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

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Album Review: Elvis Depressedly-Holo Pleasures

Yes, like all the self-deprecating, celebrity-portmanteuing genius bands before them, from the Dandy Warhols to The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Elvis Depressedly are cool as shit. So, their latest album, or EP, whatever, ‘Holo Pleasures’ is an awesome listen. Absently minded melodies twirl through rays of comforting heartbreak and remorse.

The entire album, and indeed all Elvis Depressedly’s material is on the sombre side, in case you didn’t pick up on the ‘depressed’ part of their name. It reminds me of the time I heard a guy describe Elliot Smith as ‘Sad-core’. I don’t think Elvis Depressedly fit a pigeonholed description like that, or particularly sound like Elliot Smith, but there is a super suburban macabre element to their material. ‘Holo Pleasures’ sees them narrow that into a fixated and concentrated effort that sounds as polished as lo-fi is going to come off.

Slow, glazed guitar, in varying states of cleanliness grate patiently against main man Matt Cothron’s voice, that scratches the listener ever so gently, it’s like a mouse sobbing, albeit a fucking talented mouse. A track like ‘Inside You’ with it’s elegant, Pavement-esque style is the right kind of music for any fan of relaxation. With the garage wooo’s cliche slowed down about 1000 bpm to quaint hums, and crashing cymbals reduced to taps in the background, the no-fi mixing of this track creates  an above average love song. Couple this with the next track ‘Teeth’, with diluted vocals that waver almost as disturbingly as the intermittent synths, ‘Holo Pleasures’ would be a fine record with just these two songs.

However, the shining moment comes from ‘Pepsi/Coke Suicide’, a track as grave as the funeral for Mr Rogers. Yes, it’s a bummer track, packed with some strings, yet totally empty. Even Corthron’s vocal seems to droop and sag into each phrase, as he hopefully states ‘Always real/Always right/ Always Allright’ to close out the track. It’s like extinguishing a candle: it’s not huge or catastrophic, but at the same time, it holds a metaphorical significance.

If ever there were a sad album, let this be it. It’s painfully soothing, grappling with reality and a way better cure than The Cure. Cue goth anger.

Get the album for free, as well as the rest Elvis Depressedly’s material at Bandcamp. There’s a fuckload of material, so try going my personal favourites, ‘Disgraceland’ feat. the amazing ‘I’m Never Going to Understand‘ and ‘Mickey’s Dead’.