Words: Emily Heylen

Melbourne multi-instrumentalist Olivia Bartley has been called many things: angelic vocalist, commanding performer, blonde bombshell, left-field lyricist – but (on stage, at least) she calls herself Olympia.

Continue reading “INTERVIEW: OLYMPIA”


INTERVIEW: Adelaide chanteuse ‘MANE’

Words: Emily Heylen
Image: Courtesy of On The Map PR

Bursting onto the scene like a reverse smokebomb, Adelaide chanteuse MANE has arrived with her debut EP House of Horror.

Continue reading “INTERVIEW: Adelaide chanteuse ‘MANE’”

INTERVIEW: Paul Dempsey ‘Strange Loop’

Words: Emily Heylen
Image: Cybele Malinowski

After a solid 20 years playing as both a solo artist and as front man of Something For Kate, it’s fair to say that Paul Dempsey has concreted his place as one of Australia’s most successful and well respected musicians.

Continue reading “INTERVIEW: Paul Dempsey ‘Strange Loop’”

BEAUTY EDIT: ‘Shape Shifter’ by Karla Majnaric

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Continue reading “BEAUTY EDIT: ‘Shape Shifter’ by Karla Majnaric”

FILM: SISTER ‘Farewell to Summer’

“Farewell to Summer”
A 16mm short film for SISTER by Caitlin Shannon & Gianna Mazzeo.

Creative duo, and Melbourne-based cool cats, Caitlin Shannon and Gianna Mazzeo, created a film shot for independent label SISTER. The short, shot on 16mm film stock, was formed from a crew and cast of some talented and dynamic women, including the designers.


SISTER, a young Melbourne brand, based at Homework Studios in Brunswick, has quickly succeeded in being recognised by other sisters across the globe. The two talented women  behind the brand, Emma Cutri and Alice McIntosh, began the business combining their skills to make pieces for their creative friends. Caitlin Shannon and Gianna Mazzeo formed along the same path to create this film.

static1.squarespace.com1“We wanted the film to reflect how the very roots of the brand started, bringing together nine beautiful women of various creative backgrounds”


The film epitomises a surreal sun drenched scenario wherein passion fruits are the very object of each girl’s desire. Each year they meet together with an unspoken connection as they slurp, suck, and playfully interact with the passion fruits. From the seeds they repeat the tradition by planting them back into the ground and waiting for the vine to grow until next year when they meet again…

Watch the film below and be enchanted:

Film by: Caitlin Shannon and Gianna Mazzeo
Creative Direction: Caitlin Shannon
Cinematographer and editing: Gianna Mazzeo
Music: Hayden Summerville
Jewellery: ML_D and Building Two
Ceramics: Samantha O’Farrell

The Sisters: Bella Clark (of Building Two), Francesca Carey, Rosie Clynes, Olivia Moore, Lilibeth Hall, Ruby Maddison, Andrea Maddison (mother of Ruby M), Ruby Kannava and Natalia Pluchinotta.  |

Interview: Mayfair Kytes ‘Animus’


Interview: Alyssa Cavanagh
Image: Courtesy of On The Map PR

Melbourne four-piece, Mayfair Kytes have released their debut album, Animus, alongside quirky and musically dazzling single, Sleepyhead. Layered with exquisite vocal harmonies and opulent string scores by Willow Stahlut (Cinematic Orchestra), the single is perfectly textured by bold, discordant guitars accentuating the song’s inimitable musical brilliance.

Storyboarded, hand-animated, filmed and directed by Melbourne artist, Thomas Russell (Hiatus Kaiyote, Chet Faker, Flyying Colours), the fittingly artistic video for Sleepyhead follows contemporary dancer Geoffrey H Watson as he saunters his way around an empty white room, tearing off layers of bulky clothing in an act of defiance, musing as his heavy steps become joyful skips with each layer shed.

Recorded in just over a year with close pal, Nick Herrera between his notable home studio and a converted chapel in Melbourne’s inner north, the album features performances from string players from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as well as extra synths and production added by Hiatus Kaiyote’s Simon Mavin and Paul Bender.

We spoke to Matt Kelly the lead vocalist from the band about the newly released album Animus,  and quizzed him about the enchanting album.

