Archive for the ‘News’ Category

March 12, 2024

Blonde Redhead


SATURDAY, JUNE 15: SYDNEY: CITY RECITAL HALL. tickets on sale here.
TUESDAY, JUNE 18: PERTH: THE RECHABITE. Tickets on sale here.

Mistletone proudly announces Blonde Redhead’s first Australian tour in over 13 years. The legendary dream-pop band of Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone + Amedeo Pace returns with their first album in almost a decade, the sumptuously received Sit Down for Dinner

This moment finds Blonde Redhead returning to Australia, 30 years since their incandescent debut, and 13 years since their last visit for Laneway Festival. The band brings with them brilliant new music — as perfect an addition as any fan could wish for, to their back catalogue of heady, romantic songs.

Blonde Redhead’s lush contemporary sound – Kazu and Amedeo’s dreamlike vocals floating over a driving, cinematic soundtrack –  has crystallised their stature as “one of the most revered and inventive independent rock bands of the last decade” (Los Angeles Times).

A band who has never stopped pushing forward, Blonde Redhead are celebrated as a classic band of our time, their masterpiece 23 recently named by Pitchfork as one of the Best Shoegaze Albums of All Time.

  • “On their first album in nearly a decade, and following a wave of viral resurgence, the NYC avant-rock vets return with their warmest, most welcoming music yet” – PITCHFORK
  • “A record of deftly anxious songs about loss … Blonde Redhead’s finest work” – THE GUARDIAN
  • MOJO – ★★★★
  • THE TIMES – ★★★★
  • UNCUT – 8 OUT OF 10
  • “Devastatingly gorgeous” – THE LINE OF BEST FIT
  • “Blonde Redhead’s first album in nearly a decade is one of their best” – BROOKLYN VEGAN ALBUM OF THE WEEK 

Life changes fast,” Joan Didion once wrote. “Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.

When Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino encountered this passage from Didion’s memoir of grief, The Year of Magical Thinking, in the early pandemic months, Makino was thinking of her own parents far away in Japan; the then-lost ritual of congregating for dinner with family; and the heavy, omnipresent feeling that life could change in the instant for any of us. She narrated these feelings on a pair of songs which helped title Blonde Redhead’s 10th full-length: “It’s sort of about death, but the music is so alive and groovy,” Makino says.  

The title Sit Down for Dinner has a separate resonance for the Italian members of Blonde Redhead, the Milan-born twin brothers Amedeo Pace (singer / multi-instrumentalist) and Simone Pace (drummer). “Culturally, dinner is important to us,” Simone says of the non-negotiable family ritual. “It’s a moment for us to sit down and have time with each other. We grew up that way. I know a lot of people eat and run, eat in front of their TV, or don’t care about it too much — and that’s OK — but we really do.” 

Dinner has long been a sacred ritual for Blonde Redhead as a band as well; when they’re on tour or rehearsing, they always share a meal, no matter what. Sit Down for Dinner is a meticulous and immersive testament to the unique internal logic Blonde Redhead have refined over their three-decade existence, characterised by that sense of persistent togetherness.

Formed in 1993, after leaving their homelands of Japan and Italy, Blonde Redhead quickly found a place in the New York indie underground. Their early releases on Smells Like (Steve Shelley’s label), Touch & Go and 4AD, traced an arc from angular indie-rock to cosmopolitan art pop. The trio might have been a quintessential ’90s band, if not for the fact that they continuously kept going, growing, never confined to any era but the present.

Sit Down for Dinner is charged with the inescapable struggles of adulthood: communication breakdown in enduring relationships, wondering which way to turn, holding onto your dreams. Fittingly, Sit Down for Dinner is a pleasure, with the ease of new conversation among familiar friends.

Crucial to that equation are Blonde Redhead’s innate harmonic sensibilities, which Kazu calls the core of the band. “We have a language we have kept,” she adds. “We try to change rhythms, concepts, and sounds. But that harmonic sensibility has stayed the same. It hits the same part of your heart.”

