09 Aug Top Ten Tracks This Week

This week I have six Australian tracks, three international tracks from familiar names and my favourite track of the week from a little known band based in Philadelphia.

Starting in Melbourne as usual, while we wait for new material from one of our favourite new electronic producers Asdasfr Bawd. He’s dropped a remix of ‘Body Party‘ by Ciara and it’s one of those Cyril Hahn tackles pop kind of remixes, where he turns a strong pop melody into an interesting arrangement as well. It may not be new material, but it’s another example of the mans high production standards. City Calm Down released the second single ‘Wandering‘ from their debut album In A Restless House. The National comparisons are still there, but so is the bands convincing conviction in their delivery. There’s simply no other band in Australia successfully playing the deep sorrow card quite like City Calm Down at the moment. Melbourne beat maker Entro is due to drop a beat tape later this month titled New Oceanic Worldwide and ‘KDMA‘ is a nice little sample of what to expect. If you like you’re down-tempo or chill instrumental hip-hip beats, then give Entro a chance. The last song in Melbourne is from the surf, garage punk band Going Swimming. ‘Them Shakes‘ will feature on their debut album Deadtime Stories next month. If you’re looking for bands who sound like Wavves or In Utero by Nirvana, then Going Swimming have you covered.

Up on the Gold Coast, Josiah Birrell A.K.A. Govs got intimate with the second single ‘Baby We’re Outside Of Time‘ off his new album 6teenDRE’am [night xo] out next week via Yozlyn Magazine. Josiah crashes melodies and delicate notes all over ‘Baby We’re Outside Of Time’ like buckets of hot water in a bath tub. You can catch Govs opening for Holy Holy on August the 21st at Elsewhere up on the Gold Coast. Across in Perth the self described “Wharf Jazz / Deep Home” artist Arvȏ Tanty dropped ‘Elegy, Kayak (ft. Gravy Murphy)‘. It’ll feature on his forthcoming album Tender Yonder… Deep Home Music. It must be really cold in Australia this winter, if artists in generally warm places such as Perth and the Gold Coast are making tunes to be played next to a fire-pit, inside a warm blanket while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate.

In the northern hemisphere Four Tet continued to upload new material. ‘BACK2THESTART‘ may actually be my favourite release from Kieran Hebden in a while. Apparently he made it on a plane last year, but despite being the product of just a laptop, it sounds larger than most of his usual work. Its deep base and engaging vocal melody make ‘BACK2THESTART‘ one of the more radio friendly pop attempts by Four Tet, despite it’s usual extensive Four Tet length. We finally got solo material from Martin Courtney the lead singer of Real Estate. We’ve heard in the past solo material from the rest of the band, but everyone’s really been waiting on Martin. Martin is one of this generations most consistent and sharpest singer-songwriters. ‘Vestiges‘ features bass and drums from members of Woods, giving the song a full body experience not far from a Real Estate experience. The main difference would be that it’s led by a single guitar, rather than woven guitar parts and the extended outro section is less Real Estate dreamy and more dryer sounding like a Woods song. Last year Danny Brown teamed up with Rustie for one of 2014’s best bangers ‘Attak‘. However some people thought Danny was losing his jagged edge by focusing on just club hits. Now he’s teamed up with producer Clam Casino to remind people that he can still be an interesting alt-hip-hop rapper. The music on ‘Worth It‘ drops in and out like a Shabazz Palaces track, leaving the listener on his or her toes until the end.

The last track is youthful, raw, vulnerable and leaves me very intrigued about their upcoming album. The band is Beach Slang and the track is ‘Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas‘. The lead singer James Snyder grunts out “Too fucked up to love, but too soft to hate”, among many other lines about self-pity, frustration and confusion. Yet the difference between Beach Slang and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart is that it sounds like James Snyder is fighting against living in nostalgia when he shouts out “We’re allowed to be alive!”.

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08 Aug Track Of The Day: Blondes – Persuasion

There are so many electronic artists these days, that at times you wonder how any manage to stand out. Many electronic artists have either huge social media followings or critical acclaim for being different and interesting. Then there’s Blondes who are just as good as any electronic act on the planet right now, yet their Facebook following is still under 10K and any critical acclaim you’ll find is only quietly acknowledged.

It’s criminal. What’s even more bizarre is that the duo are based out of Brooklyn, a place known for skyrocketing careers faster than any place in the world and they’re signed to the not-exactly small RVNG Intl. Their first self-titled album made it very clear that when they get their formula right, it’s as intoxicating as electronic music gets. Their second album Swisher was one of those rare albums that could’ve worked as an entire single piece of music or a mixtape and yet it was broken down into tracks, that could carry themselves individually.

Now they’re dropping a three track EP titled Persuasion and ‘Persuasion‘ is the opening track. It has all the seamless transitions of Four Tet, the epic rhythmic layering of Fuck Buttons and the psychedelics of Africa Hitech. Yet it’s clearly a Blondes track and one that I can’t stop repeating. Never has eight minutes felt so short, once you click play, the swirling sounds and continuous builds draw you in. It’s hypnotising, but it’s not as if I black out for the rest of the track and not realise there’s not much else to ‘Persuasion’. When I manage to remain conscious and dig deeper into the tracks details, it arrangement becomes even more impressive. It’s liquid execution is at the highest level. It’s as if the entire track was created in just one-take, simultaneously between the minds of Sam Haar and Zach Steinman.

