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GUEST: Morning Harvey

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Morning Harvey have a new video out today for their single ‘Girl Euphoria (Come Back To Me)’ which in true Brisbane camaraderie, packs in cameos from The Jungle Giants, The Belligerents and The Furrs (who also share a guitarist with Morning Harvey). Nic McKenzie from Deep Sea Arcade directed the video, apparently spending a few hours teaching the guys how to play their songs backwards \m/.

We’re presenting Morning Harvey’s single tour all through April. The first show kicks off in Brisbane this Saturday at Black Bear Lodge with Salvadarlings. The band have also compiled their top 5 bands from the sunny state below, check it out.

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Slug Guts - ‘Stranglin’ You Too’

‘Stranglin’ You Too’ is a beautiful song in a odd way. It’s got such a great mood to it; the melody is perfect and his voice works so well on top of it all. I have no idea if they are still going, but I’m pretty shitted off that I haven’t seen them play. I first heard this song on a 7″ that Jackson our drummer was sent from Hozac Records in the US.


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The Furrs‘Get On Your Horse’

Jimmy, one of two guitarists in Morning Harvey started The Furrs around the end of last year.
I can’t wait for people to hear the rest of this EP, it’s full of extremely catchy tunes and sweet melodies.
Every time he shows me a new song I wonder why I didn’t think of that first. Bless his soul.

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Salvadarlings – ‘Lemon Mirage’


I’m fairly certain these guys are only a relatively new band to come out of Brisbane.
The lead vocalist’s voice is very sweet. Looking forward to seeing them play at our single launch in Brisbane.

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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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INTRODUCING: The Night Terrors

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Alongside contemporaries like NO ZU and Zanzibar Chanel, The Night Terrors incorporate all the elements of shlock horror, trance and kraut experimentalism into a weird chemical reaction of awesome. All of that is explored in The Night Terrors new record Spinal Vortex, out on Homeless Records (Bits of Shit, Sex Tape, Cuntz). 

The Night Terrors rocket through sonic territory at a break-neck pace – like the Batwing if it was piloted by Kraftwerk. Careening through walls of electronic-tinged instrumental post-punk, Spinal Vortex does this all in just under 40 minutes.

Spooky malevolence and violent synth uprisings stalking palettes of sheer theremin…this band has it all.

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PREMIERE: Dorsal Fins – ‘Fell’

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Dorsal Fins is brand new project led by Liam McGorry, trumpeter and songwriter for Melbourne soul collective Saskwatch. Initially conceived as a studio-only band, each track has been developed in collaboration with musicians from local acts Eagle and the Worm, the Bluebottles, New Gods and more.

Dorsal Fins have just dropped the video for latest single ‘Fell’, which features Ella Thompson (the Bamboos) on vocals. The track opens with a faded choral sample that could have been lifted from Walt Disney’s Snow White and lyrics that call up Lewis Carroll’s maniacal imagination: ‘All the doors were locked/too small to squeeze/you drank from a cup/that said “Drink me”’. Propelled by a clean piano line and rich, swooping bass, ‘Fell’ is fleshed out by gorgeous vocal loops and layers of synths and horns that sit low in the mix.

The video – a mishmash of vintage sci fi, foreign landscapes, rolling traffic and endless train lines – was made by Jason Galea of ZonkVision. Galea is also responsible for the distorted B-grade psychedelia of previous clip, ‘Nothing Left to Hide’.

Thankfully McGorry has dropped the studio-only conceit, and Dorsal Fins will be launching their upcoming 12”, Gripless, at Shebeen on Thursday, 3 April. Jacky Winter and DJs Martin King and Stu Mackenzie will be supporting. Incidentally, Martin King has just released his own reworking of ‘Fell’ – check it out here.

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INTRODUCING: Ben Wright Smith

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Ben Wright Smith

These kind of songs are best when they’re beaten up like bad fruit. If anyone’s seen Josh Tillman expose his soul through the power of dance you’ll know what I mean.

Over-thirties who assume the ‘troubadour’ hat are apparently capable of devising platonic love ballads in the key of Ryan Adams. That’s not to say those in our early twenties can’t throw down our gripes via song (see Ben’s other track ‘If Living The Good Life Is Easy (Why Is This So Hard?’),  but I guess we bestow more problems on ourselves than we credit ourselves for anyway.

