Video: The Newsletters – Lucky Country

Conor Hutchison is probably better known for his time in Cat Cat and From the South, but he also moonlights with his own project The Newsletters. It’s simple, serene and breathtaking music, like driving along The Great Ocean Road for the first time, or walking into a pub and seeing they’ve got Reschs on tap.

“Lucky Country” is a weird mix of horrifying and lush, as Hutchison describes a car accident in brutal detail, and mingles that sentiment with homesickness. But it’s also real pretty; shuffling drum splashes courtesy of Lachlan Denton (The Ocean Party) sighing violins from Robert McComb of The Triffids, and Hutchison’s warm voice smoothed out over the top of it all, like the spreading of avocado on toast on a hangover-less Sunday morning.  Just like a weekend that doesn’t end in regret and cranium pain, this Newsletters track is a real rare, beautiful thing.

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New: Cat Cat – Microwave

Who even bloody knows where Cat Cat are located anymore? They’ve pursued this Where’s Wally approach, in that it seems like no one actually knows where they’re recording from anymore. Is it Canberra? Melbourne? Bloody Cairns?

It doesn’t really matter, because great music is great music, or as I prefer to say “Choon’s a fuarkin’ choon, aye?”. Although those words would get me kicked out of the suburban paradise that is home, it’s worth risking for the sake of the lovely jangle-pop on offer from Cat Cat, the band so nice they named it twice. And whilst I’m definitely not the first deadshit who’s thought they were being funny, originality persists in this track. 10/10 would adopt this song and raise it as my own child.

Mixtape: Oz Do It Better!

 

Fuck me with a spatula, and call me Gordon Ramse! There is no way anyone will be able to beat the eye-popping names on the latest mixtape from Peking Tapes.

Let me lay it out for you like this: Do you like Parading? Or Day Ravies? Or Shrapnel? Or Cat Cat? Or Wizard Oz? Or…fuck me, every name on this compilation is like Aus underground royalty, and every second you waste reading this is a second that could be spent buying this tape.

But if you insist on getting the blow-byblow, let’s start at the top: Andre begins things with a squelchy guitar romper called ‘Single Town’, and then Parading double down on that crunchy reverb with an exclusive single entitled ‘Try to Do A Good Thing’. From there, it’s one of my favourites off Shrapnel’s debut, a cool pop song called ‘Baby Picks Up’, followed by a jangly one from Cat Cat that manages to be both sad and relieved at the same time, the perfect song for when you’ve got your back turned on something.

Mac DeMarco on crack gets channeled excessively in the track, ‘You Were Mine’, from Colours, as lazy guitar mingles with clashing noise. The middle of this is a brilliant mind-fuck, moving between twinkling emptiness and a feeding frenzy of feedback. Day Ravies continue down this road of overblown noise in their contribution ‘Drink the Ocean’, a track that starts quaint and Pavement-esque, and then bombards the listener with squirming noise towards the end.

Wizard Oz dilute the waters with a frowning track called ‘Go Home’, a song swarming with warm synth work and lyrics that are more desperate than the Socceroos attempts at a World Cup.

Now, after a mixture of noisy and down-tempo tracks, Australia’s garage/slacker scene gets a chance to shine, with contributions from Cool Sounds, The Ocean Party, Thigh Master, Disgusting People and The Grease Arrestor. Each of these songs is warmer than a dole cheque, and they’ve got more heart than those lab-rats with organs grown on them.

The best mixtape ever ends with two amazing pop tunes from Snowy Nasdaq and Moondice, both providing tracks that could easily fit into the ‘Sexy Time’ playlist (that you’ve never used before).

To summarise, the title of this playlist doesn’t even remotely do the contents justice. Oz does music so good, they should outlaw other countries music, and just have this playlist on repeat globally. The songs on here are more or less the pinnacle of human achievement. Sure, there may be a bit of gratuitous hyperbole in that last statement, but until the other continents catch up and release a mixtape as good as this, then Australia wins the award for best underground music in the world. Take that, Brooklyn!

Mixtape(s): Hand Games + Peking Tapes Summer Mixtape

Today, not one, but TWO brand new mixtapes. If you’re of the ‘Fuck Triple J’ mindset and are in the midst of organising a coup of the Triple J Hottest 100, then get amongst these indie gems.

Hand Games Mix #18 January

The first thing that will strike you about the new, flawless Hand Games mixtape is the cute as fuck cover. Jesus Christ, all other cute things may as well go kill themselves in an orgy of blood. Because there is fucking nothing, repeat fucking nothing, that is goddamn cuter than a pink baby elephant hoarding doughnuts. Seriously, cat videos of the internet, throw in the towel, your reign as ‘Cute Internet Thing’ is over.

But onto the music, the main attraction of this deliciously amazing playlist. Due to this playlist, Blank Realm’s ‘Falling Down the Stairs’ has become my favourite song of the month. And regular bands that appear on Soundly Sounds ScotDrakula, Royal Headache and Snowy Nasdaq are here as well with some truly orgasm-inducing tracks.

As usual, the pop and electronica contingent in Hand Games is very strong, with Elizabeth Rose, Safia, Noah Slee and Hubert Clark Jr. making solid cases as to why the electro-pop format is winning hearts and minds everywhere.

And in terms of the darker, weirder shit that makes my pants bulge there’s The Babe Rainbow (awesome name), Home Travel, Emerse, and the spectacularly strange Romi. Seriously, check out Romi’s shit, it makes a one-eyed-purple people eater look like the squarest piece of shit.

HAND GAMES IS FREE, SO GET ON THAT SHIT!

Peking Tapes-Summer Lovin’ 2013

The next glance through the porthole to majestic perfection comes courtesy of Peking Tapes, and features a shit load of artists you’ve never heard of, but will thoroughly enjoy. The reason you’ll have never heard of these artists is because they’re all more underground than a mole who’s only into Neutral Milk Hotel demo tapes.

The shit on here is wondrous in so many ways, glorifying the alternative scene in Melbourne to dizzying heights. Every song on here always makes me feel jittery inside, and the fact that I’m only hearing about these artists now makes it all the better. With the exception of Snowy Nasdaq’s subtle ‘Fucking’, Wizard Oz’s stellar cover of TV Colours’ ‘Bad Dreams’ and the chameleonic Zombie Psychologist, I had no clue of any of these bands.

So surprise, fucking surprise, when I go through a compilation from one of the best tape labels in Australia, and discover a bunch of my new favourite artists. From the wholesome Clean-jangle of Big Tobacco, to the organ-driven dream pop of Cat Cat, to the disorientating math rock of  Pioneers of Good Science and the James-Mercer-on-heroin beauty of Coloured Clocks’ ‘Brick’, there is no point in this entire mixtape where the mind isn’t completely absorbed. This sort of musical genius is usually buried under layers and layers of in-the-know, but thanks to Peking Tapes, it has been uncovered for the likes of you and I to feast our greedy ears upon.

GET ON PEKING TAPES SUMMER LOVING, COS ITS BETTER THAN A HANDJOB FROM TOUCH SENSITIVE AND IT’S FREE!