EMI presents

EMI New Music Night - Rolling Stone Live Lodge

feat. Nicole Millar, Odette and Evan Klar

Tuesday 03 October 2017 (opening 8:00 PM)

at Lansdowne Hotel ( venue info )
Cnr City & Broadway Road, Broadway, Sydney NSW


Reserve Tickets

Price includes booking fees

18+ General Admission $23.50

Nicole Millar

Electro chanteuse. Indietronica muse. Pop boss. Nicole Millar, singer/songwriter, has established herself as one of Australia's most buzz crossover acts in only three years.The mysterious Sydneysider, her sensual voice like an elixir, became a household name when she co-wrote and sang Peking Duk's 2014 mega-anthem High. The DJ duo had heard the ethereal Nicole on the cult Cosmo's Midnight track Phantasm and hit her up via Instagram. High would be certified triple-platinum, score an ARIA for "Best Dance Release", and land at #2 in triple j's Hottest 100 poll. Farewelling her day job in a cold-pressed juice outlet, Nicole secured a manager. Then she embarked on a pilgrimage to discover her own sonic aesthetic. "I just took some time off to really find out what kind of artist that I wanted to be and what kind of music I wanted to create," Nicole says. There were curious experiments. "Back then I wanted to write really out-there alternative music that didn't make much sense!" In the interim, the vocalist was approached to collaborate with other electronic types – among them Emoh Instead and the masked Golden Features. Nicole had a creative epiphany. "I definitely wanted to make electronic music, but I still have a love for pop music. So it was just about finding all of my references and putting them into this one little thing." Today Nicole isn't into genre tags – she simply represents her own modishly mutating hybrid.In late 2015 Nicole debuted as a solo artist with the spare, atmospheric Wait – auguring summer's Tremble EP. The title-track, a future bass banger, consistently dominated triple j's playlist and accumulated five million streams on Spotify – after reaching #2 on the USA Viral Chart. In 2016, Nicole launched her headlining Tremble tour, accompanied by a percussive, dancy band – selling out shows. Then, following a triumphant slot at Splendour In The Grass on the jammed Tiny Dancer stage, she opened for pop phenom Troye Sivan. "It was cool," Nicole enthuses. "I toured with him all around Australia. I think the biggest venue was 7000 people, which was insane – I've never really got to perform my own set in front of that many people."2016 saw that it really was her year, returning with her second EP, Communication – led by the turbo-charged Signals. "This one's about a relationship where you're with the person, but they haven't admitted it yet and you're trying to show them your worth and that you will go if they don't accept your signals." Put a signal on it, indeed. The single prompted Nicole's most ambitious Australian tour and closed with Southbound festival over the New Year. 2016 also saw Nicole travelling to Los Angeles. Here, she gigged internationally for the first time, joining Brit beatmaker Daktyl to perform his Tremble remix live. But, crucially, Nicole buckled down in a writing boot camp, resulting in many of the Communication songs. "These sessions push you to write," Nicole explains. "You just have to put yourself on the line in front of these people you've never met and pretty much tell them about your life story and what you wanna write about. So it can be confronting, but I think it pushes you to write better songs." She worked alongside the LA-based Sweater Beats on Better – a clubbed-up electro 'n' B duet with Washington DC's Imad Royal. It's blitzed the Hype Machine charts.The Communication EP encompasses, too, the "delicate" synth-pop One Thing, which Nicole wrote back home with Alex Hope – the hot Australian songwriter/producer/musician whose credits include Troye Sivan, Broods and Tuka (winning APRA's 2016 "Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year" award). Nicole finished the EP with Sable, the bass house (and post-chillwave) producer from Perth's Pilerats crew.Nicole is feeling confident about her artistic arc. On Communication she offers songs about female independence (Signals), but also explores modern romance (Love Like I Never, glitchy, melodic deep house, again helmed by Sable) and nocturnal adventures (the darkly twisting Pixelated, with Tremble producer Dan Farber). "It's still electronic," Nicole considers. "I think this EP could be a little bit more pop. From performing a lot over the last year, I realised that I wanted to write music that was more upbeat. I still have one slow song on the EP [One Thing], but I love performing songs that have a groove to them and are quite energetic. So, when I was writing for this EP, that's what I wanted to do – I wanted to write fun songs… I'm just evolving as an artist – and I think I've found my sound."