‘Fictional’ is the latest offering from Melbourne’s Ben Wright Smith. Wright-Smith’s previous EP, Autumn Safari – full of traveling songs and slide guitar, landed him a few stints in the USA and Nashville in 2011. ‘Fictional’ isn’t as much of an instant earworm as his previous single, but it’s been flailing around in my music memory for over a week now.

It’s hard to reinvent the wheel when you’re flagging alt-country vibes. Everyone is judging you on your slide guitar abilities and how weird you can get writing poetry about your shoes. Bonus points if you’re Scandinavian. Or if you’re the guy who got convinced by Rhys Mitchell (Mouth Tooth, RedBerryPlum) that making a video about pool cleaners with a heinous compilation of ripple transitions and heat motion tracking is the only way to reintroduce balladry to the kids.

I’ll give Ben Wright Smith credit though; the almost Born Sandy Devotional gulls-and-guitar soundbite in the intro paired with his higher vocal range lends this tune a strange comfort. Compared to other harmonica toting compatriots like Fraser A Gorman, even Sagamore’s Sam Cooper, Wright-Smith’s faint nuances make each phrase resonate on.

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If you’re in Melbourne tonight, catch Ben Wright Smith at his final The Toff In Town residency with The Kite Machine and Gena Rose Bruce.

Ben Wright Smith’s upcoming record In Parallel is set for a May release.

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PREMIERE: Nathan Roche – ‘Call Back’

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Next month Nathan Roche will deliver the second instalment of his glorious ‘Newtown Trilogy’. It comes only five months after the release of part one, his first solo effort, Watch It Wharf. This guy is as prolific as he is self-deprecating: he’s played in seven different bands from Townsville to Sydney (most recently Camperdown and Out, alongside members of Royal Headache, Dead Farmers and Raw Prawn) and has described earlier albums as “shambolic, poorly recorded, unstructured and rapidly conceived”. He’s also written a couple of books (there’s a sterling promo video for the latest), with red pens provided at one launch party “for those who wish to personally edit” his work.

He may be underselling himself, but Roche’s breezy, piss-taking attitude sure is charming. It’s all over Watch It Wharf, a record packed with Lou Reed-channeling tracks set around the pubs and docks of the (formerly) blue-collar inner-city Sydney.

Follow-up album Magnetic Memories wears its influences proudly, drawing on Brian Eno’s early pop output and the Americana-laced oddities of post-Big Star Alex Chilton. Mind you, it’s still pretty dinky di, with tracks celebrating the Hollywood Hotel in Surrey Hills and contemplating the relative merits of Walsh and Gordons bays.

Magnetic Memories is smoother than the predecessor album, with woodwind from Millie Hall (Destiny 3000, Bridezilla) and Caroline de Dear (Day Ravies), and cello by 2SER’s James Newman. Roche seems stuck at a point on the cusp of the 1970s and 80s when old-style rock’n’roll was taking a second glance at the saxophone. So you can just relax and let the arrangements on the title track lick you behind the ear while Roche huskily croons, ‘Magnetic memories/I got a tropical disease’.

New single ‘Call Back’ is even better – a punchy number that rails against the lifestyle impositions of the modern mobile phone device. It’s got bouncy, Roxy Music-style keys and back up vocals drawn from Lou Reed’s seedy take on American soul music.

Magnetic Memories is coming out in April via Glenlivet-A-Gogh (which has taken over Roche’s own Fartpound Records imprint) on vinyl, CD and digital.

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LISTEN: Hawaii94 – Nightvision EP

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I think something got lost in translation in the presser from Hawaii94‘s Paris and Bordeaux-based record label: “Inside his room in Melbourne, Hawaii94 produces a fruity and intoxicating music”. Maybe ‘fruité’ has heaps of sexy connotations for a native French speaker. Whatever; I’m going to go with it.

Have a listen to the Nightvision EP from the Melbourne producer and try to see yourself anywhere other than a Malibu paradise with Toro Y Moi and Twin Shadow taking turns to serve you tropical fruit cocktails. Hawaii94 makes the ‘fruity chillwave’ genre so much his own that anyone attempting to snare that title would be kicked to the gutter as an imposter.

Hawaii94 is the pseudonym of Lee Nania, who subscribes to the bedroom ethic of artists like Flume and Bored Nothing. He takes that ethic and folds it through a soft lens, creating a dreamy haze not unlike local acts Kilter and RÜFÜS. The result is an EP packed with delicious, sunny tunes to dance the night away to. Instead of being a made-up fad, Hawaii94′s fruity chillwave could be one of the most selfless examples of bedroom pop going round.


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