New: Collarbones – The Cut

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Not too long ago, I was part of a heaving audience at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney, one of many who were caked in sweat and adoration for our hometown heroes Collarbones. On that night, they dropped their yet unreleased “The Cut”, and instantly there was a presence that had been unfelt until that point – something dangerous and sensual.

A few months later, and Collarbones have unleashed “The Cut” to the world, and it’s exactly how I remembered it. Beginning with a few tantalising moments of Marcus Whale unwrapping his desires in that transfixing way only he is capable of, followed by a thudding garage beat that pours salt into the fresh wound Whale just opened up.

“The Cut” warps and shifts, successfully fusing the tranquility of Collarbones’ earlier work with the savage pop stabbings of “Turning”. Not only does it make for exciting music, but it pulls out the Bic and boils the blood in anticipation for whatever Collarbones will pull out next.

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New: Marcus Whale – Vapour

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Marcus Whale is as integral to Sydney’s cultural identity as the Harbour Bridge, or directing patrons towards the casino at 2am. Not only does Marcus appear in a variety of guises, from the experimental pop of Collarbones, to the throbbing darkness of BV, but he’s also at the front of every show worth going to in this city. He’s often the guy you can count on to be dancing in a room full of people too nervous to.

That type of multi-faceted and bold personality makes for raw music, which is exactly what you’re in for with “Vapour”. It’s six and a half minutes of uncompromising, endlessly interesting music. Whispy blasts of air, the cricks of a door, a murmur from a watching Predator, an urgent beat…all carried through upon Whale’s voice, which wafts delicately, gazing above the constantly shifting soundscape.

Marcus Whale has always pushed the boundaries of sound with all of his projects, but here, in solo mode, he’s colliding so many different styles and structures, he’s come up with something actually original. The absolute madman has actually done it!

“Vapour” is an exercise in making music without borders and genre. I have no idea how to classify it; I honestly don’t know how Marcus is creating the sounds he has managed to, and that pushes me to simply enjoy this song without feeling that usual compulsion to compare it to something else. Don’t bother trying to capture it, just take it in, all of it. Once you’re finished, just take a second and think about how weird, and mysterious, and cool, and fantastic that song was. Then listen again.

Marcus Whale’s debut LP Inland Sea is out on Good Manners on June 10th. He’ll be launching the album at Newtown Social on the 15th of July

Top 10 Music Videos of 2014

It’s that time of year, when I sell my soul, and conform to the expectation that all blogs, no matter how small and shitty (of which Soundly Sounds is both) needs to compile an end of year list, summarising all the great things that have been accomplished by the fair artists of the year. Now, if you’ve ever been on this blog, or heard words out of my mouth, it becomes apparent that I have a habit of hyperbole, and describing everything as “my favourite” or “the best thing ever”. Well, now it’s time to pay up, and show what I, King Deadshit, reckons is the best of the best this year.

First, music videos. A dead medium. Who even the fuck watches this shit? It’s just a band wearing enough hair gel to freeze over hell, and badly lip-syncing to a song no one liked much in the first place. OR it’s a place where blood and gore thrives, and creativity is king. Here are the Top 10 Music Videos of the 2014, but first, some honourable mentions: White Hex (‘Paradise’), DZ Deathrays (‘Gina Works At Hearts’), SMILE (‘BLVD’), and Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders (‘Come On Back This Way’).

BONUS: Girl Talk & Freeway feat. Waka Flocka Flame

It seems strange to include a Girl Talk track in this blog, especially one that features human shitstain Waka Flocka Flame. I’ve never been a fan of kitschy rap that glorifies bullshit. But the visual ridiculousness of seeing a man like Waka sitting on a throne gesticulating with a recently dismembered arm, as Girl Talk beats up people on the street, is something so gloriously gonzo that it has to be included as one of the greatest audio-visual experiences of 2014.

10. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Cellophane

King Gizzard are the Spoon of garage rock – they just release really consistent, good records. Their two records of 2014, ‘Oddments’ and ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ were pretty great, but the videos are what remained spectacular. “Hot Wax” was a solid contender, but it was “Cellophane” and its 3D video, that captured the cartoon-ish, Hanna-Barbera lunacy that they portray onstage. And if any song was going to act as the perfect vehicle for such a mindfuck, “Cellophane” would be it.