March 12, 2024

bar italia

bar italia TOUR DATES:

JUNE 4: SYDNEY @ Oxford Art Factory. Pre-sale here.
On-sale here: 9am, 15th March
JUNE 6: BRISBANE @ Black Bear Lodge. Pre-sale here: 9am, 13th March.
On-sale here: 9am, 15th March
JUNE 8: MELBOURNE @ Day Tripper, RISING.TICKETS on-sale 12pm, 12th March

Mistletone proudly presents the debut Australian tour for trio bar italia. The London based three-piece of Nina CristanteJezmi Tarik Fehmi and Sam Fenton bring their two full length 2023 releases The Twits and Tracey Denim (Matador / Remote Control) to RISING’s Day Tripper lineup at Melbourne Town Hall, plus club shows in Sydney + Brisbane.

bar italia’s economical yet evocative song craft takes raucous, mystic, unkempt, occasionally sinister, and wholly committed turns. Songs like ‘my little tony‘, with its in-the-red riff and excitable hooks, the cathartic four-on-the-floor of ‘world’s greatest emoter’ and the festival tent psychedelia of ‘Hi-fiver‘ need little in the way of exposition – these are exhilarating rock songs, if wayward and strange.

Other bar italia moments see the band’s increasingly signature, three-act mini-dramas moving into previously uncharted territory. CristanteFehmi and Fenton can each manifest a different melody, mood, and cadence – at times overlapping and linear, at others unexpectedly divergent – often within the space of thirty seconds, a tag team rooted in shared language and kinship. ‘Jelsy‘, for instance, plays out like a conversation between friends over wistful, buzzing country blues, the alternating voices at points comforting, wry and hopelessly yearning. The sinuous, slow-burning waltz of ‘twist‘ stands out in its bare lyricism and seems to invite each band member’s individual take on a confessional.

 bar italia’s Matador debut Tracey Denim was notable for its compact 2-3 minute compositions, horizontal and open-ended tracks like ‘Shoo‘ ebb and flow, moving from reptilian dive-bar soloing to a palpitating two-note piano coda. ‘glory-hunter’ takes playful twists and turns before ending up somewhere entirely different from where it started. ‘Real house wibes (desperate house vibes)’ and ‘que surprise‘ imply sleepless, noirish misadventure, while at the other end of the light spectrum, ‘sounds like you had to be there‘ features some of the band’s most sweetly optimistic musical gestures yet. Closer ‘bibs‘ is a rare instance where all three can be heard in unison, as a procession of ghostly chords and lacerating feedback bookends the group’s most adventurous and rich set to date.

It followed a string of word-of-mouth releases on Dean Blunt’s World Music label and received widespread attention from publications including The Guardian (“one of the albums of 2023 so far”), The Times (“excellent debut album”), The Observer(“Artist To Watch”), NME (“a lasting impression that’s all of their own making“), The Quietus (“endlessly evocative”) and Pigeons And Planes (“quickly establishing themselves as one of the most enticing upcoming bands”). Single ‘Nurse!‘ was playlisted on BBC 6 Music and received spins from BBC Radio 1Absolute Radio and NTS

March 12, 2024



SATURDAY JUNE 8: RISING: Day Tripper at Melbourne Town Hall. Tickets & info here.
SUNDAY JUNE 9: DAREBIN ARTS CENTRE with special guest Hantu. Tickets on sale here.

Mistletone proudly presents the first ever AU tour by MEMORIALS ~ the new duo of Verity Susman (Electrelane) + Matthew Sims (Wire). MEMORIALS are part of the brilliant Day Tripper lineup at RISING and will also play a Melbourne headline show at Darebin Arts Centre plus a Sydney show at Phoenix Central Park.

As a duo, MEMORIALS multi-instrumentalists Verity Susman (Electrelane) and Matthew Simms (Wire, Better Corners, It Hugs Back, UUUU) cover plenty of ground on stage, juggling instruments in a set up resembling that of a 5-piece band. Their sound touches on the many points for which they are known, veering from melodic songwriting to psychedelic noise, free jazz freakouts, tape loops and drones, and then back again. Their debut double album – Music For Film: Tramps! & Women Against The Bomb – is out via The state51 Conspiracy label.

