05 Nov Good Morning – ‘Cab Deg’

Finally. I’ve been waiting to write up on ‘Cab Deg‘ since I heard Melbourne’s Good Morning closing out all their sets with it at CMJ in New York this past month. It’s the first single off their upcoming EP Glory (the follow-up to their 2014 debut EP Shawcross), due out in February.

When you’re watching about 10 bands play everyday at CMJ, it’s almost impossible to go home every night with the same song stuck in your head – but I did. There it was, the chorus of ‘Cab Deg’ looping over and over in my head, every  night. Not even ‘Hotline Bling‘ could compete.

While I was previously intrigued by Good Morning, Glory may just make me a legit fan. They have a smart team behind them in label Solitaire, and have enlisted the mastering abilities of the respected Simon Lam of I’lls. My only criticism is that the recording quality sounds more like early, lo-fi Real Estate, rather than the crisp, modern Real Estate. That transition is the next step for Good Morning; everything else is firmly in place.

Glory is out in February via Solitaire, as a digital download or black 12″.

Track list:
1. Overslept
2. Cab Deg
3. To Be Won
4. Give Me Something To Do
5. The Great Start
6. In The Way

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Friendships 4

22 Oct The top artists from CMJ’s ‘The Aussie BBQ’ in New York

CMJ in New York is a music week – similar to SXSW in Austin, Texas – where (mostly) independent artists from around the world come to play a series of shows throughout the week. It’s an opportunity to showcase themselves not only to fans, but also to websites, radio hosts, labels etc. It’s a great chance for Australian artists to get noticed internationally and this year 38 of them made the flight over.

The Aussie BBQ at CMJ is an annual tradition, where all the Australian artists play 25-minute sets across two stages from 2pm until almost 4am. While the sets are short and the stages are small, it’s a great way to taste-test a variety of Australian artists. At this exact event in 2012, I saw Flume play in the basement to about 20 people – you never know who is going to blow up next.


10. Slum Sociable

Slum Sociable
Photography by Jake Willis

The first thing you notice when you see Slum Sociable live is that they look like a traditional guitar band – which is surprising, because they sound like a laptop-heavy, midi-keyboard project, but in fact there are no laptops at all on stage. The band kind of ride that post-Chet Faker sound, but for the most part the songs are well written and they’re rather effective in their use of minimal instrumentation.

9. Methyl Ethel

Methyl Ethel
Photography by Jake Willis

The Perth band quickly stir up comparisons to Tame Impala‘s early work, with their psych-garage sound, but Methyl Ethel are less psych and are more about the lyrical content. The lead singer’s shy personality reminds me of Youth Lagoon and he has some serious high vocal pipes. While I’d like to hear more variety in their songwriting, the three-piece have great, intricate chemistry and memorable guitar lines.

8. The Babe Rainbow

The Babe Rainbow
Photography by Jake Willis

The Babe Rainbow don’t exactly bring much new to a sound that was mastered in the late ’60s and early ’70s, but I always find myself falling into a spiralling vortex of thought during their sets. That combination of space-psych with sunny beach vibes allows you relax into a comfortable trance. It all feels like a summer road trip, which at times turns danceable, and at other times slow and sexual. They don’t play with as many guitar effect pedals as you’d imagine.

7. Sui Zhen

Sui Zhen
Photography by Jake Willis

A member of No Zu, Sui Zhen kind of sounds like The Knife. Her songs aren’t completely fleshed out yet, but she has a vivid imagination, one that will write those songs in the future. Her Aussie BBQ set was more danceable than her set earlier in the week, and while I’d like to see her utilise the guitar player in the background more, I like the direction Sui Zhen is heading.

6. Client Liaison

Client Liaison
Photography by Jake Willis

Another band like The Babe Rainbows who are firmly lodged in another generation, yet when it comes to pound-for-pound stage presence, Client Liaison bring it every time. Even though the tiny CMJ stages are a far cry from the elaborate festivals stages they often frequent, hey don’t let it concern them. The songs have strong melodies and keyboard hooks aplenty, and the next step for Client Liaison would be to study Kevin Parker and learn how to transform an old sound into something new entirely.

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21 Oct Slum Sociable – ‘TQ’ EP

Slum Sociable have been making a stir with their unique brand of ‘lo-fo’ jazzy hip-hop, their debut EP TQ releasing today.

Opening track ‘All Night’ has been doing the rounds already – no surprise given its soulful vocal and oh-so-catchy faded synth riff that comes in towards the end. Tracks like ‘Apartment’ and ‘Luck So Far’ follow the same formula, letting the vocals croon out over a slower rhythm.

One of the more notable tracks ‘Paradigm’ exposes the trip-hop influences of Slum Sociable, an almost eerie worldliness that seems atypical for a couple of guys out of Mordialloc. The swirling piano and twisted drums shift the mood to a slightly more melancholy feel, showing slivers of Massive Attack‘s work.

The conglomeration of different sounds – from the obvious jazz, electronica and hip-hop, to the glimpses of trip-hop and acoustic – sounds like a potential recipe for disaster. However, Slum Sociable make it work without sounding scattered or indecisive.

Co-produced by Tom Iansek of Big Scary and #1 Dads fame, recently nominated for Best Male Artist at Best Victoria Music, all instruments and vocals are largely the work of the two artists Ed and Miller themselves. The EP itself is available to purchase on digital and vinyl format, right here.

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21 Oct Trading Tunes with The Ocean Party

There’s no secret that The Ocean Party are one of our sites favourite Australian artists, practically everyone of our writers has or has wanted to write-up on one of their tracks over the past few years. It’s easy to understand why we are on the same page, when you check out their choices for Trading Tunes. Lachlan picked all the artists we love to cover or have already featured in their own Trading Tunes.

Last week they released their latest splendid album Light Weight and it’s packed with addictive little gems. You can buy it on the Spunk Records website. The hard working band are also in the middle of a massive Australian tour.

Remaining tour dates: Tickets
Saturday, 17th October – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Sunday, 18th October – The Time Machine, Nambour
Thursday, 22nd October – Finbox, Wollongong
Friday, 23rd October – Thyme To Taste, Yass
Saturday, 24th October – The Tote, Melbourne
Sunday, 25th October – Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga
Friday, 30th October – The Eastern, Ballarat
Saturday, 31st October – The Metro, Adelaide
Friday, 6th November – The Bird, Perth
Sunday, 8th November – The Newport, Fremantle
Saturday, 14th November – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Sunday, 15th November – Fresh Cafe, Launceston

1. Totally Mild – ‘Nights’

“This is my favourite Totally Mild song from their debut album Down Time, which came out earlier this year. Totally Mild are a perfect pop band, every person plays their roll and no one treads on anyone’s toes. Lehmann (bass) and Ashley (drums) perfectly hold the song together while Liz’s vocals and Zac’s slide sing to heaven over top.”

2. Cool Sounds – ‘Control’

“When I First heard ‘Control‘, I knew that Cool Sounds had arrived as a band. I’ve always loved Cool Sounds, but the darkness of ‘Control’ is unlike what most guitar pop bands are doing in Australia at the moment. It’s one of those songs where the music and lyrics fit together perfectly.”

3. Terrible Truths – ‘See Straight’

Terrible Truths are possibly my favourite band to watch live. It’s almost impossible for me not to move my body and I can be a pretty self-conscious guy. ‘See Straight‘ like most Terrible Truths songs, barely passes the two minute thirty mark and that is just fine by me. Their new album is out really soon and take it from me, it’s worth a listen or ten.”

4. You Beauty – ‘Same Damn Thing’

“I could have picked any You Beauty song, but as I was writing this list, this one was premiered and it’s a cracker. Jersey Flegg is one of my favourite local records of the past few years and if ‘Same Damn Thing‘ is anything to go by, their next one won’t disappoint.”

5. Blank Realm – ‘River of Longing’

Blank Realm seems to have a similar drive to The Ocean Party in regards to their songwriting, each record feels more refined than the last. ‘River of Longing‘ is my favourite track from their new record Illegals In Heaven and that’s saying something because the whole album is killer.”

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21 Oct Roland Tings – ‘Hedonist’

I know I’m a few days late on this one, but unfortunately I’m not Goro from Mortal Kombat, I don’t have multiple arms. Speaking of multiples, this new Roland Tings track ‘Hedonist‘ has several ear-pleasuring layers. He already released the best electronic Australian album of the year back in February. In fact it’s one of the best electronic albums, period, on the planet this year (although it has to said, that it’s been a below average year for electronic albums, part as a result of over saturation and general fatigue).

Now at this point ‘Hedonist’ almost feels like his just messing with his competition. Like watching an NBA player do a windmill dunk, when he’s teams up 30 points in the last quarter. It’s still got that John Talabot type of Balearic beat, but with less grey overtones. What Roland Tings does particularly well, is that he never limits exactly what his project can be, yet every song is clearly Roland Tings. You also never feel like you have heard the best of what he’s capable of making, yet what he’s already doing right now is a class above his peers.

He’s playing at Paradise Music Festival next month outside of his home town Melbourne, but before then he’s doing a North American tour.

Tour dates:
22nd October – 1015 Folsom, San Francisco, USA
23rd October – The Belasco Theatre, Los Angeles, USA
24th October – Bang Bang, San Diego, USA
26th October – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, USA^
27th October – U Street, Washington, USA^
28th October – Brighton Music Hall, Boston, USA^
30th October – Theater Fairmont, Montreal, Canada^
31st October – The Hoxton, Toronto, Canada^

^ AlunaGeorge

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21 Oct Trading Tunes with Summer Flake

Stephanie Crase A.K.A. Summer Flake recently moved to Melbourne, but she’s a product of her home city of Adelaide. Last week she released an EP titled Time Rolls By and it contains four flawless originals and a Rolling Stones cover.

Her guitar tones and garage rock production remind me East Coast US garage bands such as Widowspeak and Dum Dum Girls, but there’s even similarities to Angel Olsen. However the Rolling Stones cover sounds like Courtney Barnett. Similarities or not to other artists, this Time Rolls By EP is simply full of well crafted tunes, with ‘Makes Me Wanna Cry‘ and ‘The Sun Won’t Shine‘ being my personal favourites.

1. The Blake Babies – ‘Rain’

“Let’s start at the start. I was ridiculously obsessed with Juliana Hatfield at school. Insanely obsessed. It’s simmered down in recent years, but it flares up now and then.”

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21 Oct Baro – ‘Let’s Drink Merlot and Talk About The World (Enterlude)’

“We could dance on a cloud, baby are you in, baby are you in?”, sings Baro on a new track he just uploaded for a girl. ‘Let’s Drink Merlot and Talk About The World (Enterlude)‘ is only 88 seconds long, but it’s the most alluring song that the young Melbourne rapper has dropped so far.

He says he doesn’t play keys that much and I’m not sure why, judging by how enjoyable his little dabble is here. His polite sincerity is extremely effective, and if this doesn’t impress that girl he’s talking about, I don’t think that they’re meant to be.

You can catch him at Boney in Melbourne on the 29th of October for only $10.

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21 Oct Trading Tunes with Crepes

Crepes came across our radar late last year with the single ‘Ain’t Horrible‘. They then released the dudless, five track EP Cold Summers in April. If you like chill, Sunday guitars while recovering from a big Saturday night, then Crepes will have you covered.

It’s not always easy for bands influenced by the likes of Dick Diver to clearly separate each song, yet Crepes are rather smooth when it comes to introducing a new instrument or textured sound, in order to colour each song differently, while never colouring outside the lines or using too much colour. Anyway enough about colouring, check out their picks for Trading Tunes.

Tour Dates:

5th November at Howler, Melbourne – Deaf Ambitions Label Launch.
w/ The Infants, Redspencer, Leisure Suite, Tourist Dollars + Zone Out

19th November at Thousand Pound Bend, Melbourne – Laneway Presents: MMW Live Music Safari
w/ Fractures, Totally Mild + Redspencer

1. Pipe-Eye – ‘All That’

“This song is off Pipe-Eye’s awesome mini LP Cosmic Blip. He did the artwork himself and has made video clips for all of the tracks. Hopefully they will be floating around the internet soon.”

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21 Oct CORIN – Upcoming shows in Sydney and Melbourne

Corin is one the more interesting and textural projects going around in Australia. It can be hard for artists in her field to get exposure, especially when it’s not a sound designed for radio play.

Based in Sydney, Corin recently released her label debut LP titled Waves Systems. She is celebrating by playing a free show in Sydney at Fredas and then a free show in Melbourne at Hugs & Kisses. There are also a hand full of excellent support acts such as Electronic Sea Spider, Ju Ca, Chunyin and Kimchi Princi. Visual provided by Rachael Archibald, Imogen Baker and Danielle Karlikoff.

Have a listen to the Waves Systems LP above and then check out her Trading Tunes feature.

Tour dates:
Thursday 29th October – Fredas in Sydney [free entry]
Support: Electric Sea Spider, Chunyin, Ju Ca and Kimchi Princi.
Visuals: Rachael Archibald, Imogen Baker and Danielle Karlikoff.

Thursday 19th November – Hugs & Kisses in Melbourne [free entry]
Support: Electric Sea Spider, Ju Ca and more TBC.

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09 Oct Trading Tunes with Water Bear

If you don’t know who Water Bear are, don’t worry, neither did I until my fellow writer Blake Creighton wrote a Introducing piece on them back in May. Combining the power chords of Pond with the dreamy vocals of Mac DeMarco or Wild Nothing, there’s plenty to instantly like about Water Bear.

The Melbourne band released an EP a few months back titled Quackadilly Blip. It’s not a perfectly polished product, but I know raw talent when I hear it. There’s a chemistry between the band members, that shines through on all five tracks. I believe that Water Bear are worth supporting and keeping an eye on.

You can catch them tonight at The Workers Club in Geelong. If you’re not near Geelong, you can just check out their Trading Tunes instead.

1. Tower Of Power – ‘Squib Cakes’

“It’s groovy, It’s just so groovy”

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