I want this post to be about Cool Sounds’ warm music — and it will be. But I also wanted to use this post to acknowledge my deepest sympathies for all the band members after their good friend, collaborator and touring partner Zac Denton passed away late October unexpectedly. Zac played several Ripe events over the years with The Ocean Party and helped KEWL with their crowdfunding campaign. Zac couldn’t haven’t been more unselfish and a positive representative role model of what makes the Melbourne music community so special. His passing effected me and I wish I’d shown more gratitude towards him while I had the chance. We held off this post until Cool Sounds were okay moving forward with press coverage.
Now on a lighter more uplifting note. Cool Sounds new album Cactus Country is perhaps exactly what I needed to hear. The closest comparison that kept coming to mind was actually the debut Girls self-titled album. That deliberate lack of low end frequencies, that ‘calm warm breeze on a rooftop with sharp crispy instrumentation and vocals never too deep or never too in your face either’ vibe. It’s incredibly easy to put this album on loop and let is simmer all day, and you’ll never question why you chose the album in the first place.
That could also be considered a flaw to some people, who are looking maybe for a clearer point of emphasis, but that would just distract from all the lush instrumentation of the seven piece band. It’s the multi-blend of instruments that creates their unique juice flavour. Which is why I suggest playing the album on full range speakers with good left and right separation, because you really need to hear the full Cactus Country audio spectrum to enjoy the full experience.
From band member Lauren Huynh:
“These are all songs I listen to when I wanna indulge in my loneliness but dance at the same time. I’m a real sucker for unrequited love songs and I think there’s something really beautiful about people who can sing about something sad in an upbeat and catchy way.”
House Or Home album tracklist:
02. Cactus Country
03. The Best
04. Loose Grips
08. Nowhere To Run
09. Golden Nights
10. Twin Turbo
Instead of being a co-headline album tour, it will instead be The Ocean Party’s tour, supported by Cool Sounds, as a bit of a celebration of Zac.
November 16th | Tanswells | Beechworth *
November 17th | The Bridge | Castlemaine *
November 25th | The Eastern | Ballarat *
December 1st | The Tote | Melbourne *
December 2nd | Birdhouse | Wagga Wagga *
December 3rd | Phoenix | Canberra *
December 4th | CCOX at The Bank | Sydney *
December 5th | Franks Wild Years | Thirroul *
December 6th | Netherworld | Brisbane *
December 7th | The End | Brisbane
This is our updated weekly playlist of the 40 best new Australian songs released within the past three months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Harvey Sutherland, Wonderfuls, Donny Benét, Tram Cops, Way Dynamic, Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice, Julia Jacklin, Sweater Curse, Sarsaparilla, gregor, Anatole, Good Boy, Field Maps, Darcy Baylis, Two People, The Woodland Hunters, Ben Wright Smith, Milk Buttons and this week’s best new track by Crepes.
Melbourne Music Week starts November 16th until the 24th, and what better way is there to get excited than by listening to a Melbourne playlist by one of the best Melbourne bands, RVG. You can gather elements of RVG’s sound from these five chosen artists. From Terry‘s sharp guitar lines, to Divide and Dissolve‘s depth and power, to Cyanide Thornton‘s levelled usage of the full band, to Spike Fuck‘s personal lyrics. Lead vocalist and song writer Romy Vager‘s unique take on what’s vaguely described as post-punk can be traced through these array of influences. You really need to see Romy and RVG live to understand how hard they can truly hit you inside, and luckily you can and see many more awesome artists during this year’s Melbourne Music Week.
There’s an endless list of Ripe favourite’s playing such as Andras, Andy Garvey, Ara Koufax, Brooke Powers, Chiara Kickdrum, Dianas, DRMNGNOW, Ella Thompson, Fantastic Man, Habits, Hexdebt, Hymns, Jen Cloher, Krakatau, Leah Senior, Mikey Young, Moopie, Pjenné, Roza Terenzi, RVG, SilentJay, Simona, Sui Zhen, Sunbeam Sound Machine and many more!
“You know the kind, please be kind” – my favourite line of the year so far. Terry write these little pop songs that say so much without any pretension or concern for being on trend.”
Divide and Dissolve – ‘Reversal’
“Not long ago I saw Divide and Dissolve play at a co-op in Austin, Texas. It was one of the best and most intense shows I’ve seen this year. The best music is the kind that doesn’t just make you feel good about yourself.”
Cyanide Thornton – ‘The Weight’
“Cyanide have consistently been my favourite band to see in over the last few years. They’re just about to release their debut album and it’s gonna be amazing.”
Dark Water – ‘Siren Song’
“Dark Water are my favourite new band of the year. They play this brooding synth goth music but you can also hear these very tender Fleetwood Mac-esque melodies in it. I’m very excited to hear what they do next.”
Spike Fuck – ‘Guts’
“Every time I’m asked to make one of these lists my first thought goes to this song. It encapsulates everything I love about this city.”
This is our updated weekly playlist of the 40 best new Australian songs released within the past three months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Martin Frawley, Harvey Sutherland, Tiana Khasi, Moonlover, DJ Heure, The Model School, HVNCOQ, The Ocean Party, Hektor, Middle Management, Candy, Obscura Hail, Orlean, Ferla, Jackmann, Black Cab, Fair Maiden, Sunnyside, Purpl, The Attics, Aegean Sun, Monnone Alone, Red Ink and this week’s best new track by Tram Cops.
This is our updated weekly playlist of the 40 best new Australian songs released within the past three months. This week’s guide includes new entries from On Diamond, Julia Jacklin, Cyanide Thornton, Lucy Cliche, Tram Cops, NИLL, Cool Sounds, GERYON, Moses Carr, The Ocean Party, These Guy, A. Swayze and the Ghosts, Vape Dadz, Triangle Head and this week’s best new track by Geo William.
Matt Crowley, Tori Holleman and Marco Vella make up the Sydney soft-thoughts group Retiree. Late last month they released their new album House Or Home via Rhythm Section INT. An album about living in all kinds of conditions all around Australia in 2018. The most common mood is that of somebody waking up to reality and trying to come to terms with it, a lot of ‘morning sun straight in the eyes’ vibes.
Just where and in what condition you experience this process of thoughts is subjective to the listener, as Retiree don’t clarify noticeable specifics. You could be in the hot sandy outback, a tiny apartment in Hobart, or the Alpine Range. We all wake up at some point every day and try to process the all that is prior to it. This is where House Or Home is perfect. Retiree help you zone in on those thoughts. Weather it’s via the soft deep oozing during ‘Magic Eye‘, the slick sliding tones of ‘Another Day‘ or light dabs with blurred audible lyrics like pre-coffee morning confusement on ‘Line In The Dirt‘. The morning is where their minimal arrangements work the best, a time of day when it’s hard to compute too much information. The last track ‘Past Time‘ is a really effective and calming instrumental, that I’d like to hear them dig deeper into on future releases.
Retiree have four shows coming up. The Chippo in Sydney on November 23rd, Northcote Social Club in Melbourne on November 24th, El Grotto in Scarborough on December 21st and Si Paradiso in Perth on December 22nd. Until then they have kindly sent us their choices for Trading Tunes.
Theme: Dub Mixes
“We’re big fans of a well executed dub mix – an alternate mix of a track that takes a few elements or sections of a song & extends them, reimagines & rearranges them, usually with some of the vocals removed, taking it a step out of ‘song’ territory & one towards the club.
When the right elements are reworked it can shed new light on a song, like hearing a version from an alternate dimension.”
House Or Home album tracklist:
02. Pumice Stone
03. Magic Eye ft Sui Zhen
04. Another Day
05. Line In The Dirt
06. Mystery Bay
07. House or Home
08. Past Time
Idjut Boys – ‘Kenny Dub Headband’
“From their LP ‘versions’ which is all remixes they’ve done themselves of songs from their record ‘Cellar Door’. The idjuts take the original slow, disco-y piece, chop it up, stretch it out & soak it in echo.”
Kindness – ‘SEOD (Zdar Dub)’
“Phillipe Zdar strips SEOD down to a deep deep bass and drum machines, then extends the piano outro, bringing the track to over 9 mins. Best listened to riding a bicycle at night or with some large subwoofers.”
Kassiry – ‘N’ne Menika’
“This doesnt divert too much from the original, but the echoey percussion & vocals switch it from the dancefloor to maybe the dinner before the party.”
Imagination – ‘So Good, So Right (Dub Version)’
“Paring a semi-cheesy funk track back & echoing out the vocals. Someone was playing the sends on the mixer here.”
Marvin Gaye – ‘I Want You (John Morales Extended Mix)’
“A classic reworked by a master remixer. Best listened to stretched out on a couch like Marvin singing it in the first part of this clip:”
This is our updated weekly playlist of the 40 best new Australian songs released within the past three months. This week’s guide includes new entries from The Goon Sax, Mildlife, Body Type, Cyanide Thornton, Ultracrush, Maliblue, Emma Louise, Ella Thompson, Lyndon Blue, Retiree, Darvid Thor, Montero, Emma Russack & Lachlan Denton, Planète, Hektor, Total Giovanni, Nice Biscuit, FRITZ, BATTS, Waveless, Breathe, Laura Imbruglia, Sloan Peterson and this week’s best new track by Roza Terenzi.