“Both films explore the liminal period when the 80s began to burst from the chrysalis of the 70s, and the exciting, unpredictable music of MEMORIALS reflects the wild creativity and ambition of the time. Technology was democratising music production, and what had once been wild ideas – gender fluidity, postmodernism, feminism – continued their long swim into the mainstream. For Women Against the Bomb, wide-eyed yet inspiring lyrics (“Just as winter comes to spring… We know that peace will come”) tumble over a sugar rush of guitars. Tramps! is less accessible but just as powerful, especially during the full-pelt title track or Feel of Time’s feral, grinding chaos. Each album is like a trove of tapes uncovered after 40 years, one in the city, the other the countryside. How Susman and Simms present these many moods on stage is a problem that should be fun to watch them fathom” – THE GUARDIAN

October 26, 2023

Julie Byrne

artwork by Daniel Kent

Mistletone is thrilled to present Julie Byrne, returning to Australia in the wake of her sublime new album, The Greater Wings.


JANUARY 17 + 19: SYDNEY FESTIVAL @ ACO NEILSON. Tickets on sale here.
JANUARY 25: CASTLEMAINE @ THEATRE ROYAL. Tickets on sale here.

A triumph of grace and hope against the odds” – THE GUARDIAN ★★★★★

Julie Byrne is making the most powerful, life-affirming music of her career. Her magnificent new album The Greater Wings is a universally resonant testament to the power of love and friendship to transcend grief and loss.

The follow-up to her stunning 2017 breakthrough album, Not Even Happiness, The Greater Wings became one of this year’s most rapturously reviewed albums. This deeply moving album is a celebration of friendship; Eric Littmann, Julie Byrne’s longtime creative partner and producer of her previous album Not Even Happiness, died suddenly at age 31, before the album was finished. Recording was finished in the Catskills of New York with producer Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Julianna Barwick).

Julie Byrne has emerged from a deeply trying and generative period with the most lustrous music of her career. While they hold the plasticity of grief and trauma, the songs are universally resonant, unbridled in their devotion and joy, held up by the love and alliance of a chosen family.

With her hushed vocals, sparse instrumentation and gently plucked guitar, Julie Byrne has a way of drawing you in close. Onstage with her musical companions, Byrne is a spellbinding presence, able to transform any room into her front porch. As a performer, Julie carries an aura of warmth and vulnerability, an innate musicality connected to the natural world; there is real gravity in her ability to make that a shared feeling.

For nearly a decade, Julie Byrne has moved through the world as a characteristically private artist largely outside the public eye. Raised in New York State, now living in New York City, she has counted many places as home.

In the folk lineage of the wanderer, Byrne’s poetic, evocative songcraft pulls imagery from the road and takes its shape from the evolving impressions of friendship, love, and loss. She taught herself guitar after picking it up when her father became ill and could no longer play the instrument himself. She has stocked shelves in supermarkets, and moonlit as a seasonal urban park ranger in Manhattan. 

Most recently, Julie has made a new EP with Taryn Blake Miller and Emily Fontana under the name Laugh Cry Laugh, recorded during the winter of last year, including an original called “Velocity! What About The Inertia!?” and a cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days.”

Julie Byrne shared her first full-length album in 2014 on the Chicago-based label Orindal. Rooms With Walls and Windows, a collection of intimate front porch psych-folk songs initially released over two separate cassettes, became a true modern-day word-of-mouth DIY success story. It was voted number 7 in MOJO Magazine’s best albums of the year, with the Huffington Post calling it “2014’s Great American Album.” She toured the album internationally, playing a handful of festivals and a host of underground house shows across America, and as her profile rose, she also found her artistic community.

Writing for her next album spread across various seasons and locations, a travelogue culminating with sessions in her childhood home with producer and creative partner Eric Littmann and later in a cabin in New Hampshire where Jake Falby added string parts. Released in 2017 on Basin Rock and Ba Da Bing Records, Not Even Happiness saw widespread acclaim, named Best New Music by Pitchfork, with universal acclaim across the board, including The New York Times, NME, and The Guardian. By year’s end, the record was a staple on best-of lists; Byrne had played an NPR Tiny Desk and began a run of world tours that continued for several years.

Julie will confess the success of Not Even Happiness was unexpected, but its hushed closing track, “I Live Now As A Singer,” did forecast an intention. She knew the open space — occupied by Littmann’s signature palette of synth tones, Falby’s strings, and Byrne’s robust, drifting voice — presented something new and thrilling, something they’d develop as a live band and what would later be understood as the catalyst for material to come.

