Pretty City
Gig Seeker Pro

Pretty City

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Post-grunge




"SONG PREMIERE: Pretty City - Don't You Remember Me My Love"

“Don’t You Remember Me My Love” is a mesmerizing, beautifully moody and slowly unfolding track, with a guitar solo for the ages. This brand new single by Melbourne’s Pretty City, should put the psych/shoegaze three-piece on the radar of every serious indie-rock fan. Pretty City are comprised of Hugh Matthews (vocals, guitar), Johnny Rock (guitar, vocals) and Drew Schapper (drums) and when asked about some insights, Drew revealed the following:

“‘Don’t You Remember Me My Love’ is a brooding track that has a drifting sonic palate. Hugh wrote this song after a tour to Adelaide, which is a 9 hours drive through farmland and country towns. We listened to Brian Jonestown Massacre a lot that trip, so I feel like the song really captures their vibe mixed with the sense of open desolation in the Australian outback.”

Following the band for over a year, I couldn’t be happier to premiering this gorgeous song state side today. Listen now to “Don’t You Remember Me My Love”, our Song Pick of the Day. - Glamglare

"This Week's Top 11 Playlist"

Not only is my head swimming from all the music that’s come in from the usual sources over the last seven days, but there’s also the matter of (a) Canadian Music Week; and (b) Record Store Day. Here’s what I came up with for recommendations this week. Thanks to Mediazoic for the hosting. - A Journal of Musical Things

"Track Premiere: Pretty City – “Running Around”"

Strutting up and along some hazy rainbow made of stadium riffage and ’90s glow stick big pants dance while gazing down at their kicks only long enough to take in that rainbow, this Melbourne-based band sound as brash and ready as a new band can be. And that seemed to be their thing from the start, as they started gigging around Down Under after only two practices.

“Running Around” comes from the band’s self-released debut LP, Colorize, out this April. Check out the tune and the band’s SXSW dates, below. - Eric Davidson -

"Glam, grunge and stadium appeal are leaking from every crack in Pretty City’s debut LP Colorize"

Since their arrival in 2012, Pretty City have gained a reputation for offering up an ever-shifting hybrid of rock – ranging between shoegaze, indie, psychedelia and classic rock. The first full length release from the Melbourne outfit remains true to form; Colorize throws up an array of styles and influences.

Pretty City shake up a mean cocktail on Colorize. Stadium appeal, personality and an intimate sound that wears influence on its sleeve while remaining unique.

Comprised of eleven tracks, Colorize feels like a true curation of the band’s varied writing style, and as such, a true album. Consumed in its entirety, the LP may well contain your daily allowance of musical genres. But as the record propels forwards, any earprick moments of familiarity are actually whipped away before they can be pinpointed. And as such, Pretty City make only clever allusions to their influences, and an even more intelligent play on their own sound.

Launching on neither a bang nor a whimper, opening track Melt has pace and purpose without blowing your head off. Shimmering into being and carried by a relentless beat, the hypnotic synths and echoing vocal cries draw your mind into a similar space that is reserved for the trancelike feel of shoegaze or psychedelia. As a band, Pretty City excel as architects of this kind of sound wall; concrete yet constantly shifting.

The following tracks move into harder rock territory, with hefty guitar riffs and licks, with crashing drumming from percussive heavyweight Drew Schapper. Second track Running Around has the feel of a hit single, hitting irresistible pauses before the chorus refrain, and featuring Hugh Matthews’ vocals running with a trademark echo that reaches over wailing electric guitar. In turn, previously released Mary Go Round has the hefty groove of blues and stadium rock together, along with a kind of off-beat swing that holds all the posturing of glam rock.

Elsewhere, Pretty City pick up on the kind of upbeat pessimism that characterises grunge. Second Hand Clothes progresses from an acoustic foundation to an all out rock track, with classic guitar and vocal lines slipping to a fuzzy, reverbed space that tips the scales back to the psychedelic again. Running with that sound, Part Of Your Crowd has a perfect driving pace underneath rock solid bass and guitar, and an almost dreamy vocal from Matthews.

One aspect of Colorize that is truly convincing of its rock roots, is its interlude. Remember when you still bought CD’s and they kind of took a break halfway through with a lighter instrumental or quirky sample? Five tracks in, and Pretty City take a two minute breather with [Deft], a piano led moment of calm.

