Two-man recording duo Good Morning are undoubtedly masters of understated, dreamy psychedelia. Their music oozes warmth and is filled with luscious sounds without being cluttered, each new sound wriggling its way in at a lazy pace and wandering off without making a big deal of itself.
Their latest release, the two-track A Vessel / Radiovoice, exhibits their tasteful sonic expertise and a late night, restrained grooviness. ‘A Vessel’ offers a beautiful lope, with scatterbrained guitars backing at times indiscernible vocals. ‘Radiovoice’ is reminiscent of a lost Sparklehorse track, complete with soft synth lines and fragile vocals. Both tracks opiated and enveloping, Blair and Parsons are certainly aiming to get you zoned.
Sunbeam Sound Machine, the moniker of melodic psych wunderkind and WTH favourite Nick Sowersby returns to our attention with an overwhelmingly colourful video for ‘Wandering, I’.
The track’s moody tone is countered by footage washed in over-saturated sherbet pink and green. Sowersby’s glowering mug and performance footage invites us into his hazy musings, presented with VHS warping and pulsating between frames of static. A beautiful, brief piece of mind-manifesting pop which may evoke repressed 90s memories of popping your favourite tape in the VCR only to realise its been ravaged and rendered useless by time. And Disney told you that only happened to pirates….
‘Wandering, I’ features on SSM’s album Wonderer, available both digitally and for vinyl order from Bandcamp.
Tiny Little Houses are four guys out of Melbourne who have garnered a bunch of attention with the first single off their forthcoming EP, ‘Easy’. The track plays to the band’s strengths of earnest songwriting and pretty guitar hooks, making it easy to see why their clean indie folk cuts through the swathe of non-committal indie-rockers vying for triple j listeners and Soundcloud plays.
Caleb Karvountzis’ voice is couched in echo but the band resists the urge to drown ‘Easy’ in reverb, letting their sad boi aphorisms (‘it’s not hell / but it’s not easy’) carry over simple, well-crafted instrumentation. Tiny Little Houses have avoided overcrowding the track with unnecessary fluff, with the few blues-inspired guitar licks – which build into that tense scramble at the end of the last solo – adding some depth to the track. The melodies are too bright for this to be an overtly sad number, which is what makes it so damn loveable.
You can catch Tiny Little Houses at the ‘Easy’ single launches in Sydney and Melbourne later this month.
Bachelor Pad are new wave rock-n-rollers out of Sydney who have opted for an original take on the genre du jour of fuzz-rock-cum-shoegaze in their new track ‘Ever Get the Feeling?’.
If you’ve ever been curious about whether a twee synth riff could complement distorted guitars and an ocker accent, ‘Ever Get the Feeling?’ answers your oddly specific curiosity in the affirmative. Bachelor Pad have traded ye olde verse-chorus structure for a few lyrical refrains in a refreshingly sparse use of the Australian accent in a rock context. The souring of the track’s initial lyrical optimism mirrors the interloping guitar licks, which are loftily melodic at one turn and whining feedback at the next. Even with its simplicity, the track fills out its 4-minute existence nicely.
Bachelor Pad are launching their single TONIGHT at Spectrum, with support from Wolf Cola. Their album Bachelor Pad is for the People is due out in August.
In April, Sarah Mary Chadwick released her stunning second album, 9 Classic Tracks. That descriptor gets thrown around more than a footy at the local park, but in Chadwick’s case it’s one that resiliently sticks. Heartbreakingly honest and as raw as a Bali burn, Chadwick spares no details in her songwriting, nor her ragged projection.
A major feature of 9 Classic Tracks was its vibrant artwork. A bright watercolour drawn by Chadwick herself, the painting is brilliantly graphic; thrusting eye-popping sexuality at its finest. It appears that Chadwick has taken that same approach with her video for the album cut ‘Aquarius Gemini’. Directed by Chadwick and Geoffrey O’Connor, who also produced the album, the video is a vivid and no-holds-barred look at sexuality.
Slick and minimal, Chadwick and a suitor rub and writhe, but nudity is barely a part of the clip. Instead, the video picks up on the passionate, and occasionally violent, moments of sex and love. Paired with Chadwick’s haunting vocals and a shadow of sparse brushed guitar and drum machines, the clip becomes asphyxiating. The final shot of Chadwick stroking the camera that has captured these naked moments is especially powerful – she knows the permanence that lies behind the lens, and there’s a certain fascination in her eyes.
It bears repeating – ‘Aquarius Gemini’ is simply one of nine classic tracks available on Chadwick’s album, which is out now through Rice is Nice and Siltbreeze Records.
Sarah Mary Chadwick will be launching the album at the Gasometer in Melbourne on Thursday, 4 June with Mad Nanna, Shame Brothers and Geoffrey O’Connor (DJ).
Almost Violet is the project of Sydney lass Jess Meier, who has been producing some dark electro-pop for a while now, developing a signature production style by piecing together sparse electronic samples with cut up vocals from old news clips. In the wake of the recent SOS BLAK AUSTRALIA protests, her latest track ‘Ivory’ works through some serious white guilt.
Throughout ‘Ivory’ you can tell that Meier’s voice would really pack a punch if she went full pop ballad, but she balances the blasts with subtle nuances. The overall tone is sultry enough not to sound out of place with the atonal samples but pretty enough to carry the melodic load of the track. The song opens with the crackling voice of an old (probably) white guy assuring us that ‘The new Australians are real Aussies’, and Meier sets up the protest message with lyrics that are pointed but not overwrought.
She’s described the rest of her tracks as ‘#cinemasadcore’, which is super apt. The meticulous production across all her tracks can only be a labour of love crafted by someone who has done the technical legwork to create compelling stories with her music.
TEEF Records‘ mammoth charity compilation Imperium in Imperio drops today, and it sure is worthy of the grandiose title. With tracks contributed by 16 artists, from the established to the almost unheard of, it functions as a kind of statement of intent for TEEF – a Sydney-based label launched last year by Sound Doc blogger Tommy Faith. The songs assembled here, previously unreleased, showcase Tommy’s taste for forward-looking pop that blurs the line between electronic and acoustic elements.
Featured artists include Melbourne producer Leaks, who also designed the compilation’s stunning marbled cover art, underground RnB sensations Collarbones, inaugural TEEF signee Spirit Faces, 17-year-old violinist turned pop artist Lupa J and sample-happy electro-folk artist Setec. There’s a restrained, dissociated-sounding track from the unstoppable Snowy Nasdaq under one of his many pseudonyms, Magnum Ego. Named ‘Slow Release’, it was apparently penned while zonked on experimental drugs as Snowy was undergoing dangerous medical trials. There’s also a track by a well-known Melbourne producer, submitted under the alias Hann as a one-off release.
From beginning to end Imperium in Imperio is swathed in lush and swirling sounds, both organic and propulsive. The highlight has to be ‘Diagonal’, the 10-minute centrepiece provided by Planète. It’s a driving and cathartic techno jam that betrays more than a passing affinity with James Holden’s Border Community. There are also excellent remixes by Yeo and Shisd, and a delicate, floating closer by house wunderkind Darcy Baylis.
A pay-what-you-feel download out via Bandcamp, all proceeds from Imperium in Imperio will go to OXFAM’s Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, so quit browsing ya cheapskates – this isn’t a library.