International Hip Hop star chats with Mosca Media Australia about his latest album “Bottoms Up” at Lopez Records, St Marys, Sydney West.
She’s toured worldwide with renowned Australian roots reggae band Blue King Brown (as their former backing singer) but this year Jess Harlen has decided to focus on her own music, cooking up some fresh new tracks.
Park Yard Slang is the second album by the Melbourne based artist which was released on March 30, 2012 through Obese Records. It is evident that there has been a significant shift of events in Harlen’s music since the release of Neon Heartache, 2011 LP (through Plethora Records).
Both albums were produced by renowned award-winning producer, Plutonic Lab. Therefore with the collaboration of two talented musicians bringing out a string of various skills – not to mention Harlen’s sweet and soothing voice, it was anticipated that we’d have sheer quality. And that’s what we got!
The opening and aptly titled track “Get Ready” is an appropriate introductory song to the album. With enticing vocals and the catchy beat it is already ample to draw the listener into further exploration of Park Yard Slang. Title track “Park Yard Slang” is a nice transition maintaining the slow tempo before “Weaving”. Here the tempo slightly builds up leading into jaunty, upbeat rock style track “Let You Down”, the first single released off the album. Reggae, dancehall influenced “Plantation” features Melbourne based reggae artist RuCL.
“Colliding” is a romanticised ‘feel good’ song that seems to depict the themes of patience and beauty. “Reach Home” is an emotive; melancholic yet encouraging and promising song about being courageous, facing present fears and of the past, insecurities and worries in order to overcome them. Harlen switches to the ukulele where the listener is gently lullabied with “Day Dreamer”, followed by another encouraging and humbling track, “Up To Me”.
Then follows “Beautiful Struggle” which illustrate life as full of love, pain, disappointment and change but also encourages the listener to accept it as inevitable as it is – a beautiful struggle. One is encouraged to take the responsibility of moving forward. Finally, one could say that “Silence” is another aptly titled track to top off the album.
Overall, Harlen maintains humility in her songwriting, which are personal reflections that people can relate to. It’s a courageous and great thing to see that there is more experimentation with the incorporation of different instruments and a variety of genres including soul, acoustic, reggae, dancehall and rock influences, producing something fresh and versatile to listen to. Harlen is definitely an artist to look out for this year!
Park Yard Slang is available on iTunes, JB Hi-Fi stores and other good music stores.
Review Score: 9 out of 10
Jess Harlen’s ‘Park Yard Slang’ Tour 2012
For more information visit www.facebook.com/JessHarlenMusic
*As originally appeared on The AU Review.
K-Ci & JoJo are renowned for their hit singles “All My Life” and “Crazy”. However, they are also known for their extensive music career releasing an array of hit singles from 5 successful albums. They have also featured on 2Pac’s single “How Do U Want It”. They’ve scored themselves an American Music Award in 1999 for Favourite R&B Band/Duo/Group and three Grammy nominations as well as numerous music collaborations with other artists. In 1999, they recorded the title soundtrack for the Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence movie “Life”, which was written and produced by R.Kelly.
It was back in 2007 when JoJo made headline news when he fell on stage at the last Sydney show. Prior to this accident, the brothers K-Ci & JoJo were already known to have alcohol and drug-related issues.
This event has sparked inspiration for the brothers to make a significant change in their lives. They began to film the first season of a nine-episode docu-series about their path to recovery.
Today K-Ci & JoJo have returned better than ever to express their gratitude toward their fans for the continued support. K-Ci & JoJo return with the aptly named Love Life Tour 2011.
Be sure not to miss out on their show this Friday 9 December 2011 at Enmore Theatre, Sydney at 7PM.
Price: VIP (MEET & GREET) $148.50 / PLATINUM SEATS (T-SHIRT) $99.95 / GOLD SEATS $79.95 / STANDING DANCE FLOOR $69.95
Bookings (02) 9550 3666
Mode: Concert – Standing Downstairs / Reserved Seating Upstairs
Tickets: On sale now @ ENMORE THEATRE or TICKETEK
The heavy aftermath from the recent Cyclone Yasi and the Queensland and Victorian floods has been catastrophic; a multitude of lives have been lost and many years of development has been washed away within a matter of days – homes and towns completely destroyed.
However, the notions of ‘hope’ and ‘community’ coexists through this calamity; which has brought the nation together and has touched the hearts of neighbouring nations throughout the world. Thus it is through this calamity that ordinary people have come together to perform extraordinary things.
Consequently, Australian soul/urban music pioneers Jess Harlen (Melbourne) and Alphamama aka Anita Meiruntu & her band The Love Drug (Sydney) have soulfully set up a ‘Disaster Relief’ show in Sydney; to help rebuild the lives and essentially restoring souls, of our brothers and sisters in Victoria and Queensland.
There will be live music by the above artists plus more to be announced. There will also be prizes up for grabs, $4 Happy Hour drinks until 8pm and much more!
Please show your support and come along to this epic soulful Disaster Relief on Wednesday 30 March. All proceeds from the night will be donated to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW ONLINE OR AT THE VENUE
Secure your ticket at www.moshtix.com.au | $20 at the door
Check out the flyer below for event details.
For more on the artists check out the below
* as seen on The AU Review
Raphael Saadiq could be best described as a contemporary neo- rhythm & blues all-round artist (singer, musician, record producer). He is apparently an ancestor of original or as we say today “old school”, rhythm & blues from the 60s & 70s who retains the legacy of that musical era and is living out his own legacy today.
Saadiq is probably best known for when he was in multiplantinum renowned 80s rhythm & blues group Tony! Toni! Toné! His solo work pretty much involved the release of three solo albums plus the production of songs of award-winning artists such as D’Angelo, TLC, Mary J Blige, John Legend and Joss Stone, just to name a few. He has also collaborated with renowned artists such as Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder and Q-Tip. Perhaps he is not what the media hungers for, but he is definitely worth the recognition of the amazing work he has done. I love him!
Check out the video below for his song 100-Yard Dash, if you are a late-reaction-kind-of-person like me at times. I heard this song on Ellen. If this song doesn’t make you wanna get up and dance or at least head-bop, there’s something seriously wrong with you 😉
You can find more of Annie McKinnon below:
Free download and Rate Plug It and On Top Of The Hill at http://www.triplejunearthed.com/Artists/View.aspx?artistid=39884
If you are in need of some fresh tunes, check out Blue King Brown’s latest album released in Augsut, “Worldwize: Part 1 – North & South” which was released in August. It comes as a two-disc album ‘North’ & ‘South’ and their band’s official flag! So dope.
Southside consists of tracks that are a blend of roots, reggae, funk and soul. Northside has a blend of remixes of previous singles and dub-style tracks. BKB are a Melbourne-based band who derives from diverse multicultural backgrounds which contributes to their unique sounds.
Not only do they have the capacity to get the crowd rockin but their music is all about being socially aware in regards to human rights, social justice and political issues throughout the world including Australia. Their message is that ‘being aware is one thing, but the people have the power to make a difference in the world’. To be the change. Blue King Brown has been involved in the change process throughout their music and works of activism. More recently BKB have teamed up with THE BODY SHOP and CHILDWISE to help fight against the child sex trafficking and slave industry. It is a massive human rights abuse that needs to be (and can be) prevented.
Live Earth 2007
East Coast Blues & Roots festival 2006, 2007, 2010 (Australia)
West Coast Blues & Roots festival 2006, 2007 (Australia)
Reggae Town 2007
Womadelaide 2007 (Australia)
Falls festival 2006 (Australia)
Woodford folk fest 2005 2006 2007(Australia)
JJJ AWOL SERIES 2007(Australia)
Summer Sonic 2007(Japan)
Green Room festival 2006 2007 2010(Japan)
Fiji’s World Music Festival 2006 (Fiji)
just to name a few…”*
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Damian “Jr Gong” Marley
John Butler Trio
The Cat Empire
Never Fade Away (latest single)
Blue King Brown, THE BODY SHOP & CHILDWISE Video blog
* Quotes from the official Blue King Brown website.