Posts By Melissa Tan

MAP – May 2015

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map

Our Australian MAP selection for May comes from Arvo Tanty - the solo project of Michael Dolan who formerly played in perth. Picture heavy, ostentatious synth accordion draped around your cerebrals in stereo sound. It sounds like luxury. IT IS IGOOD.

Some other gems worth noting include jazzy sounds from Brazil’s Otis Trio, and a track released in 2000 by Copenhagen band Speaker Bite Me which is receiving acclaim in Denmark and its first vinyl release in over fifteen years.

You can grab a zip file of the full 19-track compilation through Dropbox here.

 

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
El GnomoSuicidas Melodías

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This new musical project by Martin Reznik (La Filarmonica Cosmica) almost started as a game in 2012, when he recorded several songs on a weekly basis. Some time afterwards, while reviewing the material, Martin realised he had an album in his hands, so he spent the next months polishing the songs and re-recording some instrumental tracks. He also invited musical friends to participate in what became a folk album with a soft psychedelic vibe. Suicidas Melodías is one of these collaborations, in which singer-sonwriter Sofía Viola lends her wonderful voice. You can download the full album from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Arvo TantyWhite Hum Valley (Hello)

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Arvo Tanty is an introduction to producer Michael Dolan’s solo material, following his work with electronic outfit Perth. White Hum Valley (Hello) is a grandiose, cinematic Casiotone orchestra track where slow, effacing rhythms pulse and dissolve at surface break. Dolan says the song was inspired by Joni Mitchell, Mort Garson’s Plantasia and his yearning to make a “Nintendo soundtrack of some kind”.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Otis TrioMontag’s Dream

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Montag’s Dream, the opening track of Otis Trio’s debut album 74 Club, probably refers to the main character of the novel Fahrenheit 451. The dark jazz they create fits perfectly with the despair related in the book.

 

Listen to full song selections below:

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PREMIERE: Head Clouds – ‘New Light of the Equinox’

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Head Clouds

There’s a place for articulate, indie pop music and the best-of is filed somewhere between the Decemberists and whatever happened during the blow-organ resurgence that was 2005.

If there’s one decent deed you do today to bring it back, give Head Clouds’ earlier EP, Up On Hellfire Ridge, a listen. It’s a sample of the band’s dreamy lyricsm that’s a bit early Augie March and akin to what Midlake might have penned after a weekend bender.

The first track from their new EP, ‘New Light of the Equinox’ is about “new perspectives”, which the band comparatively strings up against guitar flourishes and Jayke Maddison’s pastoral croon: “You rode me into the dust, I was a bull in the new light of the equinox”. 

All the machinations in the first part of the track are comfy, plodding on as you would with the ebb and flow of Satisfactory Indie Rock Song. The guitar syncs with the vocal; the vocal marries the guitar in the verse. This is until the bridge where the track scatters out into an instrumental waltz and the guys start waxing lyrical about telecomms et al. Head Clouds’ sound is incredibly polished for a band who’ve been releasing stuff independently. You get the feeling that the slight cowbell might be abandoned for some crash symbols, Win Butler style at any moment. Lucky, the band are good at showing restraint in song and form – and it’s working in their favour.

Head Clouds are releasing their new EP very, very soon. More info below:

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PREMIERE: Love Migrate – ‘Pippa’s In The Highlands’

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Love-Migrate

This is the first we’ve heard from Love Migrate in over a year – and the newest track from their upcoming EP, Shimmer Through the Night.

According to the band, the song is “devoted to the loss of love”. As Love Migrate usually do, melancholia and old flames are poured all over the lyric sheet. The band always seem to piece the parts back together with earnest though. They do it again here.

In ‘Pippa’s In The Highlands’, there’s a vacant space between Eddie Alexander’s lyrical lines where those stark 4/4 drums become so apparent. It exists only for a fraction of a moment, but feels suspended for much longer. Eddie’s bleak, but tender disposition makes this emptiness seem all more defined. This track is like being slowly coaxed into someone’s bedroom; steered around memory stakes, peering at stuff other’s ex-lovers forgot to collect – and then taking it.

