MOST of Lucy Parle's peers in year 12 at St Peter's Catholic College at Tuggerah merely have HSC markers to impress later this year.
The 17-year-old singer-songwriter has those academic concerns, too, but she's already impressed some serious judges in 2021.
Last month the Lisarow product won the teen award at the 2020 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) for her track Back Up, joining Birds Of Tokyo, The Presets and Merci, Mercy among the Australian winners. And what's more, the judging panel featured the likes of Coldplay, George Thorogood, Bebe Rexha and Tom Waits.
"It's crazy," Parle said. "When I found out they were the judges I thought, 'oh my god, these people are gonna be listening to my song'."
Parle wrote Back Up in late 2019 to articulate her feelings about a broken relationship and it was recorded last July with Michael Carpenter, who also produced her first single Crayon Sun.
The song was influenced by her love of confessional indie-pop and folk artists like Taylor Swift and Julia Michaels.
"I entered that song because it was really special to me, and I always find that when I write songs that are personal to me they tend to connect to other people more because everyone experiences the same types of things," she said.
Initially Parle and her record label Double Drummer had planned to hold off releasing Back Up until later this year, but after the ISC win the song was brought forward. Back Up will be released on Friday with a music video to follow.
SUITE E4444E SINGLE
BACK in February for New Annual festival Newcastle experimental electronic songwriter Romy Church, aka e4444e, pushed the boundaries of his art with Invisible Stone.
The immersive experience of art, sound and music was a three-way collaboration with fellow Novocastrians Skip Willcox(choreography) and David Lobb (creative director) and challenged the audience to question what exists in our lives that we can't see and what doesn't exist that we can see?
Invisible Stone was so warmly received the trio are gearing up for a repeat performance at Sydney's Seymour Centre on June 24.
It's also led to e4444e releasing his track Suite [Invisible Stone excerpt]. Suite sees e4444e merge a foreboding synths with his Thom Yorke-style vocal.
OFF THE LEASH
IF you enjoy your early 2000s pop-punk bands like Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy, it's worth checking out Newcastle band Kid On A Leash and their latest single NMAGLY, which stands for "never met a girl like you".
Kid On A Leash released their first EP Last Minute Marmalade in 2017 and a series of singles since, including last year's ballad Butterflies.
In 2019 frontman Jacob Squires was medically discharged from the air force after being diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and epilepsy and following his 11-year service he threw himself into songwriting.
"Through these events, the band still maintains their fun comedic side, but have more depth in their writing and style," Squires said.
This is certainly true of NMAGLY which follows a story of Squires' dream girl.
"It's about him trying to play the scene but falling head over heels with the next girl he sees, hence the line, 'my life is all over'," he said.
MOKO ALL ROSIE
FRESH from winning best country at the Queensland Music Awards for her song Like Hank Would and welcoming the birth of her third child, Maisy Loretta, Melody Moko is hitting the road.
The former Newcastle-based alt-country artist is touring Australia throughout winter into spring, which will see her return to her old hometown on September 16 to play Lizotte's.
She'll also make her debut appearance at Dashville Skyline from October 1-3. In the meantime Moko is also releasing the single Coming Up Roses from her Golden Guitar-winning second album Two Kids And A Radio.
MELBOURNE'S latest COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in a return to the postponements that plagued the music industry for the majority of 2020.
Adelaide pub-rock band Bad//Dreems have been forced to postpone their long-awaited return to Newcastle's Cambridge Hotel on Friday due to several members of the band living in Melbourne.
Bad//Dreems have rescheduled their Cambridge show for July 9.