New From Sydney: Phantastic Furniture + Georgia Mulligan + Morning TV

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I’ve been heaps busy with wrapping up at work and uni, so I’ve gotten pretty lazy on the Internet side of things. NO MORE! Here’s a few tunes from Shitney you should familiarise yourself with:

Phantastic Ferniture – Gap Year

A nation of kids have just finished high school – according to numbers I’ve just made up, 50% will go on a gap year to “find themselves”. They’ll head to Europe on their parents’ dollar, pick up a range of STD’s and get too drunk to remember any of it, except for the part where they got, like, SUPER HIGH in Amsterdam. Bro, you totally gotta go.

The only “Gap Year” worth actually taking is the one from Phantastic Ferniture – lush, delicate and enough heartbreak to make Vin Diesel well up with tears and start complaining about all the dust in the room, the hats go off to this song, and this band. There’s huge things for them next year, so make sure you buy ’em a beer in a vain attempt to hitch a ride on their coattails to fame.

Georgia Mulligan – White Lies

More incredibly beautiful stuff outta my hometown, “White Lies” stands out for Georgia Mulligan’s incredible voice, in much the same way that Die Hard stands out from action movies because of Bruce Willis’ ability to deliver one-liners perfectly.

Although she initially started off with a series of covers, “White Lies” shows Mulligan embarking into original territory with the kind of ease that makes you scream, “Jesus Christ, why didn’t you start doing this earlier”. It helps that “White Lies” is a total ear worm, but not the kind that you’ll be able to replicate yourself due to the fact that you’re tone deaf and your voice sounds like a pair of aardvarks rooting in a dustbin compared to Mulligan’s. To get the full satisfaction of this song, you’ll just have to keep hitting repeat.

Morning TV – Golden

The only time to bother with morning TV (the concept, not the band) is whilst waiting in dentist offices, or when you’re so drunk that you just NEED to see how big Richard Wilkins’ head actually is. Now, there’s another decent reason to look that shit up.

Morning TV are a brand new band, serving up some nice slices of dream-pop. Think Unknown Mortal Orchestra meeting the drowsy swoon of Craft Spells or Wild Nothing for a drink at some new, trendy bar that hasn’t been completely overrun with dickheads just yet. On the morning TV spectrum, “Golden” falls somewhere close to the joyful antics of Karl Stefanovic, as opposed to the disturbing chortles of Kochie.

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Video: Hideous Towns – Um Expression

When the footy soars through the middle posts, and that yellow-lycra bastard pulls up a whistle, and two fat fingers…that’s this song. That’s the glory of this song. Because in case it was not immediately apparent, this is glorious.

Melbourne’s Hideous Towns – incredible. Equally inspired by, reflecting of and building upon some of the best gothic and shoegaze music going around right now. A Place to Bury Strangers, Cold Cave, HTRK, Love of Diagrams, Buzz Kull…all legends in their own right, and Hideous Towns have earned their place with “Um Expression”. Droning, then greatly melodic, chaotic noise, then intimate. Pretty special stuff.

Fuck. Buy their EP.

Video: Death Bells – You, Me and Everyone In Between

Sure, it’s only their debut single, and they’re from Sydney, ‘Straya, and not Brooklyn, ‘Murica, but how the fuck is this not being released by Captured Tracks? The guys are falling perfectly into the vein of the amazing acts that that label pushes out so consistently, like Wild Nothing, Craft Spells, DIIV and Blouse.

This is just straight up excellent dream-pop brilliance. There’s no two ways around it, mate. This song is just straight up fucking gorgeous. Makes me want to find love, or better yet, take a shower. It’s been three days since I’ve put on pants and seen sunlight, and “You, Me & Everyone In Between” makes me want to return to being a normal human being.

Video: Lowtide – Wedding Ring

Lowtide released one hell of a record earlier this year, a mesmerising chant of overdriven guitars sliding in next to absolutely stunning vocal interplay. They’ve gone and released the video for their single “Wedding Ring”, one of the best dream-pop songs of recent memory, and to summarise, it shows that the band love themselves some cacti. Can’t get enough of the spiky monstrosity. Seriously, the whole thing is fucking dedicated to the desert’s green devil. Obviously, I’ve got a bit of a vendetta against cacti, but Lowtide make up for it.

Album Review: Lowtide – Lowtide

The album artwork for Lowtide’s debut record is as sonically accurate as it is poignant. There’s an explosion going on obviously, a melding of human destruction with natural beauty, shrapnel flying everywhere. And it’s all captured in a moment of grace, where the blunt and catastrophic is slowed to a point of majesty and unreal beauty. I mean, if ever there was a perfect visual metaphor for Lowtide’s debut album, this would be it.

