Posts By Melissa Tan

GUEST: Ben Montero

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rsz_benmontero_sketchbook2

Yeah, yeah. Ben Montero’s good with his hands. You might already know him as one half of Early Woman or from eponymous pop outfit Montero, the TM Band or the forever excellent Treetops (RIP).

Outside of music, Montero’s an artist. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post, VICE, Desktop Magazine and the Australian Book Review among others. Ariel Pink, Beaches and Pond have even recruited his stuff to sell their wares. Well, he’s just opened his first solo exhibition, ‘SKETCHES’ – featuring over 148 posters, sketches and various lampoonings of the local music scene which Montero’s been a part of for twenty years.

Montero recently worked up a comic for us which covers all the hard hitting issues like free beer, Fred Negro and ‘normcore’ – which should be enough of an incentive for you to get along to the show.

Ben-Montero-WhoTheHell1

SKETCHBOOK is showing at Lamington Drive, Collingwood until the 30th of August.

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PREMIERE: The Townhouses – ‘Magpie’ (Video)

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townhouses

Leigh Hannah has been making tracks under the Townhouses moniker for over five years. ‘Magpie’ is the first single from his new record Ill-Fitting, which will also be the third – and last – full-length Townhouses’ release. While his previous LP Diaspora was slated with themes about displacement,  ’Magpie’ sees a return to the touchpoints of introspection seen on his earlier releases.

Featuring footage of Gippsland’s Corner Inlet, the southernmost occurrence of mangroves on earth, cut against scenes from Apichatpong Weerasethaku’s 2002 Thai romance Blissfully Yours, ‘Magpie’ is an “intimate representation” of Hannah’s “personal anxieties”.

‘Magpie’ might be about restlessness, yet each stagnant phrase and repetitive arpeggio seems to resolve itself – in the same way that closing time music does. I think a younger, suburbia-scrubbed Bill Callahan armed with a vibraphone would have been pleased.

 

Ill-Fitting will be released on cassette and photo zine format on the 23rd of September via Healthy Tapes.

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PREMIERE: MKO – ‘Puddles’

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MKO resize

Brisbane’s MKO sent this song to us a few days ago, describing it as a “sub-aquatic, other-wordly plea”. I don’t know what that means, but it’s probably no coincidence that all your wild ideas and short moments of genius come to fruition when you’re mid shower.

Lathering aside. The arrangement begins sparse. It’s the same way MKO (Hannah Macklin) makes her foray into previous songs – lulling your ears along with that coy vocal, backlit by giddy tryptich beats. Soft R&B twists and turns hold this track by the shoulders, but it’s MKO’s subtle delivery that wins here.

‘Puddles’ is available to purchase via MKO’s Bandcamp from tomorrow.

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MAP July 2014

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MAP has arrived for the month of July. If you’ve been seeking shelter under a proverbial rock during the colder months or just lazy, here’s a good thing to get you reacquainted.

Our submission for Oz this month is ‘Cast of Lines’, the new track from Melbourne expats A Dead Forest Index.

We’ve also been trying out a new format for the MAPcast podcast. Robbie will be exploring local music from a different MAP blog & country each month. This round, he’s hitched on with our pals from Indonesian music blog Deathrockstar to find some good stuff beyond the Bintang singlets and bad tans. Have a listen/ download the podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes.

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 24-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los TirosAutocontrol

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In the past weeks we’ve been listening to Denso y Moderno, the first album by Los Tiros, in a non-stop loop. This band from Quilmes, a city in Greater Buenos Aires, delivers a pop-rock sound with lots of synthesizers and optimistic lyrics. The album has 11 tracks, all potential hits, and Autocontrol is one of them.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
A Dead Forest IndexCast Of Lines

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Cast Of Lines is the new 12″ by Melbourne’s A Dead Forest Index. Released recently through Pop Noire (the label run by Savages’ Jehnny Beth), title track Cast Of Lines is an expansive, meditative piece – a precursor for the band’s unique sound palette which has been praised abroad.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
TMPLVoyij

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TMPL are a relatively new electro-pop duo from Toronto made up of Kevin O’Brien and singer-songwriter Eli Andreas. By new, I mean they have this one song out called Voyij that takes you on an expansive journey of sounds that gets more exciting at every corner.

