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.
oh mate. I mean gee whiz. Little Miksydicklefizz here is struggling to get these things up in a time appropriate manner. I’m currently facing perhaps the busiest time of my PhD which is basically just full of travel and stuff. And the field work has been absolutely excellent – couldn’t ask for better young people to speak to, but mate, not being in the one city for more than two weeks is getting to me. But hey, what is this? the little excuse club full of lilttle teeny weeny excuses?
Nah mate, it’s not. It is actually a pretty rad Australian music site (72nd best in the country – it’s a self-appointed title we’re all pretty proud of around here). And this here be the October mixtape.
I’ve taken a couple of liberties with this one – it was originally stuck at around 30 tracks and I did consider doing two tapes, coz, you know, two’s better than one etc (i’m single). At the top, I really do need to mention that the excellent Max Quinn has started a little music projoect – his Onomatopenis. His work ain’t up on soundcloud, so just as a little extra, if you download the tape (YOU REALLY SHOULD AND PLAY IT AT ALL OF YOUR PARTIES), then wedged between SCOTDRAKULA‘s ‘Shazon’ and Anatole‘s HTMLflowers remix is ‘Tarmax’ off Max’s first proper release. Also, I’m well aware that both Rolls Bayce‘s ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ and Luke Howard‘s ‘Cibi’ have been kicking around for a while, but they hit my radar in October (add another penny to the excuse club jar).
Bloody great tape though, full of everything. CHIEFS is doing some ace things at the moment – heaps of collab work. This track with old mate Owen Rabbit is pretty fantastic – hearing Owen in a different light is pretty great. Gab Strum’s (Japanese Wallpaper) side project Càbãnå is also killing it – big Phoenix vibes and so is DXHeaven. A while ago I wrote about this new sophisticated pop/r’n’b that’s coming out of Melbourne. Really need to add DXHeaven to that list.
So yeah, there you have it. Part diary of a mad man, part talking about the excellent tracks in this ol’ tape.
DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE TAPE (Right Click/Save As)
I’ve written about 10 versions of this post, and I’m always finding myself hitting and holding the backspace key. I’ve been trying to articulate how I feel about the new Twerps release Underlay, an 8 track EP that came out a couple of days ago. It’s the bands first new material since the incredible ‘Work It Out’/’He’s In Stock’ double single from late 2012, and it also marks their first release on Merge Records, a US label home to bands like Arcade Fire and Wild Flag.
Locally, they’re still on Chapter Records, a label that any reader of this site will know is a BIG favourite of mine. They’ve acquired a new drummer, Alex Macfarlane from fellow Chapter band The Stevens, who also recorded this EP. It was mastered by Mikey Young.
I guess if I was to try and begin to assert any sort of opinion about Underlay, it would be that it sounds less big, but still equally as expansive. It sounds rougher, but still equally as lovely. Underlay is different, but still captures all that I love about the band.
As our mate Adam said last night as we checked out the band launch the new EP at the Red Rattler, there’s a cinematic quality to their work. It feels like a great soundtrack to a film montage. We didn’t get into the specifics of what film or even what style of film it would be, but the fact that this new material still manages to evoke imagery and the instrumentation and arrangements still manage to sound as though they’re accompanying something more than just the lyrics is testament to their approach to song writing. As Adam also said, there’s still a real pop sensibility about their work.
And whilst, still, I need to familiarise myself with this release even more, I think the very fact that it’s thrown me a bit means that the band aren’t resting on their laurels. I know I like this release, a lot. But just why, it’s significance, and what impact it will have is something I’m still working my way through.
We got our fave cut ‘Wait Till You Smile’ just below. And make sure you stream and purchase the full album over at the Chapter Music bandcamp.
Ok, so here it is. my favourite 10 tracks of 2012. I think I’ll let the music do the talking instead of me crapping on about how each track made my year.
All I will say though is the criteria I had for this list
- It had to be a track I kept on coming back to; and
- It had to be a track that, even on the 10th listen, was still good.
I should also mention that they’re not numbered. They’re all decent in their own way. Awwwwww.
You can stream all ten below, and if you’re keen, you can download a mix with all ten below.
DOWNLOAD (Right Click/Save As)
Woah. No, you didn’t read that incorrectly. This is the September edition of the maamf mixtape series. After a crazy busy month or so, I’ve finally gotten round to chucking all my fave tracks of the month into one tape. All local stuff, all fucking good.
Electric Empire – Changin’
Hungry Kids of Hungary – Sharp Shooter
Maxi – From The Start
Step-Panther – Maybe Later
Damn Terran – Pills
South City Sushi Cop – Bad Blocks
DEJA – Luststruck (Cosmo Black Remix)
Twerps – Work It Out
Oh man, a new Twerps track has surfaced! It’s taken from a new 7″ the band are releasing soon. Called ‘He’s In Stock’, it’s something that pushes along, has that thrown-together-but-still-sounding-amazing sound to it that only Twerps can pull off.
The track is in fact one of the B-sides to the new 7″ with a track entitled ‘Work It Out’ being the lead track. There’s also another B-side, ‘Recall’. But man, ‘He’s In Stock’ is a freakin’ great track, and if it’s anything to go by, then I’m really really excited for the new stuff.
It’s gonna be up on iTunes on Sep 17 and will get a physical release on Oct 23. YES!
Yep, so think of it what you will, but this thing always manages to end up being a pretty massive day as well as creating a bit of controversy. Be it not having any females…to Angus & Julia Stone winning with a song about a big fucking plane. Shannon Noll sang about a big car…didn’t see him winning anything! (JOKES!)
Because maamf hasn’t done a best tracks of 2011 list (it is simply too hard and I think the ‘art’ of making a good album is more interesting), I thought I should post up what tracks I voted for in this years Hottest100. These are in no order…but hopefully they reflect my diverse taste which I try to put across on this here blog. If you still havent voted, then it all closes TOMORROW NIGHT! That’s Monday 16th Jan Midnight AEST. You can do so here. I do warn you though, it takes some time!
Without further ado:
Snakadaktal – Air
Oscar + Martin – Do The Right Thing
Step-Panther – My Neck
Battles – Ice Cream (Feat. Matias Aguayo)
Twerps – Dreamin
Architecture In Helsinki – Contact High
Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra)
M83 – Midnight City
Loon Lake – Bad to Me
Love Migrate – Little Kid
wowz. This has been so amazingly difficult. It’s been a year of evolution in regards to my music taste – a year when maamf featured perhaps more local stuff than ever before, and a year when the local scene in general was pretty freaking strong. It’s also been a year where my taste has gotten even broader…I don’t know how, but it has.
Attempting to dwindle this down to 10 was so hard. Others aren’t doing a top 10, but are instead doing a top 50. That be cray cray is you ask me.
I’m also too lazy.
So, like other years, a bit of an honourable mention section. The peeps that so nearly made the top 10 were:
Big Scary – Vacation, Feist – Metals, M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, Seekae +DOME, Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine, Total Control – Henge Beat.
There were also a whole heap of albums that made a super long list of about 48 albums or so – you can check out those on our facebook.
Anyway, from 1-10, these are my fave albums of 2011. Complete with a stream of a track from each. If you dig, you should get them out again. If you don’t have ’em, grab ’em!
1. Twerps – Twerps
From that opening riff, you know that this is going to be an amazing album. I guess time will tell, but to me, this album is already an Australian classic. Sounds super wanky, but it sounds Australian – I think it’s those big sweeping guitars and the strong bass lines. And it’s the fact that it straddles that line between sounding big and grand but still sounds like it’s just a few mates messing around.
Twerps – Who Are You
2. Adalita – Adalita
An album pretty heavy with emotion is Adalita’s debut. Dean Turner, bass player with Adalita’s old band Magic Dirt helped in the production of some of this album before he passed away two years ago. The album itself sounds quite restrained and considered – Adalita super strong vocals doubled up with a solo guitar full of distortion is almost haunting.
Adalita – The Repairer
3. Oscar + Martin – For You
This was so close for my album of the year. The thing I love the most about this disc is the beats. And the vocals. And that pretty Melbourne sounding floor tom. And the 90’s r’nb influence. But nah, yeah, it really is the grooves that get me on this.
Oscar + Martin – Do The Right Thing
4. Gotye – Making Mirrors
It would be stupid of me if I didn’t include this on the list. People are calling this album of the year, and you can see why. The amazing production on this album will ensure it has it’s place as a bit of an Aussie classic. Wally is an incredible musician and such an amazingly great songwriter. There isn’t a bad song on this disc.
Gotye – State of the Art
5. The Middle East – I Want That You Are Always Happy
Perhaps one of the most anticipated local releases of the year, this, as an album, is a bit of a work of art. The shear emotion that builds right across the disc is moving. Sure there are the sometimes out there lyrics (jesus you’re a fire in my foreskin everyday – Merry Christmas everyone!), but yeah, all together, it’s an album that evokes such clear imagery – and I don’t necessarily mean the lyrics. These guys definitely went out on a high note.
The Middle East – Ninth Avenue Reverie
6. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
When this album finally dropped I was initially a bit disappointed. It’s definitely no In Ghost Colours, but after a few more listens, it’s actually a pretty solid release. There are definitely some great tracks on here and I really like the way it all somehow melds together. It’s no secret that I absolutely love these gents!
Cut Copy – Pharaohs & Pyramids
7. Oh Mercy – Great Barrier Grief
Yeah, so bad puns aside, I really like the work of Alexander Gow. I think their first album was a bit of a sleeper hit – flew under the radar a bit. This disc definitely has had a lot more promo, but i think there’s a real sound that comes through on this record. hearing interviews with Gow, he’s quite romantic about the idea of Australia and the shear vastness of land in this country. I think the record has captured that pretty nicely.
Oh Mercy – Doldrums
8. Single Twin – Marcus Teague
To me, this was an album that I gave one listen and then it gathered dust, well, it gathered digital dust. There were one or two tracks on there that I knew were great, well crafted pop songs, but man, I’m so glad I went back. All the tracks on this album are so well crafted. But easily, I think the thing that makes this go from a good album to a great album is the bed of noise that sits beneath each track – the samples, the slight distortion. They sound quite separate, but they seem to compliment each other really well.
Single Twin – The Blow (Fell Out The Window)
9. Step-Panther – Step-Panther
This is a disc that holds one of my fave tracks of the year. My Neck is such a killer, sweet, smack in your face packet of slacker-kid goodness. But then, so is the album. I never really expected this disc to be near the top for me, but after giving it a few listens, man, it’s just a heap of fun.
Step-Panther – Rock And Roll Alien
This is seriously one of the albums that gives me tingles. Warm lovely nostalgic tingles. English peeps Yuck, do fuzzed out indie pop goodness – sure, some of the stuff sounds the same, and it is massively tinged with 90’s fuzz stuff like Dinosaur Jnr, but the sounds that they do produce, to me, are some of the best.
Yuck – Georgia