“I want it to be a raw and possibly uncomfortable reminder of what we have put our Indigenous people through, and urge all Australian’s to respect and support the first Australians.”
As those of you will know who read this old site a bit, I also spend my time doing a PhD. Or, I also spend ALL my time doing a PhD. My project is looking at young people and music-making and blah blah blah. It’s been awesome to see young people hone their own sound and make music that is meaningful for them. Violet, although not one of the young people participating in the research has kind of killed it when it comes to honing that sound and making music that is textured and provocative.
Violet, as a musician, wears it all there on her sleeve – her first single, ‘My Dress Hangs There‘ is an obvious ode to trip-hop inspired sadcore and Jackie Kennedy. It’s almost over the top but in the most subtle way – it’s that big waft of mellow melancholia without being smacked over the head with it. Second single ‘Lines of Loneliness‘ was similar in style – showcasing a strong affection for quality Hollywood women of old melded with a much heavier and muddier production aesthetic.
Her third single takes that slightly uncomfortable intrigue and amps it up. As with Violet’s approach to music-making, the use of sample’s help provide her tales with context. ‘Ivory’ uses them in incredibly powerful ways. The audio from ‘White Australia’ documentaries, the manipulation of traditional indigenous percussion and that gunshot, all provide you with context for Violet’s message.
This site veers to the side of being not overtly political, although you can of course argue that having a blog is in itself an inherently political practice – blogs allow us to exercise our political rights. Heck, maybe simply our use of the internet every day is a political act. Lessons in what politics is and isn’t though aside, Violet’s refrain ‘We shot them dead’ makes for uncomfortable listening. Because that is what happened, but still, in this country we operate on a white way is best way ideology. As an aside, it’s not about which is the fucking best way, it’s about taking responsibility, working with people instead of on them. We still as a country are forcing people out of their communities, which makes Violet’s track all the more important.
And if I can also put on my rapidly ageing hat on (fuck man i feel like i’m older than 30 but wotever m8), at 18, Violet is making a stand, and using creative expression as a way of reaching as many people as possible. Bloody young people aye – makes my work feel all the more worthwhile.
Look out for more stuff from Violet. Hopefully we’ll get an EP soon!
Sometimes it doesn’t take much. The driving, aggressive, propulsion on offer in Hedge Fund‘s latest ‘Look Who’s Back’ gives everything in what feels like one sweet blow to the body.
The fact that length wise, this is within your usual pop song fair says something about what they pack in – I find myself always pressing play again straight after it’s finished.
If you’re around Sydney, you might have caught Hedge Fund play Rare Finds‘s new night over at the Sly Fox in Enmore. If you missed that one then make sure you check ’em out at Junkyard Fest on Saturday. Details here.
Lostkeyz is an 18 year old Sydney MC. On the back end of immersing myself in the work of Flip The Script, it’s real cool to see new young MC’s embrace that more lowkey 90s sounding vibe. Also like the Flip The Script dudes, Lostkeyz has a real natural sense of flow and tone – his voice itself is real direct and personal.
‘Lagging On’ is his latest, a short rumination on keeping a sense of self through change. The production mimics the title, with that drum groove just sitting as far back as possible.
Lostkeyz has the game to back this all up too coming off some top support slots for Daily Meds as well as a killer single ‘Do What You Love‘.
Keen to hear some more stuff from this guy.
Yeah mate, seems everyone and their dog are doing the nu-hiphop vibe lately. With big wigs like Remy doing solid things and Milwaukee Banks and Baro perhaps being at the top of it, it’s the thing to do. And just like the ‘Australian sound’ EDM thing that happened a while ago, it’s becoming harder for the top kids to raise their heads up above the rest.
Flip The Script feel as though they’re doing things a bit differently. Young dudes, both sing and rap. Both have a pretty cool unique tone in their voice and their flow is undeniable. And to top it off, production is all 90s jazzy vibe. And it kills.
Latest single ‘Acting Profound’ below, and if you dig, download their tape crewsin’ over here.
Sick clip too!
There’s something about Nathan Roche‘s slightly laconic vocal delivery that gives his work this effortless, relatable touch.
His final (Yep, mate, last one) album is due out anytime now. It’ll be called Cathedral Made Outta’ Green Cards. The first taste of it ‘Phantom Blues’ weirdly feels like it could go forever (probably perpetuated by the never ending refrain ‘these are the never ending phantom blues’ right at the end of the tune). It instead harks the ‘death’ of Roche, at least in the musical sense we currently know him. Although he’s not necessarily ‘ruling out the possibility of a string of “comeback albums” in his post-rehab mid-forties’ (direct quote from his presser – it’s really something special), wrap your ears around this one and the album when it hits the internet and the shelves of music selling stores.
Thanks for the good, nice, friendly and welcoming times Mr Roche. All the best in your new travels.
His is the kind of sound that would be right at home in the Ghostly stable – a kind of rainy day pulse that turns introspective and otherworldy when you press into it. It’s a delicate area to work in – keeping a sublime flow but also embedding enough character and identity to avoid a life as (admittedly well-curated) elevator music.
The reason I think he succeeds so well is a kind of emotive frankness. Like “here’s a feeling that happened, and I caught it with synths. Feel it, or don’t.” It’s not hyped or amplified or demanding – just kind of….pure.
The single from this Dwell EP is ‘Pines‘ and it’s lovely, but my personal fav is the simplest moment: ‘Cave‘. I think it’s the sound equivalent of a hug with a loved one when both of your minds are actually elsewhere. A kind of semi-faded sanctuary.
Clearly that’s an odd feeling to try and describe – but, lucky for you and me, there’s no real need. You have personal access to the actual song. In fact, I’ll just…
*trails off, backs away, puts earbuds back in, leaves with wistful gaze*
But this is nice. Expansive.
I don’t know if she recorded herself in a large cave, or approximated that using digital signal processing technology – maybe none of us will ever really know for sure. But either way this one puts a fresh spin on an aesthetic I recall fondly from Florence’s Ceremonials. And if any part of you thinks that may not be a complementary parallel, then I think you need to listen to that album again.
Sounds like the epicness is even testing the poor soundcloud encoder, but such is our luck and luxury we can now buy a version captured with a fuller complement of bytes.
Also I couldn’t help but notice her Soundcloud is followed by people including Flight Facilities – to which I thought “hmmmm” and also “well now”. If they do ever do a thing together I’m calling that last sentence an exclusive.
Anyway I trust you value our new format, where we’re careful to review streaming encoder performance and who follows who on social networks. 2014 journalism is the best journalism.
How did he do it? How how how.
We like unpredictable, mashy electronic tracks because ART. It’s nice to hear new things. Genuinely new ways of vibrating air, as constructed by devoted humans. But, hip as you all are, let’s be real: these songs can oft be easy to admire, and oft pretty hard to live with.
So, we also like the warm hug of pop music because FRIEND. These songs don’t know a lot about the underground, they don’t chain-smoke or have crazy stories about what they did in Berlin. But they are friendly and trustworthy and they have your back. Or at least they don’t trip you over constantly, and some days that will do.
Not that I feel the need to talk to music blog readers about how we listen to different kinds of music because OBVS.
But, you tell me, which category does this Spirit Faces track fit in?
In a grail-chasing move, he’s balanced ‘Cloudplay‘ right in between these worlds, where the gravity of each cancels the other and it’s just….floating. Even a bunch of listens in it’s all loose and quirky and I can’t really expect what is coming at me next, but I ain’t panicked. I chilled.
Could this be ARTFRIEND?
Shouts to BUOY for bringing all her character and warmth, and giving things a natural woft and whimsy. Shouts to Mr Faces for his perfect sense of equilibrium, and of course the last chord – because HAIR METAL.
Hold off on your questions, no doubt all will be answered by the upcoming EP: probably with tidy taste and witty press because TEEF.
I’ve embedded the gynormo-player because I even feel friendly towards that little cloud.
I don’t always listen to folk, but when I do I tend to like it both succint and epic. Conceptually and actually.
Now that I think about it for the first time, maybe that’s impossible (or at the least unreasonable to demand)… but in stubborness I guess my reply to that would be some kind of shrug.
I don’t really seem to do meandering. I’m just not a meanderer.
So this Ainsley Farrell ditty grabbed me – an impossible little gem.
After the 30 second prequel we get rolling minor chords and even more rolling ocean metaphors – and you don’t get bigger and more mysterious than the ocean, do you? DO YOU? Well, except maybe for space. But space doesn’t really roll… and anyway shut up we’re talking about Ainsley’s song.
That aforementioned song I hereby refer to crams a lot of evocative, desolate sound into less than 2 minutes and it doesn’t even feel rushed or cut-off. Curious huh.
You are all here to witness the impossible moment where I post a song that meets my impossible folk demands.
Uh oh. Miks usually beats me to Gang of Youths posts but finally it’s me with a handful of sentences to try and explain why I can’t stop caring about what these dudes do. Could get gushy, you should brace.
Well if you put a gun to my head and asked me what the best art looks like, I would:
1. Suspect that’s not really your question. Because, you know, the gun.
2. Quickly pick a serious answer in a spike of panic (probably as you start squeezing the trigger), and blurt out: “just a human, easily seen.”
I realise that would be an awkward thing to say and I would still get shot. But it could be true and more importantly I think Dave Le’aupepe is a vivid example of this very thing.
Not so much in his press persona, where he is unpredictable and cut-throat honest, but still oddly mysterious. I mean there’s a whole other piece in that. But I’m talking songs.
‘Benevolence Riots‘ shows new colours sonically – there’s a flip to a resigned vocal that cuts through a surprisingly snappy song structure. But the key element for me is stronger than ever – the unusually deep heart. By heart I guess I mean that it has these undertones to it. Like a messy collision of many things I grapple quietly with myself, but spread out loudly in a spectacular, tragic, desperate, beautiful way.
For example, I get washed around from intelligent altruism to resigned devotion, dark cynicism to desperate hope, blue collar clarity to the confusion of human greatness, equality, craftsmanship, earning, failure and most of all: the deep unspeakable grind and reward of costly human relationships.
Heavy, complex, yes. And maybe I am too much of a fan to write this – but if you put this with their other songs to date, I swear all that stuff is in there.
It’s mostly Dave we’re seeing, though like most great bands I sense that the other guys have more to do with us hearing this stuff than we’ll ever know. Certainly these are an oddball bunch in their own right, possibly bonded now both as fun loving bros and more like actual brothers who have spent 2 years on a kicking bull together. That part you can feel live. But I’m digressing.
For mine, I’d take these songs straight. Like, neat. Raw on one of those prison cafeteria trays. Thus I’m not craving any more shimmer or dressing than we get here. But it is rather lovely shimmer, so I don’t mind if we get a lush record. As long as they keep Dave’s ‘easily seen heart’, I’m in.
Have I explained myself well? Maybe not. I still don’t really understand why I love this band so much. But I’ll say this – if we do get the album that these songs point at (next year?) I’ll be buying a physical copy so I can keep it near to me when I sleep. Music, hey.