Features

GUEST: Palms x Gooch Palms

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Palms and Gooch Palms have more in common besides naming rights to subtropical plants. Leroy from the Gooch Palms was previously Palms’ bassist. Both outfits have featured on the previous Nuggets Compilation, have contributed to each other’s albums and recently set out during March for ‘Palmarama’ tour; violating personal space and every major Australian monument in their path (giant Cottlesloe goon bag below).

Words and photos by Palms.

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Approaching the tour, Brendan was too excited by Palmarama to practice Palms’ songs. He was moved to express himself with art.

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These were our touring buddies: Leroy MacQueen of the Gooch Palms

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And Kat Friend of the Gooch Palms.

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Together, Palms and the Goochies played some of Australia’s premier live music venues…

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Connecting with new fans..and charming the ladies…
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By day, we would visit important monuments to Australian culture.
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And by night we would practice dance moves that are currently very popular.
Over four weeks both bands grew to know one another very intimately.

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And the temptation was there to form an inevitably world famous supergroup, and tour together forever – but the Gooch Palms are committed to the charms of their home town, Newcastle.

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So for now, us Sydney boys will stick with what we know best —which is hugging and kissing in bed.

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Palms’ Step Brothers is out via Spunk Records and the Gooch Palms’ latest Novo can be purchased via their Bandcamp. Buy both records here and here.

Palms – Facebook / Twitter / Web

Gooch Palms – Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

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FEATURE: Camp A Low Hum 2014

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Words: Ed Gorwell 

Photos: Bec Capp

When you lose someone, all of a sudden you have to speak about them in the past tense. It feels weird. This was the eighth, and final Camp A Low Hum. Redolent of 2008‘s ‘Muddy Meredith’, constant rain hung over this year’s Camp A Low Hum, dubbed ‘Camp A No Sun’. Although festival founder and curator Ian ‘Blink’ Jorgensen lamented and apologised for the shit weather, I thought the rain worked to evoke a camaraderie and defiance in the punters.

Camp A Low Hum is one of those rare festivals that is as much about community it is about music. It’s staged in an old scout camp near Wellington. There’s no backstage. No media pit. It’s BYO and the line-up isn’t announced until gates open. While Camp A Low Hum features a spattering of international bands during it’s eight year run, the main focus is on New Zealand and Australian talent.

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An on-the-fly wet weather timetable this year saw some of the stages close, while many bands were relocated and rescheduled. The ‘Renegade Room’, a do-it-yourself stage equipped with amps and instruments where budding musicians could give their tunes a burl, doubled as a sleepover zone for campers whose tents had flooded.Though I was disappointed that I never got to check out the mythic ‘Journey’ stage (set somewhere high in the hills beyond a river crossing), the impromptu timetable seemed to fit the event’s DIY ethos.

A drizzly forest show among the pine trees suited Seagull. Back to back sets from Collarbones, Guerre, Rainbow Chan and Black Vanilla had campers grooving at the lagoon stage on Saturday, where a few people went swimming because they were wet anyway. Mesa Cosa, with some vicious tambourine accompaniment from Scotdrakula’s Dove and Matt, had campers actually swinging from the rafters in the ‘Noisy Room’. A guy kept offering me beers too. That was nice of him.

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Other highlights:

When Kangaroo Skull brought a strobe light to the forest. When Bare Grillz were really good even though Matthew had a fractured wrist and had to play one-handed synth instead of two-handed guitar. Seeing Day Ravies at the after-party even though we missed them at the festival. They made my hangover go away. The crowd amassing in a spontaneous group-hug during Kirin J Callinan and Liam Finn’s collaborative rendition of ‘Total Eclipse of The Heart’. Magic stuff.

So much more happened and I documented the whole thing on film. A few weeks later, robbers broke into our car and stole the bag that had all my film from the festival in it. Our water-resistant photographer, Bec Capp was on a lucky streak though.These are her pictures from the final Camp A Low Hum.

 

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MAP March 2014

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Our submission for the MAP March edition comes from Yon Yonson with their track ‘Culver City’. If you haven’t heard the full record, do yourself a favour and listen to the album stream, stat. Alternatively, if you like what you hear and would prefer to listen to the record set to photos of musicians in traditional Mongolian costumes trying to have it at each other, check it out Yon Yonson’s photo set from their Siberian travels on our blog.

