Thursday Three: Krista Polvere - Gillbanks - PJKTS

Krista Polvere - Shut Up & Ride.

And those fine background promo words - Melbourne based alt-country siren Krista Polvere returns from an international hiatus with the release of her new single Shut Up and Ride on November 27.

The single is the first taste of Polvere’s new self-titled album due for release early in 2016. Both single and album were recorded in Virginia, USA, and produced by producer/artist Brian Elijah Smith. The recordings were made over an intense period in a basement studio fuelled by an intense relationship between the pair resulting in an album of rare emotional vulnerability and fire.

“There is a story within it all that makes this album even more intense and special. You may hear it all coming through the songs, through my voice. The producer and instrumentalist on the album was my lover at the time. When I listen to the record now I can hear the ghosts of our love and the listener may too”. Shut Up and Ride is a powerful first single from the album – a rollicking, guitar driven ode to spontaneity and risk-taking, with an unmistakably lustful lyric!

To celebrate the release of the single Polvere has commenced a short residency at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel along with a series of other shows around Victoria and a three-day stint at Australian Music Week in Sydney. In February 2016 Krista will return to the USA having been accepted to perform at the prestigious Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City.

Upcoming headline shows:
Tuesday 24th November 2015 - Gasometer Hotel, Fitzroy VIC
Friday 4 December 2015 - Westernport Hotel, San Remo VIC
Wednesday 16 December 2015 - Retreat Hotel, Fitzroy VIC

Alt country doesn't have to be dark and moody as 'Shut Up and Ride' demonstrates. With a kick in it's heel, this song is a positive blast of great music and captivating vocals, that are just right for the song.


Gillbanks - Tiffany. (from the EP 'Lend Me Your Skin').

Background words - The truth is that you have no true self-realised opinions, you have no absolute idea about who you are or what sort of legacy you’ll leave. Everything you are is an adoption, a slice of someone else’s thoughts, a misinterpretation between the excitement of something new and the fear of missing out.

A deep anxiety took hold of Sam Gillbanks. A story told by too many of the newly graduated youth: no job, no money, no future. Still no inkling into what he really wanted, he ventured into a labyrinth of dreamscaping, guitar playing, and song writing and found a release of residual energy and captive ideas of his own making. These were not adopted. These were his ideas.

He took his guitar and his voice and burrowed in the coastal town of Falmouth until he surfaced with a host of songs. Aided by the infallible Hugo Heaverman, the two made Gillbanks with the self realised dream of giving the world their own creation. A Wavey Head released album called ‘Lived In’ followed and spawned the interest of many a keen eye. Gillbanks dreamt of writing songs for the wicked, for the useless, for the kings of us. The ones who both know what they want and don’t know who they are, we are all guilty of falling into those well trodden paths and Gillbanks want you to know that you can tread theirs.

On November 27th, Gillbanks release their debut EP 'Lend Me Your Skin', riding on the waves of the initial singles ‘Anxious?’ and ‘Loosen Up’. Coming from the industry heartland of Birmingham, its not hard to hear where the gritty noisier extremes and the punishing self-examination of faithless and trust less love originate. Spinning the coin between dark realisation and melancholy appendix, Sam explored the lighter side of his mind to create a juxtaposition in melody and lyric writing, most notably on the track ‘Tiffany’. However, as chilling to the bone ‘Nerve’ may be to the ear, it’s sanctity is it’s musical journey, whisking you from subtle lows to cliff-edge highs.

'Lend Me Your Skin' is Sam’s promise not only to the listener, but to himself. He will constantly mine into the bottomless caves of musical innovation to create what will ultimately be, a voyage of his mind.

I chose 'Tiffany' to feature from this five track EP because it's my favourite one, and also I think it gives a good indication, of the styling you will hear, from what is a varied set of very fine songs.


PJKTS - Sunshine. (from the 'Loudest Child' EP).

Background promo words - Songwriter James Mason releases his debut EP Loudest Child under the name PJKTS on November 17th. The project emerges from the LA indie pop scene inhabited by producer Ethan Kaufmann (Wild Party), who was a driving influence of the EP’s electrifying, synthpop sound. The two teamed up in Silver Lake, CA to record Loudest Child, a set of songs that weaves the singer’s natural emotive voice into Kauffman’s slick production in his East Hollywood studio dubbed The Elephant in the Room. The debut EP was released a couple of days ago.

Mason, previously in pop-tinged rock outfit The Vantage and pop-punk revelers Safety Word Orange, has always relied most on his ability as a songwriter. Stacked high with experimental indie rockand synth-popgleam, the four tracks on the EP - “Mary Louise,” “Sunshine,” “Three for the Show” and “Bad Manners” - are all buoyed by keen lyricism. Thematically, the songs conform around the anxiety and tension that nearly every 20-something has grappled with: transitioning from a more careless existence to fitting in with the bewildering idea of what it means to be an “adult.” The EP also calls to attention the damage done to personal relationships caught in the corners of addiction and depression, although sonically it is a four on the floor party affair.

The set starts with “Sunshine,” a song about self-reinvention spurred by the site of a particularly engrossing homeless man, whose weary gruffness brings up insecurities and uncertainty in our narrator. By the chorus, however, he is “walking on sunshine” as he ultimately chooses hope and optimism as his coping mechanism.

Celebratory single “Three for the Show” explodes with tom drum-lead choruses and fetching verses. Carefully placed percussion layers and synth progressions provide the base for Mason’s musings. “Three for the Show” preaches to everyone who has cracked or lost their iPhone screen during a night of heavy boozing: Sometimes it’s just easier to find delight in the screw-up and accept it as a souvenir of an awesome night of revelry. “Mary Louise” finds Mason nostalgic for his days living in LA in the mid-2000’s, reminiscing on past friends and debaucherous times.“Bad Manners” rounds out the EP with big, guitar-driven hooks and alternately spacious and snappy vocals. PJKTS will play local and regional shows leading up to appearances at the South by Southwest Music Festival in March of 2016.

The first of four songs 'Sunshine' quickly grabbed my attention, with the dominant and powerfully expressive vocals of James Mason. Each song stamps it's own mark, and combine to make a very rich EP.