The Greater Wings — Julie’s debut for Ghostly International and her first album in over six years — builds on this revelatory space at every turn. Navigating themes of grief, intimacy, and transformation, The Greater Wings is a testament to patience and determination, the willingness to transform through the desolation of loss, the vitality of renewal, and the courage to rise, forever changed.

Leaning further into atmospheres both expansive and intimate, the lush, evocative songcraft flows between her signature fingerpicked guitar, synthesiser, and a newly adopted piano, made wider by flourishes of harp and strings. It is the transcendent sound of resource, of friendship that was never without romance, of loyalty that burns from within like a heart on fire, and the life force summoned in unrepeatable moments — raw, gorgeous, and wild.

“My hope for The Greater Wings is that it lives as a love letter to my chosen family and as an expression of the depth of my commitment to our shared future. Being reshaped by grief also has me more aware of what death does not take from me. I commit that to heart, to words, to sound. Music is not bound to any kind of linear time, so in the capacity to record and speak to the future: this is what it felt like to me, when we were simultaneous, alive, occurring all at once. What it has felt like to go up against my edge and push, the love that has made it worth all this fight. These memories are my values, they belong with me.” – Julie Byrne

October 26, 2023

Lonnie Holley x Moor Mother x Irreversible Entanglements

artwork by George Gillies



Mistletone proudly presents three of America’s most cosmic and visionary artists, joining forces for an incandescent collaboration. Mystic performer and visual artist Lonnie Holley and prophetic jazz poet Moor Mother both perform with revolutionary free-jazz ensemble Irreversible Entanglements, who will also share new material from their Impulse! Records debut, ‘Protect Your Light’.

Lonnie Holley and Moor Mother will bring their collaborative chemistry together as well as performing their own, universally acclaimed recent releases — Lonnie Holley’s “Oh Me Oh My”, which was named Best New Music on Pitchfork, and Moor Mother’s “Jazz Codes”, which The Guardian hailed as “a stunning continuum of Black music”.

The interwoven energies of the three artists add up to a magical, life-affirming brew of cosmic jazz, Afrofuturist poetry, folk, blues and uplifting anthems of resistance and triumph.

Lonnie Holley has held a cult status among the art cognoscenti for a long time as a visual artist and performer’ – NEW YORK TIMES

‘Moor Mother dubs her approach “Black quantum futurism”, exploring sound’s potential to evoke memories as a vehicle for navigating time.… whatever its form, Ayewa lives and breathes it’ – THE GUARDIAN ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

One of the most emotionally affecting delineations and reimaginings of resistant Black art you’re likely to hear. Essential listening’ – THE WIRE x IRREVERSIBLE ENTANGLEMENTS

For those who are yet to be acquainted with the creative chemistry and sonic provocations of poet, musician and activist Moor Mother, visual artist and musician Lonnie Holly and jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements, a spellbinding inauguration into their rapturous sound world awaits. Moor Mother’s poetic lyrics and experimental electronica interlaces harmoniously with Lonnie Holley’s rousing compositions and is complemented by the musical stylings of free-jazz radicals and Irreversible Entanglements. Discover Lonnie Holly and Moor Mother’s sound world here.

October 20, 2023


artwork by Karly Hartzman


WEDNESDAY MARCH 6: BRUNSWICK MUSIC FESTIVAL @ Estonian House with special guests Delivery. Tickets on sale now.
FRIDAY MARCH 8: THEATRE ROYAL CASTLEMAINE with special guests MJ Lenderman +Parsnip. Tickets on sale now.
SATURDAY MARCH 9: GOLDEN PLAINS FESTIVAL, Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre. 

Wednesday is a band from North Carolina led by Karly Hartzman (guitar/vocals), with MJ Lenderman (guitar), Xandy Chelmis (lap/pedal steel), Ethan Baechtold (bass) and Alan Miller (drums). Hartzman writes most of her songs from her bedroom floor in Asheville, North Carolina.

Nodding to ‘90s skuzz, shoegaze, and country, the music is gauzy and heady, a gnarled wall of sound where Hartzman’s aching voice and vivid storytelling cut through the din. Hartzman is a story collector as much as she is a storyteller; the newest and best Wednesday record, Rat Saw God, is autobiographical and above all, deeply empathetic.

The band has long revered country lyricism, and the distorted lap steel innovations Chelmis unleashes are an ode to the genre; to the music and imagery of the American south, the sprawl of the forests, a black bear darting through the yard during a barbecue with friends, a muggy summer and the impossible darkness only lit by lightning bugs when it’s real late at night.

