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PREMIERE: The Infants – ‘Ape’ video

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Back in April WTH introduced The Infants and their ghoulish track ‘Halves‘, and the band’s now followed up with the video for their second single, ‘Ape’.

Unstable guitars, toy pianos, strange sound artefacts and vocals reminiscent of PJ Harvey in her prime – these kids work in many ways to keep you on edge right out of the gate. Driven by a disco groove that you could listen to for hours, ‘Ape’ bubbles along until you feel it’s likely to boil over. Then it EXPLODES.

The video carefully creeps along in a progression that goes from awkward to downright scary – a visual analogue to the particular brand of madness that the music probably had you imagining anyway.

Look out for The Infants’ forthcoming EP, Low Rumble, which they’ll be launching at the Gasometer in Melbourne on Saturday, 6 September.

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WATCH: Nicholas Allbrook – ‘100 k’s ‘round Carmel’

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The film clip for ‘100 k’s ‘round Carmel’, the first track off Nicholas Allbrook’s forthcoming album, is what I imagine would happen if the creators of the Sims took acid and created ‘Sims: Psychedelic Nightmare.’ It’s certainly a trip, with Allbrook and Alejandro Crawford directing and producing the metaphor-laden and all round hypnotic clip.

The track itself is exactly what you want from Allbrook – reverb-drenched vocals and a wallowing guitar punctuated by soft cymbals. There’s a nostalgia to the melody and guitar hook, with Allbrook casually distancing himself from the past: ‘I don’t want to feel that again / smoking in the carpark while I lie about my age’.

The album, Ganough, Wallis and Fatuna, will be out 5 September via Spinning Top Music. Another taster, ‘Whispers of Beauty’ – available as a free download from the Spinning Top website - signals a more distorted, synth-rock turn for the POND frontman.

Allbrook will perform at BIGSOUND on 11 September.

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INTRODUCING: Baro

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A long ‘Daayyuum’ is the appropriate reaction to the latest mixtape, Howgoodisgood?, from 17-year-old Melbourne MC Baro. Fighting the good fight against rubbish Australian hip hop, Baro and his crew 90′sRD are rolling through verses so smooth and witty they make you double take when you read his age.

The smooth as butter MC lets his airy verses waft over easy lounge beats, doing this as naturally as possible for someone climbing the uphill battle of having an Australian accent. It’s not as heavy as the trip hop and neo-soul coming out of the US right now, but at times it does conjure the jazz and boom bap production of Odd Future spin-off The Internet.

Baro is combining west coast weed-rap and Brooklyn cool without ever failing to represent Melbourne. If this is where hip hop in Australia is heading, thank god.

Check out the video for ‘I Had a Dream About U Last Night’, released today, and catch Baro playing gigs around the country throughout October.

Fri, 3 Oct – The Zoo, Brisbane

Sat, 4 Oct – The Lab, Brisbane

Sat, 11 Oct – Zierholz, University of Canberra

Tues, 14 Oct – YMCA HQ, Perth

Wed, 15 Oct – YMCA HQ, Perth

Thurs, 16 Oct – Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury

Fri, 17 Oct – Amplifier Bar, Perth

Fri, 24 Oct – Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Sat, 25 Oct – Corner Hotel, Melbourne

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INTRODUCING: Mid Ayr

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Mid Ayr is Brisbane’s Hugh Middleton – when he’s not playing guitar in alt folk bigshots The Trouble With Templeton. Debut single ‘My Mayhem’ is the first recorded taste we’ve got of his solo work, and it’s pretty sweet.

Anyone who’s got a passing interest in Templeton knows that Middleton is a talented guitarist, but the best part of this song is how measured it is. There’s a tendency at the moment for acoustic artists to rush into soaring, dramatic choruses without building an emotional core to carry them, and Middleton totally avoids that here. His lyrics are full of anxiety and tension, mumbled regrets and confessions, so that when the big cathartic chorus comes in you actually feel like something’s getting resolved.

‘My Mayhem’ keeps up a great pace, with handclap percussion all the way through. The song just skips by, leaving you wanting more.

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PREMIERE: The Pretty Littles – ‘Dangerman’

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The Pretty Littles are as ramshackle as they come. It’s a bloody good thing their songs are loud, because their new track is one damn fine earworm.

‘Dangerman’ is the latest from the Melbourne rockers. Don’t worry – The Pretty Littles will still clamp their jaws around you and shake you bone dry, but their general songwriting has improved heaps since their first Fairweather EP.

Close your eyes. Envision a sea of festival punters hollering “I can be your dangerman, if you will be my evil woman!” back to the shellshocked foursome. Works for me, anyway.

The Pretty Littles grew up wanting to be the Vasco Era. With a firestarter like ‘Dangerman’, they might just succeed their heroes.

The band are launching the single on September 26th at Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne.

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LISTEN: Step-Panther – ‘It Came From the Heart’

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Step-Panther have just released their latest single, ‘It Came From the Heart’, the second from their upcoming sophomore record Strange But Nice. Welp, for a bunch of Wollongong bros who like to shred, Step-Panther sure did a turn on us.

Although previous single ‘Nowhere’ and earlier tracks like ‘No Fun’ and ‘Maybe Later’ made Step-Panther stand out as snotty, high-octane punks, this new one is about as laid back as the band have ever been.

Don’t let the cruisy pace and note-plucking deceive you though, Step-Panther are still at their juvenile best. They combine lyrics about creatures from the swamp, intergalactic eye pulverisers and heartbreak into one intoxicating tune. Although they’ve turned down their guitars on this one, Step-Panther have lost none of their ability to write excellent songs.

Strange But Nice is out on 19 September through Inertia sub-label HUB.

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