Just confirming the Cheeky Goose Ep, which will be launched at The Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood, on the 9th of November 5:30pm $10 entry, is self titled.

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Trying to make this latest post under difficult circumstances (fat cat determinedly squeezed between my laptop and stomach,) so bare with me…

When Melbourne friends Isabelle Renaud (Vocalist) and Richard Butler (keyboard) first met at The Victorian College of The Arts, it was a case of opposites attract. Despite their  very different musical backgrounds, something about the pair as a combination worked. Now known as Cheeky Goose, they have been entertaining audiences around Melbourne for about 12 months. Some of you may have already caught them at The Toff; The Spotted Mallard, and The Grace Darling Hotel, where they will launch their debut EP on Nov 9th 2014. I have tried to seek out the name of this EP, but no luck. May be self titled, but have messaged band to find out more. Meanwhile, while I wipe my keyboard of thick white cat fur, enjoy this promo for their track Photograph.

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Some musicians don’t release debut albums until they are at least 25. Seventeen-year-old Sahara Beck released her first album, Volume One in 2011, when she was only 15. In 2012, she moved from her childhood home on Queensland’s Sunshine coast, to Brisbane to attend Music Industry College. One of her compositions: You Could Be Happy was nominated Song of the Year at the Queensland Music Awards against a long list of established artists and also took out the high school category. The featured video Brother Sister is the first single from her upcoming EP Bloom due out late 2014. Sahara says the track is about making the most of the time you have and life you have been given. Check out the following link for Bloom tour dates.

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If you live in the US or Sydney, Australia, you may or may not have encountered award winning Aussie singer/songwriter Anthony Snape. I first discovered him on My Space, when browsing for musicians to interview for my book Icons of Tomorrow. In that year Anthony had just released his debut album Disappearing Day, and had uploaded tracks: Daylight and Little Piece of Love to his account; the latter winning him a Musicoz Award. Then there was crowd funded Resonate. In just 30 days of the project being promoted on Kickstarter, fans had demonstrated their enthusiasm for the idea, with a whopping $26,000. Now he has joined forces with friend and equally talented singer/songwriter Claire Wyndham for another crowd funding invitation: the release of their first collaboration in joint album Wisher Keepers. The pair aim to raise 10,000 by September 20th. Watch the video below for details. You might also enjoy the video for the beautiful song Pictures, (written recorded, filmed and released in just two weeks) which Anthony wrote about social media photo app Instragram.

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Little Bird, a dynamic young “acoustic looping” duo from Australia’s west coast, brings together the talents of Matt Williams on guitar, and Rachel O’Hara on vocals. The “acoustic looping”, is courtesy of a nifty piece of machinery called The Boss Loop Station and is what they credit for their unique sound. According to Matt, they were inspired by their admiration for Ed Sheeran, who also uses a similar Looping machine. Listen to the latest podcast for Matt’s interview with Icons of Tomorrow on how the partnership was born, and his amusing take on the difference between boy bands, and girl/boy duos. Their, as yet untitled, debut EP and accompanying tour is expected later this year. Check back for announcements.

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Over the years I’ve blogged on and interviewed Folk, Blues, Pop and Rock artists, but I must confess, I’ve never reviewed or written about a rap artist before, so this is something new for me.

Shona contacted me through Linkedin wanting to share her music with me and other bloggers. Though She describes herself as a country girl at heart, musically Shona is influenced by artists such as Nicki Minaj, Lauryn Hill, Rihanna and The Game. Most musicians will usually have been striving from early childhood to break into the business, but in Shona’s case, she discovered her passion by accident at a fun Karaoke night. It was then her friend, impressed by Shona’s untapped talent, encouraged her to pursue music professionally. Of course, Shona followed her friend’s advice and has since progressed to writing and recording her own club rap tracks. Below is her track 666 drop, which has enjoyed national exposure on Fox FM as well as being played at venues around the country and overseas. Beats created by Holly J. Also featuring Rap artist NeeQ.

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In earlier days new bands and solo artists wanting exposure, looked to shows like Countdown to build their audience. These days an increasing amount are trying their luck through popular programs such as The Voice. Last year we were blown away by the talent of veterans like Steve Clisby – How could a musician of his calibre be performing for well over 30 years without any of us having heard of him? Not to mention the extraordinary talent of younger contestants such as Harrison Craig, whose unique vocal tone shone through despite a pronounced stutter, and resulted in him taking the title for 2013.

Many will remember Ben Hazelwood was one of the original contestants for team Joel from season 1 of The Voice. Like most contestants who have used these talent shows to gain exposure, Ben also had a life as a musician prior to The Voice and has been writing music since the age of 13. At 17 years of age, he also came fourth on New Zealand Idol. Last year Ben Hazelwood released his EP debut Loveless, which was recorded at Sing Sing Studios, with producers Ian Molly Meldrum and Ricki Rae at the helm. One thing I’d say for those who haven’t heard this artist on The Voice is not to be confused by EP’s cover art. Ben is not a country artist; his genre is pop. Think a blend of Savage Garden/Justin Timberlake/One Republic etc Featured video shows Ben performing charismatic single Parachute from the EP.

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