It’s been a long time coming for the debut LP from these guys, roughly three years. In that time, the members of Lowtide have matured and honed their songs into something that makes the heart melt faster than butter in a microwave. Their music is so pleasing, I would actually prefer to listen to Lowtide on repeat than have Bill Murray whisper sweet nothings into my ear. You read that right – I would rather listen to Lowtide crush my soul on ‘Blue Movie’ than have the star of Ghostbusters and Rushmore read me his secret poetry collection. I…I can’t even believe I’m typing that sort of sentence, and yet here we are.

What makes Lowtide catapult to such a stormy height of recognition is that their music is more soothing that being cradled in Siberian velvet. ‘Held’ does just as its title promises, glowing with gentle dream-pop riffs that cocoon the listener, bustling with hushed reverb energy. ‘Wedding Ring’ draws itself out into the kind of thing that would match up perfectly with the finale for a Zach Braff. And ‘Whale’ washes itself out with a salty scrub ascending-into-heaven guitar.

But really, I could go on and on about the aesthetic of the whole thing for years, and most people would probably just think I was talking about any old shoegaze release. Ya Ya, cool you ginger fuckwit, but I’m looking for a little excitement, ya hear? Well, that’s where Lowtide charge out in front of their superiors.. Like Sunbeam Sound Machine or Day Ravies, Lowtide just really excel at combining all their musical talents into passages of instrumentation that are impossible to drag yourself away from. The songs on this album, particularly ‘Whale’ and ‘Yesterday’ are packed with chasms that not even Thelma and Louise would dare to try and jump over. You, dear listener, are guaranteed to lose yourself, as looming guitars lap themselves, running a pacing race that whirs and hums like the motor n your favourite car. It becomes impossible to remember when these chunks of orgasmic sound began, or even if there is an end in sight, but you become so caught up in the moment, that the faintest idea of giving a shit evaporates.

The songs here are, put plainly, ultra-pleasant. They’re soft, but they also carry with them a weight which makes you prick your ears like you heard someone say ‘….there’s a new Christopher Nolan movie’. Lowtide manage to take the captivating charm of listening to My Bloody Valentine, and package it into something wholesomely charming, all whilst reeling with delight.

If it sounds like Lowtide have jus dropped one of the best albums of the year, its because that’s true. Lowtide made us wait a fair while, but thank Christ this album has been released. It is a beacon of genius. There is nothing more left to say other than go and buy this album.

Oh, what a coincidence, you can do that right here: 

AND MAKE SURE YOU GET DOWN TO THE ROLLER DEN THIS FRIDAY! Lowtide will be launching the record, with help from Miners, Shrapnel and Bachelor Pad. Fucking sick lineup alert!

Video: The Ancients-Molokai

There’s nothing more punk rock than using royalty-free stock footage to make a six minute long, lingering dream-pop soundscape. That’s what The Ancients have done, and they’re sitting pretty evenly with GG Allin at the moment.

Besides being more punk rock than Sid Vicious blowing Henry Rollins, ‘Molokai’ is a sincerely beautiful track that twists and turns, a kaleidoscope of colour and martial arts nun chuck practice. Just watch the video, it’ll make more sense.

 

Gig Review: Mac DeMarco w/ Twerps

After this photo was taken, we made sweet love in a villa in Eastern Jamaica*

Thursday, 12th December @ The Standard

May as well start this bleary review by saying that Mac DeMarco put on a gig worthy of the almighty Top 10 of the year. That’s right, some no-name numbskull, that every blog from Pitchfork to Polaroids of Androids seems to adore, was one of my favourite things to see with my own eyes that was musically related. Put it somewhere between a repeat viewing of Spinal Tap and The Stooges. Yeah, it was pretty fucking great. Here’s why:

FOISTLY, Twerps one of my all-time favourite recent Australian bands (thoroughly confused yet?) were opening the bill for our lovely Canadian compatriot Mac. Actually, Destiny 3000 (one of the best up-n-coming Sydney bands of 2013, check ’em out here) opened up the whole show, but because I live a demised life, I missed their set. By all accounts, they played really great, which is no surprise, because they are better than sex followed by pancakes.

Anyway, back to Twerps.  They don’t come up to Sydney all that often, which is a total bummer and a money-saver, because I would see them every time they came. It seemed that not a whole lot of people in the audience knew who Twerps were, or at least the punters I was surrounded by, but by the end of the set, everyone in the crowd was fucking enthralled.

I say fucking enthralled because Twerps put on just the greatest of sets. The set was mostly leaning on new material, a whole slew of stuff coming from their upcoming sophomore record making appearances. Judging by the mixed expressions of awe, shock and the sudden realisation that the only way to spiritual one-ness is to follow this band to the ends of the earth that adorned most attendees’ faces, the new material worked a charm.