It is something like when Axl Rose would sit down at his white grand piano and leave the rock behind for a moment… However Pretty City morph the moment into an electronic transmission of sorts, as the melody devolves into something more cosmic.

Plunging back into rock for the second half of the album, Pretty City get a little more serious with the looming Feel The Colour. With less stadium rock about the chugging riff and a punk-inspired chorus, the band find a harder edge than before. Even the reverb on Matthews’ vocals seems a little tougher, as though pushed through a megaphone, actually hitting a nice rock-style yelp as a solo launches.

Final track, Ignoring My Friends, follows on from a second interlude. A darkly experimental moment of electronica gives way to this lightly anthemic track. Winding down to a trudging pace, it’s a thoughtful finish from Pretty City. With a sing-along refrain and swaying melodies, Ignoring My Friends is a lighters-in-the-air song and has all the presence once more of a stadium band.

The cynics among us will tell you that everything is a product of everything else by this point. And I have to admit that Pretty City’s first full length record posed something of a philosophical, authorial question. Is it lazy, or simply truthful, to litter a music review with direct comparisons and associations?

I have no idea. But, despite the multitude of inspirations at work in Pretty City’s writing, the end product stands alone as a great debut album. Which is why I have refrained from mentioning any other bands throughout this review… Ok, apart from Axl Rose. But as far as I can tell, that might be another first for Pretty City.

Colorize will be available through iTunes from April 30th. - Happy


Pretty City is an indie-grunge trio from Melbourne. Consisting of former members of Johnny Rock and the Limits, Red Leader and Planet Jumpers, the newly formed three-piece have had their sound likened to the Smashing Pumpkins and New Order.

Their recently released track “Part Of Your Crowd” is a two-minutes banger featuring liberal use of a fuzz pedal and falsetto vocals. The main riff and vocals are reminiscent of an early Metric, although maybe a bit grungier. The driving rhythm section playing is consistent throughout the entire song, yet is still able to make way for the occasional lo-fi breakdown. From this song alone, I could definitely see these guys playing alongside some of I OH YOU’s protégées such as Violent Soho or DZ Deathrays, as well as critically acclaimed up and comer Bored Nothing.

Their other track, “Ignoring My Friends” is a bit less energetic than “Part Of Your Crowd”, elaborates on the arrangement more, adding 80’s-style synthesiser lines, but still maintaining a fuzz guitar throughout the song. Despite not building much throughout the song, the track is a comforting listen as it plays with elements of the British post-punk movement, but at the same time has that Melbourne charm to it.

It is only early days for Pretty City and it’s going to be extremely interesting to follow where their career takes them as they carve their own niche into the local scene.

By Alex Lahey - AdamNOTeve

"Top 20 Tracks for this week"

We can’t get enough of our Aussie music. It seems there’s a stack of awesome new local music pouring through the gates right now. This weeks playlist is dominated by Aussies such as All The Colours, Light Year, Eliza Hall and a new song by Big Scary. We’re also pretty stoked to be premiering new unearthed artists like Acid Western with their song ‘The Wait‘ + the rocking party vibes from Post Blue, Pretty City and Cat Vas.

Alongside all this are some of our favourite new releases from around the blogosphere over this past week. Included is a sweet Disclosure remix from Hudson Mohawke, plenty of sensual vibes delivered via Giraffe and London Grammer… oh, and did we mentioned Purity Ring covered Soulja Boy?

Stream in all in random order by clicking the links below or in the side-bar playlist while you’re browsing THE RIPE. - The Ripe

"Launches In Brief: Atolls, Brighter Later, Pretty City, Carrie Phillis"

Loud and saturated Melbourne shoegazers Pretty City are celebrating the video for their debut single, ‘Part of Your Crowd’. The song was recorded entirely on iPhone 4 and itself launched in February, just two months after the band formed. Now comes Pete Schand’s video, which captures the boys in an actual studio (as opposed to phone) working on their debut EP. The launch is this Sunday (March 24) at Gasometer with Going Swimming and My Piranha. - Mess an Noise

"Part Of Your Crowd"

Australia’s Pretty City have hit the nail on the head with ‘Part Of Your Crowd‘. This grungy/shoegaze track is a treasure in a sea of rubbish, otherwise known as “the internet”. It’s nice to know that somebody is doing it right. But why do they have to be all the way around the world? @LeahLovecat - Dingus

