Posts By Melissa Tan

PREMIERE: Mihra – ‘I Wonder’

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I Wonder - Mihra

Mihra are the latest outfit from new Melbourne label Wigwam. Recently launched in July, the small label houses a diverse selection of bands; psychedelic act My Elephant Ride (who Mihra’s lead Chevaunne Keleher also sings in) – to crash course in experimental pop, Ministry of Plenty. Label owner Nathan Abbey also yarns self-deprecating poetry in the key of Peter Bibby – and throwing Mihra into the mix, it’s a colourful lot. ‘I Wonder’ is the newest track from the jazzy six piece, set to appear on their debut out later this year.

‘I Wonder’ saunters in with a breezy piano hook, the Bossa Nova type that holds in-flight soundtracks and wine grazing tours together. Mihra are aware of the periphery of jazz-pop twee, and tip-toe carefully around it. The band are devoted to their own sincereness and bask in it at times. Vocalist Keleher sings about feigned hope after the end of a relationship, while the bass line politely coaxes a muzak sample as harmonies cross fire in-between. Lyrically, the track is light on the ‘poetic’ side. It’s more of a casual late afternoon muse compared to some of the new ‘future soul’ crowd who divulge in more sonic landscapes, but it’s sweet listening overall. With Keleher’s lead in a different context – I’m not ruling out a quasi shimmy into a JAALA riff/scat-off at some point in the future. 

If you tripped this track over in the street, it’d probably recite you a psalm and cradle your face in its hands, as easy listening does. Politeness is a comfy place for music to be, but Mihra have the foundations to turn up the goods. Looking forward to hearing more – and perhaps watching these guys throw some (syncopative) shade.

Mihra launch ‘I Wonder’ at the Workers Club in Melbourne on the 30th of August, with fellow newcomers Nafasi and Tetrahedra.

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MAP – August 2015

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From the warmer side of this continent are These Guy, who we’ve plucked as the best track out of Aus this month for their unorthodox trop-pop tune ‘Coming Around’.

You can listen to the full list of the best new tracks picked by MAP bloggers below, or grab a zip file of the full 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.


ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Julieta y Los EspíritusEl Látigo (Modex remix)

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This is a song from the new project of Julieta Brotsky (aka July Sky). It’s not the original version from the album, but a great remix released a couple of weeks ago by post-punk band Modex. Julieta’s beautiful voice can also be heard on several tracks by indie-pop band Entre Ríos, and in Varias Artistas, the female ensemble put together by singer-songwriter Lucas Marti.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
These GuyComing Around

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Brisbane trio These Guy was originally the solo project of singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Saxby. Latest track Coming Around combines the lofty vocals and downer lyrics of Saxby’s earlier work. Along with buoyant pop production, the result is a track that’s interesting at every turn. The absence of any kind of rhythm guitar leaves Saxby’s vocals and synth-fiddling to carry the melodic weight of the track. Coming Around is a testament to Saxby’s ear for off-kilter production and hopefully points to a more experimental/avant-pop future for These Guy.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Pequeno CéuQuatro

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Post-rock six-piece Pequeno Céu started as a solo project some years ago before releasing their first album as a band in 2014. Pequeno Céu differs from other math/post-rock ensembles because of the Brazilian influences and simplicity of their short instrumental songs, such as Quatro. For fans of BADBADNOTGOOD, Hurtmold and Tortoise.


Listen to full list below: (more…)

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PREMIERE: Cēas – ‘Atlas’

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‘Atlas’ is the new track by Swedish/Australian artist Cēas (CJ Lofstrom). His previous single ‘Verge’ gave a nod to Standish/Carlyon’s late night confessionals; submerging the seemingly banal with sweeping vocals and slick bass. ‘Atlas’ spurs on his sound even further. The track opens lofty and low; breathing machinations into choral verses before it continues to take on a life of its own.

This video for ‘Atlas’ was filmed by artist Beth Dillon. It follows what looks like the saddest sardine in the Nordic circle, grappling with an existential crisis – or just a lack of daylight I suppose. There’s also some phenomenal cinematography, thanks to Iceland being Iceland.

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‘Atlas’ features on Cēas’ upcoming second EP, Upper Hand.

