vocalist and best guitarist in Australia – in my opinion anyway. We reviewed the first single ‘Fool on a Hill’ – a collaboration with Minnie Marks – last column. This month, we have ‘Light a Candle’, just released on digital streaming. Perfect timing for Bluesfest fans, this is a soulful, bluesy number, with the band demonstrating with ease why they’re one of the most sought after Australian acts this decade. ‘Swimming in Uncertainty’ debuted at #1 on the Australian jazz and blues charts for good reason. Hussies have built a solid community of dedicated fans and continue to produce world-class music that’s much-loved by all who experience it.

We’ve got the power, thanks to Sunny Luwe

A pithy anthem for those sick of capitalism and its henchmen, ‘We’ve got the Power’ follows in the footsteps of Sunny Luwe’s earlier songs, showcasing her powerful and soulful voice and the subject matter is no surprise given the artist’s commitment to conservation and dismantling systems of oppression and corruption. ‘We’ve got the Power’ uses field recordings from a rally the artist attended protesting native forest logging in our country. It’s powerful, it’s bluesy and layered with important take-homes for everyday people. Sunny Luwe is a unique artist – colourful and bright, delivering important messages when people need them the most.

Chloe Styler drops Time Bomb

Pop-country princess Chloe Styler has released a new single, penned in just two weeks after a breakup. On tour in March with high profile artists Go West and Travis Collins, and quickly building a fan base across the nation, Chloe is kicking big goals. Combining contemporary country with sugar-sweet indie-pop, ‘Time Bomb’ adeptly showcases Chloe’s songwriting and storytelling ability. Big things ahead for this young Gold Coast artist.

Atticus Chimps really mean it

Opening riffs set the scene for this short and sweet rock song by local duo Atticus Chimps. ‘Say It Like You Mean’ is a track screaming to be heard. A punchy, guitar-and-drum-driven single, lovers of indie rock will find an immediate connection with these local faves. At once brash but also comforting, ‘Say it Like You Mean’ is a budding rock anthem – angsty but full of the riffs and hooks we’ve come to love from Sam Bray and Daniel Briffa.

Introducing Klee Shade

Releasing a song every 3 days (and apparently a video every day) with all instruments, videos and bad moves by the artist, Klee Shade is the project of Rhys Walker – an experimental bedroom producer that is one human pretending to be a whole band. I dunno, but the musician’s union might have something to say about that ☺. As well as playing all instruments, Klee Shade also does his own songwriting, production and mastering. Prolific, experimental and keen to share his sounds, check out the latest from Klee Shade on either Spotify or YouTube.


Bonus Brisbane tracks we’re diggin’ …

The Seal is Broken for Visceral Sound

Old school hip-hop and experimental lo-fi music come together seamlessly in this new number from Visceral Sound, inspired by the abstract hip-hop movement of New York’s underground. ‘The Seal is Broken’ shows the artist deviating somewhat since releasing his debut beat-tape in early 2022 – this track has witty bars and loose flows delivered against a sparse sample-based beat and is the artist’s first release as rapper and lead vocalist.

Zara’s pop-rock release

21 year old Zara Haines is reinforcing her position as an emerging star in the alt-pop-rock space with new single ‘The Blonde’. Inspired by life around her and covering love and loss, Zara’s music continues to expand as she grows as a singer and songwriter.


The Gold Coast Music Network’s Talent On Tap is brought to you by Burleigh Brewing.



We want to hear it! If you’ve released new music or have something due for release next month, shoot us the details for the chance to be considered for the next ‘Talent On Tap’ column. Email our new music guru Sam Morris on newmusic@gcmusicnetwork.com.au with a link to the song (Spotify preferred), an artist press shot and a few words/media release about the track or album being released.

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