"Pretty City video launch with My Piranha and Going Swimming"

Pretty City take shoegaze and give it a sense of aerodynamics. Like polishing Kevin Shields with table wax and kicking him down an ice chute. The three piece have a new video for their single 'Part of Your Crowd'. You can be part of them launching it. There's support by the “seriously street grunge-rock tones” of My Piranha and Going Swimming playing surf rock. Keeps 'em safe and occupied. Their deranged manner suggests water-based activities would not be wise. - Three Thousand

"Ignoring My Friends"

Sometimes when a band continues to push out D.I.Y anthems as well as Pretty City, we here at Dingus like to give credit where it is due and feature them again. Self-declared indie shoegrunge, we received a single called ‘Ignoring My Friends’ via Facebook comment (that’s SO indie) and had to give some love back. Supposedly recorded to an iPhone with magazine thumps for a beat, I encourage you to put on this raspy, cigarette-lunged, youthful, whispery-pop song and bob your head all along the way. Thanks for passing this over seas guys! @thinknotsleep - Dingus


Not sure how the latest track from Pretty City track fell through the gaps of the internet after the previous tracks ‘Ignoring My Friends‘ & ‘Part Of Your Crowd‘ had gained airplay on triple j Unearthed. Maybe the three piece from Melbourne – who describe themselves as friends who’ve all had other projects – just didn’t email the right people about ‘Falling In And Out Of Love‘.

The most noticeable influence here is the band Merchandise, but without the insecurities of the band’s lead singer, Carson Cox. Pretty City‘s lead vocalist Hugh Matthews takes a far vaguer shoegaze approach, leaving the crashing cymbals and guitars to lead the charge and while the whole band appears to get tighter as the track progresses, I have to highlight how spot on Andrew Schapper‘s drumming is on this particular track.

You can catch them on their Heights EP tour at the FBI Social in Sydney on 15 November, Spin Cycle Festival in Geelong on 30 November (afternoon) and Boney in Melbourne on 30 November (night). - The Ripe

"Pretty City"

Have you seen Reality Bites? I was obsessed with this movie in my teens, and I largely blame it for my thinking that the life of a down and out twenty-something would somehow be glamorous and sexy (you realise that at 3 am when you’re standing in your underwear, shivering and spooning the last mouthful of kidney beans out of the can that its not). Anyway, if you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember Troy’s garage band Hey, That’s My Bike! Or maybe you won’t. But Melbourne band Pretty City do. In fact, they list the fictional band amongst their sonic influences, third to only the The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine.
The seventeen year old in me (which is still probably 80% of my total) is going crazy for Pretty City. They’ve got the swelling crescendos of the Smashing Pumpkins, and the youthful angst of every other 90′s band. However, the influence remains just that – they’re not a 90′s revival band. Pretty City wear their inspiration on their sleeve(s), but have their own take on it – one that is modern and fresh. Pretty City are currently touring on their debut EP Heights, released earlier this month. Only two shows left!

Nov 30th (arvo) – The Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex Geelong w/ Lurch & Chief The Jungle Giants feat. Von Stache

Nov 30th (night) – Boney Melbourne w/ Warmth Crashes In Atolls


"Pretty City - Heights"

Heights draws on retro and shoegaze elements without being derivative; taking full advantage of contemporary production within its eclectic brand of fuzz rock.

Stephanie Tell

Energetic psych opener, Fall In And Out Of Love, is an intoxicating concoction of deep guitar melodies and high, fluid vocals. These also feature in spectral follow-up track, If Fire Dies, blended into a smoother, drawn-out sonic soundscape that meshes buzzing, trebly guitars. The EP's second half captures more traditional, upbeat rock with a subtle use of hazy distortion and grungy reverb. Heights draws on retro and shoegaze elements without being derivative; taking full advantage of contemporary production within its eclectic brand of fuzz rock. They play Spin Cycle Festival, Wool Exchange (Geelong) and Boney, 30 Nov. - TheMusic

"Review - Pretty City - If Fire Dires"

Melbourne trio Pretty City sure know how to craft equally as gorgeous music. Cradling a shoegazey soundscape, their material glimmers with superbly noisey beauty that will leave you listening to it time and time again. This is no different with their latest offering ‘If Fire Dies’.

Opening with a short series of punchy bass drum hits, it doesn’t take long for the track’s guitar riff to swoop in and take the stage. With this sees the song employing a thick fog of distortion, following each guitar strike that lingers around like a bad smell. Though to deem its place in ‘If Fire Dies’ with the same merit would be an absolute lie, as this noisey contribution is what makes the track so damn terrific. Collaborate Hugh Matthews’ reverberated vocals alongside the further guitar and drum work of he and his fellow members and you’ve got an incredibly enormous anthem that you’ll crave to experience by the band live.

If you dig what you hear, head over to Pretty City’s Triple J Unearthed page to grab a free digital download of the track! What a steal.

By Hannah Galvin - adamnoteve


ADAMNOTEVE are proud to present the upcoming tour for Melbourne 3 piece baby making, good looking, awesome sounding band Pretty City who are set to hit stages across Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
“Pretty City take shoegaze and give it a sense of aerodynamics.” Three ThousandThe band take their newest single, Piece Of The Puzzle on their largest tour yet, hitting regional centres and capital cities across three states. - adamnoteve

"Watch: Premiere: Pretty City – ‘Piece of The Puzzle’"

Melbourne shoegazers Pretty City say they are influenced by Mystic Spiral, fictional band from 90s cartoon show Daria, and aspire to be like Trent’s band from Reality Bites. What you get though are Smashing Pumpkins-esque fuzzed out guitars and washy, reverb drenched vocals like New Order. With slick pop sensibilities and impressive live shows, the groups tongue in cheek humour is backed up with a seriously strong band.

Their latest single Piece of The Puzzle has just been released, after a 2013 of crazy touring and shows, Pretty City wrote track in 20 minutes as a grungy after-party to the rock and roll adventure. - Tone Deaf


Photo Tour Diary - adamnoteve

"The Dwarf Recommends: Pretty City, Pony Face"

Pretty City

Melbourne’s Pretty City draw from a number of influences: My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain and Dandy Warhols. More recently they have refined their sound, melding their trademark shimmery shoegaze noise, with a 90’s grunge-influenced pop sound.

The boys recently finished their national 'Piece of the Puzzle' tour with a cracking show at the Ding Dong lounge. The accompanying single is currently getting rotation on Triple J, and the official video can be seen below. Don’t sleep - The Dwarf

"Melbourne's Pretty City Announce New Single Tour Dates"

Melbourne rockers Pretty City have announced some upcoming shows in light of their newest single Roll On.

The track comes fresh with an alluring dose of tension versus chill, making Roll On a snippet of insight to what has kept the guys very studio concentrated lately.
Pretty City will hit nine east coast locations next month to share the new sound. Check out theGuide for full tour details. - The Music

"Classics: Pretty City"

M+N are asking bands about classic Australian albums – both the idea of a classic and some prime examples – as well as posing a few polite questions.

Answering this week is Hugh Matthews, vocalist/guitarist for Pretty City. The Melbourne “shoegrunge” trio have released a long string of singles and videos in recent memory, including ‘Part of Your Crowd’, ‘Ignoring My Friends’, ‘Falling In and Out of Love’, ‘Piece of the Puzzle’ and ‘Take It Back’. Their new single ‘Roll On’ prioritises the stoner/grunge side over the shoegaze, and they’re launching the single with a 10-date East Coast tour starting next Friday. Dates below.

a. The new single is more stoner/psych-tinged than the shoegaze moments of your earlier songs, and ‘Piece of the Puzzle’ was more grunge. Is this a gradual shift in the band’s sound?
Yes, we’ve shifted towards a punchier sound in general, but elements of shoegaze and grunge remain. We’ve brought more elements into our sound, rather than shifting genres entirely. I think that finding the negative space between all these sub-genres is our ongoing mission as a band. We’d like to smash up all the existing ideas and make our own crazy mosaic.

b. How, when and why did Pretty City materialise as a band?
In late 2012 I decided that I wanted to make music with the intent of The White Stripes and cross it with a dreamy M83-type soundscape. I called Johnny [John-Luis Moretti, lead guitar and vocals] because he is 100% energy and rock and roll, and Drew [Andrew Schapper, drums] brings a lot of technique and polish and often says things like, “That sounds shit, you two are just jumping around.” He keeps us grounded. It’s a very free kind of band; we all solo a lot. We all like music with a bit of flair and tend to go for it as a group and see what happens.
c. How far away is an album now, after all these singles and EPs?
By the end of this year we will release our first album.
What Makes a Classic?

