Words by Zoe Sainsbury
Ahoy there new music fans! Welcome to the 3rd installment of our Top 5 Tracks Of The Week where we bring you some of the most interesting new releases/uploads that have landed on our desk in very recent days (or more often than not I've plucked from online obscurity aka soundcloud/bandcamp).
If you missed earlier installments, never fear - you can follow us on a journey through time and space...
To check out the previous weeks 1-10 Top 5 Tracks of the Week right here.
Or the more recent previous weeks 11-20 Top 5 Tracks of the Week - finished off nicely with a Special Splendour in the Grass edition.
But like Meatloaf's bloated ventricles... we must slowly press on...
San Cisco – Wild Things
Off the back of their two ARIA nom’s, Perth four piece, San Cisco have just dropped a new track – good timing guys. You’ll need to take a longer, slower sip from the indie-pop cocktail the band have been serving up over the past year (“Awkward”, “Rocketship”) with ‘Wild Things’, but it’s still got all the garnishing of being another summer favourite. I particularly like the denser layers of instrumental samples in this track and when the drum-machine fill breaks up the track at 1:30 - you can tell it's been mixed really well. Frontwoman Scarlett’s swirling chorus contrasts so sweetly with duel frontman Jordi’s verses too. If you listen carefully there are some juicy extra little vocal hooks, whistling, oohs, someone’s beat-boxing at the end - it actually sounds like there’s a party going on in the background - makes me immediately want to reverse the situation! Let’s have a party and put this one on in the background.
San Cisco’s self-titled debut album is out is this November 23.
Gypsy & the Cat – Bloom
“Bloom” is the second taste from Gypsy & the Cat’s forthcoming second album The Late Blue (due out next month) and the difference between this track and their first single “Sorry” has got me tingling with excitement to hear the album in full. That twangy riff and bass line intro against that popping breathy effect all seem very Drums-esque – am I right? Despite those similarities, this track had me at first listen. It feels like how you might looking at old watermarked polaroids of friends partying together… or maybe now just a ‘toaster’ filtered instagram pic.
Palma Violets – Best of Friends
Palma Violets are a spanking new four piece from London, “Best of Friends” being their debut single. Their sound is undeniably British don’t you think? Akin to the flock of bands screen-printing their own brand on an old school rock tee shirt: Howler, WU LYF, Devin (although he’s from NYC). As structurally and lyrically simple this track is, it’s so raw and middle-finger-up-honest, it makes you nostalgic for a 70’s rock-of ages time you never even lived through. Frontman Sam Fryers is also donning a Nick Cave shirt at the start of this clip – respect. Watch out for this band…
Daughter – Smother
I only wrote about a remix of this North London trio’s track “Love” a few weeks ago (cue to scroll down and appear interested), this time, the original band are back with a new track: the first taste from their forthcoming debut LP. Daughter make this music that is just all-consuming when you listen to it, like a lover you can’t have: it fills you, drains you all at once and leaves you coming back for more. It’s no wonder they’ve already garnered almost 70,000 facebook fans, after only 18 months on our airwaves.
Lowlakes – Cold Company
This new track by Alice Springs four piece Lowlakes (since located to Melbourne) just draws you in, like blood into a syringe as the layers and pressure builds; hauntingly beautiful work. It’s the first drop from their forthcoming debut release due out early 2013. Frontman Thomas Snowdon vocals do sound like – a little less heavy on the vibrato – Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons) don’t you think? The band have been invited to showcase in New York at the renowned CMJ Music Festival (known for breaking new artists) this October, so methinks big things to come for these guys.
Robin Pecknold – White Lace, Regretfully
Every time Fleet Foxes' frontman drops something, anything, mastered or not my skin tingles with excitement: he is just such a talented songwriter…. And that voice… so natural you imagine the ears of cute woodland creatures pricking up as he croons. This track was released bundled in with a literary journal called The Unified Field, which had contributions from Gloria Steinem, photographer Autumn de Wilde, and West Memphis 3 member Damien Echols. (Stereogum). I hope there's a studio solo release in the works...
As an added bonus, check this song out "I Let You". Robin’s only ever performed it live/. I was lucky enough to see him do it at a Fleet Foxes gig earlier this year. It will floor you.
PVT – Shiver
PVT are back releasing new material after recently signing to Create/Control – and I’m super excited! “Shiver” is the first taste of their yet-to-be-titled fourth studio album due for release early next year. I love how this track gently builds, the dynamics balance perfectly… and when that final melody on keys chimes in about the 3 minute mark - you really don’t want it to end! I hope they do an extended version live. Good to see the Sydney trio experimenting more with vocals and uses of ponchos too.
Hayden Calnin – Summer
I only wrote about Hayden Calnin a few weeks ago (see below) - I know! But he’s just released another track “Summer” and it’s perhaps even more swoon-worthy than the last. To recap, Hayden is from Melbourne and only in his early 20’s, although you wouldn’t know it from his unique approach to songwriting. You won’t find a pop hook within the first 30 seconds, you have to let this track slowly take you over like a lover running a hand down your cheek. Whether the risks you’re taking are deliberate or free flowing, Hayden, don’t stop taking them: this track is pure gold.
Still Corners – Fireflies
Instantly I feel like I’m part of an 80’s film montage listening to the latest offering by UK dream-pop duo Still Corners – you know the good ones – like in Risky Business where there’s lots symbolic trains moving through tunnels. There are a lot of artists referencing synth lines from the 80’s & 90’s at the moment, few, like these guys doing it really well. If you’re a fan of Neon Indian, CANT, Twin Shadow, Lemonade, Tanlines etc you’ll like these guys, go check out their 2011 release Creatures of an Hour. “Fireflies” will appear on the band’s European tour 7inch single, but you can download it now for free below.
Andy Stott – Numb
This track feels like how I imagine it would coming out of a coma; slowly starting to feel the blood move through your arteries, nondescript voices swirling around your head and droning heartbeat thuds pulling you back to life. It’s hypnotic. “Numb” is the first track released from Andy Stott’s forthcoming album Luxury Problems, out next month. If you not au fait with Andy’s work, he’s a dubstep/techno producer based in Manchester (so many good things come out of that city, including accents) and he’s released a few EP’s worth checking out prior, Passed Me By and We Stay Together if you like what you hear of course...
The Trouble With Templeton – Six Months in a Cast
Thomas Calder is the man behind the moniker although he takes four other musos with him on tour, most recently in support of Julia Stone. They’re a Brisbane based outfit, like so many other up & comers cutting through in recent times (we actually featured Thomas in our Top 20 Brisbane Bands You Need To Know). Why? Hard to say, there’s a relaxed sophistication about these young Brisbane artists in their approach songwriting: they take risks without thinking about the current ‘popular sound’ i.e. they just do their own thing, and it works! I love how this track paces along: that proliferating rhythm guitar, syncopated handclaps and flourishes of piano create a really interesting balance of light and shade. Not to mention Thomas’s vocals that carry just as much weight whether they’re crooning & souring… the break in tempo at the end really makes this song too. Want more? Check their facebook.
Daughter - Love (Synkro Edit)
I’ve already featured this track in my “Byte of the Day” (Best New Electronic Track) but it’s that amazing, I thought an artist profile was necessary. It’s a rework of an already devastatingly beautiful track by UK band Daughter on their The Wild Youth EP released in Oct last year, by Manchester producer Synkro. He’s really stretched the pain you feel listening to the original out with that heartbeat pulse and echoing tambourine. Synkro started out as a dubstep/two-step producer, but like so many good producers these days, he knows genre boundaries are there to be broken down. I think something changed inside when I heard this rework… It has to be one of my faveourite tracks of the year so far. I’ve posted the original & Synkro’s edit for you below.
Here's the original track by Daughter for you too.
Artisan Guns – Pulled You In
We only yesterday put this track up as part of our Wednesday facebook pick, but I felt compelled to investigate this New Zealand four piece – this track is just that good. They’re from Auckland, 3 of the boys have jazz degrees and they started their own record label to release their material; impressive. There’s some much to love about this track, it’s epically sad and personal and the way the vocal scratches off at the end of each phrase against that repeated drowning riff… it really does pull you in. The band's debut album Coral has just been released and it's only a measly 10 clams! Sold!. This band definitely deserve more Aussie love, give it to them here.
Secret Mountains – High Horse
Admittedly I don’t know much about these guys, I came across this track on soundcloud only today and its strung-out sadness dragged me in by the heart strings within a few seconds; that dripping opening riff, strange sci-fi FX sample sound, hollow floating piano contrasted with an incessant marching band style drum roll - beautiful dynamics. Secret Mountains are a 6 piece from Baltimore, a place I’ve never traversed, but which seems to be teeming with quality artists: Animal Collective, Beach House, Lower Dens, Future Islands. They recently recorded this track as part of an initiative called “Shaking Through” where 10 bands are chosen to record one song in two days at Weathervane studios in Philadelphia for a video series – 2 days! How well produced is it for that short amount of time? “High Horse” will feature on their debut LP out early 2013. Keep up with the band on their facebook.
Chad Valley – Fall 4 U
This is a remix of a pretty piece of pop by UK solo artist Chad Valley (aka Hugo Manuel) enlisting the help of Glasser (she was out here for Laneway Festival a few years back) on additional vocals. Chad Valley’s debut LP Young Hunger is due out October 30 via Cascine and features the likes of Twin Shadow, El Perro Del Mar & more. Intriguing! This track has the same kind of Twin Shadow vibe if you think about it, skimming the cream of influences from the 80’s and reworking them in a different way in the mix – is that an auto-tuned harmonica I hear? I have a slight addiction to this down-tempo heartbreak pop at the moment… Get more of it at Chad’s facebook.
Here’s a cool remix by Lissvik which only dropped today – see which one you like better.
- Run You Down
Ali Barter is a Melbourne solo artist who I can honestly say I don’t know much about, but this track had me intrigued at the first few synth beats… wait for it to balloon into chorus in glorious, ethereal colour. I’m not too sure if Ali mixed her EP Trip (on which this track features), but the production sounds tight! I’m sure there’ll be more press on this young talent climbing up the page rankings very soon. If you like the sound of this, head to Ali’s bandcamp and grab the EP for just a few clams. She’s on facebook too. Like.
The Khanz – Wolves
For a band who state on their facebook, “Music's about playing, dancing and having fun together. With all that commercial, competitive stuff, we lose that. We want to keep the community feeling alive. Life can be a bitch, let’s party.” They certainly know how to illuminate that attitude in their music – how hooky is this new track? I love how the synth and live drums meld into one too, what a great sound. Let’s hope they’re playing some more gigs soon so we can join this party. You can check their website for more info. This just in - they are! This Saturday @ The Annandale Hotel in Sydney.
Shining Bird – Skitizin
Think Nick Cave on a summer beach holiday… ok that’s hard to picture without forcing a giant crease in your foreheard, so just listen instead – how vibing is this track? “Skitzen” is off Shining Bird's Shade of the Sea EP that you can download for free (for a limited time) on their bandcamp. I saw somewhere Shining Birds music described as ‘Valium Pop’ which is the best thing I’ve heard since I found out Carlie Rae Jespen was 27. These guys hail from the south coast of NSW and don’t appear to take themselves too seriously, a trait that lends itself to more creative & playful musicality in my experience: respect.
They also managed to score a lot of Jimmy Fallon!!! If Jimmy’s lips don’t move on time it's because it was shot it German and re-dubbed, you know how it is.
Hayden Calnin – For My Help
This young Melbournian, Hayden Calnin sounds like he’s in his 30’s (only early 20’s though); it’s the tone of his voice in this latest release “For My Help” and the way the track develops into a lush ‘folktronica’ soundscape (I stole that term from Soundcloud), it shows a real maturity in song writing. Awesome use of marching-band style drums & rim-shots to really flesh it out and drive the build up. Hayden is playing up at Bigsound Festival today and his debut EP out City is out now. If you like this, why not like him on facebook too! Makes sense.
Dream Kit – Cosmic Strut (Faux Pas)
Faux Pas aka Tim Shiel is a solo producer from Melbourne who makes his own music on top of reworking a lot of other artists’ – seriously awesome stuff – go have a little aural binge on his soundcloud, you’ll lose a good hour and you won’t be sorry. This particular track is a remix of another Melbourne solo producer’s work Dream Kit (DJ Declan Kelly) who’s singed to Melbourne independent label Two Bright Lakes: a family of really diverse new Aussie artists: Collarbones, Oscar + Martin, The Harpoons & Seagull to name a few. The original track is off an older EP of his Future Tense released last year, but he’s got some rad new material out, best place to find it is his facebook.
Revolver – Wind Song
It only took us one listen to add this track by Parisian 4 piece Revolver – it only dropped yesterday – and we already we were already thumbing it up and logging it in. Sometimes I write about Australian music have a certain tone and colour to it and I think this band epitomise what we know as French-indie-pop (Phoenix, Housse de Racket, Tahiti 80 etc) although that statement probably shows you how little reaches our shores. Either way , I’m glad this track did with it’s bright jangly chord progressions, make you feel like you are on the set of their video with them. This track is from the band’s forthcoming album Let Go & they’re rumoured to be coming out to Australia soon too!
WIND SONG - Revolver from Compañía Volcánica on Vimeo.
Jake Bugg – Taste It
This is what Noel Gallagher had to say about this kid (he’s only 18) “The Future of Music, he’s Like Dylan Meets The Arctic Monkeys” and despite the fact that ‘ol Noely is famous for making big brash statements, in this case he might be right. Have a listen, it’s pretty hard not to head-banging/boot-scooting dance maneuver to those riffs. I would say it’s more Johnny Cash meets Devon – but we can argue it over a beer Noel. Jake Bugg’s self-titled album is out this October.
Jason Collet – Where Things Go Wrong
At first listen, this new track by the Broken Social Scene member gone solo Jason Collet sounds like sprawling and defeated ‘love lost’ ballad (some of my favourite songs are of that variety – already sold). However, as Jackson describes himself on his label Art & Crafts’ website, “[his] love songs are largely emotive reflections of the 'political' songs… written through the distillation of events since the economic calamity of 2008 and it's insidiously long looming shadow.” I think there’s art to being musically political and not making it sound empty, this track, form Jason’s forthcoming album Reckon (out Sept. 25) definitely does it for me. If you dig it, check out the other artists Canadian label Arts & Crafts boast: it was co-founded by Broken Social Scene frontman Kevin Drew (aka the love of my life).
Wild Nothing - Shadow
Listening now to this July released single “Shadow” by Wild Nothing aka Jack Tatum… it’s really hard to focus… feel like I should be wandering in a field somewhere pondering why things didn’t work out, why nothing goes to plan. Admittedly, I love this kind of tainted, nostalgic pop music (Real Estate, Neon Indian, The Radio Dept, Dive, Beach Fossils) as wallowing and pain always make for good art, whether it be ingesting others of creating your own from doing so. Wild Nothing’s latest album Nocturne is out now, see if this track moves you…
Good Heavens – It’s Not Easy Being Mean
Good Heavens are a fairly new cumulative Sydney 3 piece featuring Sarah Kelly former guitarist/vocalist in Theredsunband (I wondered what happened to those guys?!) and former Wolfmother members keyboard/bass player Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett. I love this quote by Heskett about beginning to work with Sarah, “The pair of us are a heavy brush to start painting with, and if you start painting it’s going to be that particular colour.” Whatever the challenges, it's made for an interesting combined sound for the band: a cool contrast between heavy riffs, a stomping kick and Sarah’s cutting sweet/sour vocals…. The band would probably hate me saying this, but their sound reminds me of some of my fave female fronted 90’s bands like Magic Dirt or the Superjesus. The trio’s debut album “Strange Dreams” is out now. Hit their facebook for details if you dig this track.
Freelance Whales – Spitting Image
This track dropped TODAY and we thought it was so good we added it straight away. ”Spitting Image” is the first taste from the often-labelled “Baroque Pop” Brooklyn outfit’s 2nd LP Diluvia out October 9. If ‘Baroque’ eludes to delicately bedded percussion and honey-drenched harmonies that make you feel like twirling through open fields Sound-of-Music style (which I’m fairly sure was set in a different era) then the nail has been hit! To be fair, at least one of Freelance Whales 5 members Chuck Criss (also the key writer) is a multi-instrumentalist and the way the bands music takes form; it feels like there is classical training at it’s core… each instrument’s part has it’s own hook that takes breath at exactly the right time – listen for yourself and see… You can almost air-conduct along!
Collarbones (feat Guerre) – “Hypothermia”
The only band I know to produce an entire film accompaniment to their new album (unless Charlie Chapman’s pianist had a record deal) Collarbones today dropped their first single from the album in question Die Young, “Hypothermia”. It features a vocal from a mate of theirs Guerre (both artists featuring in our Top 20 Aussie Electronic Artists To Watch) making for a smoother more melodic focus for the boys. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the glitchy discordance of their first release Iconography (2011), but this new sound, supposedly inspired by "recollections of teen crushes" has got me by heart as well as the head. There’s a few artists making music in the same vain if you dig this, check out: Gang Colours, Two Inch Punch, Jai Paul, Flume – even the below artist xxyyxx. Collarbones are doing an album launch tour too, deets on their facebook.
Die Young is out September 28 via indie Melbourne label Two Bright Lakes & Remote Control.
High Highs - Once Around The House
High Highs are a duo who sound innately Australian… despite the fact they’re Brooklyn based, there’s a recognisable honesty that threads itself through every hook and chord …and leads you home. This track is a new single, following on from the band’s self-titled debut EP (2011), which I highly recommend you download from their bandcamp. I’m always bewildered by music that uses space and dynamics rather than complex layers of sound to impact on you emotionally; this is that kind... and this video is beyond beautiful.
High Highs - Once Around The House (Official Video) from High Highs on Vimeo
Big H - Domestic Violence
This is new Ausssie hip hop with soul god dammit! Big H is Sydney based MC Henry Edwards who on top of rapping has worked at Heaps Decent for 3 odd years. If you haven’t heard of the initiative, it’s such an awesome organisation dedicated to nurturing and promoting the artistic dreams of underprivileged and indigenous young individuals – find out how you can get involved on their website. I’m late to the party in picking this track up (released late July) but with a slick head-nodding beat like that Big H & rhymes that should speak out to any generation: I think the party has just begun for you.
Big H - Domestic Violence from Heaps Decent on Vimeo
xxyyxx - You Are Why I’m Invisible
This new one by 16 year old producer from Florida, xxyyxx aka Marcel Everett sounds like the beginnings of an old school hip hop jam – but the dude is only 16! It’s so smooth: the vocal sample flickers are so on point and you’d think that sped-up-metronome tapping sample would get annoying, but it only adds to the texture. Rightfully so, he’s been head hunted by indie label Relief in Abstract Records, hit up xxyyxx’s facebook to keep in the loop of this kid’s eminent progress. I’ll be dreaming of slow summer days and icy poles as you do...
- Dark Star
These guys are fairly fresh-faced music scene additions hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota , so if you haven’t heard of them, there’s no need to go a size down in jeans for cred’s sake. Poliça (which means “urgent action” in Polish) make a kind of indie rock that’s infused with soul, R&B (like Mutemath or Lykke Li) glitch samples and hectic drums. How they’ve layered frontwoman, Channy Leaneagh’s vocal in this track also makes for a really interesting sound... like she’s taken a leaf out of Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver’s vocal exercise book. Funnily enough, he's friends with the band; as is Bon Iver band member Mike Noyce who appears on two tracks from their latest release Give You the Ghost. I'm sold from this track alone...
- The Last Night On Earth (Giraffage
Tinashe is a US R&B/pop artist signed to RCA Records (she used to be in a girl group The Stunners and had a single called “Bubblegum” if it rings a bell – you’ll want to un-ring it quickly if so). She’s grown up a lot since then (thank god) enlisting the help of some good producers, her new work plays with cutting edge beat styles and samples; too innocent to compare to The Weeknd’s work, but on it’s way. In doing so, it appears she’s attracted some cool new producers who’ve jumped at the chance to remix music from her latest release In Case We Die. This one comes from solo producer Charlie Yin who mixes under the moniker Giraffage, hear more on his soundcloud. I have had this on repeat all week… it’s way better than the original!
NΣΣT - Okabena Creek feat. Bon Iver
This is one of those tracks I randomly found on soundcloud and despite my expert stalking efforts, can’t find much more on the artist behind the work, NΣΣT. But it’s too good not to share! She (as far as I know) has created a bunch of remixes using well-known artist’s samples like this one, featuring Bon Iver’s “Minnesota” all chopped & screwed. There’s a few EP’s available on her bandcamp, the Satuski EP features City & Colour and Gotye too. Definitely worth a download… hopefully she completes her bio so I can flesh out this piece out. If you're reading this NΣΣT, help me out!
Wheat Fields - Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens
The Blue Mountains has produced some stellar local talent in recent years Cloud Control, Belles Will Ring and this new group Wheat Fields – there 'must be something in the water we can't fight' (like what I did there). This track altered my mood almost instantly… there’s just something about the loose tambourine, a bass that keeps the beat and soft electric-acoustic guitar… it teleported my frontal lobes back to a memory of an ex lover. You’ll like this if you like The Radio Dept, The xx, Bjork etc but the band seem to be more varied than meets the ear, check out their EP trailer below the track…. Psychadellic!
Check out their Begonia Walls EP Trailer
City Riots – Wait For You
Four long-haired lads from Adelaide who manage to keep dishing up hook-laden indie pop that’s really hard to hate (they fronted our Top 10 Adelaide Bands list). “Wait for You” is the first taste of the band’s debut album Sea of Bright Lights, and sounds different to the first track we picked up “Matchsticks” (posted below to jog your memory). They’ve opted for slicker production; the rawness has been stripped from the main riffs and the drums pushed slightly further into the background to create this wistful wash of sound… It will make you want to run & hide in a memory of a lost summer romance… or jump into stock photo screensaver at the very least (sounds a bit like The Naked & Famous, Van She or M83’s later work). Regardless, the band’s variability is getting me excited for their LP release, Sea of Bright Lights, out October 26th via inertia.
Here's their older single "Matchsticks"
- Everybody Wants To Be Your Friend
As devastating as it was when The Middle East broke up back in 2010, the dismantle has spawned some interesting side projects, including this one; former frontman R.L. Jones solo. This new track also features the dark wispy vocal stylings of Adalita in a different more light-hearted tone. In fact, this track is more sun-filled than we’ve heard either artist before…. maybe they just got on really well making it together. R. L. Jones is doing a few dates in Sydney & Melbourne soon, details on his facebook (some good supports too, check out Shady Lane)
Gotye - Eyes Wide Open (Yeasayer remix)
So I know we’re all sick of Gotye remixes – especially of “that” song - even Gotye remixed himself the other day just to quaff the kool-aid! But Yesayer for one have chosen “Eyes Wide Open” to re-work some magic and secondly, its as if they’ve separated each part of the original track and turned it completely on its head - now that's a good remix! For e.g. the rampant double-time feel drum beat that drives Gotye's track has been smoothed down into slow syncopated beats and synth. It is just me or did it just get hot in here? (I think I found my new opener to “ Sex Music Mixtape 2012”)
Jessie Ware – Sweet Talk
Sound familiar? I was first introduced to Jessie via her vocal assistance on SBTRKT's track “Right Thing To Do”, but this young British lady has been getting some key bloggers fingers seriously tapping all on her own in recent months with the slip of a couple of tracks, “Running” & “100%” from her debut LP Devotion (due out August 20). This new one is no different. Her breathy crooning about an imperfect relationship is just so seductive (sounds a bit like Sade)... and isn’t it refreshing to hear a female artist flirt with R&B and not sound like every other auto-tuned, chart-topping diva! Well produced, young lady.
Kucka - Rewind (FM remix)
Soundcloud foraging (again) is how I tripped over this intricately layered piece of electronica by outfit Kucka, remixed by Sydney producer fm. Discovering emerging Aussie experimental electronic artists is always exciting as there really isn’t much of an avenue for air play/exposure in this country (lack of which led me to write this: Top 20 Aussie Electronic Artists You Need to Know) so I suspect you have to be overly ambitious to push on. If you like Grimes, Purity Ring or local acts like Collarbones – you’ll like this track, and if so you check out each in there own right, both have EP’s out: Kucka via facebook & fm’s soundcloud has the most info.
Tiger Choir – Ghosties
Admittedly, this track is over a year old – so if you’ve managed to see the Tassie lads Tiger Choir live at some stage (At Falls perhaps? I saw them support Deerhunter last year – impressive) you might already know it. The band only just released their mastered studio LP Unicycles in June, (download from their bandcamp here) and it's too good not to give it some press! Full credit to indie bands who manage to mix juicy synth & samples into their tracks and not lose that gritty raw quality in production. This track is a favourite from this release, but if you dig it, you can stream more or download in entirety here. Why not also show them some facebook love while you're at it? They're probably the only band who have a weird cat as their banner.
Ryan Hemsworth – Charly Wingate
Pfft this guy, we go way back (to earlier this morning when I first heard this track). Ryan Hemsworth is a producer from Halifax in Canada, a city not renowned for its electronic music as far as I know, but then again, I’ve never lived there… zoom out to encompass the entire country; Canada definitely has a rep for birthing some of the most interesting experimental musicians (thinking recently in the same genre: Grimes, Purity Ring (actually they’re from Halifax!), Austra, Solar Year & old faves Crystal Castles). This track “Charly Wingate” was one of those hooked-at first-listen ones for me… I love that mix of tribal percussion (live-sounding) with the hip-hop vocal sample, deconstructed with a double change in tempo… reminded me a bit of SBTRKT toward the end. So, now we're Ryan's BFF's, let’s keep a close ear on him. His new EP Last Words is out August 21, but you can keep track via his facebook.
Stars - Backlines
When in Canada… Check this out - new music from Stars! This track is actually the 3rd taste from their forthcoming album The North due out in September. The band would hate me saying this, but I was such a massive fan of their 2004 release Set Yourself on Fire & follow up In Our Bedroom After the War (2007) aside from a couple of standout tracks that pinched me over the years since, I sadly felt they lost their way a bit. However, this new material "Backlines" is a fresh breath of pure, unbridled indie pop; Amy Millan solo at the helm for this particular one. At first listen it felt too sweet for my liking, but I seem to be licking my lips & bopping along more with each listen. Yep, I’m buying this album.
This track dropped a month ago (while I was gallivanting overseas with Canadians so you can blame them for the lateness) I think I like it better, see if you do… and wait for that electric riff to chime in at 0.42s. Lush.
Joe McKee – Darling Hills
If you’re wondering who Joe McKee is you might best know him as the frontman of former Perth band Snowman, a group I was devastated to hear parted ways when they did about a year ago (Absence had to be one of my favourite releases of 2011, look it up). Until now of course… Joe returns solo with a still a suitably haunting, yet more stripped back acoustic sound with “Darling Days”, the addition of some beautiful old-waltz-style string arrangements and sparse piano accompaniment providing such a quiet piece with some real dynamics. Listening to this feels like you’re slow dancing with the ghost of a lost lover. Truly beautiful stuff. And take note Temper Trap - this is how you overlay news report audio on a track! Joe’s about to embark on a national launch tour for the new album Burning Boy, details on his facebook page.
DARLING HILLS from Liam Saint-Pierre on Vimeo.
Matthew Dear - Earthforms
Matthew Dear gets seriously funky in this new track “Earthforms” (in the good way – not like the local churches music night “Jam with the Lamb” who almost ruined associating ‘funk’ with anything ever again). It’s the second taste off of his 6th studio LP due out this month Beams via Ghostly International (maybe he hasn’t heard of The Presets) and it sounds as if the US producer has yet again reinvented himself, sliding further away from minimal tech, toward funky synth-pop (reminds me a bit of Fat Boy Slim’s Weapon of Choice). Wherever you’re going with this new release Matthew, can we come?
Winter People – Two’s Company
I should have known this new track from the Sydney 6 piece was going to get heavy (from the 30sec mark soundcloud waveforms) but I had no idea it was going to drag me down into a pit of despair… “down to the bottom of every glass”. Lucky wrist-slitting music has to be one of my favourite genres and this is some of the best home grown produce I’ve heard recently. The band’s debut album A Year At Sea is out September 21 with a complete national tour to follow supported by Brisbane band Founds (one of our “one to watch bands” of 2012) Both these guys have incredible live shows, so stop staring at raindrops snailing down your bedroom window and go and get depressed with friends. Details on Winter People's facebook.
This live acoustic of one of their earlier tracks "Wishingbone" should be enough to convince you…
– Today's Supernatural
W.o.w. I am so excited to get my grubby little hands on this Baltimore four-pieces forthcoming album Centipede Hz (out August 31) post hearing this. As per usual, “Today's Supernatural” sounds different to their earlier work – more constructed and consistently rhythmic – rolling along to the pace of piano accordion squeezes. If you’re a big fan of Animal Collective like my good self, this might interest you – each band member (David, Noah, Brian & Josh) are producing a radio show which you can tune into every Sunday live (looped from there on in after) – you can even get involved and upload you own mix! Hit up their website for details. In the mean time, get this into you…
Micachu and the Shapes – Slick
Micachu – the kid who fronts up this London trio is seriously exploding with quirky creativity. He’s an artist-in-residence at London’s Southbank centre and last year he released a live collaboration he wrote & performed with the London Sinfonietta Orchestra! Gold stars aside, this new track “Slick” from the band’s just released 2nd album Never is juicy, percussion rich pop. Check it out:
Tame Impala – That’s All for Everyone (Fleetwood Mac cover)
I have to admit… I love everything these boys touch, their hazy melodies just get under your skin and draw out memories of some back-of-the-van trippy life in the 70’s you never actually lived…. Only this time they’ve borrowed the poetry of legendary pop troupe Fleetwood Mac for a tribute compilation Just Tell Me That You Want Me is out August 14 (via Concord Music Group, have a listen to some of the others on their soundcloud).
Don’t forget Tame Impala’s new album Lonerism is out this coming Oct 5 (AUS) / Oct 8 (UK) / Oct 9 (USA).
Liars – Brats
Liars are a Brooklyn/Berlin based experimental art-rock band, who I actually thought were all Australian (I must have subconsciously been doing a bit of a ‘Crowded House’ claim on their arses) As it turns out, frontman Angus is the only born and bred. This track “Brats” is the second single off their 6th studio LP (can you believe it!) WIXIW just released, and what a wicked animated video they’ve produced to promote it! These guys have and always will be epically trippy… please don’t change.
Bad Dreems – Too Old
Bad Dreems are four guys from Adelaide who make this jangly guitar heavy garage indie-rock. I really dig this gloomy new track of theirs “Too Old”… the sound reminds me a bit of Paul Kelly (on a downer), Brian Jonestown Massacre or of this rad Melbourne band Twerps (they featured in my Top 20 Aussie indie bands to watch story posted early this year) – which is interesting as Jack Farley who engineered their self-titled 2011 release, did this track also. You can catch these guys soon on tour with Children Collide – hit up their facebook for deets and show them some liking love if you dig this.