Not that the established stuff didn’t hit the mark either, far from it. Opener ‘Dreamin’ captured everyone’s attention immediately and set the performance at a cracking pace (a paradox because of the songs’ silkier-than-a-waterborne-sealion nature, but you get the point). And newer hits off their triple A-side single that came out last year, ‘Work It Out’ and ‘He’s In Stock’ were so thoroughly charming, you’d swear Marty was a goddamn Disney prince.

So, Twerps have walked off stage, and I’m at a crossroads, because in my mind, in absolutely no way have they played long enough. No, my body craves Twerps like teenage pop idols crave tabloid attention. Mac DeMarco could have bailed on the show right then, and I would’ve gone home happy. But no! He had to rock up with his band, ALLLL the way from fucking Canada and make sure I had one of the best nights of my year.

DeMarco gets on stage with the band and starts acting like he’s been in the country for his entire life, with the quick ease and intimacy that would put any comedian to shame. Did I mention this guy’s fucking funny? Throughout the night, he spat beer into the audience (in good humour), spouted about Einstein and how ‘…everything’s relative…’, and there was kind of an extended part about fucking various band members’ mums. Oh yeah, and he has the greatest radio voice of our generation. Someone get Alan Jones to fuck off and replace him with Mac DeMarco.

If it had just been the comedy and word jousting, I probably would’ve left a very happy man. But these dudes added music on top of it! And it was really, really good music! Like, really, really good! Think an amalgamation of The Idiot/Lust for Life-era Iggy Pop crossed with The Rolling Stones in their drug fucked Exile On Main Street days, and then sprinkle some Screamadelica-level Primal Scream over that already mouth-watering delicacy. You do realise I’ve just rattled off three prominent artists at their artist peaks, and this fucking dude goes and combines all that shit into an orgasm inducing bender? You do realise I’ve just done that, right?

Anyway, you may have heard a couple of his tracks getting bounced around, stuff like ‘Ode to Viceroy’, ‘My Kind of Woman’, and of course, ‘Freaking Out the Neighbourhood’. All of these were above and beyond good, making the crowd shake and our lungs work overtime to try and reciprocate the lust vibes emanating from DeMarco.

However, the most interesting aspect of the music was how it became so alive on stage. When listening to it on record, you sort of get this weirdly awesome haze hanging over it, but in the flesh, the haze is replaced with a full-blown sleaze rock accent. Everything becomes a little more corrupted and amazing to witness. People even were moshing and crowd surfing, to music that sounds as though it was made as bong smoke filled every corner of the recording studio. Thats an amazing sort of reaction to garner, and DeMarco responded thusly, even stage diving into the crowd during ‘I’m A Man’, and inviting Marty from Twerps to do the same.

But DeMarco sure know how to save the best for last, a medley of unrelated by stunning covers. There was ‘Taking Care of Business’, ‘Rollercoaster of Lover’, ‘Enter Sandman’, and a back to back of Back in Black’ and ‘Thunderstruck’, all played with the shambolic and fun attitude that made Mac DeMarco a unique and fucking invigorating thing to watch.

So, to summarise, Twerps were awesome and Mac DeMarco waas really awesome. There was simply just too much awesome in a single room for a night. It was not good, I had awesome in my clothes, I smelled of it for days after. I fucking hate awesome stuff. Goddamit Mac DeMarco and Twerps, why you gotta ruin my pessimistic existence?

*This sentence is in absolutely no way, shape or form a representation of anything resembling truth 😦

Album Review: Day Ravies-Tussle

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I guarantee, there is no band that you will hear this year that portrays their influences so clearly, and yet are completely individual, more so than Day Ravies. I mean, there’s the really subtle nod to The Kinks in their name, but beyond that, there’s just about a sliver of every kind of cool movement that’s happened in the last half-century in their music. There’s some twee-pop, some punk flair and a little college rock/slacker nonchalance. There’s definitive lo-fi mastery, some psychedelic swirls and noisy garage nosing its way throughout. Oh, and there are driplets of dream-pop and shoegaze plateaus aplenty. Basically, name a genre, something that you followed for a minimum of six months in an effort to impress a member of the opposite sex that you happened to see a lot of at (insert obscure genre) concerts. Then apply that genre to Day Ravies. Seriously, just chuck into the melting pot without a second thought, because you will find it there without a doubt.

Listening to Day Ravies is like capturing a tiny little ball of energy and watching it swarm and flitter inside, kinda like if Pokeballs were real. It’s so small, you want to call it cute, but if you did, it would devour your entire soul. Yep, Day Ravies have a bite to them that initially seems unnatural to their dozy, dream weaving music that speaks to you, but then again, so did sirens. And those mother fuckers ate sailors, like, all the time! So, Day Ravies are the 21st Century, Sydney based sirens, is what I’m trying to say?

