New music round-up (for w/e 8 December 2023)

Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 8 December 2023.

One of Australia’s most captivating creative minds, singer-songwriter, Woodes has released her second album The Great Unknown – displaying the breadth of, and dynamics within, her creativity and artistry. Her new record brings together Woodes’ previous two EPs – the lush, spellbinding, hypnotic melodies of Kingdom Come alongside the darker, cinematic, gritty sound found on Hibernation. Together they showcase how expansive this project’s sound can be, finding the place where Elle Graham and her musical moniker Woodes meet. Whether she is bottling emotion, longing, and hope in authentic, dreamy anthems or standing tall behind vivid melodies and sharp, gritty production, Woodes – and in turn Elle – are completely in control of their musical destiny.


Irish folk-rock act The High Kings have released their latest album The Road Not Taken. Renowned for their captivating harmonies and timeless melodies, The Road Not Taken is a collection of original songs that breathe new life into traditional folk music, blending the old with the new. The album is a groundbreaking collaborative effort which includes household names such as The Script, Kodaline, Picture This, Sharon Corr and a guest appearance from the legendary JOURNEY frontman Steve Perry.


Christmas Wish is Gregory Porter’s first-ever Christmas album. Recorded with his long-time band and produced by Troy Miller, the 12-track record is filled with Christmas classics and three originals including a stunning duet, featuring the wonderful Samara Joy.


Schoenberg’s Suite for Piano, Op. 25 (1923) was the first large-scale piece based on 12-tone serialism. This is no dry, experimental work, however, especially when performed by Yuja Wang. She fills the dance-like rhythms of the concluding Gigue with exuberant energy and makes this notoriously challenging piece sound effortless – and as contemporary today as when it was first heard 100 years ago.


Revered Melbourne blues institution Checkerboard Lounge have released their new album Roller Coaster. Co-produced by the band and Jeff Lang at his studio The Enclave, Roller Coaster follows their multi-award winning and blues-chart topping 2022 album Sun Sessions which was one of Rhythms magazine’s Top 10 Albums of the Year, and which spent more than a year on the Australian Blues & Roots Airplay chart, including multiple months at #1. The new album is the first record to feature the band’s current line-up, which features monster muso Zoë Frater on bass alongside group founder Carl Pannuzzo on vocals and drums, Shannon Bourne on guitars and Tim Neal on Hammond Organ.


Michael Nau has released his fifth full-length record, Accompany. Since the mid 2000’s, he’s crafted a catalogue of thoughtful, reflective songs as the frontman of indie-rock mainstays Cotton Jones, Page France, and Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread. The indie rock backdrop of Accompany brings in a psych-soul influence with dry and punchy drums, lush synth lines, and tastefully verb-soaked vocal production. Nau’s vocal delivery falls somewhere between crooning to a crowd, telling stories to a loved one, and musing to himself.


At just 21 years old, Harry Cleverdon presents a transformative sonic experience, marrying vintage inspirations from the likes of Pink Floyd and Queen with the contemporary sounds of Hozier, Matt Corby, and John Mayer. Having already made a huge impact in the Australian country music scene performing under his own name, his new project SonOfHarry has allowed Cleverdon to expand his musical horizons into the pop, indie and alternative landscape. Draped in layers of lush, melodic synthesizers, fiery blues-rock guitar, stirring orchestral arrangements, enchanting lead vocals, and stunning soundscapes made up of compelling soundbites, SonOfHarry’s debut album The World Has Gone Mad seamlessly transitions from track to track. With an emphasis on theatrics and thematic storytelling, it’s a concept album that takes listeners on a cathartic journey through an aural landscape of thought-provoking social commentary.