School Damage are like a lolli-bag that you get from a kids party, except there’s no sugar, it’s sugar free, every bag is unpredictable and that’s what makes every bag feel like a sugar rush. The four piece from Melbourne sound like they’re playing live on the back of a ute with wobbly tires rolling down a gravel road, chasing sheep, the driver wiping sweat off her forehead, while she downs energy drinks (sugar free). And when School Damage aren’t manic, it’s a dress up party with no theme, unless the theme is “Hello, I’m melting.”
At any moment everything could go wrong, but everything also has a hint of control. The keyboard parts are self contained, the guitar shreds are quickly in and out. Everyone’s adding wood to the bonfire, but it’s kindling and small branches, not petrol. Like any good bonfire, it should in theory get boring after a while, but School Damage are mesmerizing enough, that it’s hard to look away. The cracks never stop, you can’t always tell which part will break first, but it’s all nicely compiled together inside a wall of small broken bricks.
Maybe it’s the recent warmer weather in Melbourne, but School Damage’s latest album A to X is high in my rotation this month. Makes me want to hit the road to all the music festivals, windows down, no time to think about it being logical. At least that’s how School Damage would want me to do it.
A to X came out via label Chapter Music on August 31st and sent us five our their current favourite tunes to celebrate!
School Damage – A to X album tour dates
Fri Sep 14 – Melbourne – Gasometer Upstairs
Fri Sep 21 – Sydney – Vic on the Park
Sat Sep 22- Wollongong – The Servo (afternoon show)
Sat Sep 22 – Canberra – Polish Club
Sun Sep 23 – Beechworth – Tanswell’s Commercial Hotel
Sat Sep 29 – Hobart – The Brisbane Hotel
Thur Oct 11 – Footscray – Reverence Hotel (with Terry)
Fri Oct 12 -Castlemaine – The Bridge Hotel (with Terry)
Sat Oct 13 – Geelong – Barwon Club (with Terry)
Sun Oct 14 – Rye – Bahas (with Terry)
Fri Oct 19 – Brisbane – Bloodhound Bar
Sat Oct 20 – Ipswich -Bad Habit Records
*tickets on the door for all shows*
The Cannanes – ‘Sound Of the City’
Jake: “I love the Cannanes so much. A band that never seemed to mould themselves to the sounds of their contemporaries, instead they seem to focus more on their geographical surroundings – much like a Scorsese film, the area they are living is the protagonist. When you listen to the Cannanes songs from this era you get an imagery of Sydney’s inner city from the late 80’s. Which is why I love this video so much. A bunch of super-8 footage taken by their friends of them goofing around in Sydney. I love the way Stephen strums 16th notes in the chorus, I love looking at David Nicholls wearing a sombrero and I love Fran’s suit jacket & jeans combo!
PS. I promise that the Chapter Police didn’t force me to choose something from their catalogue!”
Eurythmics – ‘Love Is A Stranger’
Dani: “This is probably the song I have listened to most this year. I heard it on Smooth FM driving my car (don’t judge me I flick stations lol) and was reading an Annie Lennox biography at the time and hadn’t known who had sung it till it was back announced!
I am obsessed with The Second verse when where Annie sings “And Love love love is a dangerous drug…” but also that the verses don’t seem to follow a rigid time structure, they get longer. Her vocal delivery is really dynamic — one minute she is deadpan the next she is wailing. The other thing that draws me in is that the arrangement is quite simple but there are interesting flourishes like the weird grunting backing vocal.
The video is great too the wig move is such a good one. So good that according to her biography (Byrony Sutherland and Lucy Ellis, Annie Lennox: A Biography) ” On the video’s first transmission on MTV, the screen went blank as the controller watched in horror as Annie removed her first wig. To them it appeared that her gender had suddenly blurred, and the plug was pulled in the interest of America’s innocent youth being exposed to what appeared to be a transvestite. The video was banned until further notice.”
Yukihiro Takahashi – ‘Drip Dry Eyes’
Jeff: “This song is taken from Yukihiro Takahashis’ album “neuromantic” which was recorded only a few months after my favourite YMO album “BGM” in early 1981. It might as well be a YMO album as the whole band are on it along with Phil Manzanera (801, Roxy Music)and some other questionable Englishmen. I very recently discovered this is actually a cover (original by Sandii in 1980)but the song has totally transformed from a very basic synth pop song to a super complex gem. The more I hear it the more it actually sounds like many songs rolled into one. I admire the way The way Yukihiro draws so much from the past and brings it to the present the same way Carolyn, Jake and most of my favourite song writers do the same. When Yukihiro sings “crocodile tears” in the second verse it is so intense it actually breaks my heart… and I could watch this video over and over again.”
Lizzy Mercier-Descloux – ‘Fire’
Carolyn: “I only just came across this song and video kind of recently in my youtube ‘recommended videos’, but it has since been on high rotation. Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s cover of this Arthur Brown song is mesmerizing: best voice, best moves, it just makes me want to dance.”
The Penetrators – ‘Shopping Bag’
Jake: “The Penetrators truly are the Kings of Basement rock. They teach you how to make an outstanding album for $0 and make an entertaining video for $0. This video has got everything, 2 dimensional burgers, a seedy A&R guy, home made signs, the drummer imitating Chuck Berry’s duck walk with a guitar, half inflated balloons, a guy puking in a bag and last but certainly not least the disapproval of MTV. I’m an absolute sucker for lyrics that are about rocking out with your band too. I don’t know how they do it, but the quality of the recording and the video just works so perfectly for this band… Oh yeah, check out that guitar riff!”
This is our updated weekly playlist of the 40 best new Australian songs released within the past two months. This week’s guide includes new entries from Primo!, Phantastic Ferniture, Cool Sounds, Rabbit Island, Nolan House, Nylex, School Damage, Gregor, Maliblue, Holiday Party, Dark Fair, Peter Bibby, Neighbourhood Youth, ALTA, Your Girl Pho and this week’s best new track by Christopher Port.
Fresh off a European tour with Courtney Barnett, Loose Tooth last week on the 3rd of August released their debut full length album Keep Up via Milk! Records and Remote Control Records. Loose Tooth are one of the Australian breakout bands of 2018 in the independent world. They’ve always been a likeable band that just needed a little tightening and Keep Up is evidence that the band are serious about perfecting their craft.
There’s this glowing attitude of a group that wants to lift itself off the floor and get on its feet throughout Keep Up. Lead single and one of the tracks of the year ‘Keep On‘ contains this innocent energy that makes you want to adventure and tackle the world. Loose Tooth use a contrast vocal performance between mild and energetic vocals to remind you of the difference and importance of a human tone. ‘You Say‘ is about trying to escape an endless hookup that’s going nowhere and isn’t good for anyone. Loose Tooth want to move to a positive space in life, they want to improve themselves. Even on ‘Asteroid‘, where the delivery is more subdued and conservative, they’re still singing about “why can’t we just relax”.
Loose Tooth overall managed to avoid sounding like bland garage rock or a washed out shoe-gaze band and it’s mostly due to their crunchy guitar hooks and punctual delivery. They aren’t masking lack of ideas, they’re full of them and it’s evident until the end of the album. Hopefully this album lands them on many festival lineups this upcoming summer.
Loose Tooth are playing on Saturday 25th August at Howler in Melbourne. Until then check out their trading tunes theme about female drummers.
Loose Tooth – Keep Up
1. Keep On
2. You Say
3. All The Colours
6. In The Morning
7. Will You Evolve
8. Bad One
10. You Want It
11. Miss You
The White Stripes – ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’
“This was the first song I ever learnt to play on drums. Nel and I played it at school assembly in yr 9 at our stiff private school. They didn’t know what hit them! Meg was probably the first female drummer that I ever knew and I loved her simplicity, plus the White Stripes overall ‘look’ really appealed to me then, too. It was great having a female drummer to admire. She was a good teacher.”
Cate Le Bon – ‘Whats Not Mine’
“Cate Le Bon’s Crab Day came out a couple of years ago and has been on high rotation since. I love it. It is an amazing album. This is the closing track. Stella Mozgowa from Warpaint plays drums for Cate Le Bon. I love the sound of the band, sort of rigid like a toy marching band, minimalistic but really interesting and abstruct. Stella plays crash cymbols for 8 mins straight in the outro. I can relate to this method.”
Dick Diver – ‘Head Back’
“I went to school with Steph and we shared the same drum teacher. She’s always been super talented and an amazing drummer and I really love watching her play. Loose but oh so tight. A good swagger I’ve always aspired to.”
Jen Cloher – ‘Analysis Paralysis’
“Song of the year last year! Jen Sholaki on the drums. What a machine. I could hang on this groove for 30 mins straight, and I have a short attention span! The themes aren’t so cruisey however – It really sums up the frustration and discontent that I’m sure many of us feel living in current Australia’s social & political atmosphere right now.”
Chasity Belt – ‘Drone’
“We love Chazzy B. We have played with them both times they have been to Australia, and we really admire each other! Gretchen plays drums and I love how you can get totally lost in the songs. Julia has an incredible voice. So distinctive and beautiful.”