Talk us through your debut album, ‘Animus’.

“Animus” is a collection of songs written and recorded with strings, horns, 3-part harmonies, bizarre pop melodies, angular guitars, synth-scapes and a stark narrative… it is an experimental pop album.


 What sound can we expect from the LP?

We have been calling it folk art pop, though there are no boundaries when it comes to what we try to create. Also don’t expect too many choruses.


Could you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind creating ‘Animus’.

It came about from a project I wanted to start with a dedicated string section. Something lush and sweeping to close your eyes to when you listened. They were all sort of ballads or at least songs with feelings that set out to do no more than create a sense of beauty. Not trying to be cool, sexy or badass, just honest. And that in itself is kinda badass innit? (jokes!)


 What are your influences?

The derelict industrial area that I live, its green sunsets, the long Melbourne winters and the beautiful landscape that exists beyond the city boarders, the long stretches of highway between places. Friends, family, lovers. Good music, strong minds, our inspirational music community here.


How did you get into writing music?

I wrote my first song at 8 years old. I would say I owe that to my mother who tried to direct my creative streak into something.


Are there any musicians or producers that you admire?

Producer wise there’s Arca, Nigel Godrich, Steve Albini, Rick Rubin.

Musician wise there is always Nina Simone, Bjork, Sam Cook, Tom Waits, St Vincent, David Longstreth, Daniel Rossen… honestly I could go on for hours, this is just the international list, on our own home turf there is a whole lotta people I could say…


Could you take us through your writing/creative process?

My writing process has changed over the years, as in once I used to be able to spit out a song everyday pretty much. But now I tend to work on something a lot, refine ideas. I often record my improvisations and begin to search for the subliminal narrative in my voicing’s. Sometimes a song still arrives full and ready in the one moment but not as often. I like to experiment with my ideas these days, so a song is never really finished til it’s mastered.


Tell us about your single ‘Sleepyhead’ and the inspiration behind the quirky animation?

The film clip was directed, animated and shot by Thomas Russel. I think a lot of the themes revolve around shedding the past as well as trying to smash male stereotypes. This is my interpretation from what he has told me anyway.


 ‘Animus’ explores the themes of loss, acceptance and reprieve; it’s also described as a ‘kind of a reverse break up album’. 
Could you elaborate on what you mean by that?

The reverse break up thing refers to the songs telling a story over the course of the album, a story that begins with trauma and separation anxiety and working its way towards reconciliation and peace (of mind at least). It is a tale that anything you believe worthy of effort should be treated with the correct amount of respect. It is about love.


 What can we expect from you in 2016 and beyond?

We just wanna see how people react to the album. We will also have some very special shows coming up later in the year, some gigs in unconventional venue settings (if everything goes to plan). We also will be hitting the festival circuit later in the year and continue to write, record and release as it comes.



Debut single Sleepyhead and the new album Animus are out now via itunes.




Written by: Maddie Grammatopoulos

If you like strobe lights and heavy trance synths, then you’ve come to the right place. South London music producer Darq E Freaker has just released an urban electronic EP called ‘ADHD’, and it’s a real mix bag of lollies. Not in the sense that there’s some bites you like and some you don’t, but rather there’s a mix of colours and tastes all thrown together to produce something really fresh and idiosyncratic.

He throws everything into the mixing pot – heavy base, 80’s games motifs, insane percussion, unexpected drops and more. It’s a real roller coaster. He’s worked with some pretty decent artists too, such as Danny Brown, Tempa T and Afrikan Boy, so you might have heard of him before if you’re into electronic music. In the game since 2012, he’s been fusing grime, electronica and hip hop, whilst spinning it his own way. He’s also been killing it in the hairstyle game, as I sure couldn’t pull off either bright green or yellow hair.

Freaker’s passion drives him to pour his creativity into a techni-colourful form of rave music that’s different to ever before. “The timeliness of this music isn’t so important; the main thing is that it’s RAVE music. I’m trying to fuse RAVE… with grime/hip-hop groovers, drops, drum patterns & baselines,” he said. “This project isn’t solely me; it’s me pushing some of the musical influence of my adolescence into my adulthood. It’s nostalgic in the most progressive way.”

