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En Tout Cas – 'Wait a Long Time'

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En Tout Cas – ‘Wait a Long Time’ (mp3)

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Never really understood the concept of bands dubbing themselves with french names. Is it an elitist thing? Or is it just a justification for ridiculous undercuts and high hung guitars? Whatever it is, it’s probably just as hip as naming your band name after an adverb (En Tout Cas = anyhow in french) or a large expanse of clay (En Tout Cas = synthetic tennis court material).

Lead vox are almost too clean to be taken seriously and the reciprocal lyrics come around like a fly drowning in your beer. However, Cajun Dance Party type hooks paired with some nice percussion and a spontaneous whistle or so were enough to keep me semi-keen for two minutes.

Go spend the weekend ironing your hawaiian shirts,but if I receive one more spam request to join your facebook group, I will spaz.

www.myspace.com/entoutcasmusic

Jez Mead

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Jez Mead – ‘Devil’ (mp3)

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I’ve never heard of Jez Mead before until his manager sent me this track. And have to say I wasn’t too excited upon first listen of the song, that is until the unmistakable Julia Stone decides to lend her voice in the second verse. Recommended for fans of Angus and Julia Stone.

www.myspace.com/jezmead

Lambda/Club House

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UPDATE: There were some errors in press releases etc. The Club House does not re-open until Saturday AUGUST 5TH. Not this coming Saturday. (Also, not that it matters now since the gig was last night but the above poster was meant to read July 8, not June 8). Dates, hey…

The Fans group are some of the best promoters in Brisbane, consistently staging interstate and international bands, as well as giving opportunities for local acts on a weekly basis.

Two exciting bits of news for Brisbane readers re: Fans. Firstly, Fans are giving you the chance to win a two camping tickets to Splendour. Over the next three Lambda club nights (starting tonight) you will be given a raffle ticket on the door (you get one each week). All you have to do is hang onto your ticket and make sure you go to the Fans club night on July 23rd (but you’d already by going anyway ‘coz Richard In Your Mind are playing, right?). You have to be present to win and you have to have your ticket. So get along. Lambda is on every Thursday night at Alhambra and is proudly supported by whothehell.net.

In other good news, The Club House – the Fans club night on Saturdays that’s been homeless since leaving (getting evicted from?) the Empire has reportedly found a new home in the downstairs bar at Tempo (what used to be Dooley’s) (via Rave Magazine). And it reportedly starts this Saturday night. And will reportedly have better sound and lighting and bar facilities (that’s probably a given, since the Empire looked like a crack den – in a cool way). With Gossip, another of Brisbane’s club nights ending this weekend, it’s comforting to know that Fans will step up to fill the gap.

www.fansclubnight.com

Comic Sans – ‘Vixen’

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Comic Sans – ‘Vixen’ (mp3)

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As a central band in what I’m now coining Brisbane’s “brat pack” (TM), Comic Sans have been making waves up here for a year or so now – going from hardworking ever-present support band to the point where they can draw a decent crowd whe n headlining a club night. ‘Vixen’ is their latest single, and I assume it’s taken from a forthcoming release since they’re probably due for an EP/album later this year. It a bit lighter than what we’re used to from these guys – a bit more upbeat with the synth taking a bit more of the lead, a bit more sparse and some major keys etc. It also sounds lighter because of the cleaner production, which comes courtesy of Scott Horscroft.

Comic Sans are one of those bands I started taking for granted because it felt like I saw them 10 times in a few months last year. I only just realised I probably haven’t seen them at all in 2k10. No doubt I’ll be able to catch them around soon and check out if the rest of their set is sounding more like ‘Vixen’ – but then I imagine this probably isn’t as slick live anyway.

Either way, it’s a cool little tune from the boys that will hopefully see them picking up so more air play.

UPDATE the first: Will totally be seeing these guys when they support PVT and Seekae at The Zoo. Solid line-up.

UPDATE the second: Found a sweet live clip of ‘Vixen’ live at Lambda club night. Its below.

www.myspace.com/comicsansmusic

Comic Sans – Vixen @ Lambda Alhambra Lounge 24/6/2010 from Oliver Duncan on Vimeo.

Kimbra

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Kimbra – ‘Settle Down’ (mp3)

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I’ve been following Kiwi-now-Melbournite Kimbra‘s work for a year now, most of it in the form of either guest performing with other bands or solo with a guitar work. Only recently that I’ve heard her new stuff, produced by Franc Tetaz, who also did Bertie Blackman‘s career restarting and eventual ARIA award winning third album Secrets and Lies, and also by up and coming beatmaker M-Phazes. The song Settle Down opens with cut up beat boxing vocals that is a bit too close to Bertie’s style of production for my liking, but is rescued and lifted by the chorus and soared into lush harmonies that is all Kimbra’s own signature sound.

www.myspace.com/kimbramusic

Glass Vaults – ‘Forget Me Not’

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Glass Vaults – ‘Forget Me Not’ (mp3)

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Glass Vaults (formerly just Vaults) are duo based out of Wellington, New Zealand. They’ve just released their debut EP Glass for free (get it here) and it’s some of the best shit I’ve heard this year. Alternating between textured ambiance and hypnagogic pop, each track is dripping with cavernous vocals, carefully considered washes of guitar/synth and, occasionally, unpredictable beats.

It’s one of the best EPs I’ve heard all year – no geographic caveats implied. I highly encourage everyone to get it. It sits comfortably at the intersection of dream pop and ambient electronic music, but it’s not so comfortable that it doesn’t feel exciting and beautiful. Breathtaking stuff.

www.myspace.com/wearevaults

The Laurels – ‘Turn On Your Mind’

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The Laurels – ‘Turn On Your Mind’ (mp3)

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We’ve all heard shoegaze before. If not in the early 90s, then at least via reissues or the ‘nu-gaze’ craze that is kinda still lingering. Like all good Arts students, it’s pretty much all I listened to in the second year of my undergrad. And even though I dig the new shoegaze stuff coming out, I sometimes kinda think, ‘why bother when the genre peaked twenty years ago?’ Then other times, I kinda think, ‘I’m sick of listening to Loveless – I want something that is new but sounds like Loveless.’ It’s on those days that the persistence of shoegaze as a genre is totally justified.

Which leads me to The Laurels. They’re a shoegaze band c. 1990. They sort of disregard music post Ride/MBV/JAMC etc, but then they’re not really trying to reinvent the wheel/pedalboard. They’re clearly just trying to do what I outlined above – make music that is new but sounds like Loveless. And they do a pretty good job. It’s a bit easier to digest than some of shoegaze’s more introverted works, but they write solid songs and drape them in the appropriate swirling effects. It totally listenable and damn enjoyable.

www.myspace.com/thelaurels