New Guitar Pop: Ciggie Witch + Scott & Charlene’s Wedding + Gentlemane + Terry + Chook Race + Shearin’ + Cousin Tony’s Band New Firebird

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Just a couple A+ delicacies for your Wednesday night if you’re in the mood for a bit of a jingle jangle:

Ciggie Witch – Walking the Tracks

One of the crowning achievements of my short life thus far is when Ciggie Witch dedicated a song to me at the Fitzroy Bowls Club during a Bedroom Suck Presents gig. Side note: the combination of those three pronouns has made that sentence the most Australian line of dialogue ever written.

Anyway, sink your teeth into this new hazy beauty from the Ciggie Witch camp. This time round, old mate Zach expresses his anxieties of balancing happiness in a song as sick as Steven Seagal’s ponytail.

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Delivered

Been a while since we heard the flashy twang of S+CW, and it’s bloody to good to have them back! There’s that some old yelp, that same old propulsive melody, and a chorus that’s born to be belted from the bedroom of frustrated folks all around Australia.

PS wait for the guitar solo at the end there – feels like you’re being used as mouthwash in the bill of a pelican, tossed around in a machine of bleeding reverb. 10/10

Gentlemane – The Year of Trip

This album is typically more lost in love that your typical jangly record, but you know what? That’s alright by me. I’ve been feeling a little Romeo-esque lately, and I wouldn’t mind listening to a bit of “Lost in the Moment” or “She’s My Angel” as I tearfully yell Shakespeare at the balconies of two-up’s in Newtown on a Saturday arvo.

Terry – 8 Girls 

Terry might not support the nationalists, but they do support cowboy hats and cut-off denim vests that sport their own name in diamonds. Oh yeah, and they also support really tough, leathery pop music born to be blasted from the pub jukebox right after a Saints song from Prehistoric Sounds.

Chook Race – At Your Door 

This song came out before Season 6 of Game of Thrones, which in blog terms means that it’s probably too old to attempt to attach a hashtag to. However, I’m still gonna give it a go, because the scratchy pop styling of Chook Race will never stop be endearing, and it’s always better late than never. Go on, press play, no regrets here.

Shearin – Budget Cuts

For me personally, there’s probably nothing better than hearing a harsh voice spit pure fury over political indignation, shitty policy and a beautiful little jangle pop line. Oh, and look at that, that’s the exact description of Shearin’s “Budget Cuts”! Aren’t you bloody lucky! Also, it’s probably been at least a few weeks since you heard someone scream “that fat cunt Joe Hockey”, so make sure you tune into “Budget Cuts” for that alone.

If you’re free Friday, make sure you head along to the Chippendale Hotel, as Shearin’ are having their EP launch, and will see some support from Nick Nuisance and the Delinquents as well.

Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird – Melbourne Bitter

This song doesn’t really fall into the guitar pop territory, but the song’s called “Melbourne Bitter”, and that’s good enough for me. This song absolutely bloody rules, and I needed to find a way to sneak it in somewhere. Besides, this blog never had any integrity to begin with, why start now?

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New from The Ocean Party Crew™: Snowy Nasdaq + Ciggie Witch + Cool Sounds

The Ocean Party are easily one of the best bands in Australia, but one of the best aspects of the band is how restless the members are. Not only do they pump out albums faster than a hardcore Christian rabbit pumps out babies, but the individual members also treat the making of music like it’s a resource, churning out as much of the good shit as possible before it all runs out.

Hence, here is a collection of a the recent releases by various solo guises from The Ocean Party that you would do well to feast upon:

SNOWY NASDAQ & SNOWY LIFE – Ironic Life

The Ocean Party’s irrepressible guitarist/internet demi-god Snowy Nasdaq returns under his forever-shifting solo moniker. This time, it’s with a video that’s like Wes Anderson going lo-budget and sadistic. Snowy slaps himself more times than a self-hating henchman who is constantly screwing up, to the background of a forgotten home aerobics video. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in watching, then fuck you, you’re boring.

 

Ciggie Witch – Look of Pain

I can’t believe I didn’t spot this before – the Melbourne guitar-pop sextet Ciggie Witch sounds exactly like triple j wunderkid “rapper” Allday. Jesus, how did I not fucking SEE THIS! It’s so obvious! If can’t call distinctions this blatant, then what is even the fucking point of any of this? Isn’t that the whole point of writing????

There was serious consideration of giving up everything and getting a real job, and refusing to mention anything about the new Ciggie Witch track, but the Soundly Sounds Board of Directors forced my hand. They roughed me up, Sopranos-style,quoting something like, “Take this incredible song and say something witty, like how Zac is hitting all the big contemporary musical notes, because he’s always known the DJ”. However, my spirits are so low, I don’t think I can muster a terrible pun. Sorry, no hilarity in this post, it’s been sucked dry by lack of will to live, being so out of touch with contemporary music.

Cool Sounds – Control

I don’t believe that Cool Sounds actually contain any actual members of The Ocean Party, but Snowy contributes violin to this track, and my loose morals (read: lying) have always been such a durable part of my life philosophy, and…Jesus Christ, does it matter? This song rules!