“Processing emotion is a common theme throughout a lot of my songs,” explains Sydney-based singer-songwriter, Odette. “Music has been a way for me to discuss and kind of analyse emotions and things from a different perspective, rather than just feeling it.” 

From that statement alone, it should come as no surprise that, despite her 19 years of age, Odette’s first love is language in its purest form. Her main vein heroes are the literary greats and she was writing prose and plays before she found her passion for song. 

“Watch Me Read You”, the title of her debut single alone hints at this, and her poetic, syncopated, spoken-word verses nail it home. “The turning pages of an epic, dissected hallucinogenic. Black coffee addict life ended, lies cold, on that metal tray,” she spits out delicately and confidentially, as if lifted from the pages of a noir beat poem; her astute and worldly-wise songwriting belying her youth.

Odette was born in England and raised in the inner western suburbs of Sydney and grew up with an eclectic musical palette. Her South African mother introduced her to African music, soul, funk and rhythm; while her English father, hailing from a long line of jazz pianists, introduced her to new wave, jazz and passed on his musical talents.

Odette has played piano since she was a child and her highly emotive use of the instrument lives at the centre of her songs, a grounding motif of her heritage, if you will. “My granddad was a jazz pianist during the war,” she explains. “And he passed it down to my father, who I picked it up off. It’s a strange thing because I play more like my grandad, even though I grew up in a different country, away from him.”  

Captivating in presence, Odette’s songs are deeply personal and see her flutter from spoken word into warm, soulful vocals, with arrangements circling soul, jazz and pop. It’s no wonder she’s caught the eye of producers and songwriters like Charlie Hugall (Florence and the Machine, Ed Sheeran, Kaiser Chiefs), Jason Cox (Blur, Gorilliaz, Jamie T),  Alex Hope (Troye Sivan, Broods) and Paul Mac (The Dissociatives, Silverchair), all of whom clamoured to work with her over the past year and a half. Not to mention, LA-based, Grammy nominated producer Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Prodigy, The Killers, UNKLE) who worked on her debut release. 

An avid storyteller, Odette counts Joanna Newsom, Laura Mvula as influences, alongside poets John Keats and Walt Whitman. “When I was little, I carried a Keats book around, I loved it,” she muses. “As I got older, I was introduced to Walt Whitman and I immediately clicked. It was intense –like having someone write in the way that I see things. So, that has been an influence for me, that sort of sensory overload in words.” 

If anything, “Watch me Read You” is a fine example of “sensory overload”, from the pared-back arrangements juxtaposed with compelling and assertive vocals, down to a multifaceted and passionate lyric. Completely in love with story-telling, ask this enigmatic, young artist what exactly she’s expressing, and like a true poet, she’ll humbly shrug off the complex tapestry of the song and say, “I just want to communicate how intensely I see things, I suppose.”


Evan Klar

Born in Perth, raised in Singapore and now based in Melbourne, via six years spent in London, musician Evan Klar boasts a journey as an artist that is almost as multi-tiered as the cinematic-like music he composes. 


The son of a music teacher, Australian-German Evan Klar grew up in a home surrounded by music but admits he never had any real intention to follow the path. “There was just a lot of bashing around with instruments,” he says, with a shrug. “But I never really thought about doing it seriously.” It was while living in the UK that, simply by chance, Stef fell into the industry in a more serious sense, landing gigs, or, “tinkering for friends on bass, keys and guitar” as he so humbly puts it, as a session musician for a number of artists, including Alex Metric and Charli XCX.  Yet, despite cutting his teeth in this world of live gigs and high-profile festivals, this musician considers his session experiences very different from his solo moniker, known simply as Evan Klar. 


“The projects I worked on in the UK are very detached from the kind of music I make now,” he says. “The UK experience probably influenced me in the sense that it made me realise what I’m keen on, where I want to be and what kind of music I do and don’t want to play.” He adds that, more than anything, the experience helped form a positive attitude towards the industry. 


