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PREMIERE: Tempura Nights – ‘RIP Chix’ (video)

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A couple of months ago we featured Tempura Nights’ first single ‘R.I.P Chix’ (spoiler: it’s excellent), and now we’re premiering the Brisbane trio’s first foray into video format.

Keeping up the dreamy theme that runs through the washed-out track, the video is like the daydream you have when you’re three hours into an eight-hour shift – the kind of fantasy where you lay around with your good-looking mates and smoke cigs and play music and have pillow fights and braid each other’s hair. It’s total wish fulfilment, but done with the kind of wink-and-nod, tongue-in-cheek attitude that makes Tempura Nights so likeable. (Look at those white cut-off shorts and tell me this is a band who take themselves too seriously).

The video looks a hell of a lot better than your average DIY clip, with some pretty, sun-drenched shots by director Jennifer Embelton of Somersault Visuals. It’s clean and striking; the perfect visual introduction to a band that’s well worth watching.

Look out for Tempura Nights’ first EP White Whine, which will be out in the coming months.

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PREMIERE: Sagamore – ‘Feelings’

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Here is a brand new bit of twangy rock from Victorian group, Sagamore. The group have reportedly been working hard, putting together a 2nd EP after only launching their first EP in December. In a perfect example of striking while the iron is hot, Sagamore have given us a tease of their next collection with lead single, ‘Feelings’.

‘Feelings’ is a slow, meandering piece of music that walks the line between easy listening and head-bopping groove. It’s a pop song, with trace amounts of blues and country pulsing through its veins. It sets an easy pace, with enough in the works to make it really interesting without pushing too hard at the boundaries of its structure.

The guitar wobbles with perfection and the intertwining chords blend nicely with harmonica and breezy country-tinged vocals. It’s got melody, it’s got balance; if the rest of the songs off the 2nd EP are similar, it will earn a steady rotation in the car (on that note, ‘Feelings’ would be great in any road-trip mix).

Their first EP was made with the help of a string of able musicians (from bands like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Eagle and the Worm and Perch Creek Family Jugband); the second EP, Longer is a solely band-made effort and will be a true indicator of what kind of chops they have as a unit. With ‘Feelings’ as a first taste, we can’t help but be optimistic.

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WATCH: Scraps – ‘Projections’

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Laura Hill has been performing under the name Scraps for some time now, consistently putting out some of the most interesting soundscapes in Australia. Her music is like 80’s synth-pop seen through a surrealist kaleidoscope lens.

Her vocal delivery changes from high-pitched, angelic wails to robotic, deadpan monotony. With this in mind, her brand of electronic pop seems equal parts sunshine and danger. The blips and beeps form an amazing dichotomy with the pulsing and sometimes unsettling beats that she works with, together creating a vibe of dystopian satisfaction.

A perfect example of this juxtaposition is the clip for ‘Projections’, her latest creation, which was filmed at Brisbane’s notorious Toowong Cemetery. The song is another classic effort from Scraps, with retro, VHS-style footage of Christmas lights from years past interspersed with a graveyard performance.

It’s safe to say that Scraps is enthralling; anyone who enjoys beautifully skewed music will like this song. Her back catalogue is extensive and is filled with ethereal oddities; any newcomers are in for a real treat.

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EXCLUSIVE: Aldous Harding

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New Zealand’s Aldous Harding has quite the origin tale. Busking on the pavements of South Island town Geraldine, trying to earn enough for a ticket to see Maori roots artist Anika Moa, Harding was overheard by Moa herself – and ended up not only catching the show, but performing in the opening slot.

The full story, however, goes back a little further. Harding, whose mother is a folk singer and whose father plays the blues, got her start in Lyttelton, a port town on the outskirts of Christchurch (and, incidentally, the setting for Peter Jackson’s ’96 schlock horror film, The Frighteners). There she was discovered by Kiwi country stalwarts Ben Edwards and Delaney Davidson playing under her own name, Hanna Harding, alongside band The Easterns.

Harding’s self-titled debut, co-produced by Edwards, was released locally in April, on Lyttelton Records. Today we can announce that the album will get an Australian release through Spunk on 25 July. To celebrate, Harding will showcase her music on a string of dates along the east coast. The tour, in support of fellow New Zealander and Spunk signee Tiny Ruins, will include two free solo shows – one at Melbourne’s Public Bar, the other at the Midnight Special in Sydney.

Streaming below, Aldous Harding lead single, ‘Hunter’, has been characterised by Harding as a ‘gothic fairytale’. This is folk music, simple and bleak (not unlike Melbourne’s own gothic country band, Jimmy Tait), with Harding’s fragile coo reminiscent of retiring, 60s-era folk singers Vashti Bunyan and Linda Perhacs. ‘Hunter’ seems to occupy a place outside of time, opening with the refrain, ‘He’s a hunter, he’s a good man/Be brave when he brings you nothing home’ and closing with a vision of blood streaming down a river.