‘Pippa’ seems nice. Wonder what she’s doing now. Catching the last train home. Doing groceries on a Tuesday. Hanging out with someone else in the same bars.
For all star-crossed anxieties, life just goes on (one Kurt Vile riff at a time).

The band have been kept busy in holed up in warehouses, bedrooms and other music making spaces around Melbourne’s northern suburbs recording their new EP. Shimmer Through The Night is out through Flightless/Remote Control on Friday May 22nd.

Love Migrate are launching the EP at the Gasometer Hotel on Thursday the 28th of May with Sunbeam Sound Machine & Crepes.

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PREMIERE: Jarrow – ‘Last Monday’

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jarrow

The name of Dan Oke’s first EP is Legitimate; a credible slice of reassurance every musician needs to know that their music is Out There and in the ears and hearts of the people Dan Oke makes music under the guise of Jarrow. He recorded the EP between his home in Footscray and a beach house in Anglesea. Oke sent us an email last week with this tune, and I’ve spent the rest of the week over his excellent older material flavouring the best-of scuzzy drum machines and Connan Mockasin’s Caramel.

Here’s the internet debut of ‘Last Monday’, so feel spesh everyone. It’s a lo-fi, upbeat strummer, with the treble switch turned up somewhere between Snowy Nasdaq and the dust balls gathering at Fergus Miller’s feet.

According to Oke, the track is about routine consequences of routine drinking on a school night, presumably penned around the Bermuda Triangle of venues (Tote, Gaso, Old Bar).

Support Jarrow by purchasing his debut EP, Legitimate, available on Bandcamp from the 14th of May.

 

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PREMIERE: Kinder – ‘Black and White Burning’

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Kinder

When one revivalist band dies, another springs up in its place (wherever the tambourines and Noel Fielding hairdos go). Some of Melb’s best loved locals have gone onto other ventures, like psych-doom and dabbling with German prose. Instead, pals from some of Melbourne’s hardest working gig guys (The Frowning Clouds, The Messengers & Dirt Farmer) have put their collective riff hands together and formed Kinder. This new single is the follow up to ‘Fall Back Down’, released in October last year. ‘Black and White Burning’ isn’t a lesson in literary torching, isn’t a chiaroscuro STI – but a track with some some potent pop hooks and generous hums all over. It’s a bit Bad Dreams, a little bit ‘nouj.

Kinder have been keeping busy, playing plenty of shows. The band’s debut LP Dorigo Rise will be released this year.

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VIRTUAL MIXTAPE: Tim Shiel

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WhoTheHell-2

Illustration by Lucy Roleff

In our new series with Feral Media, we’ve asked a handful of Aus musicians to curate a mix featuring tracks from a genre they’re not associated with, but passionate about. Jonathan Boulet made us a doom-rock listicle in our first instalment (which you can read about here). Our second guest is producer, radio host, gaming mozart + longtime WTH favourite, Tim Shiel.

 

timshiel-whothehell-virtualmixtape

Words by Greg Stone

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Tim Shiel began his music career releasing sample-based electronica under his Faux Pas alias. Taking cues from luminaries such as DJ Shadow, RJD2 and The Avalanches, his debut full length Entropy Begins at Home was a playful collage of bouncy electronica stitched together with a sense of humour that has remained at the heart of Tim’s music ever since.

After 3 albums and a slew of singles, EPs & remixes the Faux Pas moniker was retired with Shiel deciding to continue releasing music under his given names, most notably scoring the highly successful mobile-based video game Duet which has since spawned a remix album and most recently Duet: Encore Chapters. Tim’s music career took an extreme turn in 2011/2012 as a member of Gotye’s touring band which took in sold out tours of the U.S. and Europe, festival appearances, as well as the U.S. late night TV circuit. This relationship with Gotye’s Wally De Backer recently led the two to create fledgling record label Spirit Level, releasing the amazing sophomore album by Vermont-based band Zammuto.

His latest musical project is the self-proclaimed ‘emotional pop duo’ Telling with singer/songwriter Ben Abraham, which finds Tim steering his electronic production in a more song-based direction. 

In amongst all of this, Tim also finds time to host the radio show Something More on Double J & Triple J, where he explores the eclectic and intriguing world of contemporary electronic/experimental music.

