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.

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New Aus Music Pt. II: Fallopian Tunes + Spartak + Milkshake + Problems

More new Australian music to wet your eucalyptus-smeared lips and brush the corks hanging from your Akubra out of your face. See? Stereotypes can be fun!

 

Fallopian Tunes-Document Swell/ X In O 7″ Split

Besides having one of the best record label names in Australia (Fallopian Tunes has given me second-chin chuckles multiple times), they have an amazong roster. They, along with Two Bright Lakes, Silo Arts and Dream Damage, are easily on the forefront of underground Australian electronic music. Every release seems to showcase the shit out of a group I’ve never heard of before but inevitably end up falling in love with.

Which is probably the reason they’re starting an ongoing 7″ split series, starting with the groups Document Swell and X In O. Document Swell’s track is a little like The Notwist, a basic thing with surging piano, scant vocals, some church bells and a droning percussion section, before leading into some weirder synth shit and handclaps. Can’t have a good electronic track without handclaps. Meanwhile, X In O’s contribution is slightly more industrial, like if Nicolas Jaar got up in Cassius Select’s bizness. The textures are incredibly murky and sci-fi, and I fucking love it. If I can’t have the X-Files, then at least I’ve got some X In O.

 

Spartak-Five Points EP

Again, some more glitchy stuff, this time out of Canberra. Yes, that whole of cultural sobriety has spawned yet another killer band! Spartak are from our nation’s capital, and have released some stuff that’s like Liars, only in that permanently knife-poised-above-victim stage and slowed down to a romantic, almost glacial, pace. Songs like ‘Catch/Control’ and ‘Consistence’ are mostly minimalistic, bouncing and reverberating like cells under a microscope, and succeeding at freaking out so hard because they’re scarily able to pinpoint all the hairs on your neck. Meanwhile, the other songs, especially ‘Nightshift’, adopt a fuller sound that seems to round out the tracks and give them a bit more musical substance, although it’s the kind of substance that is still hacked at with an icepick of paranoid synth and percussion etchings. Damn, Spartak really do bring out some of the best metaphors in me. Thanks for the lovely tunes and inspiration guys!

 

Milkshake-Milkshake EP II

Milkshakes have some of the most positive connotations that a word can have. Back in the old days, you could pick up chicks just by taking them to a milk bar, and buying them a milkshake. Even now, when someone says they’re buying a milkshake, I go into a phase that doctor’s would describe as ‘unhealthy’.

Melbourne band Milkshake have taken up the moniker, and have added a bunch of new connotations to the word. Their mix of shoegazey, slightly experimental music is a pretty beautiful thing. Think along the lines of Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, and Bored Nothing slowed down to an unhurried and kinda unintelligible softness. Special standout on this one is ‘The Way Back Through’, but the whole EP is worth a listen, especially if you need something to help you fight the lords of sleep.

Haha, jokes on you, this bad boy will put you in a temporary coma, and you’ll never finish those uni assignments, and you’ll fail, and you’ll have to start a band just to make ends meet, and you’ll be really successful and everyone’s going to want to suck your dick, and you’ll be mega rich and famous. Haha, sucked in.

 

Problems-Terraces

Problems are an electronica act from Adelaide, but they defy their band name with the music they’re weaving. Their single ‘Terraces’ is exactly that, a stepping stone chill wave experiment, jumping lightly from one level to another, like an infinite game of Icy Tower. It’s a beautiful, glacial thing, and something that should get all the Oscar Key Sung/Collarbones fans’ tongues wagging. Problems (the band) don’t have problems (the plural noun), they’ve just got sweet tunes.