a. What are some defining qualities that make a classic record?
We talk about this a lot when we are on the road! I kind of obsess over what makes music emotively potent. Music needs to be complex on some level and aesthetically appealing. Then a basic human message needs to surge through it all and turn it into a classic. As a famous meerkat once said, “Simples!”
b. Name a recent Australian record that already feels like a classic.
It’s an obvious choice but Tame Impala really nailed the last record. Lonerism has simple songs, a message and amazing musicality.
c. What was the first classic Australian record someone introduced you to?
Jet – Get Born was the first Australian record I really got into. I left my high school graduation to go see them and yell “TEN THIRTY FOUR, FLINDERS ST STATION!” with everyone.

d. Is there a classic ‘Australian sound’? If so, what is it?
The vastness of the country gives a special feeling of to a lot of Australian music. We are all trying to make sense of distances we can’t fathom.
e. Who’s your favourite Australian producer, past or present?
Jez Giddings (Kingswood, Airbourne): what a rock dog!
Five Classics

Tell us what these five classic Australian albums mean to you:
Cold Chisel East
‘Choirgirl’ is rad. I’ve just discovered that they sing in a flying V formation in the video! This is a good thing.

Radio Birdman Radios Appear
Just listened to some tracks: not really my vibe.
The Angels Face to Face
Tension and bite.
The Vines Highly Evolved
I love this album and I think we should have valued The Vines a little more as a music community. They got a rep as a freak show, but their tunes are so honest and emotive. I love all the self-indulgent slow songs that go “Hey hey la la ooooo” for like eight minutes. ‘1969’ is ballsy and beautiful and great.
You Am I Hi Fi Way
You Am I are like an eastern European stew. They take all the gristly bits of life and cook them till they break down into a delicious, rustic stew … of music. Tim Rogers somehow manages to make suburban boredom quite inspiring. - Mess and Noise

"17 Great Moments From Pretty City’s National Tour"

Melbourne rock 'n roll trio Pretty City have just wrapped up a national tour in support of their single 'Roll On'. The tour saw the band play shows in Sydney, Brisbane, the beautiful 'Geetroit' (Geelong) and everywhere in between. Now that it's all wrapped up, the guys have put together a collection of their favourite moments on tour. Check it out! - Tone Deaf

"Single Premiere: Pretty City – Flying"

Over the last few months, Pretty City have been busy little bees. They’ve popped out a trio of singles – from the beautifully noisy Falling In And Out Of Love to the groovy Humbug-era Roll On. While their shoe-grunge sort of vibe isn’t a particularly new or unique phenomenon, they’ve managed to carve out a niche within the indie scene that comes closer to actual rock music. It’s good. In fact, it’s damn near exciting to hear a band this mature and polished making gazy music.

Psych rock with a tinge of glam? What’s not to love! Check out Pretty City’s latest single Flying, streaming first here on Happy.

Hot off the heels of these radical releases, we’re bringing you Flying. Recorded by the team behind such average acts as Kingswood and The Living End, this song does a great job of showcasing the degree of haze and fuzz that the band’s vibe represents, while cleaning it up enough to appeal to mainstream radio programmers. Cleaning up a shoegaze/psych act without creating something utterly average can be a tough job – just look at Sydney’s Deep Sea Arcade - so hats off to Jez Giddings on this one.

But like most noisy guitar music, it’s a totally different experience when you’re five beers down and standing in front of a PA wondering if you can sneakily smoke that doobie in your pocket without the seccys catching wind. Having supported the likes of British India, Saskwatch and Flyying Colours, rest assured that (unlike a few shoegaze bands I know) these guys will know where to set the knobs on their amps to sound half decent. Catch ‘em at the dates below. - Happy

"Record Rewind Play Recommends"

Pretty City got together in Melbourne in 2014, united by a love of bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and peak-era ('90s, in other words) Smashing Pumpkins. "Melt" is one third of a triple-A single released earlier in the summer (along with "Running Around" and "Second Hand Clothes"). You can listen to them all on Soundcloud, which is a good thing, because they're all pretty darned terrific.

