GORDI Reservoir (Liberation)
Sophie Payten has come a long way from her hometown of Canowindra (population 2,381). Reservoir was recorded in multiple international destinations in between studying medicine and touring the world, arriving at a sound that’s equal parts melancholic and uplifting – picture a less histrionic Florence Welch and you’re in the right ballpark. A promising debut from the 24-year-old.
THE PREATURES Girlhood (Universal)
The Sydney quartet’s 2014 debut LP, Blue Planet Eyes, catapulted them onto festival stages and into some of Australia’s biggest venues. Its follow-up proves their success was no fluke, veering from Pretenders-esque indie rock (“Lip Balm”) to 1980s’ synth-laced pop (“Yanada”) and confessional ballads (“Your Fan”). Vocalist Izzi Manfredi remains one of the country’s finest frontwomen.
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
Villains (Matador/ Remote Control)
What happens when one of the world’s finest rock bands works with pop producer Mark Ronson (Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse) on their seventh album? Well, the hard groove of opener “Feet Don’t Fail Me” sets the tone for a record made to make you move. It’s in no way a radical reinvention, but a nice evolution.