As Melbourne’s weather descends into bleaker winter temperatures, Girlatones‘ poppy single ‘You’re My Friend’ has arrived like a warm ray of sunshine. Backed with surfy riffs and soaring vocal harmonies, this track is a head bopping ode to friendship, all done in good honest humour. On first impression, the track teeters somewhere between the noise pop of The Breeders and Best Coast’s earlier work. The quirk here though is in vocalist Jesse Williams’ detached delivery. The heartwarming dedication of “You’re my friend and we’ll stay together until the end”, before the proposition “There is something I want you to understand/Could it be clearer?” portrays a strong element of self awareness.
The track shows a departure from the sound they explored on their debut EP Everybody’s Making Pop Music, exchanging acoustic garage jangle pop for more bubblegum-inspired surf pop.
Following on from the release of their debut EP, the quartet are currently in the midst of working on their self-produced first LP, which is set to reach your ears later in the year. For now, you can catch Girlatones’ brand of sunny indie pop at The Old Bar on the 14th of May for their single launch, with supports from Caroline No and 19th Century Strongmen (click through here for more details).
Coined as ‘avalanche pop’ with stunning vocals, warm guitar, blending keys and bass structure, Niine‘s ‘It Never Was Up To You‘ slowly compounds each element onto the next, instigating rolling movements of sound.
Based in Melbourne, Niine’s debut track has been lying dormant on their Bandcamp for the past 8 months and deserves to be in the spotlight once again via their fresh looking Soundcloud. As they carefully explore varied genres, each movement trickles into the next with charismatic neo-soul vocals, exhilarating psychedelic guitar and bass, percussion and keys that bring a cohesive clarity.
The re-release marks Niine’s return to the studio to work on their debut ep.
Melbourne psych-pop outfit Hollow Everdaze have dropped the first single off their upcoming album, Cartoons — set to be released later this year from the label Deaf Ambitions.
The track clearly draws from notable influencers within the genre with its smoky walls of sound and whimsical vocal lines — but also adds a fresh, plucky layer to the mix. These tropical guitar lines and vocal rises are hard to place but feel at home alongside Unknown Mortal Orchestra or maybe even The Kinks.
Hollow Everdaze’s sound it steeped deep in their psych-stoner rock roots but allows a little bit of extra sunshine to shine through, helping it stand apart within a saturated genre.
The Attics are from Colac, a town two hours outside of Melbourne. You would think by the bliss nature of ‘Alright‘, that Colac was a sunny beach town, but it’s actually inland. My only guess is that maybe the band spend a lot of time at the lake. However, unlike some other breezy bands — who perhaps spend too much time at the beach — The Attics still sound like they’ve spent a lot of time indoors, working at their craft.
For example the low-energy background instrumentation in ‘Alright’ could initially sound lazy, but under the microscope it’s carefully put together. The subtle glisten is just enough to keep you warm, without bogging your mind down in the details. They’ve used layers of sound without over-complicating the track, leaving the listener with an immediate impression. The key here is delivery of the chorus — “I believe everything is alright / I believe in the best of you”. Their use of a content approach — rather than generic, overly joyous and bombastic yelling often used to emphasise a chorus — makes ‘Alright’ rather hard to dislike.
If you dig the early work of Kisses, Smith Westerns or Craft Spells, then keep an eye on The Attics. ‘Alright’ is the first single from their debut LP due out later this year.
The Operatives‘ latest agent Herzeloyde celebrated the release of his new EP 4D (via Trench Records) over the weekend in Sydney, and I feel more proud than I thought I would given I have no personal connection with the artist. I’ve followed Herzeloyde from when he was an elusive Melbourne producer who pushed the sounds that we were all shocked to learn were not coming out of LA. It was during a time when future beat was so fascinating (as it still can be), but also seemed more exotic because not many Australian producers had mastered that style. But Herzeloyde was not just impressive because we share a hometown — his music and artistic integrity was, and is, boundary pushing.
A few years have passed and Herzeloyde is still equally as awe-inspiring. His latest EP has prompted me to revisit the genre, after a month or two of not having listened to much. So I have this EP to thank for having rediscovered my love for it, too. Sometimes I listen to one genre for too long and it can feel hackneyed or stale, but 4D successfully refreshes this sound for me. I especially love the funky moog-ey synth lines in ‘outsider‘ and ‘dark soul,‘ and the syncopated rhythms in ‘sonar‘. Each sound is dignified, with Herzeloyde using layered sounds to create a rich texture you can roll around on. However the intricacies aren’t lost in a deep pool of sound — you can appreciate each one independently. I am really enjoying watching Herzeloyde thrive, and am very excited for what is ahead for him.
This is our updated weekly playlist of the best new Australian music released within the past two months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Floating Pyramids, Bad//Dreems, Great Outdoors, Knight Ali, Hollow Everdaze, Mio, Div, Vacations, Boat Show, Abeo, Frames, Dan Orca, Babaganouj and this week’s best new track by Roland Tings.
We have an Openwhydplayer, where you can listen to all 40 songs in the playlist resourced from YouTube, Bandcamp, SoundCloud and Spotify. As always, we also have an updated SoundCloud playlist, a Spotify playlist, and our full guide below.
40. Babaganouj – ‘When You Tell Me A Story’
39. Dan Orca – ‘Misk’ | Uploaded: February 3rd
38. Frames – ‘Court Vision’ | Uploaded: February 24th
37. Abeo – ‘Circle’ | Uploaded: February 3rd
36. Boat Show – ‘Cis White Boy’ | Uploaded: February 1st
35. Vacations – ‘Relax’> | Uploaded: January 19th
34. Div – ‘Cut Grass’ | Uploaded: February 27th
33. Hollow Everdaze – ‘Catastrophe’ | Uploaded: March 1st
32. Mio – ‘How On Earth’ | Uploaded: February 18th | Open with SoundCloud
31. Shining Bird – ‘Morning Lights’ | Uploaded: January 16th | Open with SoundCloud
30. Chelsea Bleach – ‘Shedding Skin’ | Uploaded: January 23rd | Open with YouTube
29. Mount Trout – ‘Home’ | Uploaded: January 5th | Open with Bandcamp
28. Knight Ali – ‘Summer Dream’ | Uploaded: February 24th
27. Great Outdoors – ‘Happy Woman Blues’ | Uploaded: March 1st
26. Daniel Verhagen – ‘Arcadia’ | Uploaded: January 27th | Open with SoundCloud
25. Malcolm Chisho – ‘Zoning Out’ | Uploaded: January 31st | Open with SoundCloud
24. The Cactus Channel & Sam Cromack – ‘Sorry Hills’ | Uploaded: January 15th | Open with SoundCloud
23. HTMLflowers – ‘Diamontees On Ur Coffin’ | Uploaded: January 30th | Open with SoundCloud
22. Bad//Dreems – ‘Feeling Remains’ | Uploaded: February 27th
21. Pillow Pro – ‘Beyond The Rave’ | Uploaded: February 9th | Open with Vimeo
20. Sui Zhen – ‘Hangin’ On’ | Uploaded: February 3rd | Open with YouTube
19. Roland Tings ft. Nylo – ‘Higher Ground’ | Uploaded: February 6th | Open with SoundCloud
18. Oscar Key Sung – ‘Shallow’ | Uploaded: February 14th | Open with SoundCloud
17. Huntly – ‘Kate’s Bed’ | Uploaded: February 10th | Open with SoundCloud
16. Sleep D – ‘Space Pillow / Confusion’ | Uploaded: February 17th | Open with SoundCloud
15. Tunnel Signs & Will Buck – ‘Spirits’ | Uploaded: January 23rd | Open with SoundCloud
14. Floating Pyramids – ‘Here We Are Again feat Natalie Slade’ | Uploaded: February 24th
13. Heart Beach – ‘NRG’ | Uploaded: January 5th | Open with Bandcamp
12. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Sleep Drifter’ | Uploaded: January 17th | Open with YouTube
11. S Y Orosa – ‘You.’ | Uploaded: January 2nd | Open with SoundCloud
10. Rough River – ‘True Wild’ | Uploaded: January 28th | Open with SoundCloud
9. Roland Tings – ‘Garden Piano’ | Uploaded: March 1st
8. Fishing – ‘Pleasure Dome (Christopher Port Remix)’ | Uploaded: January 31st | Open with SoundCloud
7. Mic Mills – ‘Pig Of A Man’ | Uploaded: February 1st | Open with SoundCloud
6. Ruby Haunt – ‘Freeway Crush (Nutrition Remix)’ | Uploaded: February 13th | Open with SoundCloud
5. Darcy Baylis – ‘At Sloterdijk Station / The Force Won’t Kill Me’ | Uploaded: February 14th | Open with SoundCloud
4. Tornado Wallace ft. Sui Zhen – ‘Today’ | Uploaded: January 17th | Open with YouTube
3. RVG – ‘Vincent Van Gogh’ | Uploaded: January 23rd | Open with SoundCloud
2. Mic Mills – ‘Too Hot To Sleep’ | Uploaded: February 14th | Open with SoundCloud
1. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – ‘French Press’ | Uploaded: January 10th | Open with SoundCloud
Warped guitars, dreamy synth, catchy vocals and mesmerising bass are inherent components in all psych-rock. Being able to present such sounds in a unique way, and being distinguishable from the cliches that the genre has formed is difficult. Tassie-based Violet Swells‘ second album, There’s No Time Like Eternity (released on Hobart’s own Zodia Records) not only acknowledges those cliches but presents them in their own passionate way.
