New Music

MAP – January 2016

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Here’s another round of new tunes from our blog friends around the globe. White Lodge is our Australian submission this month, serving up some loose vibes with their track ‘Bleach Coma’.

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 15-track compilation through Dropbox here.

 

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Sebasti·n KramerAbsolutos Principiantes

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2016 started with sad news about the passing of rock legend David Bowie, so we thought it would be a good time to share this cover of Absolute Beginners. It was recorded 10 years ago by Sebasti·n Kramer, former member of Jaime Sin Tierra, for a Bowie tribute album by independent netlabel Licor de Mono. Long live the Thin White Duke!

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
White LodgeBleach Coma

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Brisbane four-piece White Lodge have been busy the last few years, touring Taiwan with acclaimed Taipei-based band Forests, and supporting the likes of The Growlers and Thee Oh Sees on tour. Their latest single, Bleach Coma, serves up equal parts Brylcreem, surf scuzz and a dose of relentless psych-garage peddling. When artful balladry or an experimental noise opus just doesn’t cut it, White Lodge proves you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to have a good time.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Elza SoaresMaria Da Vila Matilde

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Maria Da Vila Matilde is one of the strongest tracks on A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo, the acclaimed album released by Elza Soares in 2015. At 78 years old, this is her 34th album. This song has an experimental approach of samba, rock and jazz, and lyrics about a woman rising against domestic violence.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
MerivalA Better Deal

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First Rate People’s Anna Horvath is releasing solo music under the moniker Merival. You may recognize her voice from Swim Good’s song Since U Asked, which was featured in Ryan Hemsworth’s label Secret Songs and remixed by Star Slinger a while back. Now swing back with the gorgeous folk tune A Better Deal.

CHILE: Super 45
Oso El RotoOrdenacion

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To define Oso El Roto in a musical genre may be problematic. At the same time, it’s one of the best indications that we have something interesting on our hands. In Ekeko, his most recent record, Oso El Roto aka David Loayza is loyal to his own lo-fi style, developed during the 90s, which is characterized by absurdity, madness and childishness, and all amplified in his bizarre live shows. Ordenacion (featuring Dadal˙) is brand new for 2016.

(Listen to the full playlist below). 

 

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LISTEN: Free Time – ‘Who Owns the Moon’

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free time

Free Time is a one-quarter NYC, three-quarters Melbourne outfit headed by Dion Nania, who you might recognise as the former front man of Panel of Judges. Nania has been loitering around in the big apple for a few years, but since he touched back down in Melbourne, Free Time have been playing a few precious gigs here and there, most recently closing out Bedroom Suck Records’ Melbourne Music Week Bike Ride. They’re gearing up for an album release later this year, following on from their self-titled debut and a 7″ released through Underwater Peoples in 2014.

Their latest single, ‘Who Owns the Moon’, has musical touchstones in a bunch of local talent – and looking at the line-up here, that’s no surprise at all: Free Time is about the closest thing Melbourne’s got to a supergroup. Martin Frawley from Twerps on bass? Totally Mild’s Zach Schneider on lead?! Terrible Truths’ Joe Alexander on drums!?! Oh my stars.

Free Time is harnessing some of 2015’s golden boys of sick tunes, and on ‘Who Owns the Moon’, it’s nice to see they’re not just along for the ride – each brings their distinctive style to the picture, while thankfully not overpowering Nania’s vibes. Schneider’s wobbly, high-necked plucking is out in full force, plus Frawley and Nania work in tandem for a cooing, nasal vocal delivery (which sounds bad, but isn’t).

Free Time’s second album, In Search of Free Time, will be out in mid-2016.

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EXPAT: Bad Tropes, Berlin

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bad_tropes_4

Bad Tropes are Luke Troynar and Jonny Zoum; two Melbourne expats who’ve been developing their brand of subtle, acoustic pop in Berlin. The 35mm film photos below were taken by the duo (and a patient friend) in the studio and at some of the band’s favourite haunts around the city.

Empty spaces become amplified when you’re wandering through the city between late night and early hours of the morning – and these photographs capture that same quality found in the duo’s minimal sound. Bad Tropes skim from introspective acoustic moments to darker pop sensibilities. There’s hardly a drum fill to be found (sometimes a good thing) and lots of contemplative blank space to mull over. It’s hard to decipher whether the vanity pursuit the guys sing about on ‘Pretty Won’t Rust’ is trying to make a point or just poetic sarcasm, but it’s a chilled tune nonetheless.