9. The Peep Tempel – Big Fish

The Peep Tempel are great at pumping out bloodthirsty tunes mopped straight from the floor of the seediest pub in town. They’re the kind of hard-working, sweaty band that plays loud, growling with menace. That’s probably why their clip for “Big Fish” is so great – it shows what the morning after a night out at a Peep Tempel is really like. Stumbling, trying to lit half of a cigarette, and raising eyebrows from every passerby.

8. Broadway Sounds – Something Sensual

Broadway Sounds came from nowhere, and released a fantastic EP of tangy and elastic synth jams. Then they released the video clip for “Something Sensual”, a Tim and Eric-esque sketch that just scrapes under the classification of porn. Strange burlesque folks in masks, Melbournite gymnastics and the ultimate ode to the constellations, “Something Sensual” manages to give you the weirdest boner of all time.

7. Blank Realm – Reach You on the Phone

Not only did Blank Realm unveil a 10/10 perfect album, and bring the keytar back from the furthest point of remembrance, but they also managed to release this fantastic video. The video easily re-creates all the billowing emotion and whirlwind romanticism, via a hued pastiche of purples, greens, pinks and yellows, and an abundance of fans (both the kind that blows air into your face, and the array of colourful characters who appear). There’s also the fantastic claymation that recalls the work of Adam Elliot (Harvey Krumpet). If you’re not sobbing at the end of this, you’re malfunctioning.

6. Bistro – DR NO feat Simo Soo

Straight outta Sydney, some of the best hip-hop you’ll hear all year – not only can Bistro provide music that doesn’t sound like something a lad from the North Shore spat onto a napkin, it also isn’t obviously inspired by American hip-hop either. Instead, it sounds thoroughly of its own time and place.

What’s more, he’s got a film clip that accurately depicts the kind of fucked up pace, flow and themes presented in DR NO. It’s frightening and acidic, worse than anything Walt Disney could come up with, a blend of schizophrenic gonzo-ism. When it hits Simo Soo’s rapid fire verse, your hands should be just blistering, white knuckled stubs of flesh.

5. Liam Finn – Burn Up The Road

One of the more feel-good clips of the year is Liam Finn’s “Burn Up the Road”. Yes, he is the kid of Neil Finn, but his style is defiantly his own. That comes through in the alternate (and infinitely cooler) future in which Liam Finn and Kirin J Callinan are best mates, then enemies on a autobahn motorbike ride to hell and back. It’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby with more hockey pads and a liquid cool guitar riff.

4. Multiple Man – Persuasion

A lot of bands adopt the VHS approach these days, and it’s becoming a tad painful to see. It started out cool, but when everyone’s doing it, it sort of fucks up the novelty and greatness of it all. But with Multiple Man, they’ve cannibalised and evolved that CHS concept into something that’s both alluring and scary as hell. I imagine watching the bleached colours burrowing themselves into your eyes as the Campion twins purr along to squelchy beats and trickling synths is the same way sensation people felt after watching The Matrix for the first time. When New Order is getting swallowed by The Soft Moon like that to the fuzzy, white-noise head fuck of the “Persuasion” video, something inside of you says “Hey, probably not going to see some shit like that for a while”

3. Client Liaison – Free of Fear

Client Liaison toe a line that can easily cross into self-parody. They’re fantastic, but when you sound like a Prince and Michael Jackson-crossbreed being fed through a fax machine, and interpreted by Olivia Newton-John, there’s a large chance that there could be a mis-translation. However, these guys just write damn fine pop songs, and their videos are works of art. “Feed the Rhythm” borders on being one of the videos of the year, but it’s the grand randomness revealed with straight faces for the comic ages (try patting an alligator in the desert, and not cracking a smile), that ensures that the elaborate “Free of Fear” clip excels at being the No. 1 lavish homage and extension to the greatest pop era in history.

 2. Zanzibar Chanel – Mustn’t Evolve feat. Dungeon Posse

This video was released only mere weeks ago, but when it opens like a soap opera taking place in gangland warfare, and a brutal, eye-popping murder takes place before any music starts, then things look to be pretty amazing. “Mustn’t Evolve” is a torture-cry laden, synth delight, soaked in evil vocals and a cell playground for Melbourne’s finest to rap-squat and jiggle their way into infamy. It’s about as close to a Hunter S. Thompson wet dream as things go.

