This song was pitched to us in our SoundCloud account as something you can sing in a “high-pitched kinda annoying way.” Which is sort of accurate, especially if you’ve been unfortunate enough to hear my falsetto. But it also undersells the track because the melodies are multi-tracked with both hammy head voices and lower talk-sing voices. The melody rules here, with the song basically resting on Guineafowl’s playful delivery on top of some simple acoustic guitar, handclaps and a sequenced beat. Some great quirky and catchy “indietronic” (his phrase, not mine) out of Sydney.
Midnight Juggernauts – ‘This New Technology’ (Memory Tapes Remix) (mp3)
Memory Tapes aren’t Australian, so I won’t harp on about how great his output has been lately. He has, however, recently lent his golden hand to labelmates and one of Australia’s leading electro exports at the moment, Midnight Juggernauts.
His remix of the Juggs’ latest single ‘This New Technology’ is incredibly transformative. Gone is the slick production, the booming organs, the cascading arpeggios – even most of the vocals. In fact, the song has basically been completely dismantled, with MT aka Dayve Hawk then using its pieces to construct a surging club track. In a lot of ways, I like this more than the original – the highest compliment for a remix. Hopefully it’ll see the Juggs getting play on more house-based dancefloors as well.
It took me a while to blog about these, mainly because it took me a while to get over the fact that they have a tendency to sound exactly like Nirvana. There’s some songs on their self-titled debut album that diverge from the early 90s grunge blueprint, but it’s largely characterised by the same musical tropes and straining vocal inflections that made that grunge powerful. ‘Ignored’ is a decent example of their catchier ‘indie songs’ are dressed in the distorted cloak of the opening Nevermind-loving tracks.
Thankfully, the songs are actually okay, which elevates Mother and Father from ‘musical necrophilia’ to ‘musical throwback.’ To my ears, this isn’t a shallow imitation of grunge; it will never be as powerful as those bands back then, no doubt, but it also sounds like an album fueled by love. They’re not doing anything as unique as their heroes, they just want to rock out like them. It’s not subtle, but it has the potential for a cool live show.
‘Mirrorball’ sounds like a sixties girl group pop song or something from The Zombies. It’s got a clean, scratchy guitar line, a instantly endearing vocal melody, whimsical vocals and classic harmonies. This is pop music in the pure, retro sense, but it isn’t a superficial genre exploration. With indie music looking back to this aesthetic as its latest sound du jour, it’s comforting to know that The Crayon Fields have explored sixties pop territory for a few years now. And they’re still going it better than most others. These guys just have a knack for writing songs that sound recognisable upon first listen.
A Dead Forest Index – ‘Empty and Dark I Shall Raise My Lantern’ (mp3)
So this is a pretty creepy track. As far as I can tell, there’s just a simple, steady percussive beat and then a heap of vocal tracks and harmonies that chant, among other things, the titular phrase. The song progresseswith a sinister plods, accumulating voices as it goes until the high harmony kicks in at the end and break it apart.
A Dead Forest Index are a Melbourne-based duo consisting of brothers Adam and Sam Sherry and they’ve got a residency at the Workers Club throughout November. I’d be interested to see how they get this onto the live stage; I’m guessing some sort of loop pedal/sampler is involved. The rest of their stuff is more guitar-based if this is too sparse for your liking, but all of it is married by the haunted atmosphere these guys drape over their songs.