25 Aug Trading Tunes: City Calm Down

The Melbourne quartet City Calm Down have been on our sites radar for a while now with an interview dating back to the start of 2012. The band even played our sites first birthday party event. Now the band are set to release their debut album In A Restless House on the 6th of November. The first two singles ‘Rabbit Run‘ and ‘Wandering‘ have set the expectations quite high. Before the band begin their national tour, band member Jeremy Sonnenberg has sent over his choices for Trading Tunes.

National tour dates:

Saturday 3rd October
Howler -Melbourne, VIC

Friday 9th October
Rocket Bar – Adelaide, SA

Saturday 10th October
Jack Rabbit Slims (Tickets available on the door) – Perth, WA

Friday 16th October
Newtown Social Club – Sydney, NSW

Friday 30th October
Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane, QLD

1. The System – ‘Almost Grown’

“One of my go-to tracks for an instant departure from daily reality. Laden with hooks that never quite seem to leave my brain, it’s raw, dream-inspiring synth pop out of France from back in 1983. No smoke and mirrors here, just a tough bassline, some big drums and some of my favourite synths taking me to my special place.”

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23 Aug Trading Tunes: Cleopold

It’s been a big year for Cleopold out of Melbourne. After laying down vocals on ‘Colours In The Sky‘ by Miami Horror, he got signed to the new Chet Faker and Thrupence label Detail Co. Records. His first single ‘Down In Flames‘ is closing in on 400,000 plays on SoundCloud. While we wait for him to release more music, he has sent over his Trading Tunes selections.

1. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Multi-Love’

“The intro to this track is dope, I love the sound of keys being tapped lightly. Especially when the chord progression sounds like something from the Baroque-era that should be played on a Harpsichord. Can’t stop listening to this one.”

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23 Aug Top Ten Tracks This Week

This week we have six tracks from Melbourne, two from Sydney, one anticipated return and a farewell song.

We start with Martha Brown A.K.A. Banoffee, who broke out last summer and has spent the most of this year working on new material. ‘With Her‘ has production help from Oscar Key Sung and it gathers its feet during the back half with a footwork drum beat, skipping keyboard and her staple pondering layered vocals. Terrible Truths are technically from South Australia, but they’re currently based in Melbourne. The trio are set to release their debut LP this October via Bedroom Suck Records and it’ll feature ‘The Coast Is Clear‘. It’s easy to hear why I always go out of my way to see this band live. The talents of Becky Sui Zhen A.K.A. Sui Zhen have always intrigued me, and now I think she’s released her most focused song to date with ‘Dear Teri‘. It’s the first single off her upcoming debut LP and it has this sweet simple melody with some dabbles of keys and guitar plucks. She calls it “dreambeat”, I’d call it clever craftsmanship. If you dig Real Estate, you’ll enjoy ‘Young & Old‘ by Backyard. Apparently it was written last year, but now it’s being released as a 7″ and hopefully it will gain the band more exposure this time around. Lucianblomkamp broke out last year with ‘Help Me Out‘ and ‘From Afar‘ is the first new single since. ‘From Afar’ continues to explore the darker side of the alt-pop community. The last track in Melbourne comes from Gold Class. ‘Furlong‘ is what I imagine Joy Division would’ve sounded like if Morrissey took over after Ian Curtis passed away. Now that’s a whopper of a compliment.

Up in Sydney Yon Yonson released another single ‘Am I A Hero?‘ off their album It’s Natural from late last year. It’s Natural was quietly a stellar album that displayed their own take on artists such as Animal Collective or Panda Bear. You can catch them playing at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on the 3rd of September. ‘Sunshower‘ by Flowertruck is the most positive track of the week. It would be hard to walk away from ‘Sunflower’ not feeling positive. Just watch how happy they are jumping up and down at Bondi beach in the video-clip.

Last year Leon Vynehall broke out with the EP Music For The Uninvited. It was hard to go to a house club at one point and not hear a DJ throw in ‘It’s Just (House of Dupree)‘. ‘Midnight on Rainbow Road‘ is the opening, dreamy track to a new compilation album titled Musik For Autobahns 2. The CD also features songs from Joy Orbison, Fort Romeau and Bicep. The last song makes me sad, because I really enjoyed it before reading that it’s their last song ever. The duo Korallreven,who make glo-fi, melancholy beach music. Have decided to part ways after six years and two enjoyable albums. ‘Here In Iowa‘ is strong way to bow out. The only possible upside of this situation could be that Daniel Tjäder may be returning to The Radio Dept. to record new material.

