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The Emilys - the very new side project by Mark Turner of the Eversons - are a ‘cartoon band’, featuring illustrations and animation from Ian and Rebecca Hart. Their first release is the video for ‘Play It Cool‘, a story following lead singer Shelley, who does almost anything but.

I need very little encouragement to get excited about anything related to the Eversons, and their defiantly happy music combined with a predilection for suicidal characters makes the transition easy. And, really, I need even less encouragement to get excited about a band of cartoon characters from New Zealand. With all that and a sound like the Cars getting into wacky vocal effects, what’s not to love?

More music (and plotlines!) are promised from the band very soon, and you can read all about the members over at their Tumblr.

They Emilys are playing their FREE debut show with support from the Eversons this Saturday, 29 November, at Portland Public House in Auckland.

Facebook / Soundcloud / Tumblr

LISTEN: Love Signs – ‘Hold You Down’

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Love signs pic

One of the best things in the world for music writers/fans in general is when a brand new band you loved from the very start exceeds even your expectations – and Brisbane four-piece Love Signs have totally done that for me.

Their previous single, ‘Wish at Home‘, was a mood piece, dreamy and romantically downbeat. With ‘Hold You Down’ they’ve given us a real single, a beautiful jangly pop hit with guts as well as atmosphere. A lot of this comes from the added lead guitar (which they freely admit takes a lot from the Go-Betweens – but when has that ever been a bad thing?), which cuts a spiralling path towards the layered, driving chorus. Izzy Mellor’s classic breathy vocals also work really well against the cynical lyrics to create a bit of friction in all that prettiness.

It’s just so cool to see a band deliver on their promise and develop this confidently in such a short space of time. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on Love Signs.

Facebook / SoundcloudUnearthed


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Next up in our mixtape series, featuring artists playing Paradise Music Festival on 28-30 November, are Melbourne post-punkers ESC, who have sent in their ideal soundtrack for the drive to the festival site at Lake Mountain. It’s a wonderfully eclectic mix, featuring everything from vapourwave to future beats – plus a cheeky little nod to the folks at Paradise tucked away at the end.

ESC are working up a new album as we speak, so keep your eyes peeled.

Track list:

01. ‘Wind On Water’ – Fripp & Eno

02. ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ – Nina Simone

03. ‘Cartoon Jungle’ – Andras Fox

04. ‘Flying’ – Death In Vegas

05. ‘Donovan’ – Happy Mondays

06. ‘地理‘ – Macintosh Plus

07. ‘Industrial Resort’ – Standish/Carlyon

08. ‘SexSlaveShip’ – Flying Lotus  (mixed with ‘Chamber of Reflection’ – Mac Demarco + ‘Baby Phat ft De La Soul’ – Devin The Dude)

09. ‘This Could Be Beautiful (It is)’ – Metronomy

10. ‘Vessels’ – Phillip Glass

11. ‘The Nights’ – Lee Hazelwood

12. ‘Vacuum Boogie’ – Floating Points

13. ‘Never Been To Me’ – Charlene

14. ‘Wind On Wind’ – Fripp & Eno

Facebook / Bandcamp

LISTEN: Cull – Nasty Drought

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It’s here – the first taste from Sydney shoegazing wunderlords Cull’s debut album. They’ve been floating into our earholes with streamlined Deeerhunter-via-interdimension-travel-through-the-cosmos since early 2013, when their track ‘Good People Disappear’ first surfaced on the WTH waves.  Since then, they’ve dropped their gorgeous Ba Noi EP, and a fantastically ethereal cover of Pavement’s ‘Shady Lane’.

But not simply content with ruling our hearts with mere singles, Cull have decided upon an album release for early 2015, simply titled Aloft. The name rings surely with their sound, simple pop music that’s held mightily high upon swirling masses of pedal effects and distortion.

‘Nasty Drought’ is the first taste of the album, and it indicates the record will be a colourful and engaging one indeed. Sticky vocals ensue, before unfurling into the kind of unfurling shimmer that we all <3 Cull for.

Facebook / Soundcloud / Bandcamp


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New Gum Sarn

If you slapped awake an early 2000s ‘indie’ band at 3am and forced them to play under duress, you may end up with something sounding like New Gum Sarn. Beautifully untidy but never sloppy, their track ‘Bad Soy’ is like a pop-song turned hazy comedown.

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Split in two right down the middle, the catchy low key vocals of the first half are countered by a second half where the band’s guitarists are set free to jam to their heart’s content. The accompanying video features disembodied hands caressing faces, half-hearted acrobatics and a healthy dose of general weird.

‘Bad Soy’ is one of two tracks released from the band’s album, which so far remains detailed only as forthcoming. Hear more at New Gum Sarn’s Bandcamp.

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INTRODUCING: Dictaphone Blues

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dictatophone blues

Dictaphone Blues is the bedroom project turned full band project of Edward Castellow, Auckland’s favourite southern adoptee. A new release is a reason to get excited, as Ed has managed to put out some of the most consistently righteous fuzzed-out guitar pop you’d be likely to find this side of your cool uncle’s record collection. Two albums on, Dictaphone Blues’ next album Mufti Day looks like it’ll go bigger and more ambitious than its predecessors.

Following on from lead single ‘Her Heart Breaks Like a Wave‘, heralding the release of Mufti Day is ‘365’, a catchy duet featuring guest vocals from Emily Edrosa (who also recently released an excellent EP). Under the guise of an upbeat summer jam the track escalates rapidly from themes of obsession to imaginary intrusion before a final meltdown.

Mufti Day is out on the 5th of December. The band will embark on national tour of New Zealand next month.

Facebook / Bandcamp

MAP – November 2014

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Our feature act for November’s instalment of our monthly MAP series are pop stalwarts Open Swimmer. The band features members of The Harpoons, Seagull and Melbourne via Glasgow singer Ben TD. You can listen to all the other good stuff our pals from blogs around the world are featuring this month in the list below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 22-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Tomás FerreroCuando Te Hablo

Listen to

In March 2013, a mixed group of musicians gathered together in Cordoba and Buenos Aires to play some songs and sound pieces composed with lyrics taken from the work of a federal collective of artists called Esta Vida No Otra. Some of them recorded the results several months later, and those tracks were then released as a compilation titled 15 Artistas Cantan Esta Vida No Otra. The song we have selected from this album, also available for free at Bandcamp, is Cuando Te Hablo by Tomás Ferrero from the band Rayos Láser.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Open SwimmerSugar Bowl

Listen to

Open Swimmer’s version of pop is jarring, even discordant at first, but it’s this blatantly simple approach that has us hooked. (Dirty Projectors fans, pay attention now.) Sugar Bowl is a brilliant introduction to the band; playful yodelling is cut and pasted along a steady 4/4 drum beat, while witty banter takes the fore. Songwriter Ben TD was based in Glasgow for seven years, touring extensively and landing multiple sessions on BBC Radio One and a stint at T in the Park before settling in Melbourne. The band comprises some of Melbourne’s most admired independent music alumni (The Harpoons, Seagull). Expect to hear a lot more from this group.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Alessandra LeãoMofo

Listen to

Alessandra Leão shows off her experimental side with Mofo, taken from her new EP, Pedra De Sal. Avoiding the world music sound from other works, this song has dark music and some weird programming that fits the angst of the lyrics.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Beach SeasonMidnights

Listen to

There’s not actually much out there on Beach Season besides the fact the project is from Calgary. The smooth vocals of Midnights complements the hip-hop influenced rhythms. This is a duo that won’t be much of a mystery for long.

Listen to more below: