Early last year the Melbourne garage punker’s Wet Lips caught our attention with their cracker EP, Wet is Best. Last month they released the scorching single ‘Can’t Take It Anymore‘ and now they’ve organised the third WETFEST, which is an awesome day festival set for this Saturday (the 4th of February) at The Tote. The line-up is stacked with local brilliance from top to bottom. To help get you pumped, Wet Lips have chosen five tracks below that’ll have you clicking on the ticket purchase link before the end of the first track:
“It was so hard to choose just five tracks by artists playing at WETFEST this weekend! Everyone on the lineup is awesome and has their own distinctive sound and live show. We are so, so excited for Saturday and hope this will help get you giddy for it.”
Bahdoesa – ‘I Want More’
“We have been fairly infatuated with Bahdoesa since they whipped the crowd into a frenzy at Girlfest in 2015, despite it being about 3pm. Rest assured they are playing at peak party time on Saturday night and we will all be boogieing to this banger ;)”
Chelsea Bleach – ‘Treading Water’
“This song breaks our hearts. Every time. Can’t wait to cry to this during at WETFEST. And then hug all members of Chelsea Bleach. And cry.”
Two Steps on The Water – ‘Baby and The Bicycle ‘
“Two Steps’ 2016 album, God Forbid Anyone Look Me in the Eye, blew everyone away. They have a truly distinctive sound centred around June [Jones]’s emotionally punk expression of alienation, vulnerability and fierce defiance.”
RVG – ‘That’s All’
“*chants* RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG, RVG *chants*. Seriously though Romy Vager is a uniquely insightful songwriter who has that rare ability to tell a universally compelling story with a subtle political point.”