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19 Aug Trading Tunes with Andrei Eremin

Andrei Eremin first made a name for himself in Melbourne producing tracks for Chet Faker, Hiatus Kaiyote, Banoffee, Japanese Wallpaper and more. He then began dropping noticeable remixes of artists such as Milwaukee Banks and I’lls. Now he’s releasing his own music and really making a name for himself as a musician. His latest single ‘Anhedoniac‘ featuring Kučka, will no doubt finish in our annual Australian end of year list. You can catch him playing at the Paradise music festival in late November, but until then, check out his Trading Tunes picks.

1. Herzeloyde – ‘Pull’

“Hat tip to Tommy Faith A.K.A. the man behind Sound Doctrine, for putting me onto this guy (I always feel weird stealing other people’s recommendations). Herzeloyde is one of the most talented producers I’ve ever heard, and rumour has it that he’s just a young fella from Melbourne. His music is inspired by trap and modern dance music, but instead of fitting into the transitory Hype Machine culture that pervades this style, it feels like he’s dissected and put his own spin on it with a deep knowledge of groove, harmony and frequency manipulation. Every track’s a winner!”

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17 Aug Trading Tunes with Queen Magic

Nick Mulhall A.K.A. Queen Magic, is an artist from Melbourne who specialises in juicy, slow jams. He has three impressive singles under his belt within the past year and a recent performance at the Splendour In The Grass music festival. Queen Magic is well on his way to breaking out. However before he does, he’s sent us his Trading Tunes choices.

1. Cleopold – ‘Down In Flames’

“This is easily the song of this summer, sorry Dr. Dre, sorry Timbaland, but this takes the cake. This film clip too, Cleopold is currently supporting Miami Horror around Australia, so get down to a show! Follow that guitar jam from the bridge on over to the next page.”

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15 Aug Throwback Special: Top Twenty Tracks This Week

Earlier in the week our co-founder and all-around legend Huw Nolan had to sadly, officially depart from the site in order to focus all of his attention on his prospering label Good Manners Music. This post is a celebratory throwback special, dedicated to when Huw Nolan originally used to generate weekly top twenty posts during the sites early days. In order to make the playlists length digestible, I’ve divided the playlist into ten Australian tracks first and then ten international tracks.

We have seven tracks from Melbourne this week and we start with Harvey Sutherland. ‘That’s The Fact, Jack‘ is a cool, sleek ’80s soft jam. You can catch him at Meredith Music Festival this December. Peruw caught our attention earlier in the year with the single ‘Moons‘ and now he’s dropped the equally as intriguing single ‘City Of Gold‘. Slum Sociable are releasing their debut EP TQ on October 9th and ‘All Night‘ is the second single after the head-turning ‘Anyway‘. I’m not sure how Ella Thompson finds time to release her own solo work between her other projects GL, Dorsal Fins, The Bamboos and joining Mark Ronson on stage during his set at Splendour In The Grass this year, but she’s somehow managed to drop the single ‘Hold Me Still‘ and proved that she may be currently the hardest working musician in the country. The shoegaze band Lowtide are back with ‘Julia‘ off the split 7″ with another track called ‘Spring‘. ‘Julia’ was written by Asylum Party and you can listen to both songs in one combined music video titled ‘Julia/Spring‘. Rat Columns are David West and Mikey Young of Total Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. ‘Should I Leave You Alone?‘ features on their new EP Fooling Around. You can hear and buy the EP over on the Blackest Ever Black bandcamp. The last track from Melbourne was actually released a month ago, but I felt the band could use another push. Youngs latest work ‘Serasan Shakes‘ was produced by Andrei Eremin and even features artwork from Thrupence.

Up north in Sydney, Packwood dropped ‘We Drink Light‘. Their naughties influenced indie sound is very wholesome and full of swiftly crafted instrumentation. Further up in Brisbane, Joy. got intimate with the single ‘About Us‘. You can catch Olivia McCarthy performing at Beyond The Valley festival this new years. Across in Perth, Kučka dropped their new EP Unconditional. ‘Honey‘ is another example of why this trio are on the verge of being a big deal.

Now internationally the first track ‘The Mystery of Lonnie The Døn‘ combines two of my most reliable sources. The Adult Swim Singles series and the Sub Pop signed hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces. Kiiara is just a 20 year old singer-songwriter from Illinois, but she really sells her latest offering ‘Feels‘. D.R.A.M. teamed up with inform Donnie Trumpet for ‘$‘. D.R.A.M. displays his double threat skills with the ability to rap and sing at an equal level. Kenton Slash Demon out of Denmark are the latest signing to Future Classic and the bubbling and pulsing ‘Harpe‘ will feature on their EP Harpe/Syko next month. Potty Mouth remind me of Ex Hex from last year with their latest offering ‘Cherry Picking‘. It’s got that ’80s, hair in the wind, not giving a rat’s-ass vibe.

I’ve been listening to Destroyer‘s soon to be released new album Poison Season a lot over the past couple weeks and ‘Times Square‘ is the centre track. This song is a major theme to the album with two other versions opening and closing the album. AJ Tracey from West London combined two of London’s more famous trends this century, grime and future garage for ‘Wifey 2‘ and it’s hard not to bob your head and down as it shuffles along. Blondes have a new EP titled Persuasion and this title track is the perfect piece of music to play during those crazy weekends between midnight and sunrise. I wasn’t a big fan of Battles second album, but their new single ‘The Yabba‘ has made me curious about their third album La Di Da Di next month. ‘The Yabba’ displays just how talented and methodical Battles can be. The last song ‘Violet‘ is highly addictive. Helen is a led by Liz Harris of Grouper. ‘Violet’ harnesses the same atmosphere as Grouper, but it’s a far more lively and alluring project.

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15 Aug Co La – ‘Suffering (Tuesday)’

The experimental Baltimore producer Co La dropped the single ‘Suffering (Tuesday)‘ earlier in the week and it’s jagged, unorthodox patterns have been looping in my head all week as I’ve been wondering the busy streets of Buenos Aires.

Maybe it’s the crashing noise at the start or the police sirens, but ‘Suffering (Tuesday)’ sounds like traffic. However unlike the frustrations of peak-hour traffic jams, the tracks clanging and bleeping actually has some fluidity to it. It’s like watching the crazy drivers in Asia continuously, narrowly avoid each other, or one of those intersections in Japan where the lights become green for every pedestrian simultaneously, opening the flood gates for a couple hundred people to quickly weave between each other.

Although the experimental sounds of artists such as Holly Herndon, Oneohtrix Point Never or Actress tend to intrigue the casual listener. Their entire albums are generally considered to be too frustrating for a casual listener. This makes what Co La offers interesting. He is creating space for himself in between those artists and the still highly popular IDM artists.

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15 Aug Neon Indian – ‘Slumlord’

I’m always skeptical when I see new music releases from artists who emerged during the chill-wave period such as Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, Blackbird Blackbird, Brothertiger, Slow Magic, Memory Tapes, Work Drugs, MillionYoung, Chad Valley. All except Neon Indian. Despite releasing the most memorable and definable chill-wave album with his debut album Psychic Chasms, Alan Palomo has always been the purest song-writer to emerge from chill-wave.

It became more noticeable on his second album Era Extraña where he became less reliant on style or music trends and he just wrote songs that would work if re-recorded in many different styles. He’s a song-writer who happen to emerge during chill-wave, not a musician who emerged because of chill-wave. Now he’s set to release his third album Vega Intl. Night School on October 16th and the first two singles ‘Annie‘ and now ‘Slumlord‘ are the least chill-wave music he’s made to date and the most expansive instrumentally.

‘Slumlord’ opens with a dark synthesiser reminescent of Perturbator before transitioning into a dance floor groove, full of bouncy hooks and slick guitar work. His vocals are also more demanding than usual, while not sounding forceful or uncharacteristic. The chorus vocal hook sounds like a more carefully crafted Chromeo moment, but it’s not all about the vocals, there’s just so many small details all over this track that work well together. The songs appears set to break out towards the end, except then it suddenly ends. This may be because the next track on the album is titled ‘Slumlord’s Re-Lease‘, hinting that this track may indeed break out then instead, but we’ll have to wait two more months to find out.

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15 Aug Trading Tunes with Amateur Dance

Joseph Cookson A.K.A. Amateur Dance is a producer from Melbourne who caught our attention last year with his first single ‘What I Had 2 Do‘. Since then he’s made an appearance on Pitchfork for the single ‘Still Amateur‘, released the EP Talking About Yourself and uploaded impressive remixes of Chet Faker and Darcy Baylis. While we wait to see what the producer does next, he has sent us the music inspiring him lately.

1. Dusky – ‘Parakeet Feet’

“I’ve given this an embarrassing number of plays and replays over the last week. Momentarily turns me into one of those ridiculous purists who don’t understand why people listen to anything but techno. A very moving piece of music that made me want to quit when I first heard it.”

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13 Aug Blank Realm – Palace of Love

I hope this summer Australia finally notice Blank Realm in their backyard. The jangly, upbeat, wonky band from Brisbane have been consistently making indie gems for a few years now and they’re getting set to release their fifth album Illegals In Heaven on September 5th.

Palace Of Love‘ follows on from the good form of the first single ‘River Of Longing‘, with a sharp guitar riff that slices the song through any congestion a listener may feel when digesting the cloudy force of the full band. The guitar and the inquisitive vocals of Daniel Spencer serve as a torch to guide Blank Realm to where they know they want to go.

That’s always been the key for Blank Realm, despite having a stumbling sound, you always get the sense that the band know exactly what they want and where they want to take their songs. There’s no confusion about the bands direction between the band members. This quartet just never appear to lose their infectious passion when together.

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