Influences from artists like MGMT, Pond and Tame Impala are evident throughout, and at times the music strays into being very similar — yet this is not a negative trait. One of the great things about “genre”-d music is that we can celebrate new artists presenting existing sounds in their own authentic way. Over six tracks, Violet Swells explore those sounds and structures with confidence.
An immaculate flow is apparent throughout the record, with singular components heightening each moment through intricate solos. From catchy synth chords to the rippling, distorted guitar and humble bass, there is a moving and captivating element within each track of There’s No Time Like Eternity.
Another way in which Violet Swells have drawn on the history of psych-rock is through admirable vocals and lyrics, raising questions on abstract subjects and concepts. They express their own ideas in an original way, a way which works symbiotically with the music and creates an impressive soundscape across the record.
From the synth-lead ‘Midnight Masquerade‘ to the enticing and joyous ‘Infinity In Your Eyes‘, the calming interlude of ‘Apex Of The Sun Away‘ and the intricate concluding track ‘Amok Time‘, Theres No Time Like Eternity is a compelling composition of music. Well and truly on its way to becoming your favourite modern psych-rock album, as it has unquestionably become one of mine.
After the release of ‘Eyes Closed‘ a few months ago, Roland Tings has continued to drip feed music from a supposed follow up to his self titled 2015 release.
‘Higher Ground‘ is his first piece of music out in 2017, and continues classic elements of Roland Tings production now paired with various new sounds, most notably the inclusion of vocals from Nylo.
While many of the signature layered-rhythms and structures are still present, they are given a new dimension to work around with the inclusion of a female topline – something we’ve practically never heard before from the Melbourne producer. For the most part this new balance works well. The song never feels crowded, yet still maintains a high level of trademark bounce and energy throughout.
The vocals, when combined with newer house-ier elements, show a continued musical growth in the time off since his last album. This is always encouraging to hear, especially from an artist with such a definitive sound on a debut LP.
Melbourne-based electronic duo SAATSUMA have signed, sealed and delivered yet another amazing track – getting their 2017 off to a cracking start.
‘Isolate‘, their newest single and set to be released on their forthcoming album, is a well mixed, dynamic and rhythmic track with signature SAATSUMA sampled and layered vocals that carry you through the track as the momentum builds.
It’s a track that makes you think – whether you focus on the strong composition and arrangement by Memphis Kelly and Cesar Rodrigues, the lyrical think-tank or the mixing and mastering by Dream Kit (Declan Kelly) and Adam Dempsey, there is an element for all throughout ‘Isolate’.
Kelly’s vocals are soft but focused, with an Australian-voice that is distinct and melodic. It’s an enthralling sound she creates that is then backed solidly by Rodrigues’ synth work that builds the track up as it picks up the pace.
Following on from their other single releases – ‘Storm‘ and ‘Floating‘ – it’s exciting to see SAATSUMA hone their craft, push their creative bounds and follow through on a sound that is unique across the board. From their cohesive live sets to their recorded material, there is nothing but praise for the electronic duo.