You can catch Aldous Harding on these dates:

Tuesday, 1 July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane w/ Tiny Ruins

Wednesday, 2 July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney w/ Tiny Ruins

Thursday, 3 July – The Midnight Special, Sydney (free)

Sunday, 6 July – Public Bar, Melbourne (free)

Tuesday, 8 July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne w/ Tiny Ruins

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WATCH: Straight Arrows – ‘Petrified’

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It’s been a long time since Straight Arrows released an LP. Wait, let me rephrase that. It’s been a torturous, stupefyingly long time since Straight Arrows released an LP. We posted their psych-swamp rocker ‘Never Enough’ last August, and now - a band that needs no introduction, Sydney’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll group, the very incarnation of danger and an inspiration to scrappy guitar punks everywhere – Straight Arrows are back again with *a whole album* of new material.

The band has also released what is, for them, a rare treat: a video for latest single, ‘Petrified’. Sounding like modern Australia’s answer to The Soft Boys, ‘Petrified’ features paranoid guitar notes that ring out after the titular line, ‘I’m petrified’, signalling the kind of relationship horror that hasn’t been felt since Norman Bates’ mummy issues.

The video is typical of Straight Arrows’ penchant for the old school, frontman Owen Penglis having compiled some trippy and glazed footage depicting a story of band practice and casual murder.

Rising was released last Friday (the thirteenth) on Rice Is Nice. To celebrate, Straight Arrows are currently on tour, with Canberra legends TV Colours supporting at all shows. You can still catch them on these dates:

Friday, 20 June – The Brightside, Brisbane (tickets available here)

Saturday, 28 June – The Fishbowl, Newcastle (tickets on the door)

Saturday, 12 July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne (tickets here)

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MAP June 2014

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This month’s Music Alliance Pact features 27 brand new tracks from around the globe – everywhere from India to Ecuador. The Australian contribution for June comes from Perth artist Kucka, whose brilliant single ‘Unconditional’ is out now.

This month we’re also welcoming new blogs from France and Canadia, Your Own Radio and Ride the Tempo.

Keep your eyes peeled for Robbie’s latest Mapcast - due mid-week – over on Soundcloud. While you’re waiting you can check out last month’s MAP Eurovision spectacular and subscribe to Robbie’s monthly podcast on iTunes.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 27-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie

TemperQuitapenas

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Temper is an instrumental rock band with influences that encompass tango, jazz, surf-rock, Hindu movie soundtracks and psychedelic music. This catchy track is from their third album, Clitoxismo: 10 Neurotransmisiones En Círculos, released last year by La Boca Se Te Haga Un Lago, a local independent label which specializes in instrumental music.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?

KučkaUnconditional

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Perth native Kučka, aka Laura Jane Lowther, makes tinsel-y RnB that falls somewhere between the smooth, subdued sounds of 90s-era Janet Jackson and the cartoonish decadence of K-pop. With her vocals featured on two tracks from A$AP Rocky’s debut album, LONG.LIVE.A$AP, and with a brand new EP due out later this year, Kučka is definitely an artist to keep your eye on.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado

Russo PassapussoParaquedas

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Russo Passapusso, the lead singer of BaianaSystem, is about to release his first solo album. In single Paraquedas he displays a deep appreciation of Brazil’s musical roots. It’s a mixture of samba rock, funk and hip hop to make you dance.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo

Once A TreeHowling

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Hayden John Wolf and Jayli Wolf may show some Europe electronica inspiration in Howling but the duo are indeed from Toronto. Each time Once A Tree drop a track on SoundCloud, they deliver with creative vocals and eargasmic production. Howling proves to be their best tune yet, experimenting with trap-like beats and chilling atmosphere.

See the full list after the jump

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INTRODUCING: Santelmo

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Brisbane-based quartet Santelmo began putting music out mid last year, culminating in the release of their debut EP Pins & Needles. The band cites some pretty divergent influences, from Grizzly Bear to J Dilla. The former at least is evident over the course of their 6-track EP, with honeyed, Ed Droste-like vocals layered into pretty but distorted melodies.

A Pins & Needles standout, ‘Holiday Season’, begins with an unassuming drumbeat that could belong to any cookie-cutter indie rock song. Cue droning, dissonant vocals that would threaten to float away if they weren’t rooted to a persistent, driving bass line and rhythmic guitar. If the song wasn’t full of sneaky counter-melodies and harmonic textures it would be lifeless, a risk avoided by Santelmo through careful production. A nod to J Dilla, maybe? They just don’t seem like the kind of guys (and gal) who’d put out a careless, sloppy track. You probably had a better holiday than Santelmo, but at least they had the decency to turn their shit time into a gritty, melancholic and captivating tune.

The moody vocals, agile bass and folky riffs on Pins & Needles combine to prove that 1) Santelmo are capable of crafting angsty gems without any clichéd sappiness and 2) indie rock doesn’t have to be hopelessly unoriginal and bereft of emotion.

Santelmo have just put out a film clip for the EP’s title track, ‘Pins & Needles’, with help from Brissie filmmaker Tom van Kalken. Watch on to see guitarist Eamon Webb inadvertently turn one of those totem tennis poles that lonely kids get for Christmas into a pogo stick.

 

Eamon and bass player Joe Saxby have also been putting out some neat folktronica under the grammatically-challenged moniker These Guy that you can listen to here.

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