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PREMIERE: Owen Rabbit – ‘Violence and Degradation’

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Last month we introduced you to Owen Rabbit, a kid who got his start playing bush doofs in WA and ended up composing trip-hop-inflected indie pop in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

‘Violence and Degradation’ is the follow up to first single ‘Police Car’. An extended live recording of the new track has been doing the rounds for a while now, showing Owen piece the sound together from a panoply of equipment – synths, samplers, drum machines. The final version has now been laid down and returned from the mastering studio, and will be released very soon via Catch Release Records.

Thematically, ‘Violence and Degradation’ is a neat sequel to the earlier 7″, moving from a tale of delinquency to one of addiction and destitution. But where ‘Police Car’ was sparse and strange, ‘Violence and Degradation’ is lush and soaring, layers of strings, keys and shuddering snares.

Owen Rabbit has a bunch of shows coming up in NSW and Victoria:

Wed, 8 Oct – The Evelyn, Melbourne

Fri, 17 Oct – FBi Social, Sydney

Sat, 25 Oct – The Evelyn, Melbourne

Thurs, 13 Nov – Wesley Anne, Melbourne

Sat, 14 Nov – Babushka Bar, Ballarat


WATCH: Wives – ‘Buried’

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Wives (formerly known as Sweet Shoppe) are your new favourite post-punk band. Like all great post-punk bands, they were bred out of the sewer of manipulation, deceit and backstabbing – also known as our nation’s capital of Canberra. With experience and talent on their side, Wives contains members from other flagship bands such as Assassins 88, TV Colours, Sex Noises and Beach Slut.

The band’s newest single is ‘Buried’. The music is severe, and plods with the doom of an undertaker about to make some bank. There’s a lot of elements at play here: the thwocking bass, submerged yelps and that angular, neurotic guitar piercing skin again and again. It’s an uneasy track, and the best part about it is that you can’t quite make out why.

The video only adds to the track’s vague yet encompassing nature. It’s kind of like someone dropped a kaleidoscope in a vat of acid and then was granted the power of neon heat-vision. Whatever is going on behind the shifting patterns isn’t all that obvious, but the intrigue is all part of the fun.

Wives launch ‘Buried’ in Sydney at Black Wire Records on Friday the 26th of September, with support from Bare Grillz, Hence Therefore, and Roland Major. They follow that up with a hometown show at The Phoenix with a support slot at Mere Women‘s album launch on the 27th.

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GL is a Melbourne-based synth-pop duo formed by Bamboos alumni Ella Thompson and Graeme Pogson. The pair is about to release the Love Hexagon EP via Plastic World, a Sydney imprint run by Vic Edirisinghe of Astral People and James McInnes of Future Classic.

With a focus on the kind of forward-thinking, club-oriented acts that don’t seem to have a natural home on existing local labels, Plastic World has, in its short life, dropped releases by Tuff Sherm, Cassius Select, Retiree and Alba. The label’s curatorial nous is reflected in the remixes they’ve scored for GL’s upcoming release, including work by Detroit house legend Terrence Parker and Gerd Janson of Running Back Records, which has released music from the likes of Todd Terje, Theo Parrish and Tensnake.

‘Won’t You See’, the first cut to surface from Love Hexagon, started doing the rounds back in July. Though it’s body music with a killer hook, overwhelmingly the track comes off as a 1980s genre exercise, its drum machines and tightly coiled synths zapping like lasers.

GL’s new single, the more sultry ‘What Happened to Us’, draws on a similar palette – but here Thompson’s vocal performance pushes the sound to a higher plane. Her voice flutters and cracks as she delivers the yearning lines, ‘Don’t push harder/You can push harder/But it’s not like before’. As it heats up, ‘What Happened to Us’ rivals the retro-pop grandeur of Solange’s Dev Hynes-produced tracks, equal parts strength and lightness of touch.

Love Hexagon  pre-orders will be available soon. Check out the video for ‘Won’t You See’ after the jump.


EXCLUSIVE: Trust Punks – ‘Prone Hold’

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Trust Punks

True to form, ‘Prone Hold’ from Auckland’s Trust Punks sees the band continue to forge their sound; a dissonant marker between punk and skewered pop.

‘Prone Hold’ is the first track to be released from the band’s debut LP, Discipline. The seven track LP follows a series of singles previously released on Bandcamp.

Both blissful and confronting, ‘Prone Hold’ is a perplexing journey. While each section boasts enough content to carry an entire track, it all passes in seamless procession. The chaos is counteracted by extended angular guitars and long drawn vocal lines. The track peaks with the inclusion of horns over gradually rising and multiplying vocals, before devolving once more into a harsh enveloping wall of noise.

Trust Punks perform at Homies Cosy Teahouse on October 18th in Wellington, and 10 South Street on October 25th in Auckland. A larger New Zealand tour and the band’s second tour of Australia will happen this coming Summer.

Discipline is set for a November 14th release date via Spunk Records.

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MAPCAST: South of the Border

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Following our podcast on new Indonesian tunes last month, Mexico is our feature country in this month’s MAPCAST. Robbie takes you through what he describes as “twenty minutes of terrifying Mexican underground”, covering everything from new cumbia to afro-pacific beats. The whole affair sounds like Gael Garcia Bernal and Drake doing drinking out of a shoe in a dank, dark club somewhere on the Yucatan. Thanks to our fellow MAP compatriot Uliel from Mexico music blog RedBull Panamerika for your help this month.

This month’s episode, along with previous podcasts are available for free download over at our Soundcloud.

Check out more international tunes in the September edition of the Music Alliance Pact.

Nick Allbrook: “It’s just doing a dumb performance for people wanting to have fun”

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Nick Allbrook_

Thanks to a calendar mix up, I was late to this interview with Nicholas Allbrook (of POND, Mink Mussel Creek and Allbrook/Avery).  He’s just released a solo album called Ganough, Wallis and Fortuna, so luckily I cut out the long part at the start of our chat – which was just me apologising profusely and Nick having to reassure me that everything was fine and that he was totally chill. Nick had been drawing on the whiteboard but wiped it clean before I got there. When I told him I would have liked the see his drawings, he talked about these monks who had once come to his school who’d done beautiful intricate sand paintings and then tipped them into the ocean and that he liked that idea. This is totally the kind of thing you’d like to think someone as thoughtful, nervous, and interesting as Nick Allbrook would be into.

ML: You got here yesterday right?

NA: I saw Felicity Groom who was great, but it’s all a bit overwhelming to stay out. Even though I wanna see bands I just can’t, it’s too much.

Even just like walking in here (the Judith Wright Centre, hub of BIGSOUND activity)…

It’s fuckin’ weird hey? You gotta like, say the same thing to everyone cause that’s all people know.

Is this the start of a tour for you?

Nah, just the one show. I’ve been doing a few shows at home in Melbourne.

How’ve they been?

Somewhere between enjoyable and horribly painful.

‘Whispers of Beauty’ sounds very…’Pond-y’ to me. Was that written early?

I guess it’s as much ‘Pond-y’ as anything else is ‘Nick Allbrook-y’. The only difference is the little name that shows up in Streetpress. It’s all the same. There’s no division from what is Pond, and what is me. It just gets put on a different… saleable unit.

I guess with one you get to work on with your mates a bit more.

Exactly. Though I can still work on ‘Nicholas Allbrook’, I’m doing the quotation mark thing with my mates. All the Pond dudes helped me on various songs. That’s what I’m talking about, why the labelling of stuff is so bizarre. I played drums on one of Joe’s ‘solo’ album songs and it’s weird, it’s all just the same stuff.

Does recording at home help you feel more comfortable?

Sort of. I kind of had to make a sanctified space to make it feel less comfortable; to make it feel like I was there for a reason. When I had my recording doohickies in my room it just doesn’t even…I don’t even do anything. Or I do, and there’s an overly casual no-end-to-it kind of feeling like ‘this is just a shitty demo, it’s just something I’m doing just next to my bed, why make it good?’

Do you feel like you make better music when you’re under pressure?

I don’t think there’s any. Sometimes pressure would work definitely. Especially in an improvisational way, but sometimes I’ll just be like sitting around relaxing and something good will happen. There’s no rules.

And are you approaching the shows in a bit more of a low-key way than with Pond?

Yeah absolutely. It’s not as much of a festival, a spectacle. And ’cause I’m you know, alone – you don’t just wanna. I get very nervous about putting yourself out there like, ‘It’s Nicholas Allbrook! Lights, camera! Everyone look at this guy!’

I just can’t help but underplaying it a lot. Probably the same reason I wear slippers every day. Don’t want to just be strutting around in Cuban heels. I’d feel uncomfortable.


(read the full interview below)


MAP September 2014

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Another month, another round of MAP! September’s submission for Aus is ‘Life Tourist’ from Foreign/National; proof that this country still wrings a good guitar hook out every once in a while. If you’re local and like what you hear – Foreign/National rounds up a wonderfully curated lineup for Paradise Music Festival in Victoria in November. In its second year, the festival also features Oscar Key Sung, Kirin J. Callinan, Banoffee and Lucianblomkamp on the bill. Tickets are available here.


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 21-track compilation through Dropbox here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los GongsSuicidas

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Suicidas is a brand new track from Los Gongs’ sophomore album, Volumen 2. This young, promising band from Buenos Aires takes us back to the folk-rock, kraut and psychedelic sounds of the 60s and 70s. It was recorded at Ion, one of the few studios in Argentina that still offers a completely analog recording environment.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Foreign/NationalLife Tourist

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Five-piece Foreign/National was formed by brothers Mark and Sean Gage in their hometown on the Mornington Peninsula, a short drive south of Melbourne. The band has released three singles since November last year, attracting their fair share of attention from the music blogosphere. On latest offering Life Tourist, the lyrics offer a harsh counterpoint (“What’s your motherfuckin’ problem?”) to the band’s signature blend of psych-pop and tropicalia. It’s a cheerful, off-kilter sound that falls somewhere on the spectrum between Django Django and Os Mutantes. Foreign/National’s debut EP will be out on Downtime later this month.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Moreno VelosoUm Passo À Frente

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Moreno Veloso, the eldest son of Caetano Veloso, released his first studio album this year, Coisa Boa. Um Passo À Frente, the first single from it, is an indie-samba song that reflects the easygoing mood of the record.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
D-SisiveJonah Hill

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Toronto rapper D-Sisive describes his own biopic and reveals who would be the ideal person to play him. Despite being seemingly ridiculous, this track may be his best yet.

CHILE: Super 45

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Bernardita (Martínez) took some songs that her friend and fellow musician Felipe Cadenasso had kept for years and included them in her self-titled debut album. Hojas (“Leaves”) is a melancholic song that allows the listener to experience the intimacy of the recording. It’s fresh, warm and sweet. Just as the leaves fall to the ground during autumn you will fall for this track.

(Keep scrolling for the full list of tracks.)