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PREMIERE: Bahasa Malay – ‘Kasseta’

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Bahasa Malay is the solo project of Bulgarian born, Perth based artist Nora Karailieva.

Karailieva moved from Bulgaria to Montreal in her early teens, and began making music under the guise of Nora Zion. She released two EPs with ALAIZ – a collective of producers located around Laval and the South Shore area of Montreal.

Karailieva’s work has diversified each time she’s made a new home. Since 2013, she’s been based in Perth playing shows with the likes of Mei Saraswati, and pairing up with local musicians – her collaborative record with Leon Osborn via Die High Records one to bookmark. 

While her repose as Nora Zion lent more to experimental R&B stylings, her output as Bahasa Malay explores a much more earthy expanse of sound.

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The video for ‘Kasseta’ was filmed and directed by Karailieva. The video, much like the track is comforting and almost unsettling at once – almost like tuning into a lullaby from the bottom of a metal well. Clinkers and guttural samples tide in time with visuals of powerlines, cathedrals and muted bells. At first listen, it seems like Karailieva’s vocals are at constant discord with the instrumentals but this almost makes it bear the weight of spoken word.

‘Kasseta’ features on Bahasa Malay’s debut album, Balkans. The album was previously released digitally, but will be re-issued as a limited cassette run by the good folk at Pouring Dream.

The track is available as a free download from Pouring Dream’s Bandcamp, right here.

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MAP – July 2015

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Our monthly roundup of the best new tracks from around the world is here again for July, thanks to the Pop Cop and our blog pals from over yonder.
The track we’ve picked for July is a gregarious party tune from Sydney trio, Australia. If you hoard mp3s, then swing a right-click on the song title to download an mp3. Alternatively, you can grab a zip file of the full 16-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Blito y Los IntermitentesA Donde Vas

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Blito y Los Intermitentes released their debut album, Nada, independently this year. Led by singer-songwriter Blito Dojtman, the band’s sound usually starts in acoustic form and then takes different paths through rock, pop and even tango. If you like A Donde Vas, you can download the whole album from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
AustraliaWho R U?

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Contrary to popular belief, winter exists in Australia. Escaping from the cold is easy – we turn to home brewing and gregarious electro-pop. Australia (the band) are striding in the same disco patriotism line of outfits like Total Giovanni and Client Liaison. Cue the energetic side-strut – it’s all anthemic beats and Roxy Music guitar frills in view here. Unless you’re allergic to having a good time, it’s hard not to like this track. The Sydney trio’s debut album, Portraits Of People, Places And Movies, is out in August.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Men I TrustAgain (feat. Ghostly Kisses)

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Montreal electronic collective Men I Trust collaborated with Ghostly Kisses in a beautiful electronic-infused ballad called Again. Local collaborations are huge here in Canada and this one is just so perfect.

CHILE: Super 45
Alejandro ZahlerWaltz Número 7

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Full playlist below…


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PREMIERE: Hideous Towns – ‘Heart Attack’



I saw some shoegaze bands on Thursday night. It’s awesome watching people in the crowd contort their bodies to music, especially when there’s a shrouding wall of reverb covering any semblance of a beat. I can’t dance to this music. If I pull out Stella Luna or revisit a Slowdive record, it’s somewhere with dim lighting and a massive doona where I can revel in being a recumbent, moody fuck.

Anyway, not everyone listens to music in near darkness. Melbourne’s Hideous Towns are back with their new single, ‘Heart Attack’ – a bright follow up to last year’s self titled EP.

It’s crisp track; guitars are tender; drums are hit with economical purpose and Alana’s hopeful vocal traverses in equal stride alongside the rest. There are simple pow-wows in the verse about the parallelisms of love and its undoings. Hideous Towns might have been quick to gratify the shoegaze zeitgeist in their earlier recordings, but their previous EP showed the band’s capacity to be tender and edgy all at once (without drowning in vocal/pedal fanfare).

In ‘Heart Attack’, Hideous Towns turns up the pace of their last release, but keeps the status quo. It’s quite a peppy tune actually. Maybe your new pump-up jam. It doesn’t wade in the euphoric shell pool for much of it, but even for the lack of passiveness here, I would love to hear a bit of Monika Fikerle bite happening in the rhythm section. The guitar stutters have been mixed to a clean pulp around the 2:10 mark, but I dig it. Could wax on about this track and how I’ll probably go for a run and order a pizza afterwards, but you should probably just listen to it.