To be honest, I don’t think I actually know what’s going on here, but I like it. It kind of gives me a headache, but I could see myself doing some very illegal shapes on the dance floor to these tunes. Those girls that shuffle while wearing those white light up kicks would froth on this for sure. I feel like it’s one of those albums you listen to on the couch with your friends while you eat some cheeky brownies or something. Real tripping out music. But don’t get me wrong here, illegal substances are not required to enjoy.
Don’t do drugs kids!!!


If you still have no idea what Mr Freaker is on about, just have a suss of his album artwork. It looks exactly like the dictionary’s definition of ‘psychedelic’ – relating to or denoting drugs (especially LSD) that produce hallucinations and apparent expansion of consciousness. It’s swirly, it’s colourful, and it looks like a melted rainbow Paddle Pop. Yum. Anyway, I need to stop before I start talking about how in primary school I hid my collection of sticks under a plant while I tried to get matching ones so I could win that trip to Queensland (did anyone else do this??).


I don’t know much about ADHD, except that it stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD disrupts a brain circuit that filters out excess sensory information, like background noise, so it’s hard for the brain to really focus. Man does this relate to the EP. Nothing is filtered and everything is happening at the same time. I tried listening to ‘2C-I’ while writing this but I couldn’t focus whatsoever. If I was to interpret the word ‘hyperactive’ through music, Freaker’s beats hit the nail on the head.


In little bits, or for a real bump n’ grind/shuffle in the nightclub situation it rocks, but for normal listening it does hurt my brain. Would recommend checking it out though, so have a suss as it was released April 1st 2016.



RÜFÜS Bloom artwork

Words: Alyssa Cavanagh
Image: Courtesy of On The Map PR

Rüfüs are bigger than ever this year. The talented boys and former school mates Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George and James Hunt, hailing from Sydney Australia, have launched their much-anticipated sophomore album BLOOM. It’s already topped the ARIA charts in January, booting Adele from her #1 spot that she guarded for months, and their two lead singles You Were Right and Like An Animal landed in Triple J’s hottest 100 countdown (#12 & #28). Rüfüs are in the middle of a mostly sold out EU/UK/US/Canada tour, are set to launch their Australia/New Zealand tour starting in Adelaide 29th April and finishing up in Auckland 27th May 2016, with some shows already sold out (Melb/Syd), and second shows announced. It’s no surprise the buzz surrounding their latest release, that they’ve also landed a spot in the coveted music festival Coachella, later this month.

We spoke to James Hunt, drummer, before BLOOM released and he gave us some insight into how the album was created and how the band coped with homesickness on tour and the inspiration sparked by travelling the world:


Hi James, thank you for talking to Concrete Journal today, how are you?

Hey how are you? I’m good!


Rüfüs’ new album ‘BLOOM’ is due to be released tomorrow, what can fans expect from this album? 

For us it’s an extension of what we’ve previously done on our last album and the EP before that; this is the most personal project that we’ve done to date. We came into it wanting to make a record based off the music that we were loving at the time and we had an aesthetic drive and real sonic drive that by the end of the writing process I think there was a real thematic drive to what we were doing and we didn’t even plan for that and it was something that we related to and where we were at in our lives at the time so hopefully people can really draw upon it in their own way.


You mention you went in a bit of a different direction thematically, is there any reason why you decided to go into that direction? 

I guess where we were at in our lives, something that drove us at the time and we were touring a lot on the back of our last album ‘Atlas’ and that was a really amazing experience being able to travel the world and see places and experience that kind of lifestyle, but at the same time there was this increased sense of displacement and decompression of coming back to Australia, to home, and then leaving again. It was the kind of push and pull that started shaping the theme of the record and I think we all realised that that was something pretty rich for us to draw upon. When we write the aim isn’t to push a really strong message or put a strong focus on that feeling or mood or atmosphere and environment, it kind of just occurred naturally, there were these things that were happening in our lives that felt really organic to draw upon for the songs we were crafting.


What has been the highlight of your career so far?