On the subject of voyaging, if you know of any Australian bands residing in the general UK/EU region, we’d love to hear from you. Mail us – editors@whothehell.net. 

FInally, if 28kbps isn’t doing you any favours and you ain’t got time to listen to the full MAP compilation this month, our very own Robbie Ingrisano hosts the MAPCAST podcast – a quick bite of the best from this month’s MAP list. Stream/free download the podcast at our Soundcloud.

 

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
PleinMadera & Fuego

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Plein started almost seven years ago as an excuse for a group of friends to gather and play their favorite songs. After several years of playing live and participating in different compilation albums, this indie-rock band from Buenos Aires released their first record in 2012, with songs recorded using a method of pre-established rules inspired by Lars von Trier’s film The Five Obstructions. Madera & Fuego is taken from their 2014 EP Número Uno.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Yon YonsonCulver City

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Childhood friends Andrew Kuo and Nathan Saad are Yon Yonson, an experimental pop duo from Sydney. Their sound is ambitious and unpredictable – listen no further than their latest release Hypomantra to understand. As the band designed the record to be played as a continuous set, each track on the record is incredibly malleable, both in sound and score. Culver City, with its origami beat samples, is a glimpse of Yon Yonson’s standout oddities which show that this talented duo’s output is just as diverse as their intention.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The This Many Boyfriends ClubOnly Trying

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“We are a mercurial bunch,” says Casimir Frederic Coquette Kaplan, guitarist and vocalist for The This Many Boyfriends Club, since by the time you hear Only Trying, vocalist Veronica Danger Winslow-Danger will have sung her last lo-fi “dandy punk” show with the band. A new single will also be up for the offering, signalling yet another shift for this ever-evolving Montreal band. I’ll follow this club wherever they want to lead me. You will too.

CHILE: Super 45
Cóndor JetIgual Que Ayer

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Antonio Favero, Nicole L’Huillier and Tomás Vidal are Cóndor Jet, a trio that has refreshed the indie-rock scene in this country. They play psychedelic dream-pop, so they were a perfect fit to open for Tame Impala last October in Chile. Igual Que Ayer is taken from their debut album Anillos.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
GoliTú y Yo

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Goli is the project of Sara Rodas, born in Medellín, who is remembered for being the singer of synth-pop group Mr. Bleat. Now Sara shows us her other side, in which we perceive something more intimate and romantic. Tú y Yo is taken from her debut album released this month. Don’t miss the limited edition handwoven version.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Shiny DarklyDead Stars

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This edition of MAP marks my fifth anniversary as Denmark’s representative in this great music blog alliance. It’s a special occasion so I’m happy to be able to mark it with a track from some of my all time favorites, Shiny Darkly, who will release their long-awaited (and excellent, I might add) full-length debut, Little Earth, in Denmark on March 31 and internationally on May 5. A MAP exclusive download, Dead Stars is the nine-plus minutes of awesome post-punk album closer.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Sin Fin, Realidad & Lugo SantiagoLa Expropiación Legal

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Several hip-hop artists united to record a tribute album for Juan Antonio Alix (available as a free download on the link above), one of the most influential poets of the Dominican Republic and a master of “décimas”, ten-line poems that usually satirize social, political and religious themes. One of the poems, La Expropiación Legal (written in 1876), attacks communism directly, accusing the government of seizing private properties for their own benefit. Rappers Sin Fin, Realidad and Lugo Santiago add their rhyming skills to turn this song into one of the most memorable moments in the album.

 

Hit ‘read more’ for the full list.

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SEQUENCE: D.D Dumbo

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For those of you unacquainted, Castlemaine is a country centre that’s about an hour’s drive west of Melbourne. Situated between Ballarat and the Victorian capital, it once was a town fuelled by gold, then left to fend for itself after the hordes of new money left.In 2014 it still remains as a country centre, but it’s evaded the plastic re-hash of most urban centres. It isn’t mall-i-fied, and nor does it rely upon an antiquated mirage of ‘colonial heritage’ to get tourist dollars in. It is this town that now lays claim to DD Dumbo (aka. Oliver Hugh Perry).

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MAP – January 2013

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MAP – the giant worldly music compilation behemoth we’ve helped chip at for 5 years has arrived again for January. Cool tunes from where your ears wouldn’t usually take you. Argentina and India’s picks are particularly impressive this month. Also, if you haven’t heard our recent MAPCAST wrap-up podcast from Robbie, scoot over to our Soundcloud.

We choose our MAP submissions by the 25th of each month. If you’re an Australian artist and think that the folks from Brazil to Iceland should hear your stuff, submissions are welcome – editors@whothehell.net.

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.

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ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
QueridasDrama Bomb

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Andrés Yeah is the lead guitarist of Mi Nave, an up-and-coming band from Rosario’s independent music scene. Queridas is his solo project, full of songs with melancholy, reverb and shoegaze guitars. Drama Bombo is one of our favorites.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Head CloudsMirror’s Image

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Head Clouds are a Gold Coast band who have been busy working on their debut LP for more than a year. Mirror’s Image may be the first track we’ve heard from them but it’s definitely no wallflower. Jaykke Maddison is a less erratic version of Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe; there’s hardly room for shirking away with that falsetto. A glorious trumpet crescendo and thoughtful lyricism lights up this track. A band to watch.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
BoogarinsLucifernandis

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Os Mutantes, the psychedelic tropical band from the 60s, is one of the main influences of Boogarins, besides affinities with contemporary artists such as Tame Impala and Of Montreal. Lucifernandis is the opening song of their debut album, As Plantas Que Curam, released in 2013.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
TeledromeBoyfriend

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Calgary, Alberta, best known as the home of an annual Stampede and being firmly rooted in cowboy culture, may be the last place you’d expect a synth-based power-pop-punk outfit to emerge from. But Teledrome is the latest cultural contradiction to come from Cowtown, and perhaps one of its finest. Boyfriend is a sample of the synth-laced solemnity offered up on their soon-to-be-released album.

CHILE: Super 45
Kinetica & MotivadoHoy Quiero

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Kinetica & Motivado brings together Chilean producers Emiliana Araya and Mario Martinez. Although we have previously highlighted both projects separately, their joint work deserves its own limelight. Mixing Kinetica’s mysterious, nocturnal vocals with Motivado’s tropical beats, their collaboration gives rise to sensual, intelligent electronic music. Their first single, Hoy Quiero, was released on Chilean label Discos Pegaos.

Click below to hear the full playlist.

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LISTEN: Seagull – ‘Written Word’

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It was raining on the beach yet our Austrian visitors still decided to swim naked. On the drive home, we listened to Seagull’s new album Ocean From Above. Through the car’s air conditioner, I could smell that someone was burning off in the distance. As we crossed over the West Gate, I tried to place Seagull’s sound. There’s a little bit of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy in there, a little bit of Sleep Decade, of Elliot Smith. As the album progressed I often felt as if I was listening to a darker version of Low; a haunting melody slowly (always slowly!), shifting with that typical Kishore Ryan (Kid Sam, Otouto) minimalist-style drumming.

Yet, Written Word – and the album as a whole strays into ambience much more than it ever does into darkness, or dissonance. Take the vocal track on WW, about two minutes in that cuts and loops over itself after Christopher Bolton mutters: “Soon enough, I’ll be on medication”.  And to say that WW is dark is to discredit the odd bits of humour that surface in Seagull’s lyrics. Bolton pauses as he sings “The end of our connection / came with The Age…. of civilisation”, as if to play on the image of society’s severed connections arriving with the morning paper.

As we reached home, unpacked the esky and the blankets, it struck me that Seagull doesn’t necessarily remind me of a particular band, but a mood. There’s a certain sadness inherent in their sound, in those delicate guitars and sparse melody lines. Yet Seagull don’t offer colossal, cathartic finishes. Rather, their form of sadness hangs around in an anti-climactic, repressed manner. And, as the opening seconds of WW started up, as Bolton’s voice began to waver, the only thing I can think of were naked Austrians running into the water, a long drive home and the smell of burning wood.

 

Listen to Ocean From Above in full here.

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