16 Feb Trading Tunes Martin Frawley

On February the 22nd this month, Melbourne band Twerpslead vocalist Martin Frawley will release his debut solo album Undone at 31 via Merge Records. If you’ve never heard Martin Frawley, let alone Twerps, you can at least trust Merge Records that Undone at 31 will be worth the wait. Merge Records don’t mess around, they’ve probably been the most reliable US indie label for the past 30 years. With album releases from Destroyer, Lambchop, Ex Hex, Caribou, Spoon, Arcade Fire, Dinosaur Jr., …And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Magnetic Fields and not a lot of fillers in between.

Merge Records aside, Martin has a very consistent track record himself. Twerps’ self-titled debut in 2011 is arguably the most important Melbourne album of the decade. The album validated the bridge of interest that had been quietly building from Melbourne to New York during the late 2000’s. People who had rightfully stereotyped Melbourne for decades as chord-heavy punk city, were all of sudden open to trying new bands from the city. Such picks included many of the infamous dole-wave bands such Dick Diver, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding and ultimately the Courtney Barnett explosion. Post the Twerps debut album, Martin’s vocals grew a little more in confidence and clarity. Where the instrumentation had shielded him on the debut, the EP Work It Out displayed some grunt and attitude. Martin’s silliness began to come out on the next album Underlay, a more playful period, a side to Martin that’s evident on the upcoming Undone at 31. His most recent release with Twerps in 2015 titled Range Anxiety braced vulnerability and honesty. It was Martin trying to be realistic with himself.

Which leads us to Undone at 31. A good four years since Range Anxiety. He spent a lot of that time overseas trying to find out more about himself inside and outside of music. This is based on his social media, only he really knows what he was doing and how he was doing. One way to find out how he’s doing in 2019 is to catch him live at one of his 14 straight days of sets coming up. The Facebook description isn’t a typo, from March 3rd, every night until March 17th, he’s playing at 7:30pm at an unknown Sydney Road shop for Brunswick Music Festival. This marathon of a launch reminds me of when The National performed ‘Sorrow‘ live on repeat for 6 hours at MoMA PS1 in 2013. However, I much prefer Martin’s idea, as he’ll have far less fatigue and deterioration, and far more creative physical freedom by the end of day 14. Most US national tours are like 25 sets in a month, at least Martin will be sleeping in the same bed every night with no need for soundchecks.

If you somehow can’t make any of those 14 sets, that include special surprise guests, you probably suck at life. Or you may actually be out of town, but back in time for the By The Meadow Festival on March 29th until March 31st. Until then, Martin’s Trading Tunes theme are the tracks that inspired the production for Undone at 31.


Undone at 31
1. You Want Me?
2. End Of The Bar
3. Waht’s On Your Mind
4. Just Like The Rest
5. Smoke In Your House
6. Chain Reaction
7. You Can’t Win
8. Something About Me
9. Lo And Behold
10. Come Home
11. Where The Heart Is


Maurice Frawley – ‘Long Gone Whistle’

“This is a song by my father and his band The Working Class Ringos. Recorded by the genius Tony Cohan. I witnessed some of this being made but was too young to understand. There is so much space and soul in this song, it haunts me. Big Velvet Underground vibes. I hadn’t been able to listen to my dad’s music after he passed away. But once I had the courage, this was the first one I had to hear again. That’s also me playing the tambourine, age 12.”

Brian Eno / John Cale – ‘Spinning Away’

“Don’t recall how I heard this one but I remember it was when I was sober for a period and writing this record, I would sit in my room and just listen to music for hours. This song, over and over. The guitar tone is really cool and the production is spot on. Made me get very excited about production and the idea of exploring new techniques.”

Hermine – ‘I Won’t Make It Without You’

“Simple, sad and beautiful. This one was so inspiring to use a lot of piano on the new record. It also is a sad love message to someone which I related to. And her voice just sounds perfect. If I shut my eyes I feel like I’m in the room with her.”

John Cooper Clarke – ‘I Don’t Want To Be Nice’

“Excellent amount of attitude which I could relate to. The mixing in this track is excellent, it’s a bit of madness but somehow it all works. I loved the guitar fuzz and tried to replicate it. Also the stomping piano driving it all along.”

