If you heart quality folk, surf-pop melodies and lyrics that evoke nostalgic feels then you need to wrap your ears around the rustic hues and golden sounds of English expat Zander Rhodes.
The singer-songwriter, now residing in the Sunshine State, has caused more than a ripple in the east-coast, indie-folk scene. Navigate his four-track debut EP, 2019's 'Whiny Folk Songs', to add more ripples to Rhodes' emerging talent.
Highlight tracks 'Byron Bay' and 'A Record That I Found' are both absolute, top-shelf quality. You can certainly hear his influences – Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac – shining through his musicianship.
Today marks Zander's first release of 2020, the equally delightful 'Falling' that is lifted from a recording session with producer Brock Weston (Bugs) for a forthcoming EP titled 'The Great Unknown'.
As the press release states, 'Falling' is 'a joyfully creative, sun-laden tribute to lost love, drenched with powerful vocal harmonies'.
While he's been living in Australia, he's fallen in love with our coastal lifestyle (like, duh!), wth a particular love for the ocean and marine life.
"I'm pretty obsessed with scuba diving," beams Zander, "here are five marine creatures to look out for while diving in Australia."
1: Whale Sharks
Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the ocean, with an average size of almost 10m! Their skin is covered with white spots and stripes that are unique to each individual, a bit like a QR code.
Despite their size, they're completely harmless to humans. You can see whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, which is top of my diving bucket list!
2: Blue-ringed octopuses
The blue-ringed octopus is only about 20cm in length, but it contains enough venom to kill 26 humans! When threatened, the blue-ringed octopus rapidly turns bright yellow, with each of its iridescent rings lighting up as a warning sign to predators.
There are videos of people finding these little creatures in rock pools and picking them up, not knowing how deadly they are. There's no known antidote, so stay clear if you see one.
3: Australian Giant Cuttlefish
The Australian giant cuttlefish is the largest species of cuttlefish in the world. They're about the size and weight of a Boston terrier.
Slightly more exciting than a dog though, their skin is covered with special types of cells that allow them to change colour in a fraction of a second.
If you've never seen a video of a cuttlefish changing colour, hit play below. You're welcome.
4: Manta Rays
Known as the 'gentle giant' of the ocean, manta rays can grow to be 7m in diameter.
There's an amazing dive site off North Stradbroke Island called Manta Bommie, where you can see these majestic creatures soaring around alongside a tonne of sharks and other amazing marine life.
5: Leafy Seadragons
Leafy seadragons are something that have to be seen to be believed! They look something like a miniature floating dragon, dressed in seaweed. I'm not kidding.
You can find these incredible creatures along the southern and western coasts of Australia.