Latest

TETRAHEDRA.

10610642_675258465898776_46184702795311455_n

In the September tape, we opened with a track from new Melbourne 6-piece Tetrahedra. ‘Dried Up’ was a build of beautiful soft vocal layerings complicated by this stark tension that arises during that chorus. It was a great example of a band approaching pop music from an outside perspective.

The band have just launched a ‘live’ vid for another track of theirs ‘Circle My Heart’. Less electronic in it’s approach, ‘Circle My Heart’ showcases the bands more traditional training (they all met at the VCA down in Melbourne) – there is a strict funk and at times fusion feel to this track. It also messes with your sense of time and truly illustrates just how much a sense of context can develop in music. The opening piano riff gives you one interpretation, which after a while you feel comfortable sitting with. But then when that drum groove kicks in, you’re given a whole new way of understanding the track. And then, of course, that sax. I mean, move over Snowy.

It’s may be easy for some to give Tetrahedra a quick listen, and hear all that strangeness in the time signatures and the hard to place groove and write it off as something not accessible. I’d suggest however, that what makes Tetrahedra is the accessibility of their music. Underpinning the work of Tetrahedra is an undeniable pop aesthetic, and it works as a point of entry to their music.

 

If you dig the track, then make sure you jump over to the band’s bandcamp page and grab yaself a copy. Also make sure you give the guys a follow over on bandcamp as well as a like on the ol’ faceys.

Miks

I’LLS.

10513305_522882264514881_1790313878137839453_n

I’lls are back and quietly changing things up a fair bit. This is exciting music. If you’ve heard I’lls before, you’d know that their work resembled more song-like structure. Underpinning their work was a strong pop song aesthetic that was layered and haunting enough as to not be dreary and straight.

This new work, a two track release, still sounds like I’lls, but has moved away from that ‘song-like structure’. Embracing a more dark and ethereal vibe, it’s a release full of rampant propulsion. Both ‘Fifty Phiphti’ and ‘Asakusa’ still have that introspection that harnessed their earlier releases, but this time the foundation on which it is built has changed.

You can grab the new release as a digital download or on vinyl. More on that here.

If you’re in Melbourne, then PLEASE go and see the guys live at The Workers Club on November 6. More on that here.

Miks

SEPTEMBER ’14 MIX.

2014-10-05 16.03.26-1Oh goodness.

I’m writing this post in parts.

I’m currently at uni (on a Saturday) and I’m meant to be transcribing some interview data. But even though I’ve had some amazing and illuminating chats with young people about music-making and I love listening back to them, the actual practice of typing, command tabbing back and forth between Word and iTunes, constantly pressing rewind and pause gets tedious, and is currently making me feel nauseous. So, what better than listening to the potential tracks for the September tape (as I write there are 29 – should lose about half of those) and writing this here intro. But then again, the intro has ended up looking more like a tedious and nausea inducing account of my morning.

And so we come full circle.

It’s Sunday morning, and that Saturday morning diatribe is gone. I feel better,  – it’s quite nice outside. It’s meant to be a warm one although those northerly winds are forecast. I get hayfever pretty bad – yesterday’s account was partially effected by that. And the northerly winds bring up all that pollen and dust in the air, so I think it’s an inside day for me. I’m still going through the tracks for September – slowly dwindling them down as the waft of bacon and eggs sifts through from the kitchen. Although this bacon and eggs wasn’t mine, the smell of it puts me in a fucking good mood. And that sun’s still out too.

The tracks this month are essentially everything you want in a mixtape. Or, everything you want in a monthly mixtape. Or maybe just what I want in a monthly mixtape that I do each month that usually comes about 12 days later than it technically should.

So anyway, the tracks. Some lovely warm guitar pop from SMILE, Harley Young & The Haymakers and FLOWERTRUCK, some strange and wonderful sounds from Tetrahedra, kučka and AFXJIM and some of that euphoric pop music from Brightly and Owen Rabbit that I’m always going to be a sucker for. And of course all the other acts – thanks for making this September tape one of the best yet!

DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE TAPE (Right Click/Save As)

Miks

OPEN SWIMMER.

BEN WIDE BIG internet

Well this is real beautiful. Open Swimmer is the solo project of Ben TD with a little help from his friends. This track ‘Sugar Bowl’ is taken from the full length Canyon due out next Friday (17th October).

‘Sugar Bowl’ was produced by Nick Huggins from Two Bright Lakes, that great label that has many a great artist on it’s roster. And it sounds like a Two Bright Lakes release, especially some of the earlier Otouto, Kid Sam, Seagull kinda stuff. There’s a sincerity and joltiness and a thrown together/found sound feel to ‘Sugar Bowl’. The album itself features a whole heap of Two Bright Lakes fam, including Kishore Ryan (Kid Sam), Chris Bolton (Seagull), Martha Brown (Banoffee), Mark Gretton (Touch Typist) and a whole heap more.

I’d get around this release – reckon it’s gonna be pretty bloody special. You can stream the lead single below, and if you’re in Melbourne, make sure you check out Ben and his band (featuring Bec from the Harpoons, Chris from Seagull, Aaron from Frankolin, and Peter from Sweets and Hello Satellites) launch the thing at the Northcote Social Club on Friday 17th. Details here.

Miks

THE OCEAN PARTY.

TheOceanParty_3

I reckon in a couple of weeks you’ll be hearing ‘Australia’s answer to Real Estate‘. And although some of those comparisons can be pretty lazy, I feel as though this one is accurate, in a way. The Ocean Party aren’t an answer to anything in particular, especially not another band from a bigger country who music writers in Australia always seem to believe we play second fiddle to.

The band’s new album however does feel like a progression in sound. It sounds fucking confident, but not in a cocky way. Confident in the same way that Real Estate sound confident. It’s dreamy, but still really quite messy in parts too. Their last album was a big old fave of mine. I reckon Soft Focus will be too. It’s such a step up from anything else I’ve heard from them.

The new single from the album, due out October 31 through Spunk is ‘Head Down’. It’s dreamy and warm sounding and Lachlan’s vocals are complimented beautifully by Snowy’s guitar line and that lush rhythm section. And it’s a bloody great example of a band with a more pronounced and slightly elevated sound. And the clip? I mean, what’s better that watching five handsome fellas play the track with some marvellous shirts? It’s Snowy, standing solo playing on a Melbourne rooftop ripping that sax. What more could you want?

If you don’t end up loving this album, then mate, think there’s something wrong.

[EDIT 9/10/14] Well, actually, this has been edited a little bit already coz the writing wasn’t too crash hot, but anyway. Spunk have since put the track up on soundcloud as a free download. Stream/download below.

Miks.

SLEEPY DREAMERS.

10514762_10154487665160089_274854029577050596_n

There are certain narratives that seem to constantly infiltrate the ways in which we talk about music in this country. In terms of fame, there’s this rags to riches story (think Courtney Barnett etc), there’s the whole argument around scenes and particular sounds being more popular than others because of the institution that is triple j, and then there’s the fact that every single time we hear an Australian accent, we need to pick it out and at the very least make a comment about how proud/weird/cringey it makes us feel. Of course these ways of thinking about Australian music are problematic because they automatically shape our expectations. But, given they’re so consistent, there must be some truth to them in giving us an inroad to understand music in this country.

So, with all that said, I don’t think you can really stray away from at least briefly mentioning Ed Tripodi’s vocal style on the new Sleepy Dreamers track ‘Hunk’. There is that slight drawl, that almost lazy sounding vocal, with that ocker accent.

For me, it works. It makes the track take a step above. The track itself is masterfully structured, and some of that early slow and dawdling instrumentation reminds me a lot of Sleep Decade. But with that vocal touch, it cuts through in a way.

Perhaps though we need to change how we consider the Australian accent in music. To use some rather obvious examples, Julia Stone uses her voice and phrases lines in very particular ways. Brendan from Eddy Current has an almost nasty sounding tone in his passive aggressive vocal delivery.

No singer with an Australian accent sings in exactly the same way. Why then can’t we move away from this concern with the accent itself and instead focus on the tone, the phrasing, and the delivery? Why can’t we focus on the slight aggression in Ed’s voice at times, and the fact that at 3:27 Ed’s thin sounding voice still manages to be enough to perfectly complement the solo guitar strums? Sure, sounding Australian acts as an instant identifier, but I reckon we’re capable of changing the narrative on that one.

Hunk is taken from Sleepy Dreamers second EP Local Football. I’m looking forward to this one. Also, if you’re in Melbourne, then can I recommend you go and check out the band as they do a Monday night residency at The Evelyn throughout October? Details here.

Miks.

SNOWY NASDAQ + EMMA RUSSACK.

10514716_833138526705805_2670750806828865335_n

I got a friend. He came to Australia a couple of years ago. We saw Emma Russack a couple of months ago, and one of the first things he said was ‘man, she is gorgeous. She is my kind of Australian woman.’

So, Emma, meet Phil*.

Nah mate. This ain’t no matchmaker post. Especially when Emma’s collabed with our mate Snowy Nasdaq on a track called ‘First STI’. The track is the September track for Snowy’s excellent one song a month thing he’s doing for Why Don’t You Believe Me.

Snowy’s production on this feels consciously different – and maybe it’s because his vocals don’t feature on the track. The vocals belong all to Emma, and although it gets a little nuts and frantic like a lot of Snowy’s production, it feels more sparse, maybe to give room for Emma’s wonderfully rich and evocative vocal tone.

If Snowy can get this kind of stuff up every month, then damn son, we got a prolific (and fucking great) one on our hands.

*Not his real name (so far off it’s not funny)

Miks

COBWEBBS.

shedstockglen1

There’s a strange progression us music listeners go through. From beginning out with a love for all things guttural, punky, and messy, I moved towards an appreciation of a much cleaner, produced sound. Of course we change over time; listening to the same sort of stuff all the time would mean that our existence as music listeners would be pretty dire, and dare i say, after a while, obsolete.

But it’s when you move back towards the sounds and ideas you appreciated when you were younger that you begin to realise that music taste, what whets our whistle, what bars us up, is to some extent some sort of representation of where we’re at. I now go back to the darker sounding, messier stuff with a different sort of understanding, having exposed myself to a whole range of different stuff over the years.

Cobwebbs are a Brissie four piece, signed to Sonic Masala Records. It’s this stuff that I’m finding myself listening much more to. It’s noisy, reverby, and sludgy. There’s an obvious vocal melody line that is so intertwined in the mix of those guitars that it’s easy to forget that there’s a melody line at all. But that doesn’t actually matter. What Cobwebbs achieves is a version of drone filled psych that digs so far underneath the surface that the surface becomes unimportant. This is big, expansive and dredgy psych rock and I’m fucking liking it. The track below as well as the clip above is ‘Easy’, the second single off the band’s second LP WORLD WIDE WEBBS released a coupla months ago.

You can stream the full album over here.

Miks.

WORKSHOP.

10334282_265494870302362_2607585995336693899_n

Sometimes you sit back, let that inbox number slowly (or actually pretty quickly) increase and just realise how popular you really are. Then you realise that the majority of the stuff is useless promo advertising some club night in London and you think ‘fuck. i’m not popular at all.’

The tides they turn though, what with those little bits of gold that sparsely pepper the inbox. The lead track from WORKSHOP‘s new EP Luxury, right from the get go, made me sit up in the chair. It’s expansive, what with those big drum machine triggers. It’s big in those wide ranging reverby synths. ‘Repeat After Me’ gets you to do just that. It’s not merely the refrain that is, as the name would suggest, repeated and played with. But it’s the feeling afterwards. That strange nostalgic sense of confidence, grandness and everything that makes you sit up in your chair, click back on that soundcloud tab and press the play button again.

The full EP stands up to what ‘Repeat After Me’ suggests. It’s pulsating, dark and moody synth disco music. It sounds incredibly focussed and direct. The opener ‘Purity Exhibition’ for instance builds upon the darkness of ‘Repeat After Me’, takes it more upbeat TRON style. It’s driving, and unrelenting in it’s instrumentation. There doesn’t feel like there’s time to breath in ‘Purity Exhibition’, even though you never really lose your breath.

I definitely recommend you get your little earholes around this EP. As a debut is stands incredibly strong. It’s a project full of style and has a real strong aesthetic, but none of this is lost in the music. Grab it here.

Miks.

AUGUST ’14 MIX.

2014-09-06 20.09.08-2

woah nelly. big ol’ tape for your little sunday evening/early monday morning/another time of the day on another day all together.

18 big ones this time ’round because, 1, i am feeling generous, 2, there were that many great tracks from August that I didn’t get round to actually posting individually, and 3, because i’ve had a big month…something…metaphor?

So, at the risk of sounding like a broken compact disc, this one’s got a bit of variety, something for every boy and girl. And something for mum and dad too if they play their cards right. And a couple of cards on show tonight/today/whenever the hell you are reading this thing are:

The Peep Tempel – massive Eddy Current vibes with this one all the while owning their own brand of aggressive punky rock’n’roll,

Jarrow – young kid – 18 I think, combining some pretty amazing garage style pop complete with some scissors and glue style electronic aggression,

Slow Dancer - Simon Okely, one of the other guys from Oh Mercy doing a real beaut of a song, all understated and full of style and some real pulled back instrumentation that blow me outta tha park a bit,

Moon Holiday - Some solo electronic pop that is big enough to hit hard, but with just enough darkness to help it standout from the rest,

and

Jesse Davidson – absolutely no shame in speaking about my love of this young man. this new track took everything he did, threw it all around to see what stuck and kinda re-invented his sound a little, all the while keeping that soulfulness he’s becoming known for.

So, please have a stream and a listen. And if you like, grab the whole tape as a download just below. I even tried to mix some songs together in a way that didn’t sound as bad as i thought it probably would.


DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE TAPE (Right Click/Save As)

Miks

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,108 other followers

%d bloggers like this: