The new A Taste Of EP by trio Honey 2 Honey is one of Chapter Music‘s most recent releases and its four tracks feel like a forbidden exploration of a large prop warehouse. It’s dark, but not scary. It’s a little creepy, but also harmless fun. It’s silly, but only as fun as your imagination. It’s not always easy to understand exactly what’s happening throughout A Taste Of, but that’s often when life is its most stimulating, when humans can’t look away until they understand what’s happening. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it didn’t stop Honey 2 Honey from releasing a mix and matching of ideas that others would only keep in a secret folder on their laptop. Deep stern vocals like John Maus, minimal foggy atmospheres like Dirty Beaches and snippy keyboards with nicking hi-hats like Gang Gang Dance. By the time ‘Colony Music‘ rounds out the EP, you’re certain that they’re teasing you, and that they must have many more tracks and ideas than just these four in those secret laptop folders.
EP Track List:
1. Tone Of Voice
2. Under the Hangar
4. Colony Music
Honey 2 Honey are based in Canberra and Sydney, but you can catch them in Melbourne on May 4th at The Curtin with Simona Castricum and Waterfall Person. Until then, they’ve sent us a Trading Tunes with the theme of “touching music”:
Bill Withers – ‘Use Me’
“A Bill Withers classic, this song and this performance in particular is a masterpiece of restraint — they are all literally sitting down — nothing showy about it. There is not one note that is out of place, no part of the performance is overstated. Cool, collected and raw as. Amazing.”
SWV – ‘Anything’
“This is the intro track to SWV‘s album Its About Time. It is much more restrained than the rest of the album (which is also fantastic). I really love the repeated vocal harmony which goes behind the lead. The whole thing is just sultry and smooth. The final repeat when everything but the vocals and drums drops out — magic.”
Fafá de Belém – ‘Aconteceu Você’
“This is a song by Brazilian singer Fafá de Belém. I just google translated the title — apparently it means ‘You Happened’. Pretty nice, huh? The beginning of the song is just perfect RnB and then it goes high funk drama. The video is cool, too.”
Holy Balm – ‘Clandestine’
“This is a song by our label siblings Holy Balm. I think this song is pretty amazing. The lyrics are sincere (potentially to the point of irony) and beautiful, and musically the song performs the trajectory of its band — from post punk wonk to thumping vocal house classic. Emotion, groove, and a sprinkling of comedy — perfection.”
India – ‘To Be In Love’
“This clip is incredible. The energy of India and crowd is pretty off the charts even before she starts singing, and when she does it is just mayhem. H2H love a diva. Not much more to say — just watch the clip.”
This Friday the 19th of April, the Melbourne club Yours&Mine is teaming up with Red Bull Music to present 1800-DOOF and it’s going to be one hell of a party. The line-up featuring Toni Yotzi, Moopie, DJ JNETT, Rambl, Hybrid Man, Makeda, DESTINY71z, Emelyne and Bevin Campbell alone makes the $20 buck tickets seem such a steal it should be a crime. That’s a mini festival of a line-up right there, but because it’s Red Bull Music, who know how to throw an affordable party in any country around the world, the freaking wonder maestro Lone is headlining. Lone releases music on R&S Records, one the most respectable house labels on the planet, and in my opinion he’s their franchise player. Lone is one of the few artists where I would buy a track, EP or album before even hearing it. He just comes back stronger and stronger with every release. Lone tracks will possess you and make you stop whatever you are doing.
To tide you over while you count down the hours until the event starts, local DJ Rambl has kindly sent us his choices for Trading Tunes. Rambl is also a producer, label runner and the electronic stage manager for Meredtih and Golden Plains music festivals. He has 20 years of experience throwing parties at Honkytonks, running the art and music webzine r-n-d.net, producing the RRR FM show City Rises, co-founding the label This Thing and endless other projects that have influenced the local community. It’s people like Rambl who keep the Melbourne dance scene thriving and evolving.