“Control” is just under three minutes of lush, plucking dream-pop. More interestingly, it’s a self-analysing trip of torture, with lines like, “I keep dreaming that I’m cheating on you” and “I’m running out of time to come back home” brimming with the kind of self-hatred that seems to only either stem from Melbourne 20-somethings and HBO characters. Beautiful.

 

Do yourself a favour, and steal a glance at these bastards when they travel North for a stunner-deal of a show at The Union in Newtown, on June 26th. Ciggie Witch and Cool Sounds – Just a Couple of Mates.

Album Review: Ciggie Witch-Rock And Roll Juice

Ciggie Witch have one of the best names in Australia, along with Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, The Gooch Palms and Reckless Vagina. However, whilst the latter bands are disciplined in the ways of punk and rock n roll, Ciggie Witch go for the jangle angle. But this isn’t some bullshit strum machine thing. Considering Ciggie Witch have got members of The Ocean Party, Pencil and Robert bloody McComb from the Triffids in there, I’d say that ‘Rock And Roll Juice’ demands a peruse.

However, it’s way too easy to get lost in this album. Forget window shopping-once you’ve laid down for the first track, ‘Long Weekend’, there’s a strong bloody chance that you’re in it for the long haul. Or rather, short haul, because the album flies by, whisked along by glazed eye guitars, scratchy drums, and twinkling keys.

There’s actually a certain paradox to the way Ciggie Witch approach music-they’re lyrics are filled with motions about how much they hate the world they live in- their jobs, their lack of money, the bullshit people that co-inhabit their space-really, just things that piss off us disciples of normality. If you haven’t put up with at least one douche-fuck at your work, then you’re probably in a coma, dreaming of a non-existent work environment. But these lyrics of woe and sadness are paired with stunning music, that somehow makes you want to move your neck in a lopsided and awkward but enjoyable fashion. It’s an irony of the highest order.

Take for example ‘Part Two’-the lyrics of ‘People seem like they want to talk to me/I don’t know what to say, I freeze up, give short answers and run away’ is a spot on analysis of anyone who feels they could beat out Milhouse in an awkward-off. And yet, the song is paired with indescribably beautiful music, that pours itself into your mind, unavoidably smooth and catchy, with a violin part at the end more relieving than when you get home and see someone else has done the dishes.

‘Rock And Roll Juice’ is full of these kinds of observations tacked together with tired, soft and brutally stunning tunes. ‘Taylor’s Lakes’ features the line, ‘I got a steady job and my uni course, but I’m already feeling kinda bored’, and there’s a solo in there hand-crafted by the Slash of Brunswick. ‘Servo Stride’ and ‘Midday Movie’ are excellent sad tunes, that reek of desperate youth, ‘I am watching lives unfold on TV, I am living through the midday movie’. And ‘The Internet’ personify the bored teenage experience, and really the whole fascination of the WWW, in a swift chorus of ‘I don’t know why I got out of bed, I spent the whole goddamn day on the Internet’.

The thing that gets me with Ciggie Witch’s debut album isn’t so much any particular song, but the entire package that is ‘Rock And Roll Juice’. The album is about how fucking shitty it can be sometimes as a directionless 20-something. Now, don’t take that to mean that this some bullshit LOL SLACKERZ 90’s movie thing starring Steve Zahn and the Dad from Freaks and Geeks. The album stays afloat on the concept that having a shitty job is shitty, going to a shitty uni because people said that’s what’s expected of you is shitty, and hanging out with shitty people all the time is shitty. And sometimes, 20 year olds don’t fall into the coward-punch-loving, EDM-junkie, woman-molesting stereotype that the news loves to portray us as. Ciggie Witch represent the normal folk who have the aforementioned shitty jobs, terrible course work and retarded friends, and they’re bummed about it. But rather than moping around, and being a grumpy barista, they’ve formed an excellent band, and constructed dazzlingly good songs with some damn sharp lyrics.

Look, it’s fairly obvious that this album is going to cop some shit for being on the ‘I’m weird, and I hate my job’ spectrum of things. But look Troy, your trust fund is looking great, and I hear Deadmau5 has a new album out, so you’ll be fine. For the rest of us that live in the bummed-out atmosphere, there’s Ciggie Witch, and although the future looks shit, it’s gotten that much brighter with ‘Rock And Roll Juice’ for brekky.

 

BUY CIGGIE WITCH’S ‘ROCK N ROLL JUICE’ HERE:

And go see ’em this Sunday at the Lansdowne hotel, they’ll be launching the album for free!

Premiere!-Osborne Again Music Sampler feat. Ciggie Witch + Haircut + Jordan Thompson + Jack Lee

Look, as much as I love Sydney, with all of its wonderful rock n roll bands and DJ’s that can force me to dance, Melbourne has got the guitar-pop genre under lock and key. If you want a song with lackadaisical guitars that winds your head around your shoulders, you can’t touch the genius’ of the South. Maybe it’s the colder weather, or the cultured atmosphere. Maybe it’s that Melbourne is just a really nice place with way less dickheads than Sydney, and that breeds really nice music. Who knows?

