French DJ, songwriter and producer Simon Delacroix has been creating music for the last five years under the stage name, The Toxic Avenger, as an ode to the cult horror film of the same name. Like many DJ’s today, The Toxic Avenger would create his own music, but also work on remixes for other artists. Some of the most notable remixes to date include re-workings of songs by Blur, Dragonette, Ladytron, Roger Sanchez, Benny Benassi and Kings of Leon. His debut album, Angst (Roy Music), was released in 2011 as Rolling Stone dubbed him an “Artist To Watch.” Returning with new music, The Toxic Avenger has unveiled “To The Sun,” featuring Tulip, which boasts elements of Daft Punk, MGMT and Broken Bells. The single is from the forthcoming album Romance & Cigarettes, scheduled to be released February 2013.
STREAM: “To The Sun Feat. Tulip”
A true family affair, siblings and band members George, Amy and Emma Sheppard started performing together at a young age. Joining forces with songwriter/guitarist Jay Bovino, guitarist Michael Butler and drummer Jared Tredly, the sextet is simply known as Sheppard. The Brisbane, Queensland (Australia) pop outfit has had quite the busy last few months, which included a world tour performing in South Africa, the UK, the U.S. and most recently their sold-out showcase at Bigsound in Brisbane. They released their five-song, self-titled EP last month with the lead track, “Let Me Down Easy,” receiving a lot of international attention by way of blogs, Television appearances and radio outlets. The melodic tune may have been born in Australia but contains hints of Hawaiian music with the potential to crossover to a variety of formats. Influential commercial Alternative Radio Station KNRK “94/7 FM” Portland has just confirmed they’ll be spinning the song on their New Music Heaven segment starting next Monday, which means 4 prime-time plays a day for a week. With the recent successes of alternative music based acts Gotye, The Temper Trap, San Cisco and many others from Australia – don’t be surprised if there is a flurry of A&R, publisher, music supervisor and agent interest in Sheppard.
STREAM: “Let Me Down Easy”
The Kumpnee is a five-piece hip hop, soul and funk band that originated in New Zealand but now calls Sydney, Australia home. Their sound has been described as an unpredictable blend of urban funk, soulful harmony and hip hop, combining electronic synth, live instruments and a raw feel to split genres and form a new sound. They have often been compared to OutKast, Gnarles Barkley and The Black Eyed Peas. The Kumpnee is comprised of co-founder Josh Gage (vocals, keys, turntables), co-founder Ronnie Lavendar (vocals, keys, guitar), Stevie Taylor (drums), Huia Ratapu (bass) and Gino Hawkins (bass, guitar, vocals) and describe their music as “hip hop your grandma can listen to.” With over 30 years combined on stage experience, The Kumpnee brings their confidence to the stage with high-energy performances at all their live performances. They’ve performed at large festivals including the Ngati Awa Festival 2011, Ngati Awa Te Toki 2010 Festival, NZ Hip Hop Summit, Bring it On, Roc The Blok and The Burbs along with club gigs like On the Real and Stars of Night & One Community as well as playing venues such as The Basement, Sydney, The Annandale Hotel and the Factory Floor. Their album, The Kumpnee Ball, has been released in Australia and features the track, “2 Bux,” which is starting to gain attention at a handful of U.S. radio stations thanks to the recommendation of NZ On Air.
STREAM: “2 Bux”