To cite Aunty Meredith: “Rat Saw God layers all those beloved Wednesday pieces into something truly sublime. That twangy underbelly uplit by a wash of countrygaze and bright-eyed melodies. A stamp collection of ragged outsider anthems built around the small town vignettes of Karly Hartzman, whose gothic world-building conjures resplendently bleak southeastern vistas dotted with Dollar Tree discount stores, never-ending nosebleeds and cough syrup black-outs.”

A Wednesday song is a quilt. A short story collection, a half-memory, a patchwork of portraits of the American south, disparate moments that somehow make sense as a whole. Karly Hartzman is a story collector as much as she is a storyteller: a scholar of people and one-liners.

Rat Saw God, the Asheville quintet’s new and best record, is autobiographical and above all, deeply empathetic. Half-funny, half-tragic dispatches from North Carolina, Rabout riding a bike down a suburban stretch in Greensboro while listening to My Bloody Valentine for the first time on an iPod Nano, past a creek that runs through the neighborhood riddled with broken glass bottles and condoms, a front yard filled with broken and rusted car parts, a lonely and dilapidated house reclaimed by kudzu. Four Lokos and rodeo clowns and a kid who burns down a corn field. Roadside monuments, church marquees, poppers and vodka in a plastic water bottle, the shit you get away with at Jewish summer camp, strange sentimental family heirlooms at the thrift stores. The way the South hums alive all night in the summers and into fall, the sound of high school football games, the halo effect from the lights polluting the darkness. It’s not really bright enough to see in front of you, but in that stretch of inky void – somehow – you see everything.

Previous album Twin Plagues was a breakthrough release critically for Wednesday, and a creative and personal breakthrough for Hartzman. The lauded record charts feeling really fucked up, trauma, dropping acid. It had Hartzman thinking about the listener, about her mum hearing those songs, about how it feels to really spill your guts. And in the end, it felt okay. “I really jumped that hurdle with Twin Plagues where I was not worrying at all really about being vulnerable – I was finally comfortable with it, and I really wanna stay in that zone.

“Hot Rotten Grass Smell,” happens in a flash: an explosive and wailing wall-of-sound dissonance that’d sound at home on any ‘90s shoegaze album, then peters out into a chirping chorus of peepers, a nighttime sound. And then into the previously-released eight-and-half-minute sprawling, heavy single, “Bull Believer.” Other tracks, like the creeping “What’s So Funny” or “Turkey Vultures,” interrogate Hartzman’s interiority – intimate portraits of coping, of helplessness.

“Chosen to Deserve” is a true-blue love song complete with ripping guitar riffs, skewing classic country. “Bath County” recounts a trip Hartzman and her partner took to Dollywood, and time spent in the actual Bath County, Virginia, where she wrote the song while visiting, sitting on a front porch. And “TV in the Gas Pump” is a proper traveling road song, written from one long ongoing iPhone note Hartzman kept while in the van.

The reference-heavy stand-out “Quarry” is maybe the most obvious example of the way Hartzman seamlessly weaves together all these throughlines. It draws from imagery in Lynda Barry’s Cruddy; a collection of stories from Hartzman’s family (her dad burned down that cornfield); her current neighbors; and the West Virginia street from where her grandma lived, right next to a rock quarry, where the explosions would occasionally rock the neighborhood and everyone would just go on as normal. 

Wednesday’s songs don’t recount epics, just the everyday. They’re true, they’re real life, blurry and chaotic and strange – which is in-line with Hartzman’s own ethos: “Everyone’s story is worthy,” she says, plainly. “Literally every life story is worth writing down, because people are so fascinating.

But the thing about Rat Saw God – and about any Wednesday song, really – is you don’t necessarily even need all the references to get it, the weirdly specific elation of a song that really hits. Yeah, it’s all in the details – how fucked up you got or get, how you break a heart, how you fall in love, how you make yourself and others feel seen – but it’s mostly the way those tiny moments add up into a song or album or a person.

October 20, 2023

MJ Lenderman & the Wind


FRIDAY MARCH 8: THEATRE ROYAL CASTLEMAINE with Wednesday +Parsnip. Tickets on sale now.
SUNDAY MARCH 11: GOLDEN PLAINS FESTIVAL, Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre.

