Melbourne five-piece Crepeshave released the clip to ‘Size of Your Town’, the downer-pop slow burner that closes out their debut EP Cold Summers. The clip is an ode to the boys’ central Victoria hometown, Ballarat, splicing VHS footage of Crepes with a 1994 performance from fellow countrymen the Teddyboys, an 80s band covering 60s swing. For an extra layer of WTF the boys have helpfully added Japanese subtitles for full karaoke absurdist effect.
The clip’s nostalgia is the initial drawcard, but it also serves as a great reminder to go back and listen through Crepes’ debut EP again – because damn, it’s a lovely slacker-psych kaleidoscope.
Fun fact: after seeing the clip I watched about 20 minutes of pancake tutorials. Thank you, Crepes, for not only being a delicious breakfast food but for producing equally delectable tunes.
Crepes are headed north with shows in Melbourne and Sydney before ending up in Brisbane next week for their BIGSOUND spot.
Mihra are the latest outfit from new Melbourne label Wigwam. Recently launched in July, the small label houses a diverse selection of bands; psychedelic act My Elephant Ride(who Mihra’s lead Chevaunne Keleher also sings in) – to crash course in experimental pop, Ministry of Plenty. Label owner Nathan Abbey also yarns self-deprecating poetry in the key of Peter Bibby – and throwing Mihra into the mix, it’s a colourful lot. ‘I Wonder’ is the newest track from the jazzy six piece, set to appear on their debut out later this year.
‘I Wonder’ saunters in with a breezy piano hook, the Bossa Nova type that holds in-flight soundtracks and wine grazing tours together. Mihra are aware of the periphery of jazz-pop twee, and tip-toe carefully around it. The band are devoted to their own sincereness and bask in it at times. Vocalist Keleher sings about feigned hope after the end of a relationship, while the bass line politely coaxes a muzak sample as harmonies cross fire in-between. Lyrically, the track is light on the ‘poetic’ side. It’s more of a casual late afternoon muse compared to some of the new ‘future soul’ crowd who divulge in more sonic landscapes, but it’s sweet listening overall. With Keleher’s lead in a different context – I’m not ruling out a quasi shimmy into a JAALAriff/scat-off at some point in the future.
If you tripped this track over in the street, it’d probably recite you a psalm and cradle your face in its hands, as easy listening does. Politeness is a comfy place for music to be, but Mihra have the foundations to turn up the goods. Looking forward to hearing more – and perhaps watching these guys throw some (syncopative) shade.
Mihra launch ‘I Wonder’ at the Workers Club in Melbourne on the 30th of August, with fellow newcomers Nafasi and Tetrahedra.
Apple a day keeps the doctor away, amirite? Nah, mate. Indie rock. Indie rock keeps the doctor away. Get those limbs flailing, practise your air guitar, smile a bit – all facets of the indie rock listening experience. The world can throw all the sickness and disease your way, it doesn’t matter, FLOWERTRUCK will keep your heart pumping at a health-sustaining 60-100 bpm.
Three singles in, and the Sydney foursome sound brighter and catchier than ever. ‘Sunshower’ delivers broad strokes of shimmering guitar, inflected with 80’s Australiana – the Go-Betweens, the Triffids, Even As We Speak. It’s engineered to blossom in your skull, smear a grin on your dome and get you dancing. You put on the shoes, lay down the cardboard, and start strutting your stuff like it’s 1989 and Paul’s Boutique just came out.
If you’re having trouble with the exact particulars of how to get down to ‘Sunshower’, let their video show you how. Grab some round fruits (preferably apples) and try to stack them. When failure inevitably comes calling, throw the table in the air (scene not shown) and dance like a lunatic on a windy cliff in front of some plastic. Oddly specific, but hey, that’s what the kids are doing it these days. Get with the times!
A scruffy haired, gap toothed young man, in ripped jeans and a leather bomber, Jack Colwell doesn’t look out of place among the DIY bands of Sydney’s inner west. He certainly doesn’t look like someone who’s played at the Opera House not once but several times.
Growing up on the northern beaches, Colwell’s high school was the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Since his teens, he’s been working to reconcile his obvious pop sensibility with his classical background, starting out making folksy chamber pop as Jack Colwell and the Owls. On his forthcoming EP, Only When Flooded Could I Let Go – in the works for almost two years now – Colwell has come up with something much bolder and more himself.
‘Don’t Cry Those Tears’ is his latest single, and it’s a stunner – combining the drama of ‘Far From View’, the first taste of the EP, with the levity of last year’s gorgeous standalone single, ‘Seek the Wilde’. With painstaking arrangements that betray Colwell’s classical training, the track’s a dead ringer for a Phil Spector ‘wall of sound’ production.
Colwell’s also a versatile vocalist, going from breathy to thunderous without breaking a sweat. He even sounds wolfish at times, as he snaps and snarls. ‘Don’t Cry These Tears’ features his best performance yet – like Nick Cave animated by the spirits of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Nina Simone.
The video, Colwell’s second outing with London duo Brian and Karl, is shot in seedy red and blue. Surrounded by sculpted men stripped for the sauna, Colwell goes through a series of emotional spasms in a performance worthy of his hero Kate Bush.
Only When Flooded Could I Let Go is out 28 August. Preorder now and you’ll get instant downloads of ‘Don’t Cry Those Tears’ and ‘Far From View’.
Samuel Dobson is an MC and multi-instrumentalist from Sydney, with a few years of remixes and production credits under his belt. I want to call Dobson’s latest track ‘Aussie weed rap’, except that is an awful phrase on many, many levels. But if you dubbed any voice from A$AP Mob over the downbeat, orchestral sounds that sprawl out beneath Dobson’s verses, you’d get where I’m coming from.
The spaced-out production spins the age-old “where ya from” narrative of hip hop writing into a pretty listenable flow, with zero forced crowd participation or calls for where you represent on the map etc. It’s a fluid, shimmery track, with Dobson’s verses pacing and then racing over the persistently sluggish beat. It kind of feels like a more well thought out version of the first track off his forthcoming debut – and I’m interested to see if he can sustain the dynamic over a full-length release. For now, this is a nice addition to the growing bank of sophisticated Australian hip hop and RnB.
Cool Sounds are slowly and surely becoming a professional band. They were always good, but now they have a real, bonafide music video to prove it. (Not strictly their first vid, but Dainis’ moustache is extra commanding – ed.) Listen up, Universal Music, Sony Records, Warner…the bidding war will start at approximately 6.30 pm (1830 hours) at The Workers Club, TOMORROW NIGHT. Don’t be late, or face the eternal regret of missing the chance to sign a band that “connects with the youth”.
Since starting out a few years ago, Cool Sounds have put out two albums, toured the globe, and released music on both Whalesmouth and Beko Disques, two labels that can do no wrong. From the outset that might seem impressive, but from the perspective of the incestuous Ocean Party enclave that Cool Sounds come from, it’s all fairly par for the course. Seriously, anyone remotely linked to that sprawl of musicians seems to be in about seven different bands who are all touring and releasing stuff constantly. It’s an exhausting thing to admire.
But back to Cool Sounds – they’ve evolved again from their January offering Healing Crystals. Their new track, ‘Control’, shows the band stretching the wide-eyed, hopeful guitar pop of previous records. ‘Control’ wrestles with conflicting desires, the protagonist divulging his inability to stay in an intimate relationship. It’s definitely the most morbid thing to come from the Cool Sounds camp so far.
For the clip, directed by Rex Kane-Hart, the smooth sax and jangly guitars are juxtaposed with paranoid, gritted grins and a peeping Tom’s view of a murderous relationship. Flicking between partners and band members, there’s a constant twinge of unease, despite the overriding calm of Cool Sounds’ music. That’s what literary types call ‘CONTRAST’.
V. meta, Cool Sounds, v. meta.
Catch Cool Sounds on tour with the Ocean Party in October:
This is a song from the new project of Julieta Brotsky (aka July Sky). It’s not the original version from the album, but a great remix released a couple of weeks ago by post-punk band Modex. Julieta’s beautiful voice can also be heard on several tracks by indie-pop band Entre Ríos, and in Varias Artistas, the female ensemble put together by singer-songwriter Lucas Marti.
Brisbane trio These Guy was originally the solo project of singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Saxby. Latest track Coming Around combines the lofty vocals and downer lyrics of Saxby’s earlier work. Along with buoyant pop production, the result is a track that’s interesting at every turn. The absence of any kind of rhythm guitar leaves Saxby’s vocals and synth-fiddling to carry the melodic weight of the track. Coming Around is a testament to Saxby’s ear for off-kilter production and hopefully points to a more experimental/avant-pop future for These Guy.
Post-rock six-piece Pequeno Céu started as a solo project some years ago before releasing their first album as a band in 2014. Pequeno Céu differs from other math/post-rock ensembles because of the Brazilian influences and simplicity of their short instrumental songs, such as Quatro. For fans of BADBADNOTGOOD, Hurtmold and Tortoise.