Words by Zoe Sainsbury
Greetings new music fans! Primarily due to the wealth of mind-bogglingly amazing new music (and secondarily due to our crappy CMS not being able to sustain it), I’ve had to start a new Top 5 Tracks Of The Week post.
If you'd like to follow us on a journey through time and space...
But as both Queen and Krusty the Clown once said, "The show must go on"... and so it does...
Ball Park Music – Surrender
A new track debuted TODAY from the Brisbane indie-pop 5 piece that quote “Yelling at farm animals” as one of their 2 interests on facebook - and it’s a corker. “Surrender” is the first we’ve heard from Ball Park Music since their jovial, endearingly tongue-in-cheek 2011 release Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs. There’s an innate Australian quality to Ball Park Music’s produce: aside from Sam’s vocal tone, it always feels like they don’t take themselves to seriously… an earnest trait to top off a damn good tune! Check it out:
Gypsy & the Cat – Sorry
“Sorry” is the first new single from the Melbourne based duo’s forthcoming yet-to-be-titled album, and boy are we psyched! It’s really only been 18 months since their debut album Gilgamesh was released; months the boys have been on tour for the most part, but it feels like forever since we’ve been slapped in the face with some new material. If you haven’t seen these guys in a festival setting, they’re well worth dragging your gumboots to; they really know how to fill a tent with - people & pop goodness.
The Cast of Cheers – Animals
This track is old, but not that many people are too familiar with this Dublin four piece Cast of Cheers (currently on tour with Django Django), plus they’ve just released their album Family in the UK today so it’s still lukewarm off the press (it’s been available in Australia for about a month now). This has to be one of my favourite tracks off it "Animals" – pretty sure I’ll be dancing like an extinct species when they bust this out on stage at Splendour... THIS WEEKEND!
Also check out this cool slow jam remix by Ink Ships – giggity.
Wolfmother – Keep Moving
Holy mother of wolf! A NEW TRACK! The boys premiered “Keep Moving” live at Rock Werchter festival in Belgium this July. How long has it been? Cosmic Egg was released all the way back in 2009 can you believe, so presumably the US/European summer festival circuit has stolen their studio downtime (a few times over). By the looks of this festival (complete with flag-waving-Aussies in the crowd), you can’t blame them really… but let’s hope they’ll be back to lay down some more new tracks soon. Hands up who's hankering for a new album #me.
Shihad - Right Outta Nowhere
I’ll admit it, I was surprised to see this classic New Zealand band on this year’s Splendour bill. Have they done anything since 2010? Until 5 days ago, nein. But in the nick of time they’ve dropped this new one (aptly titled) “Right Outta Nowhere”. I for one am pretty excited to see how these guys fair on the Splendour stage; they had to be one of my favourite live acts back at uni (granted Newcastle uni doesn’t get as many headliners but we’ll mosh you into a corner- yeh roighto! C'mon!). Still rockin it out boys... nice.
Flume feat. Anna Lunoe – I Met You
I’ve written many times about Sydney producer Flume before – he features in our Top 20 Aussie Electronic Artists You need to Know – but we recently caught him live supporting The xx: one to check out in any capacity if you're not in Byron this weekend. This track is new-ish, but I mostly included it as Reegan won’t stop crapping on how good it is. He’s right for once…someone owes someone a champagne-guava it would seem...
Childish Gambino – “Sour Face” feat. Jay Rock
Who isn’t super psyched to see this kid bust it up at the Big Day Out in January? Not many, if any. This track is one off the cutting room floor so don’t expect to see it on his new album – we nabbed it from a mate of Donald’s, Sosupersam (Dj Samantha Duenas) new mixtape entitled “Trigger Happy”. It feature’s Jay Rock, another mixtape making fiend turned artist in his own right. Dig it?
How to Dress Well – Cold Nights
How to Dress Well aka Tom Krell is an experimental Brooklyn producer I first got onto back in 2010 when he dropped “Decisions” (posted below for you too). It was just such a different sound… glitchy, ghostly, undecipherable vocals over this dying off-beat bass drum boom. The production on this new track is a lot slicker, but it’s still like nothing else I’ve heard… He was pre-Active Child too btw...
Grizzly Bear – Sleeping Ute
HOW did I miss this! This track is an unofficial release by the Brooklyn four-piece, soon to return to our shores for Harvest Festival with a new album under their belts – and seriously – wow. The bands’ string arrangements bring so much movement to their music (listen out for the double bass) as well as the orchestral use of percussion… and this time they’ve added some interesting samples: sounds like there is a melodica in the mix there. Their no-end talent makes your muscles tense in an inhumane way… I want to love inside their heads – is that weird?
Rufus – Selena (Lancelot Remix)
Rufus are a talented Sydney electro-pop trio whom I included in my Top 20 Aussie Electronic Acts You Need to Know, along with the man behind this epic remix: Lancelot. The drop, followed by the deep pulsing bass around 2:30 is my favourite part, plus that hooky little space-invader-shooting sound effect. I’m nodding my head as I write this… You can nab a copy of Lancelot’s new EP now, details on his facebook. Rufus are also touring in August, and they are DEF an act to see live, big sound you can dance your little pants off to. Deets on their facebook too.
Collarbones – Missing
Another one of my Top 20 Aussie Electronic artists, back with another cleverly constructed soundscape “Missing” injected with a lil’ R&B flavor this time; a raw yet soulful vocal floated over the top of a hollow beat, until a cool polished bongo sample & snare take over. Smooth. This track is a part new movement/genre I like to call “Lovestep” lol (actually I stole that from a Uk producer Two Inch Punch - featured earlier in this post - he recently included this track on his latest mixtape, check it out here). Why, WHY do more people not know about these guys!
(back from hols - did you miss me?)
Passion Pit – Constant Conversations
If you are like us in the office - making high-pitched wheezes through mouth-froth in anticipation for Passion Pit’s forthcoming album – then this track is not going to help you keep it together. The boys from Massachusetts mark some new exciting territory with this one… injecting a bit of R&B into their synth-laden pop. And it sinks right through you…
There’s no word on Passion Pit sideshows as yet (they’re out here in October for Parklife) but we will let you know as soon as we do!
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Only in My Dreams
I was sold on Ariel Pink on first hearing “Round N’ Round” (and when I saw frontman Ariel sport a sequined jumper at Laneway Festival 2010). I'm quite late to the party considering the band have released 7 full LP’s prior to Before Today (2010). They still pay some serious homage to the 60’s and 70’s with this track – so if that’s your bag , you’ll love this new one… you could slip it in as a secret song on the Forrest Gump soundtrack and no one would notice.
“Only in my Dreams” will feature on their forthcoming album Mature Themes, out this August.
Tame Impala – Apocalypse Dreams
The WA boys are finally back with some new material – feels like it’s been a long time between joints – musical ones of course. This is the first taste (not the official single) off their forthcoming album Lonerism, out this October. Let’s be honest, it’s not an epic stretch from their earlier material, although there’s a nice addition of vintage piano and the breaks in tempo are lush; more thought seems to have gone into song structure and production seems tighter... yet they haven’t lost that lazy grainy retro quality - nice. Oh and the muted brass trailing at the end just make it! Who am I kidding, I LOVE this track! It just better and better with each listen… bring on October!
The Laurels – Changing the timeline
Sticking to a pseudo-psychedelic theme, Sydney four piece The Laurels are just about to release their new album Plains (out via Rice is Nice) this being the first single from it (actually released earlier in June). And what a killer track it is! Between the echoing vocals in the chorus, the drum fills that roll of the back of them and thick riffs that weigh your head down into a slow bob – it’s almost hypnotic.
They’re definitely a band to see live too – so do it. Dates and details of their forthcoming tour are right here.
Bwana – Baby, Let Me Finish
What genre does this track even fit into? Post-dubstep? (that term is becoming as generic as electro these days) Who cares anyway – it is totally vibing. This track has been floating around on soundcloud for a year would you believe! I only just came across it via an Annie Mac presents remix by fellow UK artists Karma Kid (also posted below) so I figured I’d share it. I can’t get enough of beat makers who syncopate each layer to such precise timing and with perfect dynamics… it just feels so organic. Bwana’s EP is out soon via somethinksounds, keep on top of when via his facebook.
Which one do you like best? Remix or original?
Urthboy feat. Daniel Merriweather – Naïve Bravado
Talk about an Aussie hip hop tag-team effort. This newie from Sydney MC Urthboy (of The Herd and solo fame) features soul-man Daniel Merriweather on the chorus and production by Hermitude and Count Bounce. The track kicks off with brassy stabs and funky guitar before some seriously slick synth slides in under the loud and proud pop chorus, all adding up to an epic all-star effort.
Metric – Speed The Collapse
We’re counting the days ‘til these Canadian synth-rockers drop their new record Synthetica (out June 15) and this second taster has got us even more amped. Sultry sexbomb Emily Haines prophesises doomsday visions of bleeding rivers and boiling oceans over big, bounding drums and glacial guitars before it all builds to a darkly synth-laced squall saved only by some pop ‘aaahs’ at the end. Once the album comes out, we’ll start counting the days ‘til they arrive for Splendour.
The Vaccines – No Hope
Talk about not wasting time. After releasing their impressive debut record What Did You Expect from the Vaccines? last year, this West London garage punk outfit is back with the first whiff of its follow-up The Vaccines Come Of Age. ‘No Hope’ won’t extinguish those pesky Strokes comparisons anytime soon, but it’s appealing in its own right and bodes well for the new stuff which lands in September.
Azealia Banks – 1991
Harlem MC Azealia Banks’ had tongues wagging and ears burning since late last year when she dropped her fabulous, X-rated banger ‘212’ (named after Harlem’s area code). Now our favourite foul-mouthed fox is back with another numerically-named tune ‘1991’ (named after her birth year), which pairs pumping ‘90s house with rapid-fire rhymes and eerily recalls early Missy Elliot. It’s off Banks’ new four-track EP of the same name, which will be followed by a mixtape Fantastic in July just in time for her arrival here for Splendour In The Grass.
The National – Rains Of Castamere (Game Of Thrones cover)
Think Game Of Thrones and you’d don’t usually think music - well, apart from the opening theme and the wet plop of frequent decapitations (if that counts). That’s set to change with the news our favourite brooding rockers The National have contributed this vocal track to the mostly orchestral soundtrack to Season 2 officially released next month.
The lyrics were originally penned by author George R.R. Martin in the original A Song Of Fire And Ice series and here they’re ominously brought to life with Matt Berringer’s solemn baritone over funereal horns and strings. It’s good but hardly as fun as this…
Woodkid – Run Boy Run
Woodkid aka Yoann Lemoine was first a music video director & graphic designer – now turned musician himself. Can you get any more annoyingly talented! (If Michel Gondry picks up a guitar, I’m slitting my wrists). Visually, if you look at some of his previous work (Drake’s “Take Care”, Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” & “Blue Jeans” + the 1st video for his own track “Iron”) he has an incredibly dramatic style. His music is the perfect couterpart: tribal handclaps and rimshots veiled by crescendo-ing strings. Be prepared for a cinematic experience:
Two Inch Punch - Paint It Red Ft Mikky Ekko
This track is sublime… what a masterpiece mix of soulful vocals, synth and scratching samples. Two Inch Punch is a UK producer who you can tell is taking older R&B influences on a more technical journey – without losing the feeling in the mix. Wait till the drop around 1:13… you’ll melt.
If you like producers like Jamie Woon, Sbtrkt, Clams Casino or artists like The Weeknd & Frank Ocean - I think you’ll dig this guy.
Gold & Youth - Time To Kill
These guys are a new Canadian quartet signed to one of my all time favourite labels, Arts & Crafts (co-founded by Kevin Drew – LEGEND!) They have an interesting sound: that squishing of indie & electro – it’s a bit like a darker version of the Naked & Famous or the xx on roids. Comparisons aside, this track has me… it picks itself up with a syncopated drum machine and takes you with it on a wild retrograde into lost memories of crazy nights.
...oh and this is my new favourite video... speaking of crazy nights.
Their debut LP Beyond Wilderness is due out later this year, has been produced by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, New Pornographers). Deets on their FB.
I know Leopard – Embers
What can I say, I dig this track – and considering ‘indie-pop’ is one giant beer-soaked bar towel saturating the Aussie scene at the moment, it’s a difficult feat making a clean cut through it. But the Adelaide (now Sydney) four piece, have done just that. Frontman Luke has an alluring, inherently Australian vocal tone - like a modern Paul Kelly – maybe it’s an Adelaide thing… and the track itself has subtle little hooks running all the way through it that centre-stage from each instrument in all the right places… makes me think the boys spend a lot of time together… rehearsing of course (that's them in the picture BTW).
If you dig this, give them some sweet facebook love here. Just don’t look too closely at the carpet in this video…
Shady Lane – Gwimnoddles
Shady Lane is the work of Sydney man Jordy Lane (you might remember his older track “Galileo” which was originally released under his own name, posted below). As Shady, he’s just released a new album Built Guilt via Rice is Nice and it’s a cracker. This track "Gwimnoddles" (unreleased) had me at first listen with its yielding, stretched-out vocal paralleled by a spacey sample… until 1:40 when gritty riffs kick in. Makes me want to listen to it at night staring at the sky. If you like Deerhunter, Dappled Cites or Art of Fighting you’ll dig this. Show him you do on his Facebook or hit up Rice is Nice on Soundcloud to hear more. Fun fact: Jordy is also 1/6 of another awesome Sydney band Richard in Your Mind.
Here's the older track of his 'Galileo':
Kids of 88 - Tucan feat. Alisa Xayalith
If this track doesn’t make you want to slowly levitate from your seat and dive out of the nearest window (preferably into water at some tropical location beneath) then you’re beyond help. You might remember this NZ duo for their chest-popping electro release “My House” in 2009: so this track obviously marks for a new direction for the lads… I really like where they’re headed. Or maybe I just need a holiday...
Yeasayer – Henrietta
There was a lot of contention when this Brooklyn 5 piece jacked up the synthesizer and double-dosed on the marimba samples in progressing from All Hour Cymbals (2007) to Odd Blood (2010) – personally – I’m a big fan of both! This latest leaked track (only heard live previously) sees the boys remain starry eyed in space-pop. The extended outro of this song totally makes it… (1:43 onwards)… Oh Henrietta.
Palms – Love
Palms are a killer bi-product band from Sydney: members Al & Tom of Red Riders keeping the amps plugged in after the former split. Amps plugged in and turned up in this tracks case! This track is gritty, raw and passionate – everything you want in a song (and if you're like me, a relationship). This is what the boys had to say about it,
“This is our new song 'Love', it's about love. We recorded it with everyone's favourite kitchen-studio producer Owen Penglis AKA King OPP (Straight Arrows/Royal Headache). This time we paid him in Vietnamese food.”
I’m buy your next meal boys.
Clubfeet – This Time
There’s something about this Melbourne 5 piece that just launch me straight back into my favourite 80’s film montages… a wafty descending sax intro over a pace-setting drum machine beat – this track definitely lends an ear to old classics like Duran Duran, New Order and the new age revivalists: Twin Shadow, Neon Indian and Blood Orange. Obliviously with their own completely unique take on all those dreamy/wavey genres - let that not be forgotten! The musicianship of the band gives their pop some real depth. I included these guys in Top 20 Electronic artists of 2012. Big things to come for these guys methinks.
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) - Faux Pas remix
YES I know – we’re all over this song! But this is such a cool remix by Melbourne producer Faux Pas (aka Tim Shiel). He’s released a bunch of EP’s – I first got onto him through his 2007 release Changes, the title track is a ripper! He just has a really unique way of stripping back a track to its stems, completely rejigging all its properties without destroying the original essence ie. This remix is totally vibing but still hits you in the heart. I included another of his earlier remixes of Paul Dempsy’s “Ramona Was a Waitress” too. DO check this guy out on his facebook. The.bomb.
Also if you want to know how much Gotye made from just that song, read this.