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06 Aug Trading Tunes with Friendships

Friendships are an electronic alt-pop audiovisual duo from Melbourne consisting of Nicholas Brown and Misha Grace. The duo have been in the thick of the Melbourne scene for a few years now and tend to remix or get remixed by the best new artists around. Four months ago they released one of the best Australian tracks of the year with ‘When I Feel Like Killing‘. The track is also accompanied by one of best video-clips of the year. Listed below are five tunes that have caught Friendships attention of late.

1. The Harpoons – ‘Falling 4 U (Martin King edit)’

Martin King on Martin King, arrogance? No. Genius? Yes. Martin King is a total sound smith. Every tone is spot on and the groove is total fire. Lifted from the biggest soul dripping, core boogie, heaven soaring album of 2014 Falling For You. Martin flips the “feel good” to “feeeel gooood”. Smart garage shaker out of 10, Marty gets a rating of champagne & Moschino.”

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06 Aug Track Of The Day: YOUNG GALAXY – Body

The Canadian dream pop band have released four albums since debuting in 2007. Unlike many other artists who tend to run out of inspiration or ideas over the course of four albums, Young Galaxy have managed to perfect their craft over time with each album release. Their last album in 2013 Ultramarine was particularly a hidden gem, full of indie hooks, classy executions and many other reasons to keep replaying it. ‘Body‘ is the first single from the new album Falsework and it’s clear that the band haven’t lost any of their momentum.

The band brought back producer Dan Lissvik for Falsework. Dan gave the previous two albums a nice lush and broad glow. He’s an important aspect of Young Galaxy’s appeal because he’s able to separate the band from flat sounding laptop producers. ‘Body’ sparkles with many different layers and sections that flow easily into one another. ‘Body’ is more tailor-made for the dance floor than their previous dream-pop work, which better suited headphones or bedroom environments. It also helps that the band still has the angelic vocalist Catherine McCandless swooning the euphoric melodies together.

Young Galaxy are just a class above many of their electronic, dream-pop peers.

Falsework is out October 30 through Paper Bag Records:
1. Wear Out the Ground
2. The Night Wants Us to Be Free
3. Factory Flaws
4. Body
5. Ready to Shine
6. Must Be Love
7. We’re No Good
8. Little Wave
9. Lean into My Love
10. Pressure

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03 Aug Top Ten Tracks This Week

This week we start in Melbourne with a release from the record label This Thing and their Perth based artist Atripat. ‘Fibres‘ is off an upcoming EP and it reminds me of work from Oneohtrix Point Never. I’d love to hear more Australian artists tackling these kind of sounds. We also got a return single from Big Scary as it appears Tom Iansek of #1 Dads is focusing his attention for the time being back on Big Scary for a new album. There’s a noticeable emphasis on the electronics throughout ‘Organism‘ and trying to sound large or punctuational. A new artist I discovered from Melbourne called Arbes is a three piece band who draw influence from those beach bands of a few years back. However there’s a bit more darkness in the tone of the songwriting. ‘Beach Side‘ comes off an EP released a couple months ago and it displays an impressive tight cohesion between the band. Up in New South Whales the band You Beauty actually displayed similar traits on their single ‘ILLYWACKA‘ with a slight The Walkmen influence. Not only are You Beauty worth following, but their label Rice Is Nice have been one of the more inform labels of late in Australia and are especially worth following.

Heading overseas to Montreal where we got another new single from Ought called ‘Men For Miles‘. Ought are becoming regulars in our Top Ten lists for a reason, because there’s just so much character and wittiness about the lead singer Tim Darcy. The band are also not bound by dimensions or structure, yet every twist and turn feels carefully chosen. One band I’ve been slowly loosing interest in since they emerged on the scene during the Chill-wave period is the Brooklyn band Small Black, but the new single ‘Boys Life‘ surprised me. One issue I had with their songs was the short length which left a certain amount of tracks feeling like incomplete ideas, but ‘Boys Life’ surges forward for five minutes, aiming to make a return statement and I think it does. The twirling layers really create an emotional storm that leaves you far from unsatisfied. Another Brooklyn band that’s been around for about the same length of time are Here We Go Magic. It’s been three years since their last album and ‘Falling‘ is a reminder that you can always expect a solid indie rock album from them featuring strong, woven guitar parts via smooth, evolving song layouts.

The next song is a collaboration I never saw coming with the Berlin house producer Claptone receiving guest vocals from Peter, Bjorn and John. ‘Puppet Theatre‘ comes from his debut album Charmer due for release in October. It’s the opening track and it sets the tone for the album than rather make any kind of statement. Charmer will definitely draw a lot of curiously closer to its release. Then the playlist ends with two remixes. The first is of an interlude track on Tame Impala‘s new album Currents. Rambo V out of California turns ‘Nangs‘ from a warped psychedelic trip to a slightly more energetic drug made for the club. The last remix is my most played track of the week and comes from my second favourite Spanish producer after John Talabot. The underrated Sau Poler takes the electronic experimental sounds of Taragana Pyjarama and showcases his signature knack for textured hooks. It takes great control to throw in as many layers as he usually does without making the product sound too congested or messy. The key with Sau Poler is individual quality layers over extensive half decent layers.

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