More tracks after the jump.

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PREMIERE: The Laughing Leaves – ‘Off Our Tree’ EP

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Laughing Leaves - Off Our Tree

Man, this is just like the time The Unicorns dropped acid and went with the thematic naming rights on all that followed. Here is a happy thing for your Monday that is the first stream of the Laughing Leaves‘ new EP, aptly named Off Our Tree.

After recording previous EP Everyday in a shed (legit) in Geelong, this time the band bunked up with Joseph Fairburns and Joel Williams with sessions between the Anglesea Scout Hall and the Dandenong Ranges.

The EP is reckless in approach – and so are Laughing Leaves’ shows – but the band seem to have quelled their patience, if just for twenty minutes.

The formula is familiar enough; the choppy revivalist cuts (‘Growing Up’), cavorting hook and bass (‘Tree People’) and enough good, communal four chord schmuck for Mikey Young to clean up (‘Too Much’).

The band are launching the EP with a show at pop up bar Lulu White’s in St Kilda on the 12th and the 1st of August in Sydney at World Bar with Ross De Chene Hurricanes. Do it.

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MAP May 2014

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Our Aus submission for the Music Alliance Pact this month comes from our boy Yeo, with his seriously catchy track ‘Kobe’. Mapcast Robbie is back with the usual Mapcast podcast this month after returning (almost) unscathed from a ridiculous incident in Thailand where a dog chewed off half his leg (true story.) If you missed it last month, Robbie also recorded a Eurovision spin off featuring MAP tracks. Listen to it HERE.

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 27-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie

Shaman y Los Pilares De La CreaciónTierna Oscuridad

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Tierna Oscuridad is the opening track on Shaman y Los Pilares De La Creación’s second album, released by Concepto Cero, one of La Plata’s finest independent labels. You can hear the whole album via the band’s website. The song is also on the soundtrack for the film Arriba Quemando El Sol, so the sound prevails over the notes, creating a deep atmospheric musical environment.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?

YeoKobe

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A little over a year ago, Melbourne’s Yeo gave his acoustic guitar the flick and turned to a new friend, the keytar. He had some success in 2013 with the dark, whirring Girl and now he’s back with Kobe, the second single from his forthcoming EP. It’s a big step up for the producer: a shining, ambitious pop song with brash synth stabs, jittery percussion and confident R’n'B vocals. Yeo played Canadian Music Week and some US shows this month. If he doesn’t break the North American market first time round, we reckon he’s got a promising future penning tunes for Justin Timberlake.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado

Quarto NegroQuando o Mar Não Vem

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Quarto Negro are about to release their second album and have just brought out a movie about their time in studio, called GRU-PDX. Quando o Mar Não Vem is taken from debut album Desconocidos, released in 2011, and shows the band’s melodic excellence and sensitivity.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts

[MP.G]Black Mesa Rally Cry

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[MP.G] My Pet Genius released Might Strike Satellite in 1996 to much critical acclaim. For the past 17 years they have been recording, mixing, switching studios, re-recording, scrapping and re-mixing hundreds of hours of music that will become the colossal double LP, Empire Of Light. A teaser EP called EMP01 reveals what’s to be expected when Empire Of Light finally arrives this fall.


Listen to the full list of tracks below!

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PREMIERE: Lowtide – ‘Blue Movie’

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Lowtide

Since releasing last single ‘Underneath Tonight’ back in 2011, Melbourne four piece Lowtide have returned with their new track ‘Blue Movie’. It’s obviously not the real deal (sorry fans), although it was probably was only a matter of time before the band named a track to resonate with every slow-burning euphemism used by music journos to describe shoegaze, ie. astral lullabies, torrential walls of guitar, climatic ennui and all the other volitional melancholia that comes with the sort. Plus, the 90s are ‘back’ – all the kids are fornicating to Slowdive again, right? Good.

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The video for ‘Blue Movie’, which features some brilliant bokeh effects & camera work, was directed by Melbourne visual artist Jamieson Moore.

The band are launching the track next Friday, 23rd of May at the Worker’s Club in Melbourne. Lowtide’s self-titled debut will be released via Lost & Lonesome on July 18th. The LP will be be available digitally, but god-damn, buy the vinyl for date night/your euphoric listening pleasure.

 

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