It’s 2015, but still a great time to be a sad guy/girl with a loud amp.


‘Heart Attack’ is out tomorrow digitally and on vinyl via Lost and Lonesome. The band will be heading out on tour across the country at the end of the month. Dates below.

27th June – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane w/ BottlecockThe Bag Heads

28th June – The Time Machine, Sunshine Coast w/ FlotsamjetsamPermateens

10th July – Hotel Metropolitan, Adelaide w/ The SystemaddictsPonytail Kink

25th July – Oxford Arts Factory, SYDNEY w  /The S-BendsAloha Units, Hunch 

8th August – Bar Open, Melbourne w / Pure MoodsHAWAII94Parading


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Illustrations by Lucy Roleff 

We’ve teamed up with Feral Media for Virtual Mixtape – a series where we ask musicians to create a mixtape based on a genre, artist or theme which they’re passionate about not necessarily associated with.

Our third instalment comes from musician Marcus Whale, known for his work in Collarbones and Black Vanilla. Whale has chosen a selection of tracks from experimental American composer/songwriter Scott Walker, who came to prominence in the late 60s and still receives acclaim for his unorthodox sound musings.



Marcus Whale - Virtual Mixtape - WhoTheHell

Words by Greg Stone: 

Although only in his early twenties, Marcus has been involved in the Sydney music scene for many years. When I first met Marcus, he was sixteen and reviewing for post rock website The Silent Ballet, and writing music under his recently retired Scissor Lock moniker, which over the years evolved from shimmering ambient guitar pieces to processed vocal soundscapes to woozy, sample-heavy electronica.

Marcus is best known as one half of electronic duo Collarbones, or as a member of R’n’B-tinged, dance music upstarts Black Vanilla. But aside from these more pop centric projects, Marcus has also remained heavily involved in the experimental music scene curating and performing at events including the Now Now festival, Underbelly Arts and Electrofringe; releasing works on New Editions and Room 40 imprint A Guide to Saints, and also running his own short-lived label CURT Records.

Considering this dichotomy, it’s rather fitting that Marcus has chosen Scott Walker as his mixtape theme, with Walker himself evolving from 1960’s pop balladeer as front man of the Walker Brothers, to his current status of avant-garde royalty.

For the uninitiated, consider this mixtape your personal guide through Walker’s intriguing musical career; but more importantly take in Whale’s insightful musings on a true artistic pioneer.


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‘It’s Raining Today’ from Scott 3

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The arrangement of the ambivalently atmospheric ‘It’s Raining Today’ from 1967’s Scott 3 is I think proof that you can be both completely dedicated to middle of the road Adult Contemporary radio format, as well as to sonic innovation. The techniques used in the string arrangement mirror that of some contemporary classical composers of the 60s, notably the Polish composer, Penderecki. His great string orchestra work ‘Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima’, written in 1960 has provided a blueprint for countless other composers (and pop musicians) in the ensuing years. How appropriate for a chromatic cluster to turn up on the exact cultural opposite end of the musical spectrum seven years later.


‘Boy Child’ from Scott 4

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‘Boy Child’ is another example of Scott Walker’s tendency toward excessiveness in arrangement, strings drenched in reverb. I’m not sure exactly what ‘Boy Child’ speaks to lyrically, but it feels as if it could only be about the second coming of Jesus, a kind of romantic desolation.


‘The Cockfighter’ from Tilt

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Fast forward almost thirty years to 1995 now, and the form of orchestral soft pop that brought Scott Walker to fame has long faded in popularity. What’s left for Walker, is just the theatre of it – the power of instruments to surround his voice with a world. Notable to me is not necessarily that arrangement in ‘The Cockfighter’ is harsh at times, but more that once Walker prioritised songwriting above aesthetics, his interests immediately took him through zones that required treatments as dark as this. Among fairly dated 90s rock band arrangements are industrially rendered pulses, white noise, squealing strings and horns, uncanny field recordings – all serving to echo Walker’s diabolical vision…


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