Rambl has picked the theme of the deeper side of dub-techno (Or just Deep dub-techno) and sent us this quote:
“Ever since I first heard the legendary MoritzMix remix of Model 500’s classic “Starlight” (1995), I have nurtured an abiding love for the deeper side of dub-techno. To me it represents the purest expression of the dichotomy of dance music – simultaneously arresting and hypnotic, rhythmically static yet constantly evolving, minimal in form while texturally complex, and equally capable of drawing you deep into a dimly-lit dance floor, lulling you to sleep on an enveloping couch or eating up the miles on a late-night drive. Before delving into some of my more traditional deep dub-techno favourites, we begin this selection with the abstract, jazz-influenced sound of “Vertical Ascent”, the first album from the Moritz Von Oswald Trio. Enjoy.”
The third night of Play On‘s acclaimed Series events will take place this Friday the 22nd of March. It rounds out a magical ‘Series Six’, which has so far included Babickaand Sleep D. Now, it’s Adriana‘s turn to be the night’s DJ while Mindy Meng Wang performs the Guzheng beforehand, combining with Carolyn Schofield and Peter Knight.
Play On’s unique Series format has delighted Melbourne audiences since November 2016. Having produced five memorable iterations in three years, it’s proven to be a remarkably fresh and innovative event series that features talented classical musicians and electronic artists playing back to back. All of this happens underneath a carpark in Collingwood. This synergy of genres, artists and settings consistently produces authentic and spellbinding performances.
Adriana is the host of Opalakia on 106.7FM AKA PBS.FM AKA this amazing show that features sounds from all across the juicy Mediterranean to the vivid sounds of the Middle East and beyond. You’re bound to get a mix or the new and old with Adriana, taking you on a journey not through time, but to a sonic plane new to your ears. Your brain will have expanded by the end of an Adriana experience. And your feet will be very sweaty too.
You can listen to Opalakia on Tuesdays between 7pm and 8pm.
You can also still buy tickets to this Fridays Play On event right here!
“I have legit played this song in every set of mine for the past six months. Why? Well it works wonders every time. For one, this is a great example of how you can get people dancing without having to reach that magical “128 bpm” that Zac Effron insists upon. Two, people always seem to want to grind and pout their lips to this. Finally, there is the most fire instrumental breakdown that would actually make you burn guitar hero into flames.”
Paco De Lucia – ‘Entre Dos Aguas’
“I opened up my Red Light Radio set with this one last year and therefore this track will always be sentimental to me. Starting off as sweet and tranquil you feel as though you are being serenaded by Paco himself. As the song progresses though, its energy builds, climaxing with intense heat and gusto. This is the song that really made me fall in love with flamenco music.”
Aris San – ‘Dam Dam’
“Known for a lot more than just his music, Aris San was the Kim K of his time. Not only did he popularise Greek music in Israel, but he was also in the tabloids for his forbidden love affair with Aliza Azikri and was sentenced to gaol for selling narcotics in his nightclub. With all that messiness aside, it’s important to pay tribute to the man that created the signature sound for Mizrahi music.
During the 1970’s, Greek music had a huge presence in Israel, especially thanks to pioneers such as Aris San. By switching the quintessential Greek bouzouki for an electric guitar, Aris continued to play Eastern/Greek scales in high pitched staccato mode, modernising the music of his motherland.”
Adriano Celentano – ‘L’Unica Chance’
“The dude who introduced rock ’n’ roll to Italy. Mr Adriano Celentano makes you truly want to bang your head to this one. If you take a squiz at the videoclip you can see how Celentano was known for his charismatic moves, all of which are emphasised beautifully by his backup dancers who rock the most awesome white flared pants here.”
Soft Rocks – ‘Garden Of Eden’
“The first time I heard this track was during a set by Suzanne Kraft at Melbourne party, Daydreams. Back then Daydreams was at I Know a Place, a little space on the border of Fitzroy that fits about 30 people. We were all crammed in and absolutely frothing every tune he laid out for us on this sunny Sunday arvo.
This balearic banger is full of punch, and is another one that just screams Summer to me.”
If you’re confused by the title of this project, than you’re not alone. I honestly thought the very talented trio of SO.Crates, Nelson Dialect and Alnitak Kid had come together to create a project called Sunset Cities where the debut album was self-titled. Instead, the project is simply under the name of the three separate projects. Now that the confusion is cleared up, we can talk why this is one of the best Australian hip-hop album releases, period, and why I’m so keen for what the future has in store for this trio of collaborators.
There are three elements that standout with this project. Layered production, chemistry and no shortage of lyrical topics. The combination of those three is very hard to find. Often the best producers aren’t huge on lyrical conversations. There’s groups that have chemistry and enthusiasm, but rely too heavily on momentum to make up for other shortcomings. And there’s those lyrical poets, whose best weapon is pen and paper, not keyboards and Ableton. Sunset Cities isn’t perfect, but it masks holes extremely well. Those few minor tweaks (mixing up the verse structures) are easily achievable on further release. Given how busy these three projects are separately, it’s a miracle that they were able to produce a product as polished as Sunset Cities.
The whole album flows seamlessly without blurring indistinguishably (think Toro Y Moi), never drags and keeps you interested until the final decibel without relying on bombarding gimmicks. They don’t put too many cooks in the kitchen either, with just two guest appearances; this sharpens the album’s narrative. Sunset Cities isn’t a sound we haven’t heard before, it definitely traces back to early ’90s New York hip-hop instrumental glides. But I state that as a big compliment, as you could slide any of these tracks into a mix-tape of that era, and nobody would blink an eye. There’s a three track sequence, that made me lift both eyebrows, ponder and look around the room (I would’ve tweeted about it if my phone wasn’t broken). It starts with the interlacing of vocals and instrumentation on ‘Bright On‘. Then the shady, body twitching, ‘Jay Elec‘, that’s its own animal. Reminds me of the production found on Cancer 4 Cure by EL-P, which is high-end fidelity. Then rounded off by ‘Black Tapes‘, which had me not transported back in time, but rather to a studio headspace I didn’t know existed in Australia.
The trio chose the Trading Tunes theme of favourite VHS songs: “This tied in with our last single ‘Black Tapes’, an ode to growing up in the 80’s surrounded by stacks of VHS tapes, with your eyes glued to the screen late into the night.”
Killpoint (1984) – ‘Opening Theme’
“It has synths, it has terminator drum machines, it has sizzling guitar licks and my Dad stars as random thug #3.”
E-Rule – ‘Listen Up’
“Rap is like pot making. This joint achieves ideal forms.”
Souls of Mischief – ‘Cabfare’
“This track is like a time machine into an old dream on VHS. Hazy cushions of melodies floating above a crunchy drum break with charismatic story telling letting you peer through the orange sun-faded tint back into the 70’s so you can ride in a taxi with Bob James and Andy Kaufman. It’s also just a straight jam.”
Public Enemy – ‘Burn Hollywood Burn’
“”Yeah ill check out a movie, but it’ll take a black one to move me” – Chuck D, Ice Cube & Big Daddy Kane over groundbreaking Hank Shocklee production tearing shreds through the racist Hollywood movie industry. Back when rappers weren’t afraid to tell the entertainment power structures what time it was. Now everyone wants to be Hollywood.”
“This one is only linked to VHS in my mind. At some point in high school i taped a hip hop heavy episode of Rage and even though i’d had this album for years, to this day when i hear “tiger style, tiger style” it takes me back to sitting on the floor of my parents lounge room watching and re-watching that tape, breaking it, re-spooling it and watching it again.”
On February the 22nd this month, Melbourne band Twerps‘ lead 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
T R A C K L I S T
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.”
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!
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
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
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.”
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:”
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!”