MJ Lenderman and his band hail from Asheville, North Carolina and are renowned for their righteously ragged live sets. MJ Lenderman’s latest single “Knockin” is a lightning-in-a-bottle distillation of what makes him one of the most captivating songwriters in recent memory, aptly described by Brooklyn Vegan as a “rollicking fusion of country and rock, twangy and heavy at once”.

A tangle of warped pedal steel and scuzzed out guitar; a voice reminiscent of the high-lonesome warble of a choirboy; the keen observations and reflections of a front stoop philosopher. MJ Lenderman’s songs snake their way from a lo-fi home recording to something glossier made with longtime friends at a hometown studio, but the recording setting doesn’t seem to matter much – at its core, a Lenderman song rings true.

His music spans stories about everything from a relationship disintegrating outside the high-end butcher shop to a love song built around a t-shirt kiosk at the airport, or the malaise of a grill rusting in the rain. Lenderman stories are delivered with a loping, easy vibe – a shrug of the shoulders, off-the-cuff fuzzy riffs and rock ‘n’ roll distortion culminating in alt-country cacophony.

October 17, 2023

WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc)

Mistletone is honoured to present Zamrock legends WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc), making their glorious debut with a sold out Australian tour!

THURSDAY MARCH 7: MELBOURNE – BRUNSWICK MUSIC FESTIVAL @ Estonian House with special guests Squid Nebula. SOLD OUT!
SATURDAY MARCH 9: GOLDEN PLAINS FESTIVAL, Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre. 
SUNDAY MARCH 10 + MONDAY MARCH 11 @ WOMADELAIDE, Botanic Park / Tainmuntilla. Tickets on sale here.

WITCH is back, and the magic of its wild Zambian funk-rock, ‘Zamrock,’ is intact” – CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“The Zamrock pioneers still sound like the future” – PITCHFORK

Once upon a time, WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc) ruled Zambia. Dubbed ‘the Beatles of Zambia’ in the 1970s for their immense popularity, the band responsible for pioneering ‘Zamrock’ — a riotous rock’n’roll sound infused with heavy African percussion — often needed police to control the crowds riled up by lead singer, Jagari (whose name is an Africanisation of Mick Jagger’s).

As the AIDS crisis destroyed the country’s flourishing music scene, WITCH fell apart. The iconic ensemble is survived by Jagari, who, after decades in obscurity, was brought back into the public eye following a discography reissue by Now Again Records. Since 2017, the frontman has been returning WITCH to the stage and reviving and re-invigorating Zamrock with a new lineup that is international and inter-generational., . The brilliant new WITCH album ‘Zango’ — which perfectly soundtracked this and all summers — was their first in nearly four decades.

Spearheaded by WITCH, Zamrock fuses influences from the Rolling Stones to Black Sabbath and James Brown, mixing them with traditional African rhythms and bush village songs.

Jagari is the charismatic sole surviving original member of the band. When things fell apart, Jagari retreated to a life of quasi-anonymity as a university music professor, before being wrongfully arrested during Zambia’s toughest hour. He spent much of his 60s mining gemstones, hoping to strike it rich, with the band being just a nostalgic memory of his youth; until WITCH finally got the exposure they deserved in the 2010s.

The most incredible thing about the mighty WITCH is that the story isn’t over yet. To recap the story’s beginnings in the 1960s; As idolisers of British and American rock stars, Jagari and his friends clung to copies of Melody Maker, as the sounds of British radio permeated cities like Lusaka. By the mid-’70s, they were at the centre of an explosive scene performing their own brand of riotous rock-and-roll music, infused with percussive African rhythms and a world-is-ours mentality. WITCH became infamous for their seven-hour live shows and incendiary on-stage antics. The band fizzled out in 1977, and had a brief disco-inspired metamorphosis in the ‘80s, but by the mid-decade, that too was in decline. And Zamrock —still an obscurity in the West —was already but a figment of the past.

The unexpected revival came in 2011, when Now-Again Records reissued a career-spanning collection of WITCH’s music. It would be the first time their work was widely available outside of the band’s native Zambia —though, sadly, by this point, most of the original line-up had died from AIDS and other illnesses.

Crate-diggers and connoisseurs went wild, inspiring filmmaker and fan Gio Arlotta (today the band’s manager) to journey into Africa to find the original band’s last surviving member. Gio’s subsequent film, titled ‘WITCH: We Intend To Cause Havoc’, was released in 2019 —it documents the reincarnation of the band with a new line-up ahead of their first-ever live shows in Europe and America.

With great acclaim received from international festivals and cinema audiences, and with the new WITCH fulfilling Jagari’s long-harboured dream of performing to fans all over the world, this Zamrock legend finally confirmed its place in rock’s history books.

That could have been the end of the story — but, incredibly, there’s now a new chapter. Empowered and inspired by the rapture at shows in London, Los Angeles and Lusaka — and festivals like SXSW, Desert Daze and Green Man — WITCH veterans Jagari and Patrick, both now in their musical prime in their ‘70s, returned to the studio in 2021 with an international consortium of players from the new live band. The album ‘Zango’ tells the story of the band’s phoenix-like rebirth into its current supergroup-like state —and the spell of Zamrock has lost no power despite its years of dormancy.

In a move that mirrors Jagari’s guest appearance on her new album ‘As Above, So Below’, Zambian rapper Sampa The Great provides vocals on the sensational ‘Avalanche of Love’. Keith Kabwe, former bandleader and vocalist of Amanaz — another beloved band of the era — is another notable guest. In that sense, ‘Zango’ sees WITCH come full circle —offering an inter-generational meeting between some of the most important Zambian musical artists past and present.

Album closer ‘Message from WITCH’ sees the band come full circle in another way. The song is effectively a sequel to the self-titled opening track of the band’s first album ‘Introduction’ —which introduced listeners to bassist “Giddy King” Mulenga, drummer “Star MacBoyd” Sinkala, keys player Paul “Jones” Mumba, lead guitarist Chris “Kims” Mbewe, and rhythm guitarist John “Music” Muma in 1972. This 2023 sequel now speaks of erasing homophobia, shattering anti-semitism and conquering xenophobia. Zamrock resurrected.

“You feel a huge responsibility with the weight of this musical history on your shoulders,” Jacco concludes. “I mean, it’s a WITCH record –it’s a huge honour to be able to do this project and actually be a part of the creative process in Zambia with local musicians. It’s something we feel enormously grateful for and inspired by.”

Of course, it is this melting pot of ideas, experiences and musical tastes that really makes this album so rewarding on the whole. “We tried to accept everyone’s ideas, to pool them together, experiment, and see what happens,” says Jagari. “The new players have their own taste, their own feel, and their own experience to match with the old-school Zamrock. The result is what you hear on Zango.

“And that’s where the album’s title comes from — Zango means ‘meeting place’,” Jagari explains. “Every village [in Zambia] will have this central place, where villagers meet to prepare for work, where youngsters go to learn, where the young ones learn from the elder folks, and where the visitors come and converge. It’s an institution, a place where people are welcomed, and where people come for research. It speaks to our band and its various backgrounds and countries. We are at our own meeting point with our music.”

More than just an apt descriptor for the album itself, Zango confirms WITCH’s rejuvenation and triumphant re-emergence. As Jagari says himself on the album’s closing track, it’s “like the story of the phoenix, the bird from the ashes“: Zamrock has resurrected from its decades-long slumber.

October 9, 2023

Mary Lattimore

Mistletone is elated to present the return of sublime harpist and composer, Mary Lattimore, touring as a duo with guitarist Paul Sukeena.


WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 6: BRISBANE POWERHOUSE with special guest Paul Sukeena. Tickets on sale here.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 7: THEATRE ROYAL CASTLEMAINE with special guests Paul Sukeena (USA) + Andrew Tuttle (Meanjin). Tickets on sale here.

Mary Lattimore bathes her spectacular Lyon and Healy concert grand in an electronic glow through effects pedals, loops and synths. Accompanied by guitarist Paul Sukeena, Mary Lattimore blesses Australian stages with her dreamlike compositions and her new album Goodbye, Hotel Arkada, which features Lol Tolhurst (The Cure), Meg Baird and Rachel Goswell (Slowdive).

Mary shared, “When I think of these songs, I think about fading flowers in vases, melted candles, getting older, being on tour and having things change while you’re away, not realising how ephemeral experiences are until they don’t happen anymore, fear for a planet we’re losing because of greed, an ode to art and music that’s really shaped your life that can transport you back in time, longing to maintain sensitivity and to not sink into hollow despondency.”