"Melt" is my personal favourite of the three, for its nu-gaze smashed on the rocks textures. Textures you might find in the crater of an active supervolcano. - Record Rewind Play (UK blog)

"Canal 180 (Portugal)"

courtney barnett, Nick Cave, Cut Copy, Tame Impala e Angus and Julia Stone são alguns dos nomes que vais poder ouvir na BANDA DO DIA do Canal180, esta semana dedicada à Austrália!
A partir das 23h30, ouve uma banda diferente todos os dias, no 180 da NOS, MEO e VodafoneTV

Hoje ainda estás a tempo de ouvir o trio de Melbourne Pretty City!
Photo © HALF SHOTS Photography - Canal 180 Facebook

"Youth in Space"

Mixtape Monday - Anon Magazine (Austin, Texas)

"Matt's Pick of the Week"

I’ve always been a big fan of these guys since EMPRA and them shared a stage together waaaaaay back. And we’ve done a heap of shows together ever since.
These new songs are in my opinion the best stuff they’ve done, which is pretty bloody impressive if you ask me.
All three tunes are quite different from each other, but work so well together as well. Seriously just check them out!
They are about to hit the road to support these singles, so check out the dates below and make sure you get along and support them if they are playing in your area. Great bunch of dudes and such a cool sounding band. -

"Premiere: Pretty City Unleash Killer Debut LP ‘COLORIZE’"

Melbourne rockers Pretty City have been a pretty busy bunch of late. Between selling out hometown shows to visiting Austin for SXSW music festival and conference, it would be fair to assume the guys haven’t really had much time to write and record a new LP, though you’d be wrong.

After an epic journey, Pretty City is back ready to release their long anticipated debut album COLORIZE. A follow on from the band’s 2015 Triple A side release which featured the killer singles ‘Running Around, Melt & Second Hand Clothes’ they’re now unleashing 9 new tracks spanning spacey shoe gaze, psycadelic rock and back to the wall fuzz and grunge.

To celebrate the release of COLORIZE, the guys have kindly given us the premiere stream of the LP which you can check out below. It’s a ridiculously effort from one of the country’s most electric live acts. For more info on Pretty City pop by the band’s Facebook page. - Tone Deaf

"Premier: Pretty City release Killer Triple-A Side"

After being holed up in the studio for the most 2015 Melbourne rockers Pretty City have broken out of their self-induced creative incarceration with three brand new killer tracks which they’re releasing as a triple A Side.

Considering that the fuzzy psych rock band features three head strong, passionate members it was no easy feat to decide the first single, so difficult in fact they simply didn’t.

They decided as a three piece band with three distinct personalities the only way was to share three new singles was to release them all at the same time. The tracks titled ‘Melt’, ‘Running Around’ and ‘Second Hand Clothes’ show three very distinct, yet unified sides to the Melbourne trio. - Tone deaf

"Better Living: Pretty City – “Running Around”"

From Melbourne, Australia, comes Pretty City. Comprised of Hugh Matthews, John-Luis Moretti, and Drew Schapper, Pretty City invokes that wonderful party spirit of Manchester in the ’90’s. One can catch drops of The Stone Roses, The Verve, and even Happy Mondays within their wonderful sound, all the while doing that wonder of sounding super original. I really enjoy this band, but the Manchester scene was one of my favorite music scenes. This is a band to follow. I’m onboard. - Audiofuzz

"Ten Australian Acts Hustling Hard At This Year’s SXSW"

The boys of Melbourne’s Pretty City combine shoegaze and britpop to create power chord-heavy anthems that wouldn’t be out of place in Manchester, 1990. Cheerfully retro, they cite Mystic Spiral, the fictional grunge band featured in Daria, as their primary influence. - Noisy

"Pretty City Fascinates Crowds During SXSW 2016"

One of the highlights of this year’s SXSW, during a festival filled with fantastic moments and incredibly awesome music (we were so lucky!), was meeting Pretty City, from Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been portraying Pretty City in our #3IsABand feature and declared them to be one of the SXSW2016-must-see trios, which still holds true.

Putting our money where our mouth is, we had planned to see the band for their “official showcase” at Tellers. This being one of the best festivals (in the USA anyway), we ran into Hugh Matthews (vocals, guitar) and Drew Schapper (drums) ahead of time, while enjoying an afternoon showcase, and ultimately chatted about Australia, the music scene, here and there and what not.