1. Collarbones – Turning

Not only is “Turning” the motherfucking JAM of 2014, an electronica glitch in the binary code that turns 0’s into Destiny’s Child and 1’s into Aphex Twin, but it has the best video of 2014 as well, for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, it’s got a celebrity cast, including Marcus and Travis of Collarbones, Doug and Russell of FISHING, FBi legend Frances Barrett, Marcus of Siberia Records, and Romi and Matt Banham, the greatest Internet sensations Australia has seen since Steve Irwin. Secondly, it’s directed by SPOD, a name that causes amateur filmmakers to quake in intimidated passion. Obviously, that means the clip is loaded with all sorts of crazy Internet craziness, like Brown Cardigan and Deep Internet Reddit made passionate love on a green screen. And thirdly, it has outfits that make like The Devil Wears Prada moved into a Health Goth store, andn has teh choreography of a ferocious mythological creature being taught to twerk to R Kelly, (I imagine SPOD was the one who taught said beast, via a My Fair Lady “The Rain in Spain” musical number).

New: Black Vanilla – Throw It Down

Black Vanilla return with their second tasty jam released this year. It’s so tasty, I want to lick it. I wanna lick this song. With my tongue.

The song is a sweaty, late-night jam that will get every romantic in the room on the floor. “Throw It Down” is for all the lovers, and for the soon to be lovers. The licking thing sounds even more fucked now, hey.

But I digress…put this on in your clubs. Patrons of dancefloors, be excited at the prospect of laying down your best moves to this song in the near future. Or at Oustidein in Sydney, at Manning Bar on November 29. Seekae, Panthu Da Prince, Giraffage and Client Liaison are all playing as well. Sick, let’s get groovy.

Video: Collarbones – Turning

Nup. Fuck off. How can something this fucking brilliant exist in the vacuum of time and space. Collarbones are simply too genius to grace us with their prescence. Honestly, it’s not really fair on them that they have to exist on the same city, nay the same world, as Soundly Sounds. If you looked up juxtaposition in the dictionary you would see a infographic saying: Collarbones > Earth.

This all comes to a head in the video for their latest masterpiece “Turning”. Not only does it feature the glorious talents of Matt Banham (of Matt Banham’s Jokes Internet f@me) Marcus Thaine (ultra cool dude at Siberia Records) Doug and Russell from FISHING and a host of others, doing their best Gordon Gecko x a Reddit Forum x Swag impressions, but SPOD (Yes, THE SPOD) took care of doing art installations/dance choreography. Prepare your mind to go on a psychedelic trip with Marcus Whale and Travis Cook as your sonic guides, refreshing your eyeball’s taste buds with a gory, seizure-inducing plethora of images. It’s like Beyonce took acid at a Marrickville warehouse party and her mind’s eye was turned into a music video.

Flurries of the Matrix, rotating chairs of vaguely disappointed looking heroes of Sydney, and a weird adoration with a Chinese vase are all teh status quo of what is the greatest video of the decade. Throw all of that next to a constantly revolving orgasm of outfits from cyclist chic to twerking-man-wrapped-in-silver, and you’ve got something of jilting beauty that will probably never be matched.

New: Black Vanilla – SMACKS

By the power of paradoxical band names, Black Vanilla are back! A year on from their insane track ‘Call Your Husband’, the Sydney trio have released SMACKS, which is like if The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ were spliced into The Matrix, and then fed into an ecstasy-fuelled rave at Sydney’s coolest warehouse party. More shredded than your average Stereosonic punter, it pulses with a scary amount of energy. Laced with electricity and power, ‘SMACKS’ will destroy everything you thought you knew about dance music, and rebuild it into the insane totem pole of amazing that is Black Vanilla.

New Electronica Music: Collarbones + JaysWays + Second Hand Heart + Raymond Scottwalker

Doof Doof in ya roof! It’s the music to get you fired up, or alternatively, to sit down and wallow in a molten pit of emotion. Whatever floats your boat really.

 

Collarbones-Burnout

The elders have spoken: Collarbones are the premier R&B synth act on the planet. If Collarbones were Gaston (the antagonist of Beauty & the Beast, duh) then they’d have a whole village singing their praises directly to their face. Why? Because no one croons like Collarbones, or thumps like Collarbones, or smoothly edges synth pricks into the consciousness with the damn sexiness of Collarbones (okay, maybe Donny Benet beats them out on that last one). ‘Burnout’ is a solid reminder of why everyone loves to love Collarbones.

