ANGELA Rose took such a nonchalant attitude to releasing her debut single Summer Love last March she was completely unaware that triple j were digging her tune.
"I put it up [on triple j Unearthed] and forgot about it and looked back a couple of weeks later and there were some reviews from Dave Ruby Howe and from a few other triple j presenters," Rose said.
"That was pretty surreal. I totally wasn't expecting that. I also missed my triple j debut on Roots 'n All because I wasn't checking my emails as I wasn't expecting that."
Expectations are certainly higher for the 23-year-old Beresfield singer-songwriter's second single Utopia, due out next Tuesday.
Utopia builds on her breezy indie-pop sound, which also incorporates alt-country flair courtesy of Rose's love of Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell and modern artist Maggie Rogers.
Rose's fragile voice sits somewhere between Julia Jacklin and Middle Kids' Hannah Joy.
"I've been writing for a while now, but with these two [Summer Love and Utopia] I could predict from the start how I wanted them to be," she said.
"These two songs made it really easy to see the whole picture."
Rose, whose real name is Angela Matla, previously performed with his sister Sarahlyn Cowper in the duo The Feather Chain. The pair played a host of shows around the Hunter, including a support slot with The Black Sorrows in early 2020.
After Cowper fell pregnant and focused on motherhood, Rose decided push ahead with her music.
A friend recommended Summer Love as the first single, so Rose teamed up with producer Rhys Zacher at Glendale's Spinlight Studios to see what happened.
"I had this attitude of I've booked one day and I'm gonna smash it out," she said. "If it turns out good, I'll release it and if it turns out bad then nobody needs to know. I went with that and ended up loving the product."
Rose is working on her first EP, which she plans to release in 2022 to coincide with her maiden tour.
IT'S fitting that Romy Church, aka e4444e, has a song called Burning on his latest album Autumnal Eve about the Buddhist philosophy of removing one's idea of the self.
The Newcastle electronic artist has attempted to reinvent himself on his third album, but as he discovered, it's almost impossible to lose yourself.
"I wanted to make my own rock album, but it didn't come out that way obviously, but there are rock elements in there for sure," Church said. "It's my version of a guitar album, I guess."
Church wrote Autumnal Eve on acoustic guitar last year, building on the more organic sound he first unveiled on his 2020 album Coldstream Road. While the album features more conventional instrumentation - supplied by himself, brother Noah Church and Dougal McMullan - e4444e's trademark ambient sounds gives Autumnal Eve a meditative feel.
Lyrically the album is influenced by Buddhist poetry and space and continues Church's fascination with nature which he first explored on his 2018 debut Mr Dover and The Endless Rovers.
"As I get older it's different how I think about it [nature influencing my music]," he said. "I think this is my ocean album in terms of space. If the last one was a river, then this one is an ocean."
An album launch tour is expected in February.
HUNTER DUO IN FINAL
The other artist to progress from last week's NSW semi-final was Sydney's Goldheist (Hester Fraser), who is the granddaughter of former prime minister Malcolm Fraser.
NEWCASTLE country queen Catherine Britt has teamed up with Melbourne Americana stalwart Lachlan Bryan to form The Pleasures.
The Pleasures debut single The Beginning Of The End is out January 21 through Britt's Beverley Hillbilly Records label to coincide with the duo's opening show at The Welders Dog on January 20 during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Hunter fans can catch The Pleasures on February 9 at the Grand Junction Hotel.
PARTY ON THE HILL
COVID-19 guaranteed live music at the University of Newcastle's Callaghan campus has been non-existent since the Pnau and Rubens weekend in April.
However, the Bar On The Hill is ripping out a massive comeback show on December 11 to finish 2021 in style.
The Party On The Hill festival features an all-Hunter line-up headlined by Maitland producers Just A Gent (Jacob Grant) and Kinder (Savannah and Briony Osei) and Newcastle dance-rockers Raave Tapes.
The bill also includes Jayteehazard, Slapjack, Teddie, Osprey, Kai West, Hoie, and Lachy G.