Anticipation grew, and I now really, really wanted to see them all on stage, including John-Luis Moretti (guitar, vocals), who was touring the convention center, while we chatted away the afternoon. Tellers was rather packed when we arrived to see Dead Leaf Echo playing their set, and only a few more people were fortunate enough to squeeze in when the three from Melbourne started out their set. So much energy. So much talent.

Pretty City are about to release their debut album “Colorize” by the end of this month and I can’t wait to play it on my turntable, hoping it includes songs from their live set which was… awesome! They deliver all what you expect to see from an indie-rock band, Hugh and John-Luis go enjoyably wild on their guitars, which makes my guitar-loving heart so happy (apologies to Drew.)

We loved the show so much, that we peeled ourselves out of our beds and hotel room early, to see Pretty City kick-off the Australian BBQ at noon. Sharp. No small feat for band and fans alike. Kudos to Hugh, Drew and John-Luis who were shockingly agile and so much more awake than many in attendance, including me. Which is just short for, they played yet another highly addictive live-set and left quite a few people in awe.

Here’s hope that three will be visiting the USA again soon, because, I want more of the awesome incl. some more of the chat… - Glamglare

"SXSW Music Interview: Pretty City (Melbourne) chat gaffer tape, their debut LP & breakfast tacos at SXSW!"

Let me set the scene and take you back to the Aussie BBQ at SXSW this year; like last year, I arrived at Brush Square Park looking up at the overcast skies that threatened to unleash torrent upon torrent of rain on the event. Thankfully, unlike last year, the Aussie BBQ escaped and enjoyed a dry run in Austin this time round. Any who, I’m setting up the AU’s interview table, easing into the day with a mimosa and hot dog (#cleaneating), when Pretty City turn things up to 11 and wake everyone within close vicinity up with some throttling indie rock music, tinged with a delicious side of grunge.

A clever, clever programming move by Sounds Australia having the Melbourne band on first, they shook away remnants of Thursday night’s hangover, woke us up and pulled more people in to check out what artists were still to come on the program. Following their set, Drew, Johnny and Hugh dropped in to have a chat with me about their SXSW so far and their plans once they returned home, namely the release of their debut album.

“We’ve got our debut album coming out in late April,” Drew says. “We’ve got our album launch shows in Melbourne and Sydney in April, this [SXSW] is kicking off our 2016.”

“Back home we normally have a bit more of a lighting rig set up.” Johnny elaborates of the band’s SXSW experiences so far. “We bring a whole of lights with us and this time round, obviously we can’t stick all of that into hand luggage, so we bought a couple LED torches and thought, ‘That’ll work! They’re super bright, we’ll totally be fine!’ The first gig, we switched them on and put them on stage and it was like, nothing. Can’t see shit. That was disappointing but apart from that, we’re pretty robust!”

The band’s album is one fans have been hankering for after what was a successful 2015 for Pretty City, working tirelessly on a captivating and fun live show and single releases positioning themselves for what’s already looking to be a busy 2016 in terms of new music.

“It’s been exciting just getting a body of work together.” Johnny says. “Having singles are great, but then you wish people got to hear the whole set; you always want people to be able to go home with the sets after they’ve seen you live. it would be great to have the album, like, ‘That’s everything – if you’ve got that, you’ve got the lot’.”

“We wanted to bottle the energy between us,” Hugh adds. “I feel like there’s a unique chemistry between us when we play. An album is a great way of taking people through that whole experience; that’s the thing we’re addicted to, that’s the thing we love. Sharing the whole thing with people is really beautiful.”

Watch the full interview below! - The AU Review

"New Audio: Introducing the Anthemic, Shoegaze and Brit Pop-Inspired Sound of Melbourne, Australia’s Pretty City"

Comprised of founding member Hugh Matthews (guitar and vocals), Drew Schapper (drums and Johnny Moretti (guitar) Melbourne, Australia-based shoegaze trio Pretty City can trace their origins to when Matthew sent demos to Schapper and Moretti, who all knew each other from Melbourne’s music scene. And as the story goes, after two rehearsals the newly formed trio began playing shows around Australia and receiving attention for a sound that’s indebted to The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and The Smashing Pumpkins; in fact, their Heights EP was released in 2013 to critical praise from several national outlets including The Music.