Mariah – ‘Shinzo No Tobira’

“This song is fun at any time of day. I wrote a song the morning of going into the studio whilst listening to this one, hopefully its not to obvious. The drums make me want to run and also dance at the same time. Such a nice skin sound.”

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06 Feb Trading Tunes Sunscreen

Photo by Nina Tempone

Back in 2017 the Sydney band Sunscreen released a shimmering, guitar driven EP titled Just A Drop, which featured two Ripe favourites ‘Tide‘ and ‘Voices‘, with ‘Voices’ placing #17 in our 100 Best Australian Tracks of 2017 post. The natural technical abilities displayed on Just A Drop didn’t come as a surprise though, because the lead singer Sarah Sykes also lends her vocal and keyboard hook talents to another standout Sydney band Flowertruck.
If you’re yet to catch Sunscreen live, you’re in luck, as they’re set to play at the Grampians Music Festival between February 15th-17th this month. There’s a very good chance that they’ll be sound tracking your drive back home from the festival, especially if you detour back along the Great Ocean Road.

For those who can’t make those dates and or live elsewhere on the Australian East coast, we have their other February shows listed below!

Tour dates:
Weds 13th Feb – Newcastle – Hamilton Station w/ Underlay + NTL Landmarks
Sat 16th Feb – Brisbane – Mountain Goat Valley Crawl at The Foundry
Mon 18th Feb – Melbourne – Monday Night Mass at Northcote Social Club (free gig!)

Sunscreen’s Trading Tunes is five songs with the theme of Australian ’80s Hits.

Do Re Mi – ‘Haunt You’

Do Re Mi‘s “Haunt You” is probably their most straightforward radio friendly single. It’s a great showcase of sweaty Australian female-fronted ’80s rock music. People forget how much of a badass Deborah Conway is. The ’80s wasn’t all Jimmy Barnes and Michael Hutchence.” – Alex

The Go Betweens – ‘Cattle And Cane’

“‘Cattle And Cane‘ by The Go Betweens is a perfect example of Australian pop eccentricity. The dreamy, haunting melody and introspective lyrics really reflect the barren landscape that we call home.” – Ollie

Mondo Rock – ‘Come Said The Boy’

“‘Come Said The Boy‘ is an Australian classic about coming of age. It epitomises the carefree beach culture of Sydney in the 1980s.” – Hugo

Paul Kelly – ‘Before Too Long’

Paul Kelly is one of the greatest storytellers of all time, and can soothe your soul when you are buckling under the pressures and confusions of life. As well as featuring the best guitar line ever, Before Too Long laments that the only constant thing about life is that it is ever-changing. If you watch the fantastic music video you will also see that his drummer is rocking a mullet ponytail – a strong look that I’m impressed by.” – Sarah

Kylie Minogue – ‘Locomotion’

“What really needs to be said here? It’s obvious. An iconic early Kylie track, a party staple, and the backdrop to many Oz-Aerobics workouts since.” – Sarah & Hugo

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16 Nov Trading Tunes Cool Sounds

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:
01. Dirt
02. Cactus Country
03. The Best
04. Loose Grips
05. Roses
06. Cassandra
07. Nylon
08. Nowhere To Run
09. Golden Nights
10. Twin Turbo
11. Wrangler

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

Body Type – ‘Ludlow (Do You Believe in Karma)’

Twin Peaks – ‘Wanted You’

Good Morning – ‘After You’

Anemone – ‘Baby Only You & I’

Spike Vincent – ‘I Like You’

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Broken Hands

13 Nov Trading Tunes with RVG

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!

On Sunday the 18th is perhaps the main event of the week with the Civic Sounds Laneway Party, an all-day festival in AC/DC lane with tickets still available so get in quick!.

Terry – ‘Ciao Goodbye’

“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.”


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03 Oct Trading Tunes with Retiree

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:
01. Migrate
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:”

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12 Sep Trading Tunes with School Damage

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!”

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29 Jul Trading Tunes with Loose Tooth

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
4. Butterknife
5. Asteroid
6. In The Morning
7. Will You Evolve
8. Bad One
9. Moonshine
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.”

