Features

LOOK: Sunbeam Sound Machine

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Sunbeam Sound Machine did the Melbourne to Sydney run last week, playing a show and stopping over at FBi Radio on the way. Lachlan, their drummer is handy with a cam and took some snaps for us. The band have been busy working on their debut album which lead vocalist Nick Sowersby received an Australia Council recording grant for.

Sunbeam Sound Machine are playing their first headline show in a year tonight at Shebeen in Melbourne, with supports from I, A ManHollow Everdaze & Chips Callipso. Tickets are available here.

The band’s debut LP Wonderer is out in November through Dot Dash / Remote Control.

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Nick Allbrook: “It’s just doing a dumb performance for people wanting to have fun”

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Nick Allbrook_

Thanks to a calendar mix up, I was late to this interview with Nicholas Allbrook (of POND, Mink Mussel Creek and Allbrook/Avery).  He’s just released a solo album called Ganough, Wallis and Fortuna, so luckily I cut out the long part at the start of our chat – which was just me apologising profusely and Nick having to reassure me that everything was fine and that he was totally chill. Nick had been drawing on the whiteboard but wiped it clean before I got there. When I told him I would have liked the see his drawings, he talked about these monks who had once come to his school who’d done beautiful intricate sand paintings and then tipped them into the ocean and that he liked that idea. This is totally the kind of thing you’d like to think someone as thoughtful, nervous, and interesting as Nick Allbrook would be into.

ML: You got here yesterday right?

NA: I saw Felicity Groom who was great, but it’s all a bit overwhelming to stay out. Even though I wanna see bands I just can’t, it’s too much.

Even just like walking in here (the Judith Wright Centre, hub of BIGSOUND activity)…

It’s fuckin’ weird hey? You gotta like, say the same thing to everyone cause that’s all people know.

Is this the start of a tour for you?

Nah, just the one show. I’ve been doing a few shows at home in Melbourne.

How’ve they been?

Somewhere between enjoyable and horribly painful.

‘Whispers of Beauty’ sounds very…’Pond-y’ to me. Was that written early?

I guess it’s as much ‘Pond-y’ as anything else is ‘Nick Allbrook-y’. The only difference is the little name that shows up in Streetpress. It’s all the same. There’s no division from what is Pond, and what is me. It just gets put on a different… saleable unit.

I guess with one you get to work on with your mates a bit more.

Exactly. Though I can still work on ‘Nicholas Allbrook’, I’m doing the quotation mark thing with my mates. All the Pond dudes helped me on various songs. That’s what I’m talking about, why the labelling of stuff is so bizarre. I played drums on one of Joe’s ‘solo’ album songs and it’s weird, it’s all just the same stuff.

Does recording at home help you feel more comfortable?

Sort of. I kind of had to make a sanctified space to make it feel less comfortable; to make it feel like I was there for a reason. When I had my recording doohickies in my room it just doesn’t even…I don’t even do anything. Or I do, and there’s an overly casual no-end-to-it kind of feeling like ‘this is just a shitty demo, it’s just something I’m doing just next to my bed, why make it good?’

Do you feel like you make better music when you’re under pressure?

I don’t think there’s any. Sometimes pressure would work definitely. Especially in an improvisational way, but sometimes I’ll just be like sitting around relaxing and something good will happen. There’s no rules.

And are you approaching the shows in a bit more of a low-key way than with Pond?

Yeah absolutely. It’s not as much of a festival, a spectacle. And ’cause I’m you know, alone – you don’t just wanna. I get very nervous about putting yourself out there like, ‘It’s Nicholas Allbrook! Lights, camera! Everyone look at this guy!’

I just can’t help but underplaying it a lot. Probably the same reason I wear slippers every day. Don’t want to just be strutting around in Cuban heels. I’d feel uncomfortable.

 

(read the full interview below)

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MAP September 2014

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Another month, another round of MAP! September’s submission for Aus is ‘Life Tourist’ from Foreign/National; proof that this country still wrings a good guitar hook out every once in a while. If you’re local and like what you hear – Foreign/National rounds up a wonderfully curated lineup for Paradise Music Festival in Victoria in November. In its second year, the festival also features Oscar Key Sung, Kirin J. Callinan, Banoffee and Lucianblomkamp on the bill. Tickets are available here.

