Remember back in 2004 when acoustic singer-songwriters were seriously in vogue? The commercial success of Missy Higgins, John Butler, and Pete Murray turned the time-honoured practice of honing your craft and touring your arse off into an honourable pursuit. Eventually the zeitgeist moved on in the direction of Natalie Bassingthwaite and the singer-songwriters went back to the slog, unrecognised and slightly appreciated.
Busby Marou know all about the slog. Forming in my beloved hometown of Rockhampton, they’ve spent years playing pubs, clubs and theatres, recording at Pete Murray’s home studio along the way. Thomas Busby’s voice is similar to Murray’s, but the addition of a co-writer in Jeremy Marou saves the music from becoming dirge central.
Busby Marou launch their single at The Globe Theatre in Brisbane on Saturday night, with Cairns band The Medics also on the lineup.
I posted the video for this track a while back. I’d not heard of Ghostdrums until then, but the unassuming, ‘analogue-synths-meets-glitch-meets-lofi-meets-lullabies’ sound of Perth drummer-cum-electronica kid Pete Guazzelli caught my attention on first listen . It’s weird because there’s nothing really about this track that makes you stop and pay attention – it’s almost deliberately dry and understated. And yet it works, and the genius of his tracks’ simplicity unravels with each successive listen. It’s also weird that, despite alove of analogue equipment, Guazzelli has eschewed a vinyl release for a limited edition USB. It should be noted that the USB comes in an old cassette tape case, and it’s this combination of the new and the old – the digital and the analogue – that makes this music alluring, especially since it extends even to its packaging.
This is DLC’s first music video as a major-label band and the increase in budget is pretty apparent, not that their old videos didn’t have their charms.
It’s a tonne of animation in the same artistic style as their album art. Watch out for the awkward nudity.
Last year, after more than a decade of riffs and tours, singer/guitarist Cam Baines and drummer Shane Wakker called time on their seminal punk band Bodyjar. Their new vehicle is former side-project Cola Wars, and if you’d told me this was new Bodyjar I wouldn’t have blinked an eyelid. It’s in the Hot Water Music/New Found Glory/Polar Bear Club vein of melodic punk, which basically guarantees fun shows and crowd singalongs. If you liked Bodyjar, you’ll like this. In fact, if you squint your eyes you could almost pretend it is Bodyjar.
If you sign up to the band’s mailing list on their website, you land yourself a free mp3 0f the above track.
‘Fields’ is the new single from Chicago-based Australian Via Tania (aka Tania-May Bowers). Originally a bonus track on the US edition of her 2007 album Moon Sweet Moon (released Stateside only last year), I guess Bowerss realised that it was too good to resign to obscurity in her backcatalogue and decided to put it out as a digital stand-alone back home.
With a simple, repetitive structure and minimal instrumentation, the song relies and thrives on Bowers’ breathy, double-tracked vocals and buoyant melody. One of those songs that’s better to just kind of float along with, picturing the titular fields she is singing about.
Here is a little sneak peak of Melbourne outfit The Frowning Clouds’ music video for ‘Purple Heart’.
The video was shot at the historic Montsalvat Castle in Eltham, Victoria. Quite a fitting location for this troupe of beatniks, as Montsalvat was also where the Rolling Stones conducted interviews on their Australian tour in 1973. The ornate backdrop of this castle/artists’ colony seems to provide an appropriate stylistic vibe for the jangle tripping R&B sounds of the track. It will be interesting to see the final product.