New Music

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

Listen to

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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PREMIERE: Bearhug – ‘Borderlines’

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Sydney’s Bearhug are back with their first full-length release since 2012′s Bill, Dance, ShinerSo Gone will be out on 12 September through Spunk, and we’ve got the first taste for you in the blistering opener, ‘Borderlines’.

Bearhug has undergone some line-up changes, having lost a member since the Over Easy EP came out in April last year, and with those changes has come a major overhaul of their sound. While earlier releases smacked of My Morning Jacket and Being There-era WIlco, the band now names acts like Sic Alps and Fugazi as influences.

So Gone was recorded by Straight Arrows frontman Owen Penglis, who’s worked with most Sydney DIYers worth mentioning, including Royal Headache, Angie and Palms. Penglis now has a bona fide studio to work in (a step up from the kitchen of his Surry Hills share house), and the difference shows: Bearhug’s new single isn’t scrappy so much as searing.

‘Borderlines’ is all feedback and screaming guitar solo, underpinned by the drummer’s motorik tick and plenty of fuzz box. A brief but driving instrumental number, the track’s an exciting teaser of what’s to come.

So Gone tracklisting:

01. Borderlines

02. Aimee

03. Animal

04. Habit Wave

05. Chlorine

06. Acid Town

07. Catacombs

08. In Rapture

09. The Glow

10. The Sky

11. Until We Say

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WATCH: Fuyuko’s Fables – ‘Slappy and Graham’

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Fuyuko’s Fables‘ ‘Slappy and Graham’ is an exercise in restraint and release. It shows the Wellington five piece alternating beautifully between whispered acoustic folk and the slow grandeur of a post rock band.

The various elements are balanced carefully throughout the song, providing a subtle sense of movement as each melodic or rhythmic line is introduced or removed. The track is warm and inviting, and while it does see progression, the changes are never jarring but welcome. By the time the song hits the refrain you’ve been so immersed in its charms that you just nod your head along as the band sings some ‘ooh-oohs’ and quietly leaves you back where you began.

‘Slappy and Graham’ is accompanied by a sepia-tinged video, a slide show of photos that could just as easily have been taken on tour as found in a box in the back of an op-shop. The carefully timed images quietly add a sense of space and majesty to the track’s breathy sound.

 

You can hear the rest of Fuyuko’s Fables‘ latest EP, Everybody is Weird, here.

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INTRODUCING: Redfoot

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Redfoot

Redfoot are a New York based indie rock outfit, with synths man Corey Wallace flying the Aussie flag. They make wafting dream pop that chops and changes swiftly, often before you realise what’s happening.

Their self-titled debut EP opens with ‘Reversing Falls’, a menacing track defined by a tense guitar hook and Luca Pironti’s vocals, which roll through the melody hypnotically. Wallace plumps up each track with Grizzly Bear-style synths, especially the lead single, ‘Make it Quick’, which was produced by fellow New Yorker and indie-rock personality Darby Cicci (The Antlers). ’Make It Quick’ displays the group’s lack of interest in traditional song structures, with sneaky time signature changes adding depth to the already layered track.

This kind of experimentation creeps in again during ‘Lo Pan’, with Pironti’s vocals spurred on by a lethargic snare before the track changes direction completely around the three-minute mark. These red herrings crop up all over Redfoot, making their debut EP an effortlessly interesting listen. It makes me wish they’d make the trip back to Australia so I could see them have a crack live.

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LISTEN: Richard In Your Mind – ‘Hammered’

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It’s Sunday afternoon. The scent of roasting bacon flesh is streaming into your nostrils, and the bright sun leaking into your bedroom is way too bright. There’s only one solution. Bottom’s up, right?

That’s the logic behind Richard In Your Mind’s newest track, ‘Hammered’. The Sydney pysch-pop maestros are finally back after a short absence, ready to follow up their 2012 EP, Mozzarella. As always, their songs sound bright and sparkly, almost dumb-foundingly so. I mean, in this time of financial terror, with Tony Abbott raining his fiery injustices upon a country stupid enough to elect him in the first place, how can a band be as sweet as cordial without the water?

Richard In Your Mind, like contemporaries Tropical Strength, have defied the constructed negativity of our times and released a song about getting hammered with your baby in the daytime, accompanied by a dinky little flute melody. When all hope seems lost, Richard In Your Mind are here to remind you that sometimes all you need is a goon sack, some sunshine and a little bit of magic psych-pop.

Richard In Your Mind’s new album Ponderosa will be coming out 29 August on Rice Is Nice.

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INTRODUCING: Pepa Knight

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Not being much of a swashbuckler myself, I have found myself only rarely drawn to Jinja Safari-like adventure music. But despite the fact that Pepa Knight has not strayed far from this artistic direction, his new single ‘Clams’ has a guileless quality about it that is (on third listen) increasingly appealing to me. Why is this? Who can say. It’s a sunny day and pop music is temporal. Regardless, there are some reasonably objective things that we can say about this tune.

Following from his recent (very successful) single ‘Rahh!’, it looks like we are getting a clear idea of the sonic space Pepa Knight’s solo project will inhabit: utilising myriad instruments (mandolins, tabla, flutes) and layered harmonies to create atmospheric, major key pop tunes. I also need to include here that, personally, I will always be in favour of a mandolin solo. And whether the line ‘God only knows where I’d be/Wilson said to me’ is a reference to Tom Hanks’ soccer ball in Castaway or Brian Wilson’s 1960′s Beach Boys classic ‘God Only Knows’ is irrelevant – both meanings fit comfortably with this tune, which is equally nautical and nostalgic.

One thing that makes Knight’s music ambitious is his constant insistence on creating positive vibes. To write a happy song that doesn’t sound twee or jar the listener is a much harder task than writing a muted Thom Yorke emotional divebomb. Whether or not he has achieved his goal is up to the listener, but to even attempt it is a brave move. Or maybe he’s just legitimately this happy, all of the time. That’s a scary thought, but if you like what you hear, stream away:

Pepa Knight will be launching ‘Clams’ on these dates:

Friday, 1 August – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney (RSVP on Facebook)

Thursday, 7 August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne (RSVP on Facebook)

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PREMIERE: Caitlin Park – ‘Wake Up in a Whirr’ video

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‘Wake Up in a Whirr’ is the third single from Caitlin Park’s sophomore album, The Sleeper, which was released through Create Control in May. Like much of Park’s work, the track holds together a huge number of elements – in this case frenetic guitar, layered vocals, drums improvised from wooden wine boxes, found sounds and field recordings from destinations as far apart as Cambridge and Times Square – while still conveying a sense of simplicity. The song spins beneath Park’s smooth, confident vocal, like that surreal and vivid dream which forces you bolt upright at three in the morning.

As with the wonderful ‘Lemonade’, the video for ‘Wake in a Whirr’ features some stylish androgyny, focusing on a boxing match that’s been elegantly shot in black and white.

Today Park also releases the ‘To Breathe You Out’ EP, featuring collaborations from Kira Puru, Emma Russack, Shanna Watson and Jessica Venables.

Park and her band begin their tour for The Sleeper tonight at Sydney venue the Vanguard, following up with gigs in Melbourne and Brisbane. Dates below.

Friday, July 11 – The Vanguard, Sydney with Joyride

Friday, August 1 – Bella Union, Melbourne with Emma Russack and Shanna Watson

Saturday, August 2 – The Hive, Brisbane (All Ages) with Fieu and Sahara Beck

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