It’s pretty hard to say, it feels like every time something amazing happens it’s another step up and there’s constant highs and constant rushes it’s been pretty surreal to be honest; but I think one experience I come back to is playing Falls Festival two years ago just a few months after we released ‘Atlas’. Before that we had been playing for a few years and increasing playing to some bigger crowds and that was really amazing, but there was this one show we were playing in Byron Bay for Falls and the sun was setting over the hill and there were just huge crowds and I feel like that was the most pinch-yourself-moments I’ve had ever, I kind of just left my body a little bit like ‘how the fuck did I get to this?’ ‘This is crazy!’ It was amazing and for some reason it’s been a really poignant moment in my head, I feel like there’s so many things happening at the moment it’s hard to process.

You’re just constantly pinching yourself (laughter)

Yeah, I’m pinching, exactly! 


When was the defining moment in your career when you knew you were onto something big?

I think after spending a year writing ‘Atlas’, we’d never put an album out before and we’d been doing EP’s and smaller bodies of work, so we had this large body of work we wrote and put our heart and soul into and it was that sort of nervousness about putting something out; well not even nervousness but just like excitement and anticipation about seeing how the world is going to respond. When it’s the first time you’ve done something like that you don’t really have any preconceptions about how it will play out, and I think that kind of reaction was pretty amazing for us and that’s already happened again on this record, BLOOM. Putting singles out and seeing that positive affirmation back for what we’re doing is really nice and validating, I guess that’s one way of gauging where you’re at.


There’s definitely a lot buzz surrounding the upcoming release of BLOOM, could you tell us about the motivation behind and the significance of the title?

We were initially pretty inspired by underwater imagery and underwater animals when we started writing and we would have these sort of image screen saver playlist things of jellyfish and whales and we really enjoyed the serenity of these animals and that they were floating in negative space, almost weightless and I think that was a big sonic drive. We were always trying to write and create sounds that sounded as if they were these animals floating from left to right on our sonic sphere and bubbling about. So we were kind of just researching things about jellyfish and underwater animals and discovered that another way of referring to a group of jellyfish is a ‘Bloom’ and we loved the dual meaning of that in referring that kind of underwater environment which was so influential in the sonic direction of the albums as well as the other alternative meaning of growing up. Dealing with the decompression of coming back home after touring for so long forced maturity out of that. I think it’s just a really nice relevant word for us.


I think it’s very suiting, you definitely get that vibe listening to the album. How would you describe the Rüfüs sound to those that aren’t familiar to your music yet?

I guess for us the sound is a kind of melting pot of everything that we’ve listened to; there’s elements of softer electronica, elements of house, we listen to a lot of acts that have bit more of a pop sensibility, we really love people who write music with a pop sensibility in a clever way so for us it’s kind of this big cauldron of things just mixed about. It’s pretty hard to describe to someone else what they’re gonna get out of it, we’re all just in our little cave, our little bubble writing for ourselves and then just spitting something out into the world and seeing how it might be responded to.


Who and what are your influences collectively as a band or to you personally?

There are quite a few, we’ve really branched out with what we’re listening to for this album, but a big influence that we always sort of talk about is this guy called David August who’s a producer out of Germany and we love his approach to electronic music, it’s really intelligent and spacious and patient and the kind of sound that he harnesses is really nice warmly and spacey, there’s just this sense of cinematic epic-ness about the tracks that he writes. Also Booka Shade, Maribou State we listened to lots of The Avalanches for this album a producer call Hnny and a producer called Vanilla. We love all that sample-y choir, choral parts and the strings that are a little bit stretched and warped and sounded kind of dusty and old and that was a big kind of initial sonic drive for us.


You, Tyrone and Jon seem like pretty close friends, I imagine you would spend a lot of time with each other especially when touring, how do you guys get along? 

We get along great! When we’re working together we know when to give each other space if need be or when we’re under stress, I think we’re all pretty easy going people so it’s never too hard to get everyone to get along and be diplomatic, not to try and create shit between each other or create fights that [cause] tension and it’s cool, it feel like the three of us are friends. We hang out outside of Rüfüs related stuff, we see our friends and go to parties it’s all pretty chill. It’s a really nice vibe.


Your Coachella performance has been announced for April this year, are you looking forward to it? Have you been to Coachella before?

I haven’t been to Coachella and neither has Tyrone. Jon went a few years ago and he was raving about it, but I think we’re kind of stoked about that, it’s kind of an institution in itself, and seeing our name in the lineup there surrounded by huge names and artist that we really respect and look up to is something that’s pretty special! I think everyone is just hanging out for LCD Sound System, so that’s probably going to be a highlight.


The band spent some time in Berlin, and I hear that you had some influence from the music scene there, what was it about the Berlin music scene that had such a profound impression on you? 

I’m not sure exactly what it [was] but it felt like there’s this culture of taste in music over there. People really knew what they loved about the music they were listening to, every clothes shop you would go into they were playing a song or maybe a record and you would go ‘hey what’s this song?’ and they would know the artist or they would know when they’d seen them play before. I think there was a sense of care and sense of passion there which we really soaked up, but also in terms of the actual music there was this sense of space in a lot of the tracks we discovered from the artists that were putting music out from Berlin. There was a sense of restraint which is something that is really appealing to us.


Did you guys get a bit homesick on your world tour? 

Ah yeah definitely that’s something that we’ve been becoming more and more aware of and appreciating being back in a place that you’re familiar with and surrounded by people that you’re familiar with friends and family and I guess that was probably something that seeped into the second record, into Bloom those processes leaning and then longing and then coming back and then this cyclical process.


Any dream collaborators? 

I would love to collaborate with a producer called George Fitzgerald he’s a big idol of ours, we’ve loved his production since 2011 or 2012 we he got that track ‘Child’ out, his latest output has this really nice warmth and tenderness to it like a warm hug, I’d love to just get into the studio and pick his brains and see how he does what he does.


What your personal favourite track on Bloom and why?

That’s a pretty hard question, it’s like choosing your favourite child (laughs) but for some reason I often come back to the closing track on the album ‘Innerbloom’, I’m really proud of that track and I feel like that in particular is where we allowed ourselves complete freedom, we just let something happen and accepted the results. We didn’t feel the need to edit it down or restrain it in any way we just let it have it’s own space, I dunno it’s just like every day I have a different favourite.


Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone starting in the creative industry?

I guess a really important thing I would’ve wanted to hear when I started out in the music industry is to trust your own instinct and to really do what moves you rather than try and sync or calculate what you think you should be doing. It’s so much easier said than done and I haven’t nailed that at all. I think the beauty of doing art is that it can reveal things about yourself, and that trusting what moves you will drive you to put the most authentic thing out.


Now for speed round questions:

Netflix or books? Netflix

Early bird or snooze button? Snooze button

Summer or Winter? Summer

80s or 90s? Ummm 90s

Instagram or snapchat? Instagram

Mac or PC?  Mac

Phobias? Things not being perfectly aligned. You know when you see books on a table and one’s kind of crooked, I can’t stand that when a picture is crooked I can’t deal with it!

Have you seen that picture that’s been on rotation on the internet with a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and it’s been put up the right way but the frame is off?

Oh no! I can’t deal!

Most used emoji? Probably the okay hand symbol, you know the one?

Mmm yeah I use that a lot too
Yeah it’s a good one!

BLOOM is available now


RÜFÜS - 2016 WORLD TOUR low res


Presented by Sweat it Out, Team Leisurely, Triple J and Channel V


Tickets available from | 136 100 | All Ticketmaster Outlets



Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets



Tickets available from | 132 849 | All Ticketek Outlets



Tickets available from | 132 849 | All Ticketek Outlets



Tickets available from | 136 100 | All Ticketmaster Outlets



Tickets available from | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets



Tickets available from | 136 100 | All Ticketmaster Outlets



Tickets available from | 136 100 | All Ticketmaster Outlets


Tickets available from



Beauty Edit: ‘Emilia’


Photography: Michelle Tran, Hart & Co.
@mishytran @hartandco

H+M: Julie Provis, Hart & Co.
(used products from Mecca Cosmetica throughout)
@julieprovis_makeupartist @hartandco

Styling: Emilia Skuza @emiliaskuza
featuring búl Clothing, Giorgio Armani & C/MEO COLLECTIVE

