They’ve played together before in a little band called Surfing in Hawaii, but this Teamwork tip follows a more ethereal dreamy electronica bent.
As the name would suggest, Teamwork is a project that provides the opportunity for Marc and Alex to work with a whole heap of different Melbourne based musicians. The first taste, ‘Dramatic Sea Cliffs’ features the vocal talents of Alex Servinis from Ern Malley and is an early indication as to what to expect from the duo’s first tape, due out March 23 on Whalesmouth. Limited run of 30 tho, so keep an eye out.
As we slowly edge our way into Autumn and then Winter, these warm hazy sounds feel all the better.
New hip-hop vibes from Melbourne based collective ESESE.
The Eastern Seaboard Electric Sound Experience (fuckin’ rad name aye?) do them rap vibes, sing, make tracks and film. The first official release from ESESE as a collective comes courtesy of Hudson James Jr and features ace dude Hancoq on the vox. It’s called ‘AINTNO’.
As the local hip-hop game begins to ditch it’s aggressive in-your-face Australian vibe, it’s great to still see some of that bravado and forwardness but presented in a warmer sounding context. And sure, one day, that constant embracement of the jazzier 90s side of hip-hop will get old, but for now, when the production is this top-notch, it still represents something fresh in the Australian hip-hop game. Definitely keen to hear what more ESESE bring.
Melbourne people may well have heard the name Jimmy Hawk before – he’s done a fair bit of solo work around town and had a band called The Endless Sea for a bit too. Jimmy’s latest project is Young Hysteria and is a collab with his mate Thomas Van Der Vliet. The guys have been kicking around for nearly two years now, and you may well recognise their single of last year ‘One Young Lover’. It was a pulsing r’n’b infused jam that was as equally dreamy as it was intricate and introspective.
Well, we’re lucky enough to be premiering the clip for that track this morning on this here site. It’s a kaleidoscopic night-time journey for the two fellas, complete with booze and babes and all those blurs and colours you end up seeing towards the end of the night. Sounds like my night last night/allmynights ohgosh :/
Rad clip tho!
Keep an eye out for these guys around town this year.
Let’s give it another shot
Let’s try it another way
Let’s put the puzzle
Back together, our way
Twerps – ‘I Don’t Mind’ (2015)
I’ve come to not know what to expect with Twerps. I thought I knew after their first full length. It was ethereal dreamy guitar based music with the rough edges, the scuffle still there. It sounded polished, but the ideas and the thoughts and process behind those ideas were still on show.
Then, after last year’s Underlay EP gave me the impression that they were going to embrace that more lo-fi aesthetic, they came back with ‘Back To You‘, a track that to my ears re-engaged with that dream like state their self-titled debut had put me in. The flute like synth line was Underlay-esque, but whilst new, still reminded me of some of the more upbeat cuts from the debut, just using different instrumentation. The second cut from the bands new album Range Anxiety (due out Jan 23) was ‘Shoulders’. Again, this one also managed to induce a dream-like state, whilst also putting forward something new in a focus on Julia’s vocals.
Now they’ve let ‘I Don’t Mind’ into the world. ‘I Don’t Mind’ is a track that feels as though it could close out the band’s debut album. It sprawls and is messy in parts, but still with that polish. Dare I say it’s anthemic, especially in that big all engrossing chorus that hits. It feels the most familiar of the three tracks, all of which will appear on the bands second full length Range Anxiety due out on Jan 23. I’ve heard this Twerps before. This is the Twerps I fell in love with.
I think what I’ve realised is that the idea of ‘progression’ in music implies something very particular. It is something that suggests growth and this almost romantic notion of an evolution in sound. It implies leaving behind the old and constantly seeking out the new.
I think with this release though I’m beginning to question just how relevant a term like ‘progression’ is when talking about music output. As music writers we want to be able to tell a story I guess, and the notion of progression lends itself to that old writing trope of the traditional story-arc where it’s all about triumph over adversity and reaching a better place. In having this as the go-to though, the stories we can tell about the musicians we love are pretty lopsided, and dare I say in many cases, not all that honest.
What about those artists that don’t leave their older influences at the door after album one and evolve in that traditional sense? What about those artists that don’t embrace a more electronic side in their latter albums? What about a band like Twerps who instead of moving on from their earlier work, are open to working with the same sorts of ideas, sounds and influences?
The story of Twerps isn’t one simply about re-visiting and re-engaging with the old ideas. It’s about doing different things with similar ideas. It’s not about going back, in the same way as it’s not about going forward. Instead it’s about the now, and the real and direct experiences gained in the present moment.
If you’re lucky enough to check out Twerps as they support Belle and Sebastian around the country, or if you’re checking them out at Sugar Mountain or Golden Plains, then have a bloody blast. And if you didn’t realise they were playing these shows and are thinking of trying to head along, then details can be found here.
For those not lucky enough to check ‘em out live, then make sure you grab a copy of Range Anxiety when it’s out – you can pre-order on iTunes now or over on the Chapter records store. ‘I Don’t Mind’ got best new music on some big site called ForkPitch or something like that too. Can’t blame ‘em – it is a seriously wonderful jam.
I mean, really, as if I wouldn’t be all gushin’ over this. I mean, as if Dick Diver‘s 3rd album Melbourne, Florida won’t make at least the top three albums of 2015. I mean, as if, even with a slight change in sound, I wouldn’t just fucking love ‘Waste The Alphabet’, the new single from the Melbourne, Victoria based band.
‘Waste The Alphabet’ is intoxicating. It’s a fuller sound than their earlier work, and there’s a propulsion to it, and a directness to it. It’s only taken me a couple of listens, but I now reckon maybe it could get in the top of this year already.
Melbourne band Grandstands are back with their new single ‘Getting Out’. It’s a song ostensibly about breaking up and the realisation that getting out, is in many cases, the best thing. It’s also perhaps moreso detailing this strange fixation we now have on the mundane.
It’s a phenomena that has influenced nearly everything. Things like ‘normcore'; this fascination, at least within some fields of academia at investigating the everyday; and of course the whole idea of suburban guitar pop music. We’ve now reached a point where the only way to look is back in on ourselves, too aghast at the ridiculousness modern life has become. Grandstands manage to capture this feeling incredibly well.
This evening we’re lucky enough to feature the clip for ‘Getting Out’. Shot at Melbourne Zoo, it gets that whole everydayness to a tee. There’s a strange calm to the close up shots of zoo animals doing what zoo animals do.
Alongside the clip is a really wonderful three track single with ‘Getting Out’ as the lead. You can have a listen to that one below too. The guys also have a debut album in the works, due for release in early 2015. Featuring ‘Getting Out’, it’s been mixed and produced by Josh Bach who worked on Milk Teddy‘s wonderful debut and has been mastered by our mate Casey Rice.
If you dig ‘Getting Out’ and you’re down in Melbourne then we’re also pretty chuffed to announce that the band are playing a launch at the Workers Club on November 21. Details for that one here.
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.
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.
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.
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.