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

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New: Marcus Whale – If

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Marcus Whale – one of the most constant heads you’ll see at any gig at Sydney. Also, the owner of some of the most impressive dance moves this city has had the pleasure of viewing. Seriously, when you head to a Collarbones show, there’s the unspoken law that you go for the music, but you stay for the dance moves. I didn’t invent the rule, it existed before I got here, and I’ve somehow become a disciple of it.

Besides Collarbones, Black Vanilla, Tennis Boys and Scissor Lock, (feel unproductive yet?) Marcus has been working on some solo material which melds his various guises and his background in classical music for a potent slow-burner. It begins with mournful piano droplets, introduces Marcus’ gentle vocals, and, with the help of some throbbing production and glistening strings, grows into a dark dance floor hit.

If this feels like a bit of a gush, it’s because it is. Marcus Whale occupies so many different territories with his music, and the sheer fact that he’s been able to mould all of his interests into something as beautiful and tantalising as “If” is a testament to his ability as a musician, vocalist and producer.