Posts By James Frostick

PREMIERE: Sagamore – ‘Feelings’

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Here is a brand new bit of twangy rock from Victorian group, Sagamore. The group have reportedly been working hard, putting together a 2nd EP after only launching their first EP in December. In a perfect example of striking while the iron is hot, Sagamore have given us a tease of their next collection with lead single, ‘Feelings’.

‘Feelings’ is a slow, meandering piece of music that walks the line between easy listening and head-bopping groove. It’s a pop song, with trace amounts of blues and country pulsing through its veins. It sets an easy pace, with enough in the works to make it really interesting without pushing too hard at the boundaries of its structure.

The guitar wobbles with perfection and the intertwining chords blend nicely with harmonica and breezy country-tinged vocals. It’s got melody, it’s got balance; if the rest of the songs off the 2nd EP are similar, it will earn a steady rotation in the car (on that note, ‘Feelings’ would be great in any road-trip mix).

Their first EP was made with the help of a string of able musicians (from bands like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Eagle and the Worm and Perch Creek Family Jugband); the second EP, Longer is a solely band-made effort and will be a true indicator of what kind of chops they have as a unit. With ‘Feelings’ as a first taste, we can’t help but be optimistic.

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WATCH: Scraps – ‘Projections’

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Laura Hill has been performing under the name Scraps for some time now, consistently putting out some of the most interesting soundscapes in Australia. Her music is like 80’s synth-pop seen through a surrealist kaleidoscope lens.

Her vocal delivery changes from high-pitched, angelic wails to robotic, deadpan monotony. With this in mind, her brand of electronic pop seems equal parts sunshine and danger. The blips and beeps form an amazing dichotomy with the pulsing and sometimes unsettling beats that she works with, together creating a vibe of dystopian satisfaction.

A perfect example of this juxtaposition is the clip for ‘Projections’, her latest creation, which was filmed at Brisbane’s notorious Toowong Cemetery. The song is another classic effort from Scraps, with retro, VHS-style footage of Christmas lights from years past interspersed with a graveyard performance.

It’s safe to say that Scraps is enthralling; anyone who enjoys beautifully skewed music will like this song. Her back catalogue is extensive and is filled with ethereal oddities; any newcomers are in for a real treat.

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LISTEN: Lower Plenty – ‘On the Beach’

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It has never been more apparent how diverse the Melbourne music scene is than right now. It is a petri dish of musical experimentation where interchanging combinations yield different results and nearly each mutation leads to acclaim.

Case in point: Lower Plenty. Named after a Melbourne suburb, Lower Plenty is one of those bands that’s made up of musicians from other noteworthy groups (all Melbourne based) but manages to make a name for itself thanks to good music, not just goodwill.

For the curious, parent bands include UV Race, Total Control, Deaf Wish and The Focus. Take note though: Lower Plenty sounds different from all of these bands; less dissonance and more down-tempo honesty. Think acoustic pop – really low key but not under produced.

‘On The Beach’ is a song stripped to its bare bones. It’s soft and drawling, focusing on the minute details of musicianship to show how a good tune can be made up entirely of subtleties. Softly pattering drums, guitars dipped in languor and equally wistful vocals, with lyrics consisting of lamentations and daydreams; ‘On The Beach’ is a fantastic slow burner that eschews sharp peaks or crescendos in favour of graceful meandering.

Lower Plenty are releasing a new LP, Life/Thrills on Bedroom Suck in late June, the follow up to their acclaimed previous effort, Hard Rubbish. I’d keep my eyes on the horizon for this; it’ll be a good’un.


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LISTEN: Martyr Privates – ‘Something to Sell’

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Martyr Privates

With a greater knowledge of tunes than test tubes, Martyr Privates name is surely a play on words with a well-known Brisbane hospital. But it doesn’t matter if they don’t have medical degrees, because the band is a tight musical unit.

Martyr Privates comprises Cameron Hawes (formerly of I Heart Hiroshima and Slug Guts), Sam Dixon and Ashleigh Shipton. The band have been kicking around Brisbane for a while, putting out releases through Bon Voyage and Tenth Court, before finding their current home at Bedroom Suck. This track is a tasty morsel from their upcoming LP due mid-year to be released by the Brisbane based label.

‘Something to Sell’ is a meaty and merciless ode to neglect, parasitic relationships and self-interest. Whether it’s all based on a personal story or is fictional is irrelevant; this is a fine addition to the current batch of Australian murk lingering on the fringes of music and hopefully the whole album follows suit. Until we find out, we’re better off self-medicating to this song a few more times.

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