DZ Deathrays’ brand new single ‘Northern Lights’ plopped overnight. It’s the first smell of the band’s forthcoming sophomore LP due in the first half of 2014. These guys are doing pretty amazeballs. They knocked out an ARIA award winning debut LP ‘Bloodstreams’ in 2012, then owned the world by touring relentlessly for over a year.
Most recently the band entered the studio with producer Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine, The Horrors, Sigur Ros) while in the UK to headline NME Magazine’s party at The Great Escape Festival in May, and banged out this single track titled ‘Northern Lights’.
It’s a moody number. Lots of layered guitar and vocals building to climatic bursts of fever. A really great sound from a couple of guys that last time I saw play, were kinda bangin it out pretty wildly. This one is a lot more considered. Let’s call it their ‘sweet disposition’. Can’t wait for the new record.
The term ‘electronic artist’ is a vague label these days; it does little to separate the diligent sound artist from the guy recycling song samples to a sea full of early twenty-somethings doing beanies and cheap tabs on the regular.
On the outset, Sydney’s B_U_O_Y seems to qualify for the broader term. I have my own naggings against electronic artists with grammatically challenged titles and symmetrical cover art, but B_U_O_Y’s first track ‘Close/Open’ is one I’ve welcomed with open ears – and at least half of the Soundcloud plays on this track.
B_U_O_Y is Charmian Kingston, who was previously a vocalist for Sydney four-piece Hello Vera. Kingston was to Hello Vera what a sole femme vocalist is to any all male, pop-jazz-hybrid band: necessary. She may have added reasonable levels of twee (including starring in the band’s own Scottish sitcom) but I think her work with B_U_O_Y makes it clear that some ladies do stuff better on their own.
On paper, ‘Close/Open’ sounds like a producer’s picnic – skittered percussion, vivid synth work, with big-expanse vocals somewhere in the mix. However, instead of being tethered to the production of the track – the crux of B_U_O_Y’s sound is owed to the instrument-like quality of her vocals. Since most young electronic producers are prefixed by the need to partion off vocals, then butcher the whole thing in Audacity to vaguely resemble a beat, hearing the clarity in this track is really neat.
Kingston’s vocal meandering obviously echoes her heroes; Bjork, Bjork, BJORK (and all the other female vocalists united by an x chromosome and the word ‘eccentric’). More apparent in my ears anyway, are the similarities between B_U_O_Y and Cameron Mesirow from Glasser. Both might both be drawn to worldly drumming and the heady glow of Eastern vocal influence, but they do share something across their scattered song ambition.
Like Mesirow, it’s Kingston’s disconnect that has most impact here. For what the song pilfers over lyrically, it makes up for with its space-of-sound intent (and killer vocals). You can imagine she’s the type to trail off mid-sentence in conversation, but the one to leave a fine impression at that. Whatever you make of this, it is a nice exercise in sound.
‘Close/Open’ is only B_U_O_Y’s first track. I like her ambition, can’t wait to hear more of this.
Facebook / Tumblr
Rainbow Chan, the Sydney-based songstress who’s responsible for one of Australia’s more notable pop releases this year, has come out with a side project, Chunyin.
Chan’s Long Vacation EP (out through Silo Arts & Records) set indie scensters alight with her brand of delectable pop, but this latest project sees a break in that trajectory.
Often associated with Sui Zhen (hopefully not because of inadvertent racism), Chan’s melodies inhabit a space that could be considered whimsical—no doubt fostered by a love of vintage toys.
However, Chunyin’s a whole new ball game.
The first, and only track posted on Soundcloud, ‘Monochrome’, is reminiscent of Collarbones circa Iconography. It’s an abstract work that probably won’t be as blissful to the ears as say ‘Fool’s Gold’. The vocals that underpinned that release aren’t present here. Tagged as ‘Stonewashed’ on Soundcloud, ‘Monochrome’ distorts the the ‘vintage toy’ aesthetic into that of chopped up samples, loops, and general electronic goods.
What propelled Chan to break open this side-project is anyone’s guess, but it’s going to be interesting to see Chunyin develop as a counterpoint to the stylings of Rainbow Chan.
It’s hard not to read over this track with the multitude of sampled influences that could’ve been referenced in the making of ‘Monochrome’. From Four Tet’s ‘Rounds’ to Mount Kimbie’s back catalogue, the creation of Chunyin taps into a scene which places the musical ‘figurehead’ in the backseat. And, considering all the attention Chan’s received for Haircut, can Chunyin be seen as an antagonist to the pop idolarity fostered by the Long Vacation EP?
Probably not, but I’d love to find out.
Soundcloud / Facebook
You might know Angie Garrick (or ‘Angie Bermuda’ as she’s better known) for her screen work or her various guises in bands like Circle Pit, Ruined Fortune and Straight Arrows. Angie released her first solo EP Turning recently, where she’s swapped scrappy garage for a moodier sound.
Turning is a record for people who aren’t scared of music that’s a little ‘harsh’. (I’ve been playing it all day and my housemates have never been less chill.)
The highlight of this EP for me was closing track ‘A Certain Friend’. This track is total drowned-out desperation – the percussion here could synch up with the rhythm of a body being dragged down the stairs with Angie’s unrelenting vocals at the fore. There’s a lot to like here though – the heavier ‘Do Yourself Right’ delivers the first of the record’s many soul crunching riffs right out of the gate, while lead single ‘Parallels’ sparks familiar pointers to Angela’s previous ventures.
Turning is a record of pleasure and pain. IT RULES.
Turning is out now via Rice is Nice, and up for purchase here.
Early Woman is a collaboration between writer and documentary maker Hannah Brooks (St Helens, Spider Vomit, Young Professionals) and artist/cartoonist Ben Montero (Treetops, the Brutals, Montero). The group started popping up on bills around Melbourne about a year ago, performing nicotine-stained love songs in the style established on first demo, ‘Brothers’.
Early Woman’s sound is the perfect meeting point between the decadent, knowing schmaltz of Montero and St Helens’ gritty heroin chic, with Brooks’ serrated vocal and guitar tone complementing Ben Montero’s breathy croon and organ figures. They somehow manage to seem both earnest and sleazy at once, regularly rolling out lines like ‘I love my brothers like a real lover should’.
The band’s first official release, ‘I’m a Peach’ b/w ‘Feathers’, came out on vinyl and digital just over a week ago. As with the earlier ‘Brothers’, the tracks’ pop structure is straight to the point – there’s a bridge for every chorus, and both pack a punch. The best moment here has to be the billowing first hook of ‘Feathers’, Montero’s lyrics an exercise in surrealist romance: ‘Feathers flying all around / when she opens up her gown / I can hardly feel the world around me’.
When you see Early Woman play live – a terrific, tinsel and tie-dye affair – Bobby Brave’s ornate bass playing really comes to the fore, providing much of the songs’ melodic backbone. That element is oddly low in the mix on these recordings, but it can still be enjoyed with a pair of headphones.
‘I’m a Peach’ b/w ‘Feathers’ is out through Mistletone and Inertia. You can purchase it on iTunes or order the vinyl here. The band is at work on a debut album right now and will play a Mess + Noise Lunchbox show on 22 November as part of Melbourne Music Week.
We presented Fifth Floor’s first warehouse party back in early August. The Murlocs and a host of other bands played to a packed warehouse, while Thom Russell from Astral Projection and a selection of other local visual artists had their work projected onto the roof.
We’re stoked to reveal that we’re presenting the next Fifth Floor event on the 23rd of November. Wolf & Cub and WTH faves Damn Terran, Hollow Everdaze & ESC are headlining a huge 12 band bill over two stages. The party’s taking place before the Fifth Floor troupe heads overseas to host Fifth Floor #3 in an arts warehouse in Berlin on the 30th of November.
Footage from the last party filmed on 16mm was released over the weekend, check it out below.
PS. No-one told us about the go-go dancer (necessary but unnecessary) someone hired to flay about during The Murlocs set at the last party. Since it’s 2013 and there’s no room for gender/motor skill bias stuck in the 60′s – if you’re a slightly overweight male willing to shake some action during Damn Terran’s set, we are volunteering you.
Looks like this lineup is going to be EXCELLENT. Ticket details below!
Who The Hell, Tonedeaf, Beat & Faint Magazine present:
FIFTH FLOOR #2
Wolf & Cub
I, a Man
Warmth Crashes In
The New Pollution
Sooky La la
Visuals by Astral Projection
Buy tickets via Oztix.
Attend on Facebook HERE.
I picked up the first two Popolice EPs on my brother’s recommendation back in about 2006, and I was glad that I did. I loved Marc Regueiro-McKelvie’s angsty, angular indie pop and those dynamic progressions – there are no overwrought two-chord dirges here. I’ve still got a copy of Middle Ground in my glovebox (the only place for CDs these days), which I spin from time to time on my way to the shops.
Although he’s been making music since around 1997, Regueiro-McKelvie doesn’t seem to have had a strong PR machine behind him (or maybe he’s just been flat out playing with Teeth and Tongue, Enclosures and New Estate) because he ought to be a local sensation. That’s all changing now: this new track has been popping up all over the place, and a debut album (!) is due out soon.
Though he was citing crossover bands like Gerling way back at the turn of the millennium, ‘Would You Believe’ has got to be the most danceable Popolice track yet. The song’s catchy, stop-start rhythm matches Regueiro-McKelvie’s scratchy delivery perfectly, and it’s got a chorus that just keeps on getting bigger.
The accompanying video was made by Matthew Cribb, who recently filmed clips for WTH favourites Teeth & Tongue and The Ocean Party. It features Popolice striding along a Melbourne boardwalk as though caught up in a private rock stadium fantasy, Stratocaster hooked up to headphones and elegant legs encased in a sweet pair of tights. Meanwhile he’s being trailed by some sort of entropic VHS vortex…
‘Would You Believe’ is available now as a free download on Bandcamp.
Facebook / Bandcamp / Website
“A few years ago, the members of I Know Leopard left behind their picturesque one-pub town in the Adelaide hills. Upon arriving in Sydney, they were confronted not only with the prospect of broader horizons but also with the unmistakable feeling of displacement. With this as a central trope, ‘She’ was born”. And so goes the presser.
My first watch of this video was with bleary eyes at 6 in the morning and for just one sec I thought I tripping. It’s been shot really… dreamy. Damn, I swore I wouldn’t use that word. But how can you help it. It’s so god damn dreamy. Shot by Hari Jago featuring a very nice tune that opens with a throwback to animal collective but moves into a thunderous mind melting breakdown with catchy drum rolls and layered vocals.
Touring the new single ‘She’ on below dates:
Thurs, 7th Nov – MELBOURNE Prince Public Bar w/ special guests
Fri, 8th Nov – WERRIBBEE @ Mynt Lounge w/ special guests
Sat, 9th Nov – MELBOURNE @ The Workers Club w/ special guests
Fri, 15th Nov – SYDNEY @ OAF Gallery Bar w/ special guests
Sat, 16th Nov – BRISBANE @ Trainspotters, Grand Central Station w/ special guests
Fri, 22nd Nov – ADELAIDE @ Ed Castle w/ special guests
I love Australian folk music. I’m in Canada right now, and being away from home has made me appreciate the distinct sound of our local singer/songwriters on a whole new level. Right now, it’s Sydney outfit Little May who are helping with the queasy feeling of homesickness.
Little May’s debut single ‘Boardwalks’ is such a wonderful package of everything you love about folk music: soft, weathered vocals, a driving rhythmic section and lyrics that offer something a bit more. It’s difficult not to fall in love with the trio as they send you down a pensive spiral with their words and sounds. Taking inspiration from Fleetwood Mac and Local Natives, the trio features Liz Drummond, Hannah Field and Annie Hamilton. While the trio are relatively new, having formed only last year. They may be a folk outfit, but they are also undoubtedly resonating.
The three piece have handpicked certain elements to create their own fusion of percussion-heavy, guitar-driven folk. Coupled together with some intriguing storytelling, they’re doing it right.
‘Hide’ is the second taste of Little May’s upcoming EP, due in November.
Facebook / Bandcamp