Model: Emilia Skuza, IMG
@emiliaskuza @imgmodels

Emilia Skuza (IMG Models) and her team of creative babes have got us diggin’ these wintery vibes for this beauty editorial. Shot by the über-talented Michelle Tran from Hart & Co. agency, and hair and makeup by Julie Provis from Hart & Co., we’re dreaming of dusting off that cashmere throw and curling up by the fire with a hot cup of joe. Feast your eyes on this editorial delight for Concrete Journal below, and try to tell us you’re not keen to shop for a black skivvy right now…

Now fall in love with these baby blues ❤





Words by: Maddie Grammatopoulos

Elizabeth Rose’s debut album has dropped and boy oh boy is she one to watch. The blossoming RNB-cross-electronic-cross-fucking-awesome artist from Sydney has released ‘Intra‘ and it’s absolutely sick. With help from Grammy Award-winning US producer Jimmy Douglas and John Davis at Metropolis London you can’t go wrong.

You probably have heard the first release from the album ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’ on the radio. I really like it but I’ve heard it so many times and the song is pretty repetitive so I was starting to get a bit over it. I do like it though, but I reckon that she has some waaaay better tracks on the album that I can’t wait for everyones ears to be blessed by. I knew OF Elizabeth Rose but had never really looked into depth about who she is as a person and artist. Now that I have, not only am I extremely impressed but also a little in love.

Besides the fact that she is gorgeous looking and her smile seems to just radiate light and happiness, there are two things that make me really appreciate and genuinely respect her as an artist. Firstly, for each song she creates, she begins with the music rather than the lyrics. I reckon that rocks because it’s the beat that creates the whole journey, the style, and the experience. Secondly, when she talks into interviews and she seems so incredibly lovely. She’s witty and nice, and it’s clear as day that she is absolutely dedicated to her music.

The songs are really diverse too. Sometimes you can find that artists may not really evolve or develop throughout their music career into their own sound, into something that represents who they are and what they believe in. I know this chicky has great morals and a sweet outlook on life, as she pours her soul into her songs. This album really tells a story and you can tell that she has put in 110% to bring it to where it is today. Heck, 200%.

If you’re an Alpine or Little Dragon fan I reckon you would definitely dig her vibes. Chuck in a bit of Missy Elliott inspo there as well. Or just anyone who appreciates a decent artist who genuinely expresses feelings towards the important things in life. And when I say important, she doesn’t just have fluffy lyrics about love (not that songs about love are always fluffy) or just fit words with the beat. Her songs are real talk. Marriage equality, gun violence, relationships, trust and anxiety are issues that she is game to tackle in her very listenable tunes.

Something about her really reminds me of Banks. Both women seem so powerful and driven by music to create something unique. I saw Banks live at Laneway Festival last year and she absolutely OWNED the stage, I can’t speak highly enough of her stage presence.

Speaking of which, if you have a suss of their eyes and cheekbones there’s a few physical similarities… is it just me?



She’s won countless awards now and all for good reason. She’s already had seven singles and two EPs, where her self-titled EP hit #1 on iTunes Electronic Charts in Australia.


She first graced our lives with her musical presence in 2012, where straight away she was named one of ’20 Aussie Indie Bands to Watch in 2012’ by Radar Music and was selected for Triple J’s ‘Next Crop’ list.

Her vocal range astounds me too. There’s one song in particular that I’m not ashamed to admit to have played continuously for the last week. I can’t get sick of it. Can’t say the same for anyone who drives in my car with me necessarily, but what can ya do! Wicked artists such as Chrome Sparks, Seekae’s George Nicholas, and M-Phazes are all featured too which makes for a real good time. Have you heard ‘I didn’t believe’ by Flight Facilities? Well she features in it and was at Splendour in the Grass with them last year, so you might have witnessed the funky clothes she wears on stage. Wish my memory wasn’t so faded from that day… whoops…

She’s making a real statement and I love it. I should, could and would see her live and I reckon you would want to too. I have no shadow of doubt that this lady is going  to go far. Her debut album came out 4th March 2016 on Midnight Feature via Inertia.

Check it out when you get the chance.

AND last (but not least) if you want to see her play live, well you can!
Check out the tour dates below: