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Ward Roberts 'COURTS' exhibition @ No Vacancy's Project Space

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‘Sports courts are subjects to extremes, battered by the stomps and stamps of players or else left in silence.  For many, the attraction to healthy recreational activities has been replaced by faster, louder viewing experiences. The surrounding buildings that feature in many of these images give us a clue to where all the playing action has gone – indoors.’

Went to the opening of this exhibition last week. While the courts in many of these photos appear neglected and lonely, it’s hard to bypass the diversity of each – shifting from clean urban tones to sudden vibrant arrays of colour in intruiging cultural settings. A finalist in the New York Photo Festival, winner of the xTO Fine Art Award in 2009 and currently exhibiting in Hong Kong, London and Colorado, young Melbourne photographer Ward Roberts is set for rad things. A charming minimalist sentiment attached to this series which makes it definitely worth having a look at.

If you’re in Melbourne, drop by No Vacancy’s Projectspace held @The Atrium at Federation Square, where this (free) exhibition is showing until the 1st of August.

The Ravenous – 'You Look Good (In A Hoodie)'

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The Ravenous – ‘You Look Good (In a Hoodie)’ (mp3)

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‘Not another fucking Weezer cover band!’ I hear you exclaim. Whatevs! This shit makes me want to get naked in a giant inflatable pool, cover myself in sauce and and pull out all my go go moves. Driving power pop backed up by lyrical farce, spasmodic drum solo at 1:56 and surfin’ harmonies that reek of Dr Pepper and chaffing sunburn.

Not sure if these dudes are wedged in eternal puberty or just can’t find the right words for getting to third base (wagga wagga mookie mookie?). To the plethora of serious, cerebral types out there who spend extended time in their bedrooms adding bleeps and loops to wanky minimalist b-sides, take a cue or two here and have some fun.

Aeons – ‘Beyond The Satellites’

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Aeons – ‘Beyond The Satellites’ (mp3)

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Sydney’s Aeons released their debut EP a few weeks back, which you can grab for FREE here. It’s full of dense electro club-bangers to get you wet if you’re ‘in da club’ and/or totally dig The Presets. The duo have previously remixed the likes of Deep Sea Arcade and Lisa Mitchell, but this is really the first time they’ve released an official collection of their own stuff for peeps to check out (recent single In Great Wonder doesn’t count). If you don’t like electro pop then this isn’t for you – Beyond The Satellites sits firmly in the most familiar part of the genre, which means there’s lots of house beats and shimmering synths and few quiet moments. Those to whom that appeals should definitely hop on over their bandcamp page and get downloading. For other, it’s free anyway so what do you have to lose (other than 40MB of your monthly quota)?

Zeal – ‘Clouds’ & ‘Obey’


Zeal – ‘Clouds’ (mp3)

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Zeal – ‘Obey’ (mp3)

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I’ve been looking forward to Zeal’s debut album since the moment I first heard the stunning ‘Wasps‘ last year. The wait has been (kinda) long but not in vain, because after only a handful of listens I’m already pretty wet over With the Moon Alongside Racing Us Home. It’s a much more patient album than I was expecting but no less thrilling. There’s songs that are rushing, like ‘Wasps’ and ‘Obey,’ but there’s also mid-tempo grooves like ‘Clouds’ and even some instrumental interludes and borderline-ambient passages. Fortunately, Zeal (aka Robert Jarvis) makes it all stick together with lyrical motifs of wasps, moons and clouds running throughout and his distinct, nasal talk-singing. Best of all, you can get this compelling album right now for the price of FREE from right here.

‘Obey’ and ‘Cloud’ are streaming at the top and they give you a good idea of both the quality and diversity on display here. As per my last post on Zeal, I don’t want to be reductive by lazily compare him to the Anticon stable of artists, but there are definitely similarities (of the best kind) that act as a good reference point for those familiar with WHY?, Themselves et al. But With The Moon Alongside Racing Us Home feels way more personal to just be an homage to other stuff. I don’t want to speculate so soon after posting my favourite albums of the year so far, but this is definitely an end-of-year contender.

Collarbones – ‘Beaman Park’

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Collarbones – ‘Beaman Park’ (mp3)

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Just yesterday I listed Collarbones’ album as one of my most anticipated for the second half of the year. As far as I’m aware, Iconography doesn’t yet have a release date, but we’ve just gotten another taste of the glory in store with second single ‘Beaman Park’ going up on their bandcamp page. It’s more accessible than previous single ‘Kill Off The Vowels’ (clearly advice that PVT took to heart), but it’s still underpinned by the same technical flair and unpredictable beats that made them stand out. But ‘Beaman Park’ eschews icy austerity in favour of warm, cut-up samples and moves them closer towards the realm of chillwave/blog relevance.

It’s worth mentioning that the remixes bundled with the single are also worth your time checking out – especially since all of it is released under the pay-what-you-want scheme. All this has only increased my excitement for the album.