Pool Shop is the solo project of Major Leagues guitarist Jamie Fryer, and though it’s been a thing for a couple of years now (lucky Melbourne people have even had a couple of chances to see her live since Fryer moved from Brisbane in mid-2014), this demo is the first track she’s recorded. ‘Lower Now (Demo)’ is lo fi and sparse but full of promise and crystalline beauty.
The down-and-out sweetness of the vocals is ‘Lower Now’s most immediate element, drawing you in from the first breath. Fryer’s delivery is clipped and restrained, hinting at some pretty deep hurt below the surface, but never really letting you in. She also gives us a taste of her talent for beautiful, shoegazey guitar lines with a drawn-out riff that comes in towards the end of the song and fades out far too quickly. Everything about this track seems designed to make you want more, so let’s hope this is a sign of great things to come rather than just a lovely one-off.
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Claire & the Cops have an interesting story behind their name, one that every garage band has surely (and sorely) experienced – that of the piece-of-shit neighbour. In this case the neighbour is Claire, who called the cops on this Sydney trio for playing loud rock’n’roll music in their garage. It feels like Claire’s the kind of person who would call up the Free TV Australia hotline after hearing someone say ‘Damn!’ on a program before 6.30.
Fun-hating sticklers aside, Claire & the Cops brandish a bratty, loud brand of garage music that’ll probably blow out some eardrums along the way. They lean very closely to Ty Segall and other lo-fi idols such as White Fence and Straight Arrows (whose frontman Owen Penglis mastered Claire & the Cops’ debut EP). While their vocals sit low, deep and more chilled than Matthew McConaughey in Surfer, Dude,at an instrumental level the songs bellow with a forthright fuzz that sets them alight. Basing your band name on a prudish neighbour may seem slightly passive aggressive, but at least there’s history there – and these guys make the kind of balls-out garage that forces you to pay attention. Check out their latest single, ‘Need Ya’, below.
Catch ‘em playing Jitterfest alongside the Girl Fridas, Piss Factory and the Nuclear Family on Sunday, 7 December at Sydney’s Captain Cook Hotel.
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Ha the Unclear, a set of Dunedinites formerly known as Brown, specialise in a densely worded style of alt-pop with a distinct southern drawl.
Led by Michael Cathro’s unique vocals and sharp, dark wit, the band are unlike any band you’ve heard before. They weave hilarious tales of anxiety and frustration, give intimate emotion to inanimate objects and raise questions about religion and morality within almost a single breath.
Cathro’s lead is complemented perfectly by lush backing vocals and a seemingly endless supply of hooks. The songs have a great sense of restraint that anticipates a glorious grand release – most notably on album closer ‘Mortality (A Million Years Ago)’.
Ha the Unclear have just released the lyric video for ‘Secret Lives of Furniture’, which you can check out below. Their new album, Bacterium, Look at Your Motor Go, is full of hooks and quirks. Get it right now on Bandcamp.
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We’ve got another Paradise Festival mix for you today (only two days to go!). This one was sent in by Melbourne’s own Darcy Baylis, whose debut EP, ‘How Can I Live?’/’Ecstasy’, is out now through Downtime. Currently studying composition at VCA, Baylis was only just out of high school when he released his first album, Celestial Love, under the nom de guerre Naminé. He produces nostalgic dance music with a whole lot of heart, his introspective vocals dealing with depression, heartbreak and delusion.
Baylis has made us an exquisite mix of deep house, post punk and atmospheric techno, including excellent showings from locals Amateur Dance and Total Control. Check it out below, and don’t miss his set from 3.00 to 4.00 this Saturday night in Club Land.
01. Function & Vatican Shadow – A Year Has Gone By
02. Amateur Dance – Room For Improvement
03. Blue Marble Tech – D
04. Caspian Joseph – Love My Luv
05. Ital – Dancing
06. Total Control – Bloody Glass
07. Hieroglyphic Being – The Seer of Cosmic Visions (Original Version)
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I have good feelings towards this band – and generally anyone who thinks employing a horn section is worthwhile, so I’m going to call this one out as a decent dad-jam record worth your ears (Fraser A Gorman not trailing far behind). Melbourne’s Sagamore are putting out their new EP, Longer – recorded over the span of a year between Christmas Hills, Thornbury and North Melbourne before being mastered by Lawrence Greenwood (Whitley) at his Hiss and Hum studio.
Sagamore aren’t changing any frontiers of sound – although but they seem a little more interested than the rest of jangle-gate. They’ve set themselves in a comfortable counterpoint between middle America and a Thornbury backyard. The interchangeable harmonies between Sam and Sophia are warm (‘You Can Take Me My Love’) and rhythms are replete with community hall dance moves from yesteryear (‘Iodine’, ‘Feelings’). Longer is sets off at a slower pace compared to the hook driven self-titled release. The band do edge on running bar chord devotionals and lyrical repetition into the ground, but lead Sam Cooper manages to deliver any leftover passiveness into a warmth only Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy could run off with.
Sagamore are launching Longer at the Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne tomorrow, followed by a stint at the Queenscliff Music Festival on the weekend.
Longer is out on the 28th of Nov via Flightless.
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Our next Paradise artist mixtape comes from Foreign/National, a five-piece from the Mornington Peninsula led by brothers Mark and Sean Gage. The mix pretty much perfectly encapsulates the band’s ‘psychedelic lounge’ aesthetic, featuring sounds ranging from Air to Neu!, plus Aussie psych rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and neo-soul merchants the Harpoons – not to mention my new favourite Nina Simone track.
Foreign/National’s debut EP is out now through DOWNTIME. Catch ‘em at Stage Paradise this Saturday at 1.15 p.m.
01. Air – J’ai Dormi Sous L’eau
02. João Gilberto & Stan Getz – Corcovado
03. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Work This Time
04. Nina Simone – Baltimore
05. The Harpoons – Never Stop Loving You
06. Sister Sledge – He’s The Greatest Dancer
07. Neu! – Hallogallo
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