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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 21-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los GongsSuicidas

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Suicidas is a brand new track from Los Gongs’ sophomore album, Volumen 2. This young, promising band from Buenos Aires takes us back to the folk-rock, kraut and psychedelic sounds of the 60s and 70s. It was recorded at Ion, one of the few studios in Argentina that still offers a completely analog recording environment.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Foreign/NationalLife Tourist

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Five-piece Foreign/National was formed by brothers Mark and Sean Gage in their hometown on the Mornington Peninsula, a short drive south of Melbourne. The band has released three singles since November last year, attracting their fair share of attention from the music blogosphere. On latest offering Life Tourist, the lyrics offer a harsh counterpoint (“What’s your motherfuckin’ problem?”) to the band’s signature blend of psych-pop and tropicalia. It’s a cheerful, off-kilter sound that falls somewhere on the spectrum between Django Django and Os Mutantes. Foreign/National’s debut EP will be out on Downtime later this month.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Moreno VelosoUm Passo À Frente

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Moreno Veloso, the eldest son of Caetano Veloso, released his first studio album this year, Coisa Boa. Um Passo À Frente, the first single from it, is an indie-samba song that reflects the easygoing mood of the record.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
D-SisiveJonah Hill

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Toronto rapper D-Sisive describes his own biopic and reveals who would be the ideal person to play him. Despite being seemingly ridiculous, this track may be his best yet.

CHILE: Super 45
BernarditaHojas

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Bernardita (Martínez) took some songs that her friend and fellow musician Felipe Cadenasso had kept for years and included them in her self-titled debut album. Hojas (“Leaves”) is a melancholic song that allows the listener to experience the intimacy of the recording. It’s fresh, warm and sweet. Just as the leaves fall to the ground during autumn you will fall for this track.

(Keep scrolling for the full list of tracks.)

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MAP August 2014

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MAP is here for the month of August, Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues representing Australia this time around with their languid, ‘twee-gaze’ debut, ‘Seilu’.

Don’t forget to stream or download Robbie’s MAP podcasts via Soundcloud or iTunes. There’s a new MAPcast coming your way soon, focusing this month on the sounds of Mexico.

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 22-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Como Diamantes TelepáticosSoñar Soñar

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The name of the band comes from an Allen Ginsberg quote about the writings of his friend Jack Kerouac (“Each book by Kerouac is unique, a telepathic diamond”). This song by Como Diamantes Telepáticos is the first single from Dorado, their second studio album, in which they explore a more experimental psychedelic pop sound and mysterious lyrics. The album is available in physical format and as a free download from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Blonde TonguesSeilu

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Seilu, the new single from Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues, is a piece of dream-pop with serious emotional pull drawn from slow-build instrumentals and spacey flares of lead guitar. A track about contradictions, thought patterns and lines of friendship, Seilu is coy and seductive rather than brash. There’s no doubt Blonde Tongues still have plenty more depths to reveal in their sound.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Banda do MarHey Nana

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Banda do Mar is a project by Marcelo Camelo (former singer of Los Hermanos, one of the biggest Brazilian bands from the last decade), Mallu Magalhães (Brazil’s biggest hype from the MySpace era) and Fred Pinto (Portuguese musician, member of Buraka Som Sistema and Orelha Negra). Hey Nana is their first single, bringing summer early with a catchy melody and some beachy vibes.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Slight BirchingCurrency

Sean Travis Ramsay makes neo-folk tunes under the name Slight Birching. His latest single Currency reveals a slight eerieness created by a haunting pedal steel and unique guitar twangs as Ramsay ponders a larger meaning in life.

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LOOK: Geoffrey O’Connor – ‘Her Name on Every Tongue’ single launch

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A few weeks ago Melbourne venue the Tote played host to the launch of Geoffrey O’Connor’s ’Her Name on Every Tongue’. The track is the second single from his sophomore solo album, Fan Fiction - ‘eleven adult contemporary disco hits’, out now on digital, CD and ‘deluxe gold vinyl’ via Chapter Music.

Supporting him were White Hex, a handsome duo whose latest album Gold Nights melds Italo-disco with proto-punk; Terrible Truths, a Melbourne-via-Adelaide post-punk three-piece, who will release an album via Bedroom Suck later this year; and newcomers Gold Class, doing their finest Ian Curtis impersonations.

Terrible Truths’ own Stacey Wilson (Rites Wild, Regional Curse), who also heads underground label Heavy Lows, took some photos for us on 35mm film. Check out Terrible Truths’ new single below, and eyeball more of Stacey’s work on her website.

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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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