The classically trained voice of Brisbane-born Kate
Miller-Heidke is a beautiful thing, lifting her dark pop music
to soaring heights in the more dramatic sections of this, her
third studio album.
> Kate Miller-Heidke.
Nightflight. Sony Music.
On first single Sarah, which recounts the disappearance of a
friend, Miller-Heidke's trilling top notes capture much of
the urgency and desperation of the moment, contrasting
magically with the breathy, softer-voiced narrative verses.
If there were more such stunning moments, and if the second
half of the album were as bold as the first, this would be a
formidable album. As it stands, it's still a better pop
record than most.
Single download: Sarah
For those who like: Sarah McLachlan, Missy Higgins,
3 stars (out of 5)
By Jeff Harford
> Ben Harper with Charlie
Musselwhite. Get Up! Stax.
You can almost hear the Ben Harper kids going ''Who is that
dude Charlie Musselwhite?''. Well, he is one of the coolest
harp-jockeys in living memory, and also a fantastic influence
It might sound like a rather odd pairing; led no doubt by Ben
Harper's reverence for Musselwhite, but it just works.
Rocking, stomping and sweating through a gritty collection of
blues, the pair take their audience to the Louisiana
swamplands, stop at some urban juke joints, and end up on a
porch just grooving.
Harper has crafted a career around his whiny roots-laden
angst, but a 69-year-old blues legend has shown him the
Single download: Blood Side Out
For those who like: Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Paul
Butterfield, Sonny Boy Williamson
4 stars (out of 5)
By Mark Orton
> Bad Religion. True North.
According to frontman Greg Graffin, the 16th album from Los
Angeles punks Bad Religion will be their last before they
''all join the navy, do honest work''.
If this is their swansong, they leave with the familiar,
angular sound they have been proponents of since their 1982
debut - stabbing guitars, tribal drums, and ''ooozin ahh''
While the lyricism covers old ground (big business gone bad,
corrupt public officials, alienation), it's hard to deny the
abrasive energy which crackles from Vanity and Robin Hood in
Reverse, especially given that this is a band entering their
fourth decade of existence.
Single download: Vanity
For those who like: Minor Threat, Fugazi, mohawks and
3 stars (out of 5)
By John Hayden