Well, yeah, sort of. They might not use your sphenoid bone (look it up, that’s a real fucking bone) to pick your rotting flesh out of their teeth, but they will infect your head with gloriously drugged out tunes that trample any desire you had to listen to another band, for a while at least. Again, the accumulation of influences is so glorious, you can’t help but sit back in slack-jawed wonder at it all. Listening to ‘Tussle’ is like Belle & Sebastian, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Yo La Tengo went to Kim Gordon’s house for a birthday bash for Sebadoh. If that doesn’t sound like the greatest fucking party of all time, then you are living possibly the saddest existence known to man, maybe besides Prometheus (the mythical Greek figure, not the fuckwad of a movie that shat all over the Alien franchise).

To be blunt, ‘Tussle’ just puts its fingers in every cool honeypot in town, but Day Ravies do it so naturally and subtly, that you’d think you’re just listening to a ‘best-of-everything-ever’ compilation. The gorgeous My Bloody Valentine-ism’s of ‘Double Act’ , who’s whispered sweet nothings will drive you insane, and ‘Pinky’, with its Superman-strong bass line and college rock stoner attitude becoming a standout on the album. Then there is the obviously stunning ‘I Don’t Mind’, a song which is like seeing a one true love for the first time, and being engaged with overwhelming love and a total lack of self-confidence that you deserve to witness something so great. Okay, so that may be the sappiest thing ever written, ever…but goddamn if ‘I Don’t Mind’ isn’t such a fucking great song that I can’t pour my blubbery emotions all over it and still not ruin its gorgeous nature.

The tracks I’ve just listed are just a small summary of the greatness of this album. But I will re-iterate one more fucking time: no two songs give off the same vibe, and that is the most beautifully diverse thing a music fan can ask for. At least, it’s far more diverse than those posters for shitty universities, with a white guy, a black guy, and an Asian guy, and a couple girls, so the university can say ‘HEY, WE’RE COOL WITH NOT-WHITE, MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE’. But going back to the album, ‘Tussle’ integrates noise, weirdness, intricacy, and the obtuse, all rolled into one record of awesome. That is a reason for celebration people! Day Ravies have created a masterful work! ‘Tussle’ rules harder than a cage match between breakfast cereal mascots, and the band have asserted what every stoned kitchen assistant knows: if one has the best ingredients at their disposal, then the greatest recipe of all time is just a few kitchen experiments away. ‘Tussle’ is that great recipe.

‘Tussle’ came out on Friday, 11th of October through Popfrenzy, so you can buy it from Popfrenzy’s website here. However, if you’re more into the streaming thing, you can listen to ‘Tussle’ on Day Ravies’ Bandcamp here, along with their previous EP (the latter is name-your-price yayayay). If you’re more into the whole ‘I don’t believe in Bandcamp’ thing (a stereotype I have yet to meet), the you can grab a few tracks for free from their Triple J Unearthed Page here, including the amazing single ‘I Don’t Mind’.

Finally, Day Ravies will be officially launching the record at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville on November 22. Fucking be there.

New: Trick Mammoth-Delphine (With A Purpose) (free download)

You know the nation that really rules at dream-pop? Fucking New Zealand. That’s right, the same country that gave us the set for The Lord of the Rings and fush and chups, has a bountiful collection of dream-pop bands. One of those awesome dream pop bands is Trick Mammoth, a band that sound as great as a monologue from the Godfather delivered in a New Zealand accent. Its an incredibly cute and lovable song, bouncy and jangly but not overdriven. Its got just the reight amount of acoustic chill and fun loving spirit to sweep you off your feet, but make sure you don’t hit your head on the fan. Fucking great track.

‘Delphine (With A Purpose)’ is the first single off Trick Mammoth’s record, which will be released in February of 2014, on Fishrider Records.

Video: I Know Leopard-She

The beautiful single ‘She’ by Sydney based stunner-deal I Know Leopard, starts with the lyrical motif of ‘She is a lion’, which seems…kinda contradicting the band’s name is I Know Leopard. Jesus Christ, how many big cats is this band involved with? Jokes aside, this dreamy affair is gorgeous. The video perfectly matches the hazy romanticism of the song, the soaring vocals with the nodding-head drumming. A deep hue of ocean blue resonates through this track (hands down the most pretentious thing I’ve ever written, but something that needs to be said for such a great track), and the soothing, calm vibes on ‘She’ will most likely flatten the listener.

‘I Know Leopard’ will be launching the single at OAF on the 15th of November.