The point is that there’s all these amazing jangle and guitar-pop bands popping up with these killer tunes, and they need labels to collectively distribute and promote them. That’s how the music industry works, apparently. Of course, you’ve got your bigwigs like Chapter Music, but there’s also a fair few young guns with rosters better than the 1975 lineup of AC/DC.

One such label is OsborneAgainMusic. Run by Lachlan, from The Ocean Party and Ciggie Witch fame, the label looks to be doing some absolutely fucking killer things in the future. How do I know? Because I’ve had a sneak peek at a couple of the releases in store over the coming months, and I’ve decided to share them with you. Aren’t I fucking generous?

Without further ado, here they are:

 

Ciggie Witch-Taylors Lakes

I’ve been a pretty big Ciggie Witch fan for a fair while now, with tracks of theirs like ‘Stuck In A Rut’ and the new one ‘Long Weekend’ becoming staples of my tearful icecream binges. There’s something inherently comforting to the soft guitars and lyrics about being 25 and directionless.

‘Taylors Lakes’ is no different, as tight guitars trickle over each other, multiple melodies more or less telling you that everything’s going to be alright, despite the down-n-out lyrics.

 

Haircut-I Been Dreaming

Deadset, this song is the sort of thing you want in a dream sequence. It’s guitars and vocals drift along like you’re floating down a river of pillow stuffings. It’s so incredibly soft, like a velvet cocoon. You’d be hard pressed not to be forced into thinking about the happiest moments of your life during this one.

 

Jordan Thompson-Nobody Will Ever Know 

Jordan Thompson is a member of one of my favorite bands, The Ocean Party. However, his solo track starts out with some Amazonian pipes or something, tropical guitar slowed down to a mumble, and dazzled synths. It’s like taking a stroll in the stars, just chilling in the nethersphere in a state of complete and utter relaxation. And the voice! This guy’s voice is like Paul Kelly if Paul Kelly had the voice of an angel. It’s fucking vocal silk!

 

Jack Lee-Stories to be Kept Under Lock And Key (The Cannanes Cover)

Jack Lee is the singer from Beef Jerk, an awesome band from Sydney (Yeah! Sydney!). On his solo outing, he takes on a cover from one of Sydney’s indie-rock greats The Cannanes. This is the most indie-rock centred track of the bunch, a shambling, furry song that honeys its way into everyone’s hearts. It’s got an ugly beauty to it, and is one of those tracks that’s key to a hangover recovery. When your heart’s in the gutter, and you feel like an absolute piece of shit, this is the song to play.

New: Ciggie Witch-Long Weekend

You don’t need me to tell you that there’s been a shitload of amazing Melbourne jangle music happening in the past couple years. It seems like every dickhead (me) with a blog (me) has written something about “dole-wave” or some other derivative of the awesomeness occurring in our cultural capital of Melbourne (BLASPHEMY!)

That trend continues in the form of one of the leaders of the scene, Ciggie Witch. They’ve been kicking it for a couple years, since late 2012, making music of the sighing jizz-worthy variety. Now, after two years of kicking it Beastie Boys style, they’re getting around to releasing their debut record.  Why so long to make a record? Well, if you look at the members of Ciggie Witch, their contributions to other projects reads like a who’s-who of Melbourne’s entire music scene. Jangle or no jangle, the members of Ciggie Witch do not give a fuck-they just want to make music!

So, it comes with great excitement that Ciggie Witch announce their debut long-player, of which the single ‘Long Weekend’ is the first single. As expected, it’s fucking beautiful. I seriously considered taking the profanity out of that description, but then I decided that it wouldn’t do justice to what is a gem in the jangle crown. The way the music caresses you like Grandma’s chocolate-chip cookies, and the lyrics manage to describe the shit out of a quarter life crisis and all the difference of having a long weekend with mates can make. 10/10 would jangle-pop (That’s a euphamism for bang. What I’m saying is that I would bang the shit out of Ciggie Witch)

HSC Trials Study Playlist

A lot of people are struggling with the Trials at the moment. I’ll make this brief: here’s a bunch of music that you can study to and will hopefully help you not fail. Nothing too weird or unsightly, nothing energetic, just really smooth relaxing music that will put you in a good mood and help you not go on a killing spree. 

1. Hebronix-Unliving

2. Twerps-Who Are You

3. Bearhug-Cinema West

4. Nite Jewel-One Second of Love

5. Modest Mouse-Baby Blue Sedan

6. High Highs-Open Season

7. Telling-Stella

8. The Beta Band-She’s the One For Me

9. The Flaming Lips-Do You Realize??

10. Elliot Smith-Ballad of Big Nothing

11. Portishead-The Rip

12. Elvis Depressedly-I’m Never Going to Understand

13. Laura Marling-Ghosts

14. Dick Diver-Water Damage

15. Shining Bird-Distant Dreaming

16. Ciggie Witch-Back Aches

17. I’lls-To: All the Blurred

18. Naysayer & Gilsun-In Mind (feat. Simon Lam)

19. Chet Faker- I’m Into You