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25 Jun Trading Tunes with Lachlan Denton

Talented multi-instrumentalist (and all-round-nice-guy) Lachlan Denton, caught our attention years ago in the local-unstoppable six-piece band The Ocean Party. Flashing forward to now however, Lachlan is breaking off with his own material and recording collaboration albums with the likes of Emma Russack. His latest solo album Two Months In Ben Woolley’s Room was released independently in June and is available online via bandcamp.

The story behind the creation and recording of Two Months In Ben Woolley’s Room makes a very unique release. Recorded in Abbotsford over ‘two months’ (as the name suggests) it follows the end of an eight-year relationship. The songs are very heartfelt and nostalgic, looping endlessly through Lachlan’s thoughts – “Be apart of your world”, “I know it’s not your job to care” and “I want to be irrational for us”.

The musical arrangements complement Lachlan’s inner thoughts, making the songs not only relatable but a very easy listen for any mood. Deep-dive into your own thoughts or listen to a voice you can relate too, let this album play out and accompany you through your thoughts and day.

When we recently had the opportunity to chat to Lachlan about his album and progress so far, he sent us five ‘sentimental pop songs’ for a Lachlan Denton edition of Trading Tunes – check them out below!

Stolen Violin – ‘Romance at the Petrol Station’

“My favorite song from one of my favorite songwriters. Knowing that Jordan is from North Queensland gives me the most vivid imagery of a humid northern summer when I listen to this song.”

Lower Dens – ‘I Get Nervous’

“This song has such a beautiful tension. It manages to musically and lyrically evoke the feeling of being in the presence of a new romance. ”

Dick Diver – ‘Amber’

“I’ve done a lot of regional touring with the The Ocean Party, and this song evokes the feeling of driving through a small town on a golden afternoon. ”

Emma Russack – ‘Migration’

“I’m very lucky to call Emma a friend. This song is my favorite of all the amazing songs she has written. Dream like imagery that is utterly bitter sweet.”

The Church – ‘To Be In your Eyes’

“This song should have been on a John Hughes film. It hits me. Utterly romantic.”

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21 Jun Trading Tunes with Biscotti

Carla Ori is the genius behind the Melbourne avant-pop group Biscotti. However, it’s evident Biscotti focused more on the avant than the pop on their 2017 debut album Like Heaven In The Movies.

Outside of maybe ‘Instamatic‘ that builds around the lyrics more than any other track, the rest of the album explores moods, spaces and dimensions, all in order to twist, challenge and open your mind to any idea that comes from Biscotti. There’s Depeche Mode ’80s funk meets late 2000’s indie-rivival on ‘Soda Pop‘. ‘Jeanie Brown‘ is scattered like a child full of sugar, dancing with an off-kilter tempo. Trip-Hop carries the momentum of ‘Luciano’s Jalopi‘, while ‘Fantastico‘ trips you into another world entirely. Carla never overloads the palette of colourful ideas, ‘Cognac‘ is the perfect example of stripping it back and letting the air breathe between the notes, like the white walls of a gallery, letting you process the art installations. Biscotti even throw in some political humor in the final track hilariously titled ‘Leave The Gun Take The Cannoli‘.

You can catch Biscotti at the ScienceworksParty Beyond’ this Friday the 22nd of June. You can also catch Pillow Pro and Future Fosil perform with the added option to explore all the science around you. Click over here for bookings: Scienceworks

Kali Uchis – ‘After the Storm’

“Current favourite new pop star and favourite album of 2018 to date. Damn, I don’t know where to start. Of course it is her voice which is the first thing that sounds out, but you start to look at the list of people that she is collaborating with and the aesthetic of her video clips and you need a serviette to wipe the drool from your mouth. This clip in particular is just soo up Biscotti alley in terms of aesthetic and quirkiness. ”

Khruangbin – ‘Evan Finds the Third Room’

“‘We found the happiest lady in China. We told her that you don’t need a real hula hoop to have fun. She agreed.’ – Josh King
What a genius idea for a fun video clip. Discovered this group recently through a friend. I love the weird wig thing they have going on (see live videos or photos of the group). The group were originally inspired by Thai Psychedelic tunes from the 70’s, a little like my other band Empat Lima were with their Indonesian garage pop obsession.

Kadhaj Bonet – ‘Mother Maybe’

“I have consciously been tuning into a lot more female singers recently as a form of listening practice to expand my own vocal skills. I know little about this woman so far but apparently she plays all the parts on her record like I do, so we have something in common. I’m loving her arrangements and vocal lines.”

Sun Ra – ‘Lanquidity’

“My first Sun Ra album. Avant-garde. Meeting Marshall Allen.
I list this album specifically because it was the first album of Sun Ra that I listened to and somehow when an artist strikes you so much it is this first impression that stays with you. I’ve always loved the avant-garde and people who challenge the status quo, who are living on the edge with their ideas. The Sun Ra Arkestra recently came to Melbourne, I hadn’t planned to go, yeah a bunch of old dudes playing old tunes and Sun Ra isn’t even alive anymore. A friend happened to be hanging out with some of the members and invited me to join. Long story short, we spent the next three days hanging out, they put me on the door for all their shows and were just super excited to jam with anyone. Marshall Allen, the last standing original member, is touring at 94 years of age. His message to us was ‘We made this music for you, for the people of the 21st century!’”

Pavarotti – ‘Ave Maria’

“Our modern world is a stressful place, so why not a little soothing opera to calm the mind.
There was a lot of Pavarotti present in the the background of my childhood, my father would play his albums on repeat and often when we were on a car trip. Perhaps it is this association that transforms me to a peaceful place. His voice in combination with imagery of the countryside landscape passing by my back seat window.”

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08 Jun Trading Tunes with Lehmann B. Smith

You may know Lehmann B. Smith from Totally Mild, or from one of his previous three albums. If not, you’re in for a wild yet soothing time on his latest album Poplar Music via Bedroom Suck.

If you spend ten seconds talking to Lehmann IRL, you’ll know this man doesn’t see the world very conventionally — rather, in a million moving ideas all flickering at once. Poplar Music in some ways maneuvers like his brain. The opening track ‘Blame Me‘ innocently sways in the sunny open road like an early Atlas Sound song. On the next track ‘Pave The Road‘ the rhythm glitters like album Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective, but with the forward momentum of Spiritualized and this is where the influences begin to move back in time.

The interlude ‘Harder‘ emulates the Parklife era of Blur, but with a the goofy tinge of Of Montreal. However it’s not all obvious influences, as Lehmann comes into his own midway through the album, taking on a Quentin Tarantino visual mindset with sliding guitars and the feel of pure freedom on ‘Do It Again‘. The Tarantino mythical jaggedness is in full effect on ‘Chromaticlash‘. There’s a sort of Disney soft waltz happening throughout ‘10th Dec‘ and it’s fascinating to follow. His unique combination of ideas from wild movies and more recent bands like Timber Timbre or Broken Social Scene on ‘Tropical‘ and ‘Thus Must Rust‘, leaves his sound and product floating in its own space. He hasn’t entirely fleshed out his ideas just yet, but he’s heading in the right direction creatively.

Word from Lehmann:
“I started recording this new album in 2013 with big ambitions to make a really beautiful, conceptual, catchy triple-album. After about a year of working on it I became a bit forlorn and then in 2015 I quit music and dropped the album and did nothing at all for a year. Slowly I started resolving in my mind that it was okay to fail – or be a failure – and I started to feel good again and became less down on the futility of making music, then it was easy to finish this album “Poplar Music” and it turned out not half-bad. Here are some songs that remind me that even though times are usually tough, everything is gonna turn out alright and everybody’s gonna buy your album.”

The Tote in Melbourne – Residency Details:
Sunday the 3rd of June with Jaala (solo)
Sunday the 10th of June with The Finks
Sunday the 17th of June with Emma Russack
Sunday the 24th of June with Elizabeth (Totally Mild)

Burl Ives – ‘From Here On Up The Hills Don’t Get Any Higher’

Ruby And The Romantics – ‘Our Day Will Come’

The Apostles – ‘Don’t Huzzle For Love’

Pete Dello and Friends – ‘It’s What You’ve Got’

Håkan Hellström – ‘Du gamla (That’s Alright Since My Soul Got a Seat Up in the Kingdom)’

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