 

JaysWays-Something in the Trees

I was kind of bummed that JaysWays didn’t win Triple J Unearthed High last year. I’m stoked that Lunatics on Pogosticks won, but somehow I reckon JaysWays was robbed a bit, especially in retrospect. He’s been pumping out these absolutely gobsmacking tracks lately, and ‘Something in the Trees’ is a fine testament to that. The track is a small, revolving ball of delicious energy, and those weird outdoor chirps and squeals amongst the lush soundscapes make for the kind of vibe that I’m sure Legolas is used to, what with being an elf and all that. On a completely unrelated note, fuck Lord of the Rings.

 

Second Hand Heart-Damnesia

The name Second Hand Heart, as well as a track title like ‘Damnesia’, is kind of pointing in the direction of a pop-punk group that really liked Alkaline Trio. But prepare your mind for some heart-decapitating, slow-burning goodness. The song basically features some Kevin Spacey-death stare-cold piano and the hushing vocals of a songstress, along with some simmering drums and cymbals. That combination makes for a eerie ambient soundscape, one that’s not meant to leave your brain for quite some time either.

 

Raymond Scottwalker-Thylacines

In a weird twist of fate, I accidentally forgot to post about the previous Fallopian Tunes release I got, and it’s been sitting in my drafts for a while. I only discovered this mishap when I was in the process of writing this. Coincidence? Yeah, probably. There’s no deeper meaning here, other than I slept most of the long weekend, and everything has vaporised from my brain. So I’ll probably just describe this amazing Thylacines EP now, and post the other Fallopian Tunes stuff later.

Anyway, Raymond Scottwalker (who should be noted as to having an amazing name) makes the kind of subdued electronic music one would normally find in the basement of a serial killer. The feelings and textures here are languid and disturbing, mopped up despair from the average kid who left university optimistic, only to find their dreams shattered around them a few months of mediocrity later. Even though there’s no vocals here, Thylacines isn’t for the faint of heart. Sounds weird, but the shifting, Fly-Lo-forgot-his-Prozac sounds here are stunning. Raymond Scottwalker (such a great name) has dug deep here, and found some sounds actually worth sharing on the electronic spectrum, besides doof-da-boof.

New Electronic Music: BANKS + Youth Lagoon + Tycho + Scenic + Rainbow Chan x Cassius Select + ALTA + Oscar Key Sung x Black Vanilla

Bro, can you feel it? I’m peakin’ braj, I’m peakin’! Broseidon, I can’t feel my arms!

Such is the life of a gum-muncher. I’m here to fund that lifestyle! These tunes will be with you throughout the thick, thin and the paranoid moments when someone is watching you, and it doesn’t matter that no-one else can see them, they’re totally there.

BANKS-BRAIN

I really have to thank my spirit guide Luen for this one. This track is absolutely killer, in that it will cut your throat, empty your carcass of blood, and leave your lifeless, deflated corpse by the side of the road, but there are no regrets because this song was just way too good. Produced by the almighty Shlohmo, ‘Brain’ is a popping R&B infused track. It starts with sliding water-droplet subtlety, and then, funded by BANKS’ illustrious voice, moves into a pure orgasm territory. I won’t ruin it, but the short of it is that you need to listen to this track, because it will make you want to accomplish all your dreams.

Youth Lagoon-Worms

I went and saw Youth Lagoon on Thursday night. I’m not going to write a review for the show, because frankly, he kinad sucked. I love his music, especially his first album, but in live shape, it was a bit of a self-indulgent, cinematic mess. However, this new track from him is amazing. ‘Worms’ is precisely that, a slinky, earthly thing that slowly worms its way around. There’s a constant twinkling, but the whole thing feels underground, trying to make its way to nowhere in particular, searching for purpose, but at the same time, pretty content knowing that’ll just be your average worm. Stay humble Youth Lagoon, its what I love you for.

Tycho-Montana

Segue alert: Youth Lagoon has a mad, mad, insane, mad song called ‘Montana’. This next paragraph is dedicated to a song entitled ‘Montana’, that also happens to rule. What the Franco, James?

This is a lot more spaced out than the previous entries, an instrumental track that heavily lies on the ‘instrument’ part of that phrase. Not only does Tycho incorporate synths and ticks, but there’s a lot of classical instrumentation appearing-live drums, piano, guitar, various percussion…It makes for a layered, super intriguing track that has more texture than a cup of fro-yo with all the toppings.

Scenic-Ride the Thrill

Scenic are from Perth, which means there’s a de facto Tame Impala influence on there. I’m genuinely surprised they got snapped up by Future Classic and not Modular. Regardless, Scenic actually share more in common with label-mates Jagwar Ma, channelling that Madchester rave scene in all its Happy Mondays glory.

Swishy, hazed vocals washing over you, a pulsating, electric pulse and a thumping synth line that crawls all over the place like a drunk Spiderman on a skyscraper. Dayum Scenic, you got yourself a fucking great song!

Scenic are going to be opening up the Laneway festivities tomorrow in Sydney, so be sure to catch them. Unless you’re at The Growl, with me, in which case, its cool, all is forgiven.

Rainbow Chan-Milk (Cassius Select Remix)

I absolutely adore Rainbow Chan. Her cool, teenage melodies that are chirpier than Twitter’s mascot are to actually die for. I would stab Zeus for a chance to cop an exclusive listen to new Rainbow Chan material. I also adore GUERRE (remix alias=Cassius Select). GUERRE/CS is also very awesome. Glad we’ve established that. Moving on.

So when two adorable elements such as the aforementioned collide on a re-re-remix track, amazing is sure to follow in stead. Prepare yourself for a sultry remix that is not afraid to do its own thing whilst flashing the sex-eyes at you every couple seconds and make sure you’re watching. What a minx!

ALTA-Wandering

Melbourne group ALTA are prepared to rip open your expectations via the earballs, and ensure that you’re paying more attention than the poo-eating scene from Human Centipede. Think of Willow Beats and Super Magic Hats, super silky smooth stuff that gets you jittery behind your belly button.

On ‘Wandering’, ALTA still retain their tribal roots, going full on Amazon, but also adding stylistic elements, pulling back just when you want to hear more, and then pouncing forward right when you’re least expecting it. Basically, ALTA have got the listener hooked, and a lack of this stuff will lead to withdrawal.

ALTA are playing tonight (!) at Good God. Get on that shit.

Oscar Key Sung-All I Could Do (Black Vanilla Remix)

Final entry, though no less organ-failingly good. It’s another remix of Oscar Key Sung’s badooshhhh single ‘All I Could Do’, this time from Sydney tune-shiners Black Vanilla. Usually more R&B focused, this one takes a small sample of Key Sung’s vocal ‘…could…’, and then adds some trap claps and shimmering, trickling synth work to make this remix the ice-queen of all OKS remixes. YEWWWW!

Video: Collarbones-Teenage Dream

Drop dead gorgeous new song and video from Sydney’s babin’ Collarbones, an electronic project with a penchant for hilarious Facebook status updates and amazing music. ‘Teenage Dream’ is like that Beach House song of the same name, only with an insane sample beat, and if it were dripping in R&B. I’m talking drenched in sex vibes. However, the video takes shit to a whole new level, starting off slow and dark, before brightening into a trippy visual lightshow. Watching the ‘Teenage Dream’ video is like immersing yourself in a bathtub full of 1980’s acid, with glitchy animations, a mind-melting Gordian knot, and way too many flashing X’s for anyone’s good.

Black Vanilla-Call Your Husband (free download)

Holy shitballs, this is amazing. Like, one of my favourite electronic tracks of this year, insofar. It’s gloriously simple in it’s execution, but it contains so much at the same time. It’s like when you order a basic ice cream sundae, and then when you actually get it, it comes with whipped cream, a brownie, chocolate fudge sauce, whipped cream, jelly beans, gummie bears, sour worms, an extra scoop of ice cream and  a motherflippin’ cherry on top.

Black Vanilla is a collaboration between Sydney group Collarbones, DJ Plead, and Guerre, all fantastic producers and ambient aficionado’s in their own right, but when it comes together, dear fuck, do you need to be prepared. It’s actually going to blow you away when that song chimes in. Everything is gloriously smooth and creamy, from the chiming beginnings that ring like church bells in a post-apocalyptic Vatican,  a touch pad beat that jitters and bristles with deadly intention and…and, oh my god, that incinerating. ‘Call ya husband, he gun be late’ comes out of fucking nowhere, it’s so deep and demanding, like Judge Dredd if he were played by The Rock. Fuck, this track is electronic infused R n B at it’s best. Not even the mention of twerking can fuck it up. It’s just too good.

Fuck Justin Timberlake and his ‘ambitious’  20/20 albums. This is everything you need to hear this year.