Beautiful Sydney beats – now that’s a phrase that you don’t hear nearly often enough. Most of the electronic stuff that comes outta Sydney is either bland as fuck, or distortedly thrilling, like Black Vanilla. Instead, Nakagin has taken a cues from the old mates of Brainfeeder and naturalistic sounds, creating these sonic palettes that would makes Monet’s most lushly quaint water-lillies look like sketches from an aggressive 3 year old. “Pines” is so gorgeously sensitive, that it’s a surprise that he isn’t being championed by Joaquin”Mr Beautiful Eyes’ Phoenix.
POND have always been a band with a penchant for the theatrical song titles. “Betty Davis (Will Come Down From the Heavens to Save Us” anyone? But this time round, “Elvis’ Flaming Star” is a succinct and powerful name, in the exact same way the song in question is.
Once again POND are stretching themselves into another gooey form, a psychedelic shapeshifter, and this time round, they’re like Saturn’s version of David Bowie. That’s not just because of the alien goggles and barrage of coloured slime in the video either. They’re euphoric and funky, breaking the rules in a glammy and extraordinary way the same way Bowie did way back when. And they’re doing it in this completely alien fashion, dissolved and freaky sounding from the core. Chuck that “Bohemian Rhapsody”-like roller coaster theatrics next to a video of VHS madness consisting of nature beating the shit out of man, and POND’s galavanting return is a welcome one. They make psych music not boring, and that’s a feat a lot harder than it sounds like.
I recently watched ‘Boyz N The Hood’, so I’m going to review Movement’s new single the way I feel Ice Cube would review it:
Man, this shit is crazy tight. It’s like…yo Cuba, what’s the motherfucking word? Tight as balls! Yeah, Cuba, you a man of words! Motha-fucka you should meet with my boy Dre…Oh, I’m breaking character? How ’bout I break yo mothafucking face?
Anyway, this shit is like, the smoothest jam, it gets my panties wet. Soak-a-licious. Mmm, perfect. Makes me bite my upper lip good. These Movement boys would be tight in the ghetto, despite the fact they exist a full two decades after this significant peice of African American cinema was created. Anachronism’s aside, ‘Like Lust’ is wack!*
*My entire knowledge of how Ice Cube actually sounds is compiled from the aforementioned ‘Boyz N Tha Hood’, various soundbites of ‘Fuck The Police’ and ‘Are We There Yet?’.
You don’t need me to tell you that there’s been a shitload of amazing Melbourne jangle music happening in the past couple years. It seems like every dickhead (me) with a blog (me) has written something about “dole-wave” or some other derivative of the awesomeness occurring in our cultural capital of Melbourne (BLASPHEMY!)
That trend continues in the form of one of the leaders of the scene, Ciggie Witch. They’ve been kicking it for a couple years, since late 2012, making music of the sighing jizz-worthy variety. Now, after two years of kicking it Beastie Boys style, they’re getting around to releasing their debut record. Why so long to make a record? Well, if you look at the members of Ciggie Witch, their contributions to other projects reads like a who’s-who of Melbourne’s entire music scene. Jangle or no jangle, the members of Ciggie Witch do not give a fuck-they just want to make music!
So, it comes with great excitement that Ciggie Witch announce their debut long-player, of which the single ‘Long Weekend’ is the first single. As expected, it’s fucking beautiful. I seriously considered taking the profanity out of that description, but then I decided that it wouldn’t do justice to what is a gem in the jangle crown. The way the music caresses you like Grandma’s chocolate-chip cookies, and the lyrics manage to describe the shit out of a quarter life crisis and all the difference of having a long weekend with mates can make. 10/10 would jangle-pop (That’s a euphamism for bang. What I’m saying is that I would bang the shit out of Ciggie Witch)
Ooooft, new tunes from our sunburnt country. If you put down your goonie for just a second, you’ll see that these tracks are worth stopping your cheap wine bender for.
Lurch & Chief- Mother/Father
You! Yes, you! The fat turd with Cheethoh stained fingers, listening to the latest nu-metal release! Quit being such a fucking wanker, and listen to the new Lurch & Chief single! It’s a slice of garage pop specifically aimed at turning the peice-of-shit you, that posted a photo on Facebook of your new Insane Clown Posse makeup, into something mildly attractive. ‘Mother/Father’ features a chorus of orgasmic heights, and every time those ‘Woo’s sound, chills harness themselves around my spine, and give me a mini-seizure. Enjoy!
Heads of Charm-Spain on A Roll/Check Check Check
And for those who weren’t drained of all energy in that previous track from Lurch & Chief, well here’s one that’ll send shocks of Pikachu-levels of energy down your entire body, smouldering you to a small pile of ash. Heads of Charm are like a mini-supergroup, that harness over-the-top propulsion with math-rock precison. You think you’ve heard good diversity between the louds and quiets of a song? Fuck off, you haven’t heard shit til your brain has been pulverised by “Spain on a Roll’. If you liked At the Drive-In, but always wanted them to re-locate to Melbourne, well here’s your chance.
Morning Harvey-Girl Euphoria
And now, since your mental, physical and, dare I say it, sexual state should be confined to utter exhaustion, there’s a new one from Morning Harvey to lull you into a sense of security. ‘Girl Euphoria’ could’ve been a B-side from The Stone Roses second record, and it’s obvious that Morning Harvey are disciples of the 90’s British movement. Those slides of psychedelica, those sharp melodies…Morning Harvey are well on their way to Britpop fame, despite the fact that movement kind of ended fifteen years ago. Regardless, Morning Harvey can write a damn good single, and if they can continue that, maybe they can revitalise the genre. God knows Blur and the Gallaghers are having trouble doing that.
Odyssey-Future Space Dead Sound
OK, so when you’ve got an album title that sounds like it combines the graphic, spine-ripping gore of Mortal Kombat with a Chemical Brothers song, then you’ve got me (and everyone else who’s hypothetically into good music) hooked.
Odyssey is the project from Velociraptor/Tiger Beams member Jesse Hawkins. And because Brisbane is such an incestual scene, he got some of his buddies to contribute as well. There’s Shane Parsons from DZ Deathrays, Julien James from Tiny Migrants, and even old mate Kylie Minoque makes an appearance. Whether Kylie’s appearance, or indeed, any of the guest spots, were solicited, is completely up for debate.
Regardless, Odyssey are in the business of creating insane, loopy, thumping post-punk rooted electronic music, which is more of a pretentious mouthful than even I thought I was capable of. Start with ‘ODYSS’, and then make your way through the rest of the album with the fumbling, blind enthusiasm of every woman ever in the presence of Ryan Gosling.
Summer’s nearly over, and thank Christ for that. For someone like me, who looks like and personally will confirm that they belong inside at all points of the year, regardless of the season, Summer is specifically uncomfortable, especially in the sauna of molten lava that is Sydney.
However, no one told High Tails, because their second single ‘Bending Over Backwards’ is like shining a tropical sun right over the cold, ashen existence that is my life. This song is like being transplanted into the middle of Big Day Out, with sun rays shining and burns rapidly spreading over the necks and shoulders. This track moltens particularly slowly, rotisserieng sounds into a nicely baked rock track.
Ahhhh Tincture, you fucking fantastic producer of holy goodness you! Remember that track ‘Tryst feat. Hazel Brown’? Of course you do, that song fucking blows chunks all over the modern world of Australian electronica. Flume and Oscar Key Sung need to up their game if they don’t want to be overtaken by a Brisbanaut. Tincture will get all Liam Neeson, Taken-style, and destroy everything you love in front of your eyes, collapsing the established empire through the power of fantastic tuneage.
For his major second single, Tincture’s gone with ‘Similar Circles’. This song rules harder than a Ric Flair ‘Woooo!’. It’s soulful as fuck, like Aretha Franklin on steroids, and the schizophrenic pulses on the hi-hats that slither around behind the slinky synth work makes my hair crawl on the back of my neck whilst I recede into a comfortable slumber. That shit’s called a paradox, and Tincture makes it happen! He’s breaking the laws of grammar and logic! This guy does not give a fuck!
Usually, this shit will start off mad, cool, and chilled out. Fuck that. Let’s get weird.
Please, just…fuck, please don’t get Angel Eyes mixed up with Angel Haze. Just…just don’t do that to me. When I see shit like that happen, it’s like someone hearing ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen, and then they start rapping ‘Ice Ice Baby’. Its so wrong on so many levels.
Anyway, rant aside, Angel Eyes, another stunning ambient project from this sunburnt land (another way of saying I have no idea where this enterprise is actually from) have released a new track called ‘Heave’. And its eleven minutes long. Shieeet. Although ‘Heave’ comes with a warning that it’s ‘…not representative of anything I’m putting out in the near future…’, its a fine fucking thing to listen to. Heave it does, wishing and washing its way through a Terminator blowjob sound, as mechanical failure sets in and oblivion rears its ugly head. Even though it’s probably the longest song you’ve heard since Green Day put out ‘Jesus of Suburbia’, you’ll finish it, and immediately want to play it again. The same cannot be said for ‘Jesus of Suburbia’.
Liars-Mess On A Mission
Liars? By the sandpaper-tounge of Matthew McConaughey! Aren’t they, like, a post-rock band or something?
Actually, when they can put out this sort of scream-rave track, who even gives a fuck? This thing is both grating and gyrating, the kind of thing that would get played in the token club scene of any indie movie. This is the kind of thing made to sweat to, rotate your head to and abandon logic to. If this song were a celebrity, it would be Jennifer Lawrence-pretty sexy, and I have no idea why I adore it so much.
As a matter of fact I do: that sudden pause between the dull ‘Fact is fact, and fiction’s fiction’ and all out screams of oblivion amidst intense beats that drop to the floor harder than Point Break extras during a bank robbery scene. Liars=1, Jennifer Lawrence=0.
Oscar Key Sung-All I Could Do (Naysayer & Gilsun Remix)
Although the original, with its anthemic chorus, and super-sensual vibe, is undoubtedly never going to be beaten by the remix game, Naysayer & Gilsun have certainly had a fair go at trying to better Oscar Key Sung’s stand out single.
Aided by wispy loops and the gilded female moans, N&G add a rythmic balance to the track that it may or may not have been missing. This is less the sort of thing you sway to and more what you’d empty-mindedly grapple with on a dance floor. The seething beats, the sharp edge feel-it all combines for a damn good attempt at Oscar Key Sung’s crown jewel.
Snakadaktal-The Sun II (Just Kiddin Remix)
Damn, this song was made to be danced to in a dingy-lit nightclub just off of Oxford Street at 2 in the morning. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a compliment of the highest order.
Just Kiddin get this remix just right, adding some silky smooth layers of danceability to the track without treading into weird rave territory. With the high hats, wind-in-your-ears synth, and bass line that puts the listener in a funk chokehold, this kind of remix reminds of artists like Touch Sensitive and Kavinsky. And that fucking rules.
We’ve already heard from Pilerats Records via their debut release of Sable’s ‘Feels So Good’, and the new lable show no signs of slowing down, having just released their third track by an artist known as SBMRGE. Listening to this track, there’s no doubt of the influence of SBTRKT. If you hadn’t picked it up from the name, then just a small snippet of the smoother-than-cream-made-of-silk soul of the track should convince you pretty quick smart.
However, there’s also a little of that Australian vibe through artists like Kilter and Yahtzel. However, with SBMRGE’s smoothness, he trumps those guys brash knob-tweakin’, and comes on top this round. You go SBMRGE!
Fielded-City of the Dayzed
At the very beginning of the track, Fielded (aka Lindsey Powell) immediately splits shit up by infiltrating a quiet, timid voice with rushing, raindrop-like xylophone sounds. However, that voice comes back in a big way very quickly, amping itself into some sort of Mariah Carey-influenced brand of The xx. Woah, right?
‘City of the Dayzed’ has just some of the strongest female vocals I’ve heard in a long, long time. If it were behind some sort of cheesy, bullshit thing, this track would’ve both been lost on me, and gone to the top of the Billboard Charts for approximately a week, and thousands of radio hosts would find a way to mispronounce Ms. Powell’s name. Instead, the shuffling, trembling music we get instead provides a lush background that completely allows the song to hit its absolute fucking peak.
It’s been a while since I looked at any music videos. Good thing that the bands mentioned in the title came across with some new ones that rule pretty fucking hard. Especially the Aussie contingent. Those videos rule harder than Ja Rule using a ruler to measure his plunge in pop culture obscurity.
Bitch Prefect-University Fiend
You’ve met him before (it’s always a he). A self-minded, self-rioghteous prick that spews forth right-wing bullshit every time he opens his mouth. He’s an outspoken arsehole, and Bitch Prefect fucking hate this guy, along with the sane portion of Australia. This fucking wanker is young, dumb and is guaranteed to start and finish his life in university. Man, fuck this guy.
Bitch Prefect’s spot-on downer tune couldn’t reflect the unanimous opinion of this guy better. However, in the spirit of free speech, the dickhead is allowed to share his opinion on Bitch Prefect themselves, stimulated through the video for the track. The Predator-vision whilst the camera focuses on the band, and sudden switch to bright-eyed purple when admiring past accomplishments and the happiest/saddest day in this fuckhead’s life (graduation) shows that his opinion is solidly of the ‘fuck Bitch Prefect’ viewpoint. But who gives a shit. He’s a university fiend.
Real Estate-Talking Backwards
It’s Monday, which means that a lot of people will be listening to wistful indie rock. Fuck that. Listen to metal.
Okay, so maybe Monday arvo isn’t the best time to get into a nostalgic Pantera session, but instead of spinning Lana Del Ray for the millionth time, go for something new, something fresh, and something actually good. This new one from New York’s Real Estate is just the kind of friendly depression-visor that Monday’s call for.
There’s not a whole lot of amazing shit that happens in the clip, just an insight into what the characters of Real Estate get up to when no-one’s watching. Although I never really felt that was a hole in my life that needed to be filled, it has, and at the very least, there’s a kickass Real Estate track coming out of it.
The Kite String Tangle-Given the Chance
When I first heard this, I nearly shit a brick. Although it fits into the usual triple-j fodder of really good electro-dance artists like Panama and Rufus, this track makes squiggles of pleasure shoot through my brain at a frightening pace. If you’re listening to this track right now, you’ll realise the sort of sensations I’m feeling. The soulful voice, the trickling keys, the touch-n-go electronic-drumbeats…oh, and that fucking chorus croon! Jesus Christ, it’s like someone unleashed a hybrid of Adele and Miles Davis!
As for the video, well fuck me with some tindersticks. I don’t wanna sound like a pretentious prick, but why break the habit? It pretty much perfectly captures the introspectively uplifting mood of the track. The trippy, colourful visuals are amazing, and the self-discovery plot that seems to go on is, in a word, niiiiiiceeeee.
Get this fucking song, right fucking here. Go watch The Kite String Tangle at Oxford Arts Factory on Wednesday, 13th of Feb. Don’t sleep on that shit, because this dude has sold out four shows of his tour already.
Pluto Jonze-All Washed Up
Pluto Jonze is like the Vance Joy of indie-pop. By that I mean, he’s a small-time dude, with a whole bunch of pretty good songs on his belt. After slewing it out, and releasing amazing video after amazing video, he’s going to hit it big. And I mean really fucking big. Pluto Jonze is going to be fucking big, possibly bigger that Vance. In fact, the only super big differences is that Pluto Jonze is from Sydney, has a more broad spectrum of arrangement in his songs, and sounds a little bit more bummed.
And maybe, just maybe, ‘All Washed Up’ is Pluto Jonze’s ‘Riptide’. Who knows? Its definitely catchy, there’s a whistle-hook in there, and Pluto Jonze has been kicking around for long enough now that people should recognise the name. And with a video this fucking great, featuring a quick flurry of baffling but visually tasty images, it’s hard not to become kind of obsessed with this song. Hell, the images even relate to the lyrics the same way as in the ‘Riptide video. Pluto Jonze’s bummed face + Monopoly money + You’re all washed up’= music video symmetry heaven.
YACHT are an electro-pop duo from Portland, Oregon, and they’ve done the most Portland thing ever by advertising the fact that it cost them ONLY 5 grand to make this video. Jinkies, do you want hipster cred with that order of overwhelming douchebraggery?
Although I do feel guilty putting two ‘retro, ironic karoake’ clips together, the song itself is actually pretty great. It’s bouncy and squelchy and a little bit off-putting but in an enjoyable way, like Hannibal Lecter playing with a basketball made of human flesh. Nice imagery right?
This clip was described to me as kinda dark, a statement that definetely goes as a frontrunner of ‘Most Underplayed Description of 2014’. The song plays like your average soulful ballad, not all that dissimilar to Oscar Key Sung or The Weeknd.
But then you watch this clip, and your eyes literally fall out of your head at the kind of shit on display. This is like watching Hellraiser in the company of someone who only wears spandex and leather, insists on speaking like a snake, and will never kiss you, only stick their tounge down your earholes. It’s incredibly creepy, disturbing and a hundred percent unique. For sure, you will not see a clip like this for a very, very long time.
Grave Babies-Pain Cycle
Time to get completely out of the smush zone with a hard-hitting new video from Grave Babies. I’ve always profounded my love for this band and their rich brand of goth mind-fuckery. On ‘Pain Cycle’, the rich grooves of crushing S&M synth are especially potent. Usually, a Grave Babies track will just tie you down and melt your mind. ‘Pain Cycle’ wants to compress it and place somewhere it can never be found.
If that wasn’t dark enough for you, check the video. It is so fucking creepy, like the Blair Witch Project being branded into the minds of the Children of the Corn. Green television sets blink and flicker in nothingness and a timid girl does what every horror-movie girl does: refuse to turn the fuck around and scream their way to safety. Oh well, at least her demise makes for a video that you will actually not be able to tear your eyes off.
So many tunes, so little time. What a shitty, cliched introduction. Fuck it, we’ll do it live.
Thigh Master-Goon Punch
Thigh Master are from Brisbane, so you know they’re tough as fucking nails. All is pretty much confirmed when you’ve got a song entitled ‘Goon Punch’, an all too common experience had by every teenage boy soon after sculling four litres of pure demon piss. Musically, Thigh Master are awesome. They sound like a strung-out, tired-of-your-shit Archers of Loaf, hidden behind a couple of layers of badass fuzz.
If you’re free on the 25th of January, make sure you head out to The Clarence Hotel, because Thigh Master are going to play ‘Goon Punch’ and a bunch of other sick tracks. Ruined Fortune (!), Beef Jerk and Video Ezy play support.
Shaking Hell-I’m Not Your Friend
Remember that Frenzal Rhomb track ‘You Are Not My Friend’? Well this song from Melbourn’es Shaking Hell is nothing like that. Its way more furious, and it burrows into your brain within a millisecond of the first chords erupting. It’s a friendly sort of evil, like South Park’s version of Satan, and you can’t help but let ‘I’m Not Your Friend’ invade your blood stream, forcing every fibre of your body into a dangerous state of punk overload. Shaking Hell are a band that demand to be moshed to, and who the fuck are you to deny them of that?
Shaking Hell are playing what is guaranteed to be one of the best shows of the year at Blackwire Records on January 18th, with Yes, I’m Leaving (!), Narrows Lands (!) and Palmer Grasp. If that sort of lineup doesn’t make you sopping in the loin areas, you’re fucked mate.
This is a song by a band from Arizona. Cool. The songs about a bunch of kids who are walkin’ down the street and kill a dude for shits and giggles, because they were bored. Now we’re talking!
‘Bored’ reminds me of those fuzz bands that popped up around California around the time Wavves first started getting popular. There’s a definite slacker/punk vibe to these guys. Like, they want to rebel against their parents and go to that White Fang show….but there’s a bong just out of arms reach, and that is definitely the more pressing issue here. Hey, we’ve all been there. Now, go get this fucking song, because it’s rad.
Dum Dum Girls-Rimbaud Eyes
Although the first single off the new Dum Dum Girls was pretty meh, but this new one is way more to my liking. It’s so 80’s, you’d think that the Dum Dum Girls was a culmination of the Psychedelic Furs and Debbie Harry. Seriously, the icy waves of New Wave are so prominent here, you’d think that the Dum Dum Girls’ record collections were solely made up of New York synth artists and The Bangles’ ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ 12″ single. If Lou Reed were still around right now, I feel that he’d be obsessed with this song, and that’s enough for me.
Wanna listen to King Krule, but scared that you’re friends will all yell at you for jumping on the hipster bandwagon? All you have to do is listen to Diveliner, the most perfect replication of King Krule’s nu-jazz to date. The song ‘Vìda’ is pure perfection, a slow-moving sex-jam that rolls around the brain like a caramel sundae drizzled in Beyonce’s perfume. Its so goddamn smooth, it’d put an event of Drake songs as sung by Ray Charles to shame. Everything about this song is near perfect, from the glossy guitar strokes, to the computer blips and saxophone love-making horns. Layer that underneath one of the soon-to-be-declared ‘best voices of 2014’ and its a recipe for success.