This record is kind of the apology, the confession and the acceptance of the ways I've felt shame in my life and trying to share it with others,” explains Petal lead singer, Kiley Lotz, of their new album, Shame. The melodically driven, indie rock record draws influence from Death Cab For Cutie and Pedro The Lion. Each song has its own sound but with tight drums and forward vocals, the album is cohesive in a beautifully textured way. Though Petal has stayed true to the sound fans have come to appreciate from the previous released EP, Scout, in 2013, this record shows growth with heaviness in both sound and content.
Lotz took three years to write the songs on this record and wrote them all with the underlying theme of dealing with her mental illness and seeing how it affected those around her. Discovering through her writing that everyone has shame and guilt, she started to wonder if the world might be different if everyone were more open and willing to accept help. Camera Lens is the first song on the record and deals with just that, her acknowledgment and apology for not asking for help when she needed it most. But the record isn’t just a sad experience from beginning to end. Heaven and Photo Booth are both honest declarations of love and compassion for another person. Lotz shines with her ability to express her feelings in such real ways.
It comes as no surprise that Lotz is able to express her emotions being that she comes from a theatre background. She moved to New York City after graduating college in Scranton, Pennsylvania to pursue a life on stage. She made her Off-Broadway debut last spring and even wrote a song from the perspective of a character she once played. “It triggered a lot of things for me personally that I wouldn’t change or regret. But it definitely made me write from a more honest, less scared perspective,” she says of her time since moving to the city. Luckily for Lotz, she’s also been helped by her friends and fellow musicians that make up Petal. Ben Walsh plays guitar and drums and Brianna Collins plays bass and co-wrote The Fire for the album. Collins also offers incredible harmonies on the record, which is a major draw for listeners of Petal.
Shame is the culmination of everything Kiley Lotz has experienced and learned over the course of the last three years. Though the title of the record is Shame, it seems that Petal should be anything but when it comes to how they should feel about what they have accomplished as a band.
Born in a backyard in over home job tattoos, Camp Cope – Georgia Maq (vocals, guitar), Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich (bass) and Sarah Thompson (drums) – have become a force in music since forming in Melbourne in June 2015.
Their newly released sophomore album How To Socialise & Make Friends anchors on the cycles of life, loss and growth through resilience and those moments of finding and being yourself. It celebrates the joys of being an independent unit and knowing who you are without any influence from external factors, and non-romantic love felt towards friends; the women who shape you and women working together to find strength in numbers. It has been praised by triple j (Feature Album), The Independent (4 stars), Vinyl Mag (9.5/10), All Music (4 stars) among others. The Guardian’s co-head music critic Andrew Stafford awarded the album 4 stars, saying, “For a generation that’s grown up watching vocal talent quests, hearing the unrestrained gusto of McDonald singing these simple, direct songs will be empowering. In 20 years, young women especially will approach her and thank Camp Cope for encouraging them to pick up a guitar and tell their own stories. And so the baton will be passed, and picked up again.”
Led by the singles ‘Lost: Season One’ and ‘Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams’, their Australian Music Prize-shortlisted self-titled debut saw critical acclaim from all corners, including in SPIN’s best emo, top albums in Noisey (US), with Brooklyn Vegan naming them one of the ‘Best New Bands’ and DIY Mag exclaiming, “it’s rare to find a band with the sheer songwriting ability and integrity of Camp Cope.” They sold out two shows at Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid LIVE 2017, before touring the US for the first time, playing through 13 states with Brooklyn band Worriers. Upon returning home they headlined Melbourne’s Weekender Fest and most recently headlined a huge homecoming show at Melbourne’s iconic venue The Forum.
In September 2016, Camp Cope together with bands and musicians from Australia and abroad united for the It Takes One campaign to say enough is enough: no more sexual and physical assault at shows. The campaign continues to drive conversation around safe spaces at shows, including the introduction of the safe spaces Hotline initiative at Laneway Festival.