Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Playlist: Alpine

Apart from the fact that the album art (above) is fantastic, Alpine's new album, Yuck, deserves some huge praise. Tracks like 'Foolish' and 'Shot Fox' are instant crowd pleasers, with choruses that are as catchy as they are uplifting. And 'Jellyfish', 'Much More' and 'Need Not Be' are all beautiful and insightful in equal measures.

I was lucky enough to see the indie six-piece live at Sydney's Metro Theatre last Saturday. You don't usually expect electronic artists to match the sound of their studio albums note-for-note when they perform live, but Alpine really does. It's a rare skill, I think. They even invited brass and string players to the stage when needed.

Lead vocalists Lou James and Phoebe Baker both have powerful voices that more than endure their stage antics (Baker often leans right down over her microphone, making regular contact with the stage floor, while James leaps across the space unhindered). They performed a good mix of old and new stuff as well, which is always good.

They're Yuck album is a brilliant collection and I implore you to have a listen. It's proper summer soundtrack stuff.

If you like this, why not try:

The Playlist: Laura Doggett
The Playlist: Lamb


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Keep up with my life 'Down Under'

I have been living on the other side of the world for exactly two months now. From meeting koalas at Featherdale Wildlife Park to experiencing the bright lights of Vivid Sydney, I have seen enough to make me start falling in love with this amazing place.

I have to apologise for going quiet here, but I would like to invite you to read about my adventures on my dedicated Aussie blog, A Year in Australia, and see it all on my travel photography Tumblr, The Explorer.

Whilst I have been adventuring and settling into my new home, I have also enjoyed my work interviewing inspiring business owners for Sydney-based business communications company Business Switch Pty Ltd. Read my most recent published work at

In the meantime, follow me on Twitter for all my updates and find me on Facebook for a chat. Thanks for reading!

R x

If you like this, why not try:

A week in Sydney
Art: Pulp Confidential, State Library of New South Wales
Follow my year in Australia


Sunday, 26 April 2015

A week in Sydney

I have been living in a suburb in the north of Sydney for two weeks now. In those fourteen days, in between job applications, interviews and discovering new running routes, I have adventured into the CBD to witness the glory of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, enjoyed thrills and spills at Luna Park, indulged in my first Australian beach day at Coogee and visited the nearby Blue Mountains. 

As friends, family and regular readers of this blog will know, I take my Pentax MV1 every time I go exploring – I wanted to take this opportunity to share the snaps I took in my first week of living in Australia. Enjoy.

View of Sydney Opera House from Harbour Bridge | © Rosie Pentreath

An emu spotted | © Rosie Pentreath
Kate in Sydney | © Rosie Pentreath

An Australian white ibis, Royal Botanic Gardens | © Rosie Pentreath

State Library of New South Wales | © Rosie Pentreath

Projectile turtle | © Rosie Pentreath

Sydney CBD | © Rosie Pentreath

See more photos on my travel photography blog, The Explorer, and don't forget to sign up for email updates from my new blog about the year-long Australian adventure I'm embarking on.

Rosie Pentreath

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Art: Pulp Confidential, State Library of New South Wales

During periods of hardship in the 20th Century some previously respected publishing houses around the world turned to producing ‘pulp’ publications. Quickly- and cheaply-produced populist publications, often sexed-up comics with very basic story lines and as much cleavage drawn in as possible, pulps were considered to be trashy and of no artistic value. Now they are cultural artefacts revered by fans, collectors, art scholars and cultural historians alike.

A fantastic selection of original drawings, comic book covers, letters and contracts from Frank Johnson Publications (Australia) are currently on display at the State Library of New South Wales. Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s offers a wonderful insight into quick comic book publishing in Sydney during World War II and afterwards, detailing fascinating contract arrangements for freelance artists and writers and explaining the approach to Australian superheroes compared to those coming out of the US industry. 

It was particularly interesting to discover that the heroes of Australian comics were far more ‘modest’ than their American counterparts. While US fans snapped up stories of invisible men and supernatural women, the Australian market was flooded with the adventures of characters like Wanda Dare, girl reporter, and Barty Malone, taxi driver. Also a strong part of FJP’s output was the Famous Detective Series, which turned 2000-3000 words written about real crimes, often readily-available in newspapers, into luridly-illustrated pulp comics.

The papers in the exhibition were brilliantly illustrated with an accompanying documentary explaining the industry and introducing some of the freelance illustrators that produced 'pulp' for Johnson in their teens and twenties. An inspiring and illuminating insight into a niche but prolific part of 20th-century publishing, the exhibition was brilliantly curated and balanced.

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s, State Library of New South Wales

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s, State Library of New South Wales

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s, State Library of New South Wales

Pulp Confidential: Quick & Dirty publishing from the 40s & 50s runs until Sunday 10 May 2015. Visit:

If you like this, why not try:

Rosie Pentreath

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Film: I Origins

Imagine a film with a love story that inspires the protagonist to say "You ever feel like when you met someone, they fill this hole inside of you, and then, when they're gone, you feel that space painfully vacant?" (and another protagonist to say "When I saw you that night, I had the feeling that I had known you. Actually, I felt like you knew me"). And one that at the same time details and questions different types of scientific discovery against a spiritual or religious context. All this with superb performances from the actors, beautiful cinematography, an explosively emotional script and a multi-national setting.

This is what Mike Cahill gives us with I Origins. Released last year, I Origins is the story of  how molecular scientist Ian Gray's (Michael Pitt) life is changed by a 'chance' meeting with Argentinian model Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey). While he conducts epoch-defining research with his brilliant lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), meeting and falling in love with the enigmatic Sofi results in both scientists coming across a theory neither thought they would ever believe in. 

The synopsis I have given doesn't really do the film justice though. It's not just an interesting plot that makes Cahill's feature so incredible – the perfectly balanced way it emotes whilst probing human experience of life on earth, the human brain and the science of evolution is subtle but extraordinary. I came away from it feeling shocked, sad, uplifted and enlightened – it's rare for a film to do that.

I urge anybody with an interest in spirituality and what life and unexpected adventures can offer us to watch I Origins. And I think everybody else should as well – if only to peak their interest in those things. Aside from the more meta aspects of the film, it is just an extraordinarily moving experience of human love (and how enduring it is) and the impact a single person can have on a life. Beautiful stuff.


If you like this, why not try:

Film: La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)
A private screening at 20th Century Flicks

Rosie Pentreath