Building upon the success of Heights, the band recently finished a tour of Australia’s East Coast to support the release of their critically applauded single “Mary Go Round” and to build buzz for the forthcoming release of their full-length debut effort, Colorize. The album’s latest single “Running Around” is an enormous, arena-friendly song with equally enormous and anthemic hooks paired with dense, fuzzy, feedback slathered power chords, thundering drumming and earnestly sung vocals in a song that channels classic Brit Pop and shoegaze — but with a modern sheen and earnestness that ensures that their sound and aesthetic isn’t derivative.

The Australian trio plans to make their Stateside debut during next month’s SXSW in Austin, and I suspect that we’ll be hearing quite a bit more about them over the next few months. - The Joy of Violent Movement


'Cancel the Future' - LP, October 2017 (USA only), February 2018 all other territories

'Nothing Happens For Free' - Single, October 20, 2017

'Don't You Remember Me My Move' - Single, 2017

'Colorize' - LP, 2016. 
'Mary Go Round' - Single, 2015
'Triple A' - EP, 2015
'Flying' - Single, 2014
'Roll On' - Single, 2014
'Piece of the Puzzle' - Single, 2014
'Heights' - EP, 2013
'Ignoring My Friends' - Single, 2012
'Part of Your Crowd' - Single, 2012



Sometimes, the music really does do the talking. For Australia’s psych rockers, Pretty City, that started from an incredible SXSW appearance in 2016, which saw them gain critical acclaim.

“…only a few more people were fortunate enough to squeeze in when the three from Melbourne started out their set. So much energy. So much talent.” Glamglare

The boys of Melbourne’s Pretty City combine shoegaze and britpop to create power chord-heavy anthems that wouldn’t be out of place in Manchester, 1990.” Noisy

Following those performances their debut album, COLORIZE, continued to do the talking for them, as their album climbed the CMJ charts for 3 months, being added to over 150 stations and peaking at 70 (July, 2016).

“Strutting up and along some hazy rainbow made of stadium riffage and ’90s glow stick big pants dance while gazing down at their kicks only long enough to take in that rainbow, this Melbourne-based band sound as brash and ready as a new band can be.” CMJ

The band’s stadium, psychedelic sound was compared from everything from Britpop, shoegaze, grunge, and Psych but the strength of the music was in their ability to not be constrained to any one genre, due in part to the varied musical backgrounds of each member.

“It’s hard to pinpoint where we all meet musically as there’s a lot of diverse musical tastes and training, yet we have been able to focus all of that into one sound that is unmistakably us.” Johnny Rock

Canadian Music Week appearances followed in 2017 as the band started creating their sophomore release. Colorize continued to perform strongly internationally and at home with Canadian commercial radio spinning ‘Running Around.’ Alan Cross at Edge Fm Toronto made Running Around the number 1 release of the week during CMW 2017, and the band's buzz on Canadian shores was palpable with rave reviews. 

Back home, Colorize was spun on Triple J, Triple J Unearthed and Double J, as well as added to light rotation on commercial rock station, Triple M and smashed on local radio station RRRfm.

A tumultuous time for the band, constant touring and international focus had taken a toll. And pressures to outdo their last album made for creative differences to boil over. Personal relationships and lives creeping into the process only made matters worse as songs were recorded, re-recorded and scrapped again. In fact, more than a whole album was finished and scrapped all together, to be started again from scratch. Producers were fired and rehired, and for a while the band were doing everything themselves.

By the end of the process, the band had come full circle musically and emotionally. The motto, CANCEL THE FUTURE, was the album title from early in the process. Taken from a lyric of a song it was meant initially to symbolise the optimism and bravado about being able to write your own future by changing your now. By the end of the year that motto still rang true but was more of a reflection on the band’s strength to essentially “cancel their futures” by scrapping whole albums with no plan in sight, to then start again from the ground up and still enjoy music creation and performance.

CANCEL THE FUTURE is thus a combination of frustration, exuberance, confidence and introspection. And it speaks louder than the band could have realised when starting the process.  The album came out in America in October and was number 29 most added to the NACC charts in its first week. The album also debuted at 172 and is steadily climbing with 7 songs already added to rotation on community and college radio.

As the album hits the US, the band are undertaking their first European tour with 23 dates across the U.K, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, The Czech Republic and Denmark. US dates and festival appearances are also planned in 2018. 

Band Members