I’ve been sick as a dog the last few days – lungs filling up with black fluid, mucus pooling around my nostrils, the hint of death looming closer and closer – that sort of thing. When you’re in a state like that, it helps to have some really beautiful music to hold onto; something slow and warm, brimming with comfort. Essentially, you want the audio equivalent of a nice soup and herbal tea combo.
And this new one from Hideous Towns should sort you right out. Heavy dollops of reverb, a very gentle, purring riff, and some gorgeous vocals that soar over the top. It’s both hugely expansive and intimate, like a Snuggie stitched with shoegaze instead of phenomenal thread count. If you’re under the weather, the electric blanket is missing, and you’re searching for a reason to live in the face of an invasion from the sniffles, look no further.
I know what you’re thinking: if you had to join a cult, it’d obviously be Scientology for all those sweet celebrity hook ups, right? Well, you make a great point, but before you see your soul to Xenu, take a look at this strong contender:
Here’s the 411: the cult is called Zone Out, it’s located in Melbourne, and although it’s small, their numbers are growing in strength every day. The promotional video above counts an extra six members who have been pulled in by the two founders charismatic charms and promises of glory.
Also, the uniform is tops – whilst Mormons are stuck with rejected Game of Thrones outfits, Zone out provides their members with Steve Zissou beanies and colourful sweatshirts. Did I mention that all they do is hang out at the beach all day and listen to dreamy pop music created by their genius founders? Yeah, do yourself a favour and sign up to the world’s greatest cult right here.
The best thing about The Goon Sax is their wit – it ain’t just razor sharp, it’s like Freddie Kreuger’s claws have picked up a typewriter and started banging out an acidic essay on the tired tropes of love. That’s the general motif behind “Boyfriend”, a song with lyrics as sinister as Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons. But instead of a barrelling onslaught of viciousness, The Goon Sax coat their barbs in cottoned pop, meagre acoustic strumming, quiet duets, and the occasional tock of a cowbell. It’s this subdued way that they approach love songs – intelligent, literary lyrics, gentle music – that raises them up as one of the best new bands of 2015, and why their forthcoming debut on Chapter Music is gonna be pretty much the best thing ever.
If you need any more evidence of how great they are, check out the accompanying video for “Boyfriend”, and look beyond the obvious greatness of gold-microphone fawning and the goon-sack appropriation of Warhol’s Silver Clouds. Check for the nervous glances between bands member, the occasional peeps to make sure their fingers are hitting the right notes, almost as if to say, “Can you guys believe this?”. It’s just another mark of their swift rise to being one of the most beloved bands in Australia, and those nerves are sure to disappear as soon as they hit the lofty heights they’re bound for.
Fuck yeah! It’s nearly Christmas! That time of year when you disappoint your whole extended family with your barely thought out, incredibly dodgy and (let’s be honest) fucking stupid gifts. And then it’s Boxing Day, when you get to eat all of the Christmas ham that your cheap aunt knicked from the butcher’s bin, and you get to drink your grandpa’s home brew, which tastes like acidic shit, but he’s not been feeling well lately, so you chuck on a grin and say, “Mmmm, delicious!”. AND THEN it’s New Year’s, when you get to look back at all the stuff you said you would achieve, and then calculate exactly how far flat you fell, all to the tune of whatever bangers are playing at the fucking terrible New Year’s Party you’re at. Some wanker will count down/bellow obnoxiously into your ear, you’ll make out with no one, and then you’ll go home, wake up, and head to the gym, certain that THIS will be the year that you get healthy, stop smoking, and squeeze into those skinny jeans you haven’t been able to get into since 2007.
Naked’s “Sprinter of the World Unite” is the clip you should play when you first hit that treadmill. As the evils of the night before sweat out of your body, the first three and a half minutes of your fitness regime is soundtracked by some mopey pop with the most inspirational visuals pressed onto a green screen since Sylvester Stallone used digital wizardry to convince people that he could run up stairs in Rocky. I mean, there’s pizza, babies and troll dolls, as well as a song title that’s basically the alternate heading for that movie Chariots of Fire. Is there anything out there even as remotely inspiration as this song/video? 2016, here we come!
Before “Bowie on the Beach”, hypnotism was just some bullshit that terrible magicians would practise at the dodgy ends of the Strip in Las Vegas. Now, it’s more real than ever – I am bent to Empat Lima’s command.
Seriously, do yourself a favour, a succumb to the neon post-punk of this band. Allow yourself to get drawn deeper and deeper into the sheer absurdity of their music. It’s a shimmering mirage, a heatstroke injection into pop that you cannot afford to miss out on. Invest. Believe. Synergy. Empty Lima.
Hell, I ain’t yet to told you about the video yet. Smattered with the kind of colourful haze that clouds your vision right before you throw up all the three-month old milk, the clip for “Bowie On the Beach” has to be one of the best videos released this year. It’s like Eric Warehaim directed Point Break. There are conk shells, cannonballs, and dolphin races, all smothered in that distorted, disturbing, delicious haze. It’s funny, it’s weird, and it’s kinda brilliant – there is absolutely nothing more you could want from a video.
Empat Lima – you are fucking awesome. Please never leave.
It’s taken me a fair while to come around to this new Kirin track, but watching the video has erased the doubts I held. Damn, I could watch Connan Mockasin serenade me for eternity. He leans into the camera, loosens his schoolboy tie, fixes you with those eyes of steel, and from that point on, it’s hard to keep in the fluids.
For those that haven’t heard it yet, “The Teacher” is a graphic description of a relationship between a teacher and student. Led by piano, a pittering hi-hat, and some lush sax, “The Teacher” builds into quite the grandiose musical ballad. Whether deliberately or not, “The Teacher” has got daytime soap all over it, soaked in enough noir melodrama to knock the wind out of The Young & Hopeless.
I love this band. I love this goddamn band more than I love pork rolls. Well, maybe not that much, but I love this band a lot. It’s been a while since I heard an indie rock band worth getting really excited about, and a band who’s name is a portmanteau between hospital apparatus and schools where douchebags are bred.
IV League are basically an amalgamation of all my favourite bands from 2015. Babaganouj, Tired Lion and Bully collide for a powerful stirring of 90’s nostalgia, doled out with an ear biting earnestness. But it’s the voice that takes IV League from that mere tickle of “Hey, this reminds me of…” to, “Fuck me, what can I do to hear more of this? Where must I travel to? What quest must I embark on?”
Seriously, this is a band that you not only need to keep an eye on, but concentrate all of your physical, emotional and financial being on them. IV League are top bloody notch, I tells ya.
Also, do yourself a favour, and check out their previous jam “Varsity”. It’s no David Guetta x Sia collaboration, but it’ll get you going.
Species of Australian aviary crossfaded over our natural fauna. Alastair Webster jamming on a guitar in faded black and white. Dramatic irony involving a wife waiting for her husband to come home, unaware the he’s neck deep in his steering wheel. Yeah, you’re watching a Shining Bird video clip, all right.
However, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll guess the ending to the clip. Seriously, it has to be one of the greatest, most inspiring tales committed to screen, an Australian story that beckons an in-depth journalist feature from Mr. Stefanovic himself. Sorry, ‘Shine’ – you’re no longer the most beautiful ‘Strayan story ever. Say hello to “Rivermouth”.
Shining Bird are playing for free at The Union Hotel on the 20th of this month (supported by Wild Honey and Bearhug), and then they’ll be at the Heritage Hotel in Bulli on the 26th (supported by FLOWERTRUCK). Oh, and if you live in Melbourne and want to hear some decent music for once in your pitiful lives, head to the Shadow Electric on the 6th – Ali Barter and Cool Sounds will be along for the ride as well.
Oi blogs! Yeah, I’m talking to you, the taste making denizens of the Internet! Fuck is wrong with you? Why haven’t you picked up The Goon Sax yet? You’ve really dropped the ball on this one, y’know. These guys are pure talent, hit city, the superstars of tomorrow, and you’re just letting them slip through your keyboard-glued fingers. Poor form, poor bloody form.
There is absolutely no reason that The Goon Sax should be ignored, by anyone, because they are the best thing since Lowes had a 90% off sale. They’ve only got this track “Sometimes Accidentally” to their names, but its a song that accentuates all there is to love about the guitar pop genre. Although they’re in a class that can occasionally stale itself with too often repeated meanderings on mundanity that has now almost bordered on cliche, The Goon Sax keep things straightforward. Relishing in a delightful low- key riff, The Goon Sax examine their personal faults and flaws in such a charming way that its impossible not to fall head over heels in love with them.
“Sometimes Accidentally” has been stuck in the heads of all pop lovers for a few months, but now there’s a video, and goddamn, doesn’t it just cement all the stuff there is to love about these guys? They’ve filmed with an unashamed homemade aesthetic, complete with drawn on moustaches, supermarket munchies and giggling when they sing their lyrics. They’ve even opted out of the big budget, and decided to film themselves playing in a park, as opposed to the blockbuster, explosion-laden, Michael Bay directed film clip set in the Amazon that Chapter Music would have probably paid all expenses for. As iterated before, there’s nothing false about The Goon Sax – it’s authentic and likeable, devoid of any irony or inside-joke pats-on-the-back. Fucking hell, blogs, can you get off your arses and start #hastagging about this band?
Donny Benet meets Tame Impala meets intergalactic yacht rock. Interested? You fucking better be.
Brissy’s These Guy combine the never-ending appeal of BBQ’s and murder with legged psych-pop guitar solos and jaunty synths. Watch this clip and fall in love with a bunch of guys crack the shits over dodgy snags and lose their shit on air guitars. Worth it for the outfits and special effects alone.