Through evocative, emotionally resonant music, Goodbye, Hotel Arkada speaks not just for its beloved namesake — a hotel in Croatia facing renovation — but for a universal loss that is shared. It’s shaped by change; nothing will ever be the same, and here, the artist, evolving in synthesis, celebrates and mourns the tragedy and beauty of the ephemeral, all that is lived and lost to time.

Documented and edited in uncharacteristically measured sessions over the course of two years, the material remains rooted in improvisation while glistening as the most refined and robust in Mary Lattimore’s decade-long catalogue. It finds her communing with friends, contemporaries, and longtime influences, in full stride yet slowing down to nurture songs in new ways.

Memories, scenes, and split-second impressions have long filled Mary’s musical universe. As one of today’s preeminent instrumental storytellers, she has “the uncanny ability to pluck a string in a way that will instantly make someone remember the taste of their fifth birthday cake” (Pitchfork).

Mary’s impulse to record life as it happens matches her drive to travel and perform, as profiled by The New York Times: “Lattimore recognized that being in motion shook loose strands of inspiration, moods she wanted to express with melody. She needed, then, to remain on the go.” That sense of fluidity has also made her a prolific collaborator outside of solo work. 2020’s Silver Ladders, recorded with Slowdive’s Neil Halstead, opened the door for Mary to widen the vision of her primary project as well.

“All of these people I asked to contribute have deeply affected and inspired my life,” she affirms.

October 3, 2023



WEDNESDAY + THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15 + 16: PERTH FESTIVAL with special guest Gia Como. Thursday sold out, Wednesday tickets on sale here.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19: MELBOURNE @ THE FORUM with special guest Georgia Knight. Tickets on sale here. * SOLD OUT!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21: BRISBANE @ THE TIVOLI with special guest Jerm. tickets on sale here.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23: HOBART @ MONA FOMA. Tickets on sale here.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25: ADELAIDE @ HINDLEY STREET MUSIC HALL with special guest Kuiper. Tickets on sale here.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27: SYDNEY @ ENMORE THEATRE with special guest A Broken Sail. Tickets on sale here.

Mistletone proudly presents Scottish post-rock monarchs Mogwai, bringing their epic live show back to Australia for the first time in six years. Unleashing their colossal sound in all its beauty and fury, the tour will feature Mogwai’s UK 2021 number one record As The Love Continues, as well as classic Mogwai tracks from their innovative career.

One of the best loved and most ground-breaking post-rock bands of the past three decades, Mogwai’s psychedelic adventures on the furthest frontiers of noise have earned them a reputation as vast as their thunderous music. Though they may be placed in the “file under post rock” corner, As The Love Continues shows that they get broader and broader in their vision.

Like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey, Mogwai remain a band whose favourite album continues to be their latest one. Ten records in and still no disappointments or mistaken creative left turns.

You may know what to expect from Mogwai, but you will never get the same. Mogwai are still offering solace from the mundane. They remain a transcendent soundtrack to whatever movie you are making in your head.

The band has also created many acclaimed films and television soundtracks, most recently the Apple TV+ show Black Bird. Mogwai founder Stuart Braithwaite recently published his acclaimed autobiography, Spaceships Over Glasgow: Mogwai and Misspent Youth.

As Braithwaite recalls: “We heard the first Arab Strap album and thought, ‘fucking hell we can’t mess about’” and 25 years later, Mogwai still aren’t messing about. 

Everything stays and everything passes, but our fate is to pass. The Mogwai way is to stay. As the title of one of their albums said, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will – where it says “Hardcore”, read “Mogwai”.

The Mogwai formula (surfing a wave of instrumental intensity, not to go into too much detail) not only holds out, but still causes small earthquakes: their latest album, As The Love Continues reached number one in the British charts to everyone’s surprise, including theirs. Because although the Scots have modulated their proposal towards (ahem) pop, whilst avoiding falling into the noise for the sake of noise trap (now there are also voices, synthesizers, harmonic games on the menu…) they have not now, suddenly, become radio friendly.

Quite simply, the rock sphere has spun, spun and spun and, in the end, it has come to the realisation that Mogwai were not just on the axis, they were the axis.