Adelaide’s Wireheads have had a criminally underrated run – “criminal” in the sense of a Manson murder spree, and “underrated” in the sense of Vegemite, honey and avocado on toast (try it). It’s as though the lazy pop of Galaxie 500 was transmuted into a dusty, beer-swilling six piece who prefer to coat their songs in fuzz. The end result is something that sits well alongside Aussie contemporaries Bitch Prefect and Beef Jerk, or perhaps a more chaotic version of the Stevens or Full Ugly.
On the second single from their upcoming second album, Big Issues, Wireheads have released the stream-of-consciousness yelper ‘Boys Home’. Wireheads deliver a strident, snarling three minutes, saddling whimsical pop (lots of “oo-oo’s”) with shuffling drum thwacks and a runaway guitar solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on a howling 80’s cock-rock soundtrack.
Now that they’re signed to the major label [sic] Tenth Court (Thigh Master / Sewers / Mope City), Wireheads have released a compulsory video clip. Therein, the Adelaidians queue up visions of greyscale Australiana and live footage, complementing their babbling homage to youthful defiance via kicking the footy and wringing the neck of a beaten up guitar. It’s good stuff all round, and sets the expectations high for the forthcoming record.
Big Issues comes out August 7th via Tenth Court. Pre-order here.
‘Atlas’ is the new track by Swedish/Australian artist Cēas (CJ Lofstrom). His previous single ‘Verge’ gave a nod to Standish/Carlyon’s late night confessionals; submerging the seemingly banal with sweeping vocals and slick bass. ‘Atlas’ spurs on his sound even further. The track opens lofty and low; breathing machinations into choral verses before it continues to take on a life of its own.
This video for ‘Atlas’ was filmed by artist Beth Dillon. It follows what looks like the saddest sardine in the Nordic circle, grappling with an existential crisis – or just a lack of daylight I suppose. There’s also some phenomenal cinematography, thanks to Iceland being Iceland.
‘Atlas’ features on Cēas’ upcoming second EP, Upper Hand.
Solid Effort are the latest band to emerge from the smog of the coal coast. Growing up in a depressing little city dumped on top of a natural wonder seems to have a salutary effect on creativity, with groups like Shining Bird, the Pinheads and Step Panther all breaking out of Wollongong over the last couple of years.
Now based in Sydney, Solid Effort have been together less than a year but have already supported foreign acts like Tonsstartsbandht and the Courtneys. Their debut EP is out soon on the Gong’s Le Boogie Records and the ‘Sydney-based, Wollongong-inclined’ No Safe Place (which just released Beast & Flood‘s long-awaited, knotty first album).
‘One Loose Wire’ is the first Solid Effort track to see the light of day (aside from a couple of jams, like this little number). It’s a loping, sweetly melodic punk song that takes its cues from bands like Guided by Voices, Sebadoh and the Minutemen. The track shuffles along at a mesmerising pace – practically sleepwalking through buried vocals and soft bursts of harmonica.
Solid Effort will be appearing at the No Safe Place August residency on 21 August at the Record Crate in Glebe and 22 August at Wollongong’s Rad.
This single from Sydney (ish) band You Beauty (who brought us a gem of realist nostalgia on last year’s football romance themed Jersey Flegg) has been out for a couple of weeks – eternity in music blogging terms. I’ve been listening to it so much in that time that I kind of assumed everyone else was too and knew it was one of the best songs of the year so far, and didn’t need me to tell ’em shit. But we still got a presser wanting WTH to write it up – so maybe not all of you have actually heard it. You should. It’s great.
‘Illywhacka’ is apparently about a jaded internet dating scammer who falls in love with his victim, and it’s equal parts romantic and cynical. Those ’80s pup-rock crooner vocals are about as dreamy as it gets, with a wandering bass line leading your heart around – up until the chorus when the tight, insistent drums and shouty vocals remind us it’s a game, a con, and you just say ‘I love you’ cause you like the sound. I think the reason I can’t stop listening to this track is the momentum – it slides from sweet verse to driving chorus so easily that it’s always over too soon, and you gotta go back to catch your favourite part again and again.
