Yeah, yeah. Ben Montero’s good with his hands. You might already know him as one half of Early Woman or from eponymous pop outfit Montero, the TM Band or the forever excellent Treetops (RIP).
Outside of music, Montero’s an artist. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post, VICE, Desktop Magazine and the Australian Book Review among others. Ariel Pink, Beaches and Pond have even recruited his stuff to sell their wares. Well, he’s just opened his first solo exhibition, ‘SKETCHES’ – featuring over 148 posters, sketches and various lampoonings of the local music scene which Montero’s been a part of for twenty years.
Montero recently worked up a comic for us which covers all the hard hitting issues like free beer, Fred Negro and ‘normcore’ – which should be enough of an incentive for you to get along to the show.
SKETCHBOOK is showing at Lamington Drive, Collingwood until the 30th of August.
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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.
Como Diamantes Telepáticos – Soñar Soñar
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 Tongues – Seilu
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 Mar – Hey Nana
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 Birching – Currency
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.
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.
Many Things are a London-based group led by a familiar Aussie face. If you, like me, got caught up in the whirlwind surrounding Yves Klein Blue a few years back, then you will instantly recognise Many Things’ vocalist, Michael Tomlinson. Now living in London, Michael has spread his wings not just geographically but musically, too.
‘Chains’ is the new single from Many Things. It’s a heartbreaking take on obsession and an inability to let go of past loves. This tune is a proper rollercoaster, starting slowly but swelling to a bombast that parallels Tomlinson’s passion. He’s angry, he’s miserable, and it feels like he’s trying to pour every molecule into this song in the hope that he can contain it all there.
Take note, this isn’t a solo outing. Many Things is a group of talented musicians who create a strong foundation for Tomlinson’s voice. The small details are the most interesting. Listen close for the odd voicemail snippet – they add a level of personal sadness to the picture of obsession already being conveyed.
The newly released video for ‘Chains’ is a warped, VHS-style clip that features a bare-chested Tomlinson, his image distorting every time he begins to break apart.
Many Things will be releasing an EP, What We Are, on 22nd August through Dew Process.
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Newly formed Sydney garage-surf-slackers Main Beach have been hard at work in their short existence, releasing no less than half a dozen singles since February. Their Bandcamp reveals a band driven by nostalgia for simpler times and endless summers, with music that walks the line between sugar-coated and bittersweet.
‘Down By The Wall’ features a lazily strummed guitar, bright and snappy drums and a healthy measure of distant ‘oohweeoohs’. The song’s sleepy, jangle-y vibe will make you long for the sea and won’t leave your head all day. The vocal hook is frankly heartbreaking, and the wash of reverb reflects the glare of the summer sun or the haze of sea spray at your favourite secret surf spot.
Main Beach will release a video for ‘Down By the Wall’ early next month. If the band’s first six tracks don’t satisfy the need in your life for garage surf jams, their debut album is due out on 12 September.
Main Beach will play a series of shows in their hometown over the next few weeks. Here are the dates:
21 August – Captain Cook Hotel, Surry HIlls
24 August – Valve Bar, CBD
12 September – FBi Social, Kings Cross
13 September – Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst
20 September – Tokyo Sing Song, Newtown
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Dean McGrath’s Rolls Bayce continue on their path of psych-pop exploration with the release of their new track ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’. The production has been polished up since the release of prior track ‘Arrows’. The song sounds quirky yet familiar, and it’s catchy as hell.
With a tight and dry rhythm section chugging along throughout, McGrath lays down sweet falsetto over raw, warped guitar lines. The track moves at a driving pace, leaving little time to notice how much detail this band can pack into less than four minutes. All that’s missing is a soaring, fuzzed-out guitar solo – but maybe that’s not their thing. Perhaps they’re saving it for the live show.
Bouncy, to the point and just a little psychedelic, ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ is one for the summer festival-goers and spaceheads alike.
You can catch Rolls Bayce live over the next couple of weeks on the tail end of their three-week Saturday night residency at Black Bear Lodge, and in September at BIGSOUND.