Bad Tropes are working on their forthcoming LP, to be released in April on Wait! What? Records.

bad_tropes_6bad_tropes_3  bad_tropes_5  bad_tropes_7 bad_tropes_8 bad_tropes_9 bad_tropes_11

 

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VIRTUAL MIXTAPE: Making

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Virtual-Mixtape_Lucy-Roleff

Illustrations by Lucy Roleff 

Sydney trio Making have been crushing skulls on the Sydney live music scene for a few years now, and after a number of setbacks their full-length debut Highlife was released via Trait Records in September this year.

Following on from their debut EP and a couple of standalone singlesHighlife is a decidedly darker affair full of discordant guitar, razor sharp bass lines and complex rhythms. The album is an uncompromising aural assault, showcasing the band’s evolution both sonically and technically.

Fans of My Disco, Ohana and New York band Extra Life take note; Making are your new favourite band.

For the fifth instalment of the Virtual Mixtape series, the trio reminisce on avant-rap royalty Kool Keith and his somewhat chaotic discography.

making-illustration-lucy-roleff

Making:

Kool Keith is a pretty hard sell in the current rap climate – most people are into Drake and Rich Gang (so are we), but sometimes you need to go a bit more fringe. This video is probably the best intro – really let yourself become acclimatised to the logic at play here. 

Kool Keith – ’98 Year Old Refrigerator’:

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About ten years ago I (Pete) became aware of Dr. Octagon. I think I ended up picking up Dr. Dooom next (check out his ongoing obsession with food…) The vibe here is split destroying the rap game (this track, ‘You Live At Home With Your Mom’ etc.) and brutal serial killer (‘Apartment 223’ etc.). Key line:

“Your fans are mad – your performance was garbage bag,

Look at these videotapes,

Walkin back and forth grabbin’ your nuts like the Planet of the Apes”

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PREMIERE: Francis Plagne – ‘Hearing Every Drop’

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francis plagne

Francis Plagne’s last solo album, Tenth Volume of Maps, was released back in 2011. A curious mix of classical abstraction, musique concrete and prog folk, the LP became, in certain circles, a coveted piece of underground pop. Since then, he’s collaborated with local experimental outfits – most recently joining Food Court to record two highly impressionistic versions of a 14th-century choral arrangement by Solage – and convened ensembles to perform works by contemporary avant-garde composers.

Plagne’s now gearing up to release Funeral Mutes, a new collection of deconstructed chamber pop, on his own Mould Museum imprint early next year. First single ‘Hearing Every Drop’ is an uneasy, wheeling thing. It spirals round a central melodic phrase, withholding resolution, unwinding and rebuilding itself as it goes. The video comprises a series of tableaux vivants enacting scenes from the old masters. The contours of light and shade, and the actors’ taut bodies and twisted limbs, match Plagne’s vivid, surrealist lyrics (“the tables on the beach that day/rose ring of paint crumpled pages of the sea/break its chill delay…”).

 

Don’t be put off by Plagne’s high-brow references; these are pop structures, pretty and playful. He holds your attention, however, by subtly undercutting expectations, leaving his songs teetering on the verge of the uncanny.

Funeral Mutes is out on 9 January. The album launch is from 7 PM that day at Eastmint Studios in Northcote, with support from Oren Ambarchi and Crys Cole, Tim Coster, and Mad Nanna’s Pat O’Brien.

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MAP: December 2015

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JAALA_2_Jess Gleeson

2015 is done, and it’s been an excellent half-decade for tunes from all our MAP friends around the world. Our final submission for the year comes from the delightful Cosima Jaala who’s almost left Mangelwurzel in shadow with the debut record from her solo project, JAALA
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On the subject of solo projects, if you’re wondering where Operator Please fizzled out to since temporarily insulting everyone’s musical memory with that song ten years ago, lead singer Amanda Wilkinson has has relocated to Glasgow and popped up as Scotland’s MAP pick this month – teaming up with Dananananaykroyd drummer John Baillie Jnr for a Christmas cover.

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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 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Rubin y Los SubtituladosAdiós, Torino

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This year marked Zonaindie’s 10th birthday, so for this last MAP of 2015 we wanted to share a track from Rubin y Los Subtitulados’s first album, Esperando El Fin Del Mundo, which was released during our first year as a music blog. Adios, Torino is a beautiful ballad and one of our favorite songs by this great songwriter from Buenos Aires. We recommend all of his discography, which is avaliable on Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
JaalaSalt Shaker

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Salt Shaker is the second single from Melbourne art-punk Cosima Jaala’s debut album, Hard Hold. It tracks the troubles Jaala has coming to grips with her upbringing in a far-flung suburb on Brisbane’s coastal fringe. The lyricism of this track is emblematic of the raw earnestness you hear across the entire album, with Jaala seemingly pulling melody out of thin air. The unpredictable spikes and troughs keep you engaged throughout, as if you needed any more reason other than her finely executed vocal gymnastics. The track is a refreshingly honest account of a troubled time that avoids indie tropes and turns complex emotions into a beautiful song.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Alice CaymmiComo Vês

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Como Vês is the opening track of Alice Caymmi’s 2014 album Rainha Dos Raios. Born into a family of famous musicians, Alice is surrounded by some of the most prominent artists in Rio de Janeiro and contributes to Brazilian pop music (known as MPB) with contemporary electronics and experimentation.

 

(Listen to more songs below)

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LISTEN: Arms Akimbo, Hospital, Us the Band, Planete, Golden Girls & OM Collective

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arms akimbo

Arms Akimbo – ‘Level Completed’

This little gem comes from Josh Bush, drummer in Sydney band Low Lux, now going solo under the name Arms Akimbo. ‘Level Completed’ channels elements of 80s pop and Balearic house, Bush’s falsetto gelling seamlessly with the snappy guitar and muted toms. It’s a stylish debut, low key yet cathartic.

Hospital – ‘Daniel’

This track from Melbourne outfit Hospital has really earned the Xiu Xiu comparisons (and supposedly got the nod from Jamie Stewart himself). ‘Daniel’ is all screams and sawing guitar, Al Dodds’ voice quivering in disgust as he addresses an absent father figure. There’s adolescent angst here, but the delivery hits hard. Hospital’s latest record, Describing Bodies, is being reissued through Skydreams on 11 January.

Us the Band – ‘And I Will’

The newest signing to Rice is Nice, Sydney duo Us the Band make up for their lack of manpower with overdrive and manic energy. ‘And I Will’ is the second single from a forthcoming EP. It’s characteristically short and sharp, with shredded vocals and a neat hook.

I’lls – ‘Let Me Have Just One (Planete remix)’

I never understood the hype around I’lls. The songs are pretty, and I admire their minimalist touch, but they’re so derivative of Radiohead (and Thom Yorke more generally), it’s kind of embarrassing. Planete‘s remix of ‘Let Me Have Just One’ – a standout track from their swan song, the awkwardly titled Can I Go with You to Go Back to My Country – elevates the original to real body music: something you can feel in your muscles and bones. Which is what the Melbourne producer excels at – driving delicate samples into a whirlwind, his rattling textures swept along by grinding bass.

Golden Girls – ‘Life of the Party’

Melbourne three-piece Golden Girls make slowcore for the present day, using synths, drum machines and loads of reverb. The Golden Hour EP was recorded under the auspices of Brunswick-based Smooch Records, with mixing from Rat & Co.‘s Joshua Delaney and mastering by Mikey Young. The trip-hop leaning numbers are perhaps slightly undercooked, but the narcotic guitar loop of penultimate track ‘Life of the Party’ works well. Tim McNeill’s disembodied lyrics sum up the mood: “I really think I might be too stoned/I think we should go home”.

OM Collective – ‘I Didn’t Know I was Trouble’

For his first single as OM Collective, Sydneysider Tim Ferson has released a chamber folk reworking of Taylor Swift’s ‘Trouble’. This is a bloke who looks like Father John Misty taking a trip at Earthcore, so it can be hard to disentangle the earnestness from the irony. Nonetheless, Ferson’s orchestral melancholy is a nice counterpoint to Taylor’s focus-grouped mix of spite and nostalgia.

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