If the album, also called Illywhacka and due out later in the year, has more stuff half as good as this single, we’re all in for a treat.
You Beauty are playing a gig at Black Gold Studios in Thirroul on Sunday, 2 August, before they head up to Brisbane for another show at the Milk Factory on Saturday the 8th.
Bahasa Malay is the solo project of Bulgarian born, Perth based artist Nora Karailieva.
Karailieva moved from Bulgaria to Montreal in her early teens, and began making music under the guise of Nora Zion. She released two EPs with ALAIZ – a collective of producers located around Laval and the South Shore area of Montreal.
Karailieva’s work has diversified each time she’s made a new home. Since 2013, she’s been based in Perth playing shows with the likes of Mei Saraswati, and pairing up with local musicians – her collaborative record with Leon Osborn via Die High Records one to bookmark.
While her repose as Nora Zion lent more to experimental R&B stylings, her output as Bahasa Malay explores a much more earthy expanse of sound.
The video for ‘Kasseta’ was filmed and directed by Karailieva. The video, much like the track is comforting and almost unsettling at once – almost like tuning into a lullaby from the bottom of a metal well. Clinkers and guttural samples tide in time with visuals of powerlines, cathedrals and muted bells. At first listen, it seems like Karailieva’s vocals are at constant discord with the instrumentals but this almost makes it bear the weight of spoken word.
‘Kasseta’ features on Bahasa Malay’s debut album, Balkans. The album was previously released digitally, but will be re-issued as a limited cassette run by the good folk at Pouring Dream.
The track is available as a free download from Pouring Dream’s Bandcamp, right here.
Melbourne electro-pop duo Leisure Suite have dropped ‘Sweet Gin’, an extremely smooth, R’n’B-influenced glimpse into their sophomore EP, which is slated for release later this year. It’s the pair’s first completely self-produced track, and they’ve stripped back the instrumentation – which is to say that where there once was the odd guitar lick here and there on their debut EP, now there are none. Instead, downtempo beats steer Leisure Suite down the yellow brick road of spaced out hip-hop production.
Even the builds feel light, with Bridgette Le’s vocals allowed to do all of the leg work – and boy am I ok with that. She doesn’t need to explore much of her range because every note that leaves her mouth is disarmingly lush. ‘Sweet Gin’ has clocked over 6000 listens since its release four days ago. Either people were desperate for more Leisure Suite or you just can’t listen to Le’s voice less than about 100 times. Either way, it’s a pretty irresistible morsel of warm electro-pop.
They’ll be launching the single in their hometown at Hugs & Kisses on the 25th of July.
I like shoegaze that goes a bit hard. In a lot of new bands, the genre’s merging with the more accessible ‘dream pop’ has diluted the essential ‘beautiful noise’-y ness of it for me. But that’s what Brisbane four-piece Ultra Material deliver on their first proper EP (appropriately titled ‘EP’): something essential – a heavy and lovely package of songs tied with a bow. I love the manic, unchained quality to the drums, especially on bolt-outta-the-gates opener ‘Crash’, and the unnerving wails on ‘Pleased To Meet You’. They’ve got a handle on pop melody and structure, but they’re also not afraid to freak you out a little.
Sarah and Matt Deasy, singer/bassist and drummer respectively, used to make icily mellow sounds of a similar vein in their long-running and wonderful duo Do The Robot, and this EP feels like a natural progression from that insular and intimate project. They’ve added another couple on guitar and vocals, and synth, fleshed out the sound until there’s no stillness left at all, and turned their gaze outwards to envelop the listener, rather than leaving us on the outside looking in.
With an album to come later in the year, you can purchase Ultra Material’s EP on beautiful cassette (Matt Deasy also screenprints some of the best band posters and t-shirts in Brisbane as No.7 Print House, so it’s an object well worth having) or digital from their Bandcamp right now.