For the second instalment of Virtual Mixtape, Tim has chosen (for want of a better term), modern folk. In his own words, “It’s not folktronica and it’s not freak folk. It’s just a brand of evocative, dreamy folk music that I’m really drawn to and have been for many years.” Furthermore, all of Tim’s selections come from Australian artists – a testament to the quality of music being created on our fair shores.

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Lisa Salvo – ‘Give Me Your Love’

Lisa’s songs are unassuming and thoughtful, and so are the arrangements on all the tracks on her most recent album which she produced with Joe Talia. Her voice is equal parts virtuosity and restraint, her melodies always interesting but never showy. I think this song is truly gorgeous and at times its little more than a shaker and a bass drone, and Lisa’s pure, intimate voice melting through it all.

Fieldings – ‘Idioglossia’

I’m really drawn to all the tracks that Fieldings has put out so far. They are simple folk songs that occasionally open a door to something more psychedelic, these tiny moments of sound design that hint at a kind of dream logic – and then snap you back to earth, back to acoustic guitars and old faithful harmonies. She says she is trying to capture “those moments where the mundane becomes sublime” and I can’t really put it any better than that.

Lucy Roleff - ‘Bodies’

Lucy’s voice is just stunning – I really love what she’s been doing with Alex as Magic Hands, but I’m utterly spellbound by some of what she’s put out just under her own name. I love that, like everyone else on this, she seems to be channeling a kind of folk music that has nothing to do with banjos or mandolins or beards or Mumfords – an idea of folk music that is more universal, that kind of story- telling that existed before popular music, before rock, blues, country etc. Timeless music.

 

Aphir - ‘Hypersephone’

I met Aphir after seeing her play at a little bar in Melbourne last year – she’d just pulled off a forty set of completely a capella music that I’d been completely entranced by. Hers is a kind of digital medieval choral music – hyper-real, borrowing the harmonic ideas of medieval choral composers and sending them echoing through a kind of virtual cathedral space, to create this kind of futuristic religious music. In amongst all that her stories are personal and compelling. Her sound is so unique and so clear.

The Orbweavers – ‘Loom’

Stuart & Marita are literally the sweetest people I have ever met, and they make beautiful music together. I love that they sing about my hometown and about its history, that they are inspired by local stories and local histories. They create haunting and detailed little worlds and again they litter their songs with these quietly epic moments of grandeur that hint at a kind of fantastical dream world – I love that they can create such beautiful, gorgeous pieces about topics that some might consider mundane; the rivers, suburbs and history of Melbourne.

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Brighter Later – ‘The Woods’

The Wolves is one of my favourite Australian albums from recent years. The arrangements are so rich, its amazing to think about how much love was poured into each track on this album. Its not easy to make such hard work sound so effortless. This track in particular is full of delicious details and left turns – but its Jay’s voice that is the big hook for me, she sounds so gorgeous and strange. I could listen to her sing all day. Jaye is also an amazing radio producer who has done some very creative work with Radio National, which obviously counts for serious bonus points with me.

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PREMIERE: Human Face – ‘Bottom of the Hill’ video

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human-face
Session bands too often make the best prototypes for other bands (too long in the shadows, right?). Jumping from a dub reggae jam band to synth-pop doesn’t seem that hard to fathom, but surely the odd urge surfaces. Human Face first started as an avenue for Dan Marsh to venture outside the bounds of his previous role in reggae outfit, The Red Eyes.

The Melbourne outfit are releasing a record in a few months, featuring collaborations with a roll call of Australia’s pop best – Ainslie Wills, Tommy Spender (Spender), Jaye Kranz (Brighter Later), Hailey Cramer and Evan Tweedie (Husky).

Their new video, ‘Bottom of the Hill’, was filmed by the band at Mt Macedon in Victoria. Like the location of the clip, there’s something kind of brooding and redemptive about this track, with its springboard synths and hollowed vocal – “My body’s just a shell at the bottom of the hill, where the wind picks up the dust and draws a line”.

Slowed down at half-speed, the lyrics and rural setting of the clip easily conjures this chirpy synth number into something more sinister. We’ll leave it as friendly pop for now.

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Human Face are playing the Spotted Mallard on Wednesday April 22nd.

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