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The Juan MacLean- ‘Happy House’ (Cut Copy ‘Space is the Place’ Remix) (Radio Edit)

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The Juan MacLean – ‘Happy House’ (Cut Copy ‘Space is the Place’ Remix) (Radio Edit)

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Americans The Juan MacLean have ties with Cut Copy through NY uber-label DFA, and also toured Australia for the first time as support artists for our Modular poster boys. This remix draws heavily from the second half of the original ‘Happy House,’ which starts as a bongo-happy keys jam before shifting into the house music territory that Cut Copy have an affinity for. If their cheesy disco-house leanings weren’t apparent enough on the first EP and album, check out their DJ sets or, better yet, their release under the Fabric Live banner.

The ‘Space is the Place’ remix has a sequenced bassline, house piano, soaring female vocals, mini-break down, and the occasional arpeggiated synth – all the tropes you need to get a party started. Honestly, this track will likely make more sense when Dan and Tim are behind the decks, but it has enough legs on it’s own. Besides, Cut Copy have earned themselves a lifetime of coverage on account of the awesomeness of their output this decade.

The full version of this remix is an Aus/NZ iTunes exclusive.

Joysticks – ‘Leave Her Alone’

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Joysticks - ‘Leave Her Alone’ (mp3)

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This is an odd track – if not for the distorted synth that dominates the mix during the verses, this could could have been pulled from the ’60s. It has that same Zombies-esque sound to it that’s creeping back into popular music consciousness… but just, you know, with a loud synthesizer. It’s a tad jarring – in a good way. In fact it’s the largely synth-less middle 8/outro, with its jump in pace, that doesn’t really for work for me. Still, a decent effort from a promising band.

Joysticks’ previous tracks have traded on repetitive instrumentation and simple refrains. This track seems a bit more complex but has that same intuitive-feeling groove to it. And the chorus, when it does land, is pretty repetitive as well and sounds almost like a lo-fi Franz Ferdinand.

Not as good as ‘Purple Berries‘ but I’ll still be keeping my eye on these guys.

Clue to Kalo/The Lifted Brow

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Clue to Kalo - ‘To Guyana/Greenest Grass’ (mp3)

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In 2008, with the relevance of the album format continuing to dwindle, Clue to Kalo put out a narrative-driven concept album revolving around the titular character, full of quirky character studies told through complex art-pop songs. Its ambitiousness was both its anchor and wings, but even those songs that forgot where they were going at least made the meandering sonic journey interesting.

‘To Guyana/Greenest Grass’ is similarly eclectic to their previous output and is actually quite a tight pop song. It’s equal parts orchestral and tropical; sparse passages swelling with string sections before dropping into a bossa nova-esque groove, while the playful arrangement rubs against Bianchi’s earnest delivery.

‘To Guyana/Greenest Grass’ is from The Lifted Brow No. 6, which comes with two discs of new material from the likes of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The E.L.F., Guy Blackman, Francis Plagne, Yeo + the Fresh Goods plus other local and international artists.’To Guyana/Greenest Grass’ is a standout track amongst a fairly solid set.

Friends of Mine – ‘Can’t See Straight’

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friedns of mine

Friends of Mine - ‘Can’t See Straight’ (mp3)

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‘Can’t See Straight’ is big, bold, and catchy as fuck. Comprising of electronic musician Jono Fernandez and guitar rocker Tim Watson, Friends of Mine pull the loudest parts from each of their musical pedigrees and filter them into an electro-stomp fit for a massive summer dance floor. The track echoes of The Presets 2008 album Apocolypso (especially in the vocal delivery), but with added disco-style guitar work winding throughout the aural maze of synths and beeps.

This is the kind of track that’s great to blog about when you’re busy, and so is also a great track to check out if you’re similarly strapped for time. You don’t have to think about it and you don’t have to let it grow on you. This one will hit you pretty quick and pretty hard, less likely to wash over than grab your ears and scream into them. Maybe I just have my headphones up too loud – but this type of music is meant to be heard loud, and preferably also in a room full of attractive, dancing bodies. Hopefully some wise DJs will provide this track a suitable context.

Ernest Ellis video, mp3, tickets

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We’ve done a fair few giveaways lately so I was going to let this slide, but I have too much of a soft spot for Ernest Ellis since he was my first post ever on Plus his album sounds like it will be pretty exciting.

Above is the video for his latest single, ‘Heading for the Cold.’ Here is an mp3 of the track. And lastly, the first three Sydney-dwelling Ernest Ellis fans to email with the subject ‘GIMME ERNEST ELLIS’ will win double passes to his single launch tomorrow night, Tuesday the 24th, at Spectrum.