Throughout his time in the UK, Evan Klar felt the pull to make a solo record, encouraged by friends and mentors, but he makes a point to note that it wasn’t until he relocated to Melbourne that he seriously focused on his own path. “What I did in the UK is completely different from what’s happened in Australia, there’s no connection at all,” he insists. “I did write a lot of it in the UK, but when I got back to Australia, I just sent out some of my stuff to friends. I didn’t go through any of the contacts I had in the UK or anything like that. The two industries are very different and it has been completely separate for me. Which is pretty cool, and something I’m proud of as well.” 


Making his official debut in 2016, Evan Klar had nothing to prove, but everything to show. As a testament to his songwriting skills, the young musician, with just two unofficial showcases at 2016’s BIGSOUND (his first ever live sets) under his belt, garnered attention from industry leaders and wagged in-the-know tongues, eventually landing him a label deal with EMI and studio time with producer Ash Workman (Metronomy/Christine & The Queens), whom he has worked with on the Evan Klar debut album, DEEPEST CREATURES.


Quote humble about his processes, Evan Klar describes his approach to composition as more of an organic “dabble” that is closer to sound design than it is to traditional songwriting. Arguably, it’s a method that sets him apart from the pack and where the cinematic quality of his music truly shines though. 

“I’m really interested in film and video game scores and sound design,” he muses. “It’s a huge part of my inspiration.” A self-confessed cinephile, this close adoration of film led Evan Klar to a process that worked for him –just like a visual score, it’s not uncommon for one of his songs to start with a field recording or atmospheric track. 

“I think having a base plate of sound design, such as a recording of a rainforest or something like that instantly creates a scene,” he says. “Sometimes the track stays, other times it falls away.” A great example of this “Get Up”, a visceral and heartstring-pulling song that, if you listen closely, features the sounds of whales singing underwater. “I guess being so passionate about film scores and the idea of that side of things is just how I treat my music,” he shrugs. “When I sit down to start a song, I’m not necessarily creating a song lyrically, but more like a soundscape, as if it’s a score to a story. It might sound crazy, but I like to pretend that’s what I’m doing.” 


A great example of Evan Klar’s skill with soundscapes is his first single, “Sleep”, which opens with rainfall, breathing and an atmospheric groove. Not only is this the track that introduces the world to Evan Klar and his approach, but it’s also the opener on the album, and for a reason. “Sleep really is a track that sets the scene,” he says “I’m not a particularly serious person, so I sort of treated this, lyrically especially, as a nursery rhyme. It’s like my beginning, the start of growing up, an opening, someone waking inside a dream.” Hence, “Sleep” is mysterious, warm and likeable in its composition. 

It’s important to note that Evan Klar is about connection, not self-communication. It’s music that aches for universal truths and is written as such. Music based on personal experience, yet with Evan Klar removed just enough to allow for interpretation. “For me, it’s more about other people than it is about myself, there’s no doubt about that,” says the composer, noting a reoccurring theme of relationships threaded through. “I write about my own experiences, but I make it cryptic enough so that someone could apply it to their own life or something they might be going through.” 

Exactly like a journey, DEEPEST CREATURES is composed with a beginning, middle and an end and with an overall tone of optimism, curiosity and motivation at the heart – a reflection of the artist himself. “Nothing about me is a recipe for rock and roll,” he laughs. “I’m into being healthy and taking care of myself, so I like to think that my songs are motivating and might help get people out of rough places.” He adds, “I can’t see how anyone could be unhappy making music, it’s when I’m most happiest and I hope this inspires someone listening to it and takes them somewhere.” Not unlike the escapism one feels when immersed in a great tale, he agrees.  


This is an 18+ event.

* Over 18's only unless advertised otherwise. * Photo ID is essential,­ acceptable ID is a current and valid Australian Photo Drivers Licence or Passport. Please check with the venue for any other acceptable forms of photo ID * All children under 18 not permitted including small children and babies * Intoxicated persons will not be admitted * No thongs or steel cap boots * The venue reserves the right to refuse admission to any person * Dangerous behaviour including Crowd Surfing, Stage Diving, Moshing and Violent Dancing is not allowed and will result in your immediate removal from this venue.*Inappropriate behaviour at this venue will lead to your banning.*