Menu Subscribe Search



Subscribe for the Latest Music News

Enter your email address below to subscribe to a regular(ish) dose of AAA Backstage goodness direct to your inbox.

Take 5 With Chelsea Reed

Newcastle based Indie Pop artist Chelsea Reed recently released her long awaited new single and music video called ‘The Apple’ which we had the joy of premiering last month. Today Chelsea shares with us her five favourite artists of the minute and why.


There was a brief period of time early last year where my mum was in hospital and I was helping to look after her house and pets. It was a bit of a weird, sad time and I was listening to Sza’s SOS almost every day while I was out walking the dogs. I got to spend some real quality time with this album, which has given me a deep appreciation for its complexity, beauty and humour. I am inspired by her fearless lyricism, the way she explores the dichotomies of her different personas, and revels in the contradictions. Musically, she blurs the lines between RnB, singer/songwriter, rap and even pop punk and alt-country with such fluency. I love the way she can subtly shift the emotional tone of a song from explicit and funny to heart-wrenching with her voice and prose (Nobody Gets Me), have some of the freshest and catchiest hooks of the last few years (Kill Bill), straight up bangers (F2F) and technical prowess as a vocalist and rapper and make it all feel patently SZA.

The Sundays

Here’s where the Story Ends was one of my most listened to songs of 2023 and it still floors me. Such a beautiful melody and Harriet Wheelers voice is just so charming. I love her unique phrasing and the way she pronounces certain words. The lyrics feel poetic and nostalgic but also hint at something deeply personal, like a peek into her secret world. The album Reading, Writing and Arithmetic is truly an underrated jangle/dream pop gem from the 90s. It’s strange and dreamy and full of unusual turns of phrase and melodic twists.


I truly believe the influence of Mitski’s artistry will be felt for years to come. She’s not just “sad girl” music (my god can we stop reducing so many female artists to this). Mitskis art is brutal and twisted and funny and constantly thwarts your expectations in both the writing and production choices. The way she blends sophisticated, even classical musical influences with punk attitude is endlessly inspiring to me, as someone who doesn’t quite fit into either world. She reminds me of the in-between spaces of musical genres, and to always go with yourself.


This band is so easy to get obsessed with. I’ve always been a genre-hopper, and whenever I feel a bit lost and like I need to “find my sound”, I come back to this band and I’m reminded that playfulness and exploration are crucial to longevity as an artist. Their songs feel a little bit like those optical illusion paintings to me – depending on your perspective they can be joke songs, but look a little closer and there’s some seriously good songwriting and playing. They are able to parody almost every genre so well because they are technical geniuses. Chocolate and Cheese is one of the best experimental rock albums of all time. The production and writing still feels so fresh and colourful. They paved the way for artists like Mac de Marco (take a listen to Pure Guava), Gorillaz, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard…countless others. Boognish 4eva.

Hannah Cameron

I wanted to include a local artist on this list, because as easy as it is to come back to all time favourites, there are SO many amazing songwriters at a more local level and I get very excited when I hear something new that inspires me and I can get in at a ground level as a fan. I am obsessed with Hannah’s album Holding Pattern. I remember listening to it twice in a row while I was driving to a catering job, and was astonished by her writing and the minimalistic but muscular arrangements and production. She plays a baritone guitar, which gives the album a really unique sound and her voice is plaintive and clear – impervious to current trends which I always appreciate. I was hooked the first time I heard the song Take the Blame. There’s some shades of Joni Mitchell, particularly the Hejira album and some Gillian Welch in there too but she truly has a sound and voice of her own, which is no easy feat. Cant wait to hear more!

Written by John Zebra