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
Local band Pregnancy‘s debut single ‘First Kiss’ is like the unexpected Melbourne sun shining through the clouds on a cold overcast day. With its fluttering pop synth, sunny guitars of jangle pop and a vocal that nods to the likes of Paul Kelly, the band have delivered the perfect antidote to the grim winter weather currently bestowed upon us.
Only into their first trimester of gigging, Pregnancy are the unexpected love child of various other Melbourne acts – The Ocean Party, Totally Mild, Ciggie Witch, Cool Sounds, and Arthur Penn and the Funky Ten. Inspired by the disco-infused post-punk of the late 70’s, ‘First Kiss’ ends up sounding half way between the new wave aesthetic of Talking Heads and meaningful moments of 80’s pub rock, delivered with the bands’ own brand of indie pop.
Lyrically, the song explores themes of independence and progress, with vocalist Zac Denton singing about challenging times that have ultimately lead to growth and development. This is complimented by lusciously interwoven harmonies of vocalist Ashley Bundang, creating a layer of sincerity over the sunny guitar melodies and grooving beat.
‘First Kiss’ is our first taste of Pregnancy‘s forthcoming album that is due out early 2017.
Ripe’s Australian Chart is our weekly rotation of the best new music by Australian artists released in the last month. With so much great local music coming out at the moment, we’ve got a huge pile of 40 tracks in this week’s playlist.
We start at #39 with another track from the Brisbane record label Tenth Court, giving the label now three tracks in the chart. This time we have ‘Sunshine Song‘ by Sydney2000 off their new untitled six track EP. If you dig gritty, lo-fi garage rock then dig into Tenth Court’s catalog. Next we skip down to #28 with ‘Everyday‘ by Edward Vanzet from Melbourne. Edward is the younger brother of Jack Vanzet A.K.A. Thrupence. ‘Everyday’ is the titled track off a new four track EP and Washed Out fans will find it’s calm pacing, very comforting.
Galapagoose from Melbourne makes a return at #26 with ‘Free By One‘. It’s not clear if it’s a new single or what the context of the song is from, but if you dig the rhythmic patterns of Footwork music and the more spaced out moments of Flying Lotus. Then ‘Free By One’ will interest you. We stay in Melbourne at #21 for the pioneers of jazz-gaze – Cool Sounds. In-jokes aside, ‘In Blue Skies‘ will feature on their forthcoming debut album Dance Moveson Deaf Ambitions. ‘In Blue Skies’ is perfectly seasoned for Autumn with its nostalgic lust wanting to save a relationship about to end.
At #16 Sampa The Great has teamed up with Remi for ‘For Good‘. It’s the first single from Remi’s forthcoming album Divas and Demons, but it’s Sampa The Great who continues to steal the show. Her verse doesn’t kick in until the back half of the track, but it’s worth staying tuned for. She’s growing into a showstopper, who everyone is going to want to collaborate with and I’m not talking about just in Australia. The Murlocs are back and slide into #11 with ‘Young Blindness‘ off their latest 11 track album of the same name. ‘Young Blindness’ maintains the consistent standards set by the country-psych band and comes with a video-clip resembling an animation you’d find in the trippy Adult Swim series Off The Air. Next month the Melbourne band are touring Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Fremantle.
Black Cab jump into the top ten with ‘Uniforms‘ at #9. You may have witnessed the dark-electronic Melbourne band at the recent Golden Plains festival. ‘Uniforms’ has heavy roots in ’80s music, but the Perturbator-esque, trance-state synths played by Mikey Young are too euphoric to turn away from. The trio are playing their ‘Uniforms’ single launches in both Melbourne and Sydney in May.
The track of the week however belongs to White Lodge from the Gold Coast with ‘Bella-Union Creep‘ at #3. White Lodge follow in the footsteps of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever with that carefree, hair to the wind, simultaneously loose in nature and yet tight in garage rock execution. Throw in that bridge section switch up and wicked guitar solo and ‘Bella-Union Creep’ is a flat-out jam. Can someone please bring this band down to Melbourne immediately.
40. Bent – ‘Skeleton Man’
Uploaded: February 29th | Last Week: #40
39. Sydney2000 – ‘Sunshine Song’
Uploaded: March 17th
38. Tourist Dollars – ‘Horse Girl’
Uploaded: February 29th | Last Week: #39
37. Mope City — ‘Letterbomb’
Uploaded: March 9th | Last Week: #37
36. Spookyland — ‘Big Head’
Uploaded: March 10th | Last Week: #36
35. Wireheads – ‘Arrive Alive’
Uploaded: March 14th | Last Week: #35
34. Blake Gilray – ‘Guru Glock (Preview)’
Uploaded: March 1st | Last Week: #34
33. Ariela Jacobs – ‘Lost’
Uploaded: February 29th | Last Week: #33
32. Milwaukee Banks – ‘Reincarnated’
Uploaded: February 24th | Last Week: #32
31. Lucianblomkamp – ‘The Overman’
Uploaded: February 24th | Last Week: #31
30. Arvo Tanty – ‘Forget This Mourning’
Uploaded: February 26th | Last Week: #30
29. Gonzo Jones – ‘Misty Dreams’
Uploaded: March 8th | Last Week: #29
28. Edward Vanzet – ‘Everyday’
Uploaded: March 13th
27. The Pretty Littles – ‘Pride’
Uploaded: March 23rd | Last Week: #28
26. Galapagoose – ‘Free By One’
Uploaded: February 28th
25. A.M. Limonata – ‘After Midnight Special’
Uploaded: February 28th | Last Week: #27
24. Tiny Little Houses – ‘You Tore Out My Heart (Anatole Remix)’
Uploaded: March 2nd | Last Week: #25
23. Smile – ‘Old Boys’
Uploaded: March 9th | Last Week: #24
22. Bad Vision – ‘Goons’
Uploaded: February 29th | Last Week: #22
21. Cool Sounds – ‘In Blue Skies’
Uploaded: March 17th
20. Antony & Cleopatra – ‘Love Is A Lonely Dancer (Amateur Dance Remix)’
Uploaded: March 12th | Last Week: #21
19. The Goon Sax ‘Up To Anything’
Uploaded: February 24th | Last Week: #20
18. Nasty Mars – ‘Sundaynight’
Uploaded: March 11th | Last Week: #19
17. Tiny Little Houses – ‘Milo Tin’
Uploaded: March 13th | Last Week: #18
16. Remi ft. Sampa The Great – ‘For Good’
Uploaded: March 16th
15. Rainbow Chan – ‘Nest’
Uploaded: March 3rd | Last Week: #17
14. Mall Grab – ‘Down’
Uploaded: February 29th | Last Week: #16
13. Hoodlem – ‘4 Real’
Uploaded: March 11th | Last Week: #14
12. Loose Tooth – ‘Sherry’
Uploaded: March 4th | Last Week: #13
11. The Murlocs – ‘Young Blindness’
Uploaded: March 15th
10. The Goods ft. Unkle H – ‘Only One’
Uploaded: March 11th | Last Week: #11
9. Black Cab – ‘Uniforms’
Uploaded: March 9th
8. Summer Flake – ‘Wine Won’t Wash Away’
Uploaded: February 27th | Last Week: #9
7. Ciggie Witch – ‘Meet Me In The Middle’
Uploaded: March 2nd | Last Week: #8
6. SHOUSE – ‘Support Structure’
Uploaded: February 24th | Last Week: #7
5. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Gamma Knife’
Without a doubt 2015 has been the best year in the history of Australian music. The amount of quality tracks and artists that we couldn’t fit into this list was astounding.
What’s particularly exciting is the fact that most of these artists are new, which makes the prospect of putting together next year’s list seem even more daunting.
We would like to thank all the artists for making the music, the readers who share our site’s content, the writers who contributed this year, and everyone else who makes the Australian music scene extremely enjoyable to be a part of in our own small way.
Nevermind bar has been one of our favourite venues in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne ever since we held one of our earliest events there in Neverevermind Festival, and this weekend the bar is hosting a second iteration of their day-night party Couchfest.
It’s a dual headline with Ciggie Witch and Cool Sounds, but we think the whole lineup is worth checking out. And you know what? It’s free entry. What better way to spend a (hopefully) sunny Saturday afternoon?
Where: 336 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn
When: Saturday, September 19th at 3:00pm
More info can be found here, the full lineup is below.
Cool Sounds Ciggie Witch Tom Moore Ricci-Ryan-Kas Little Shock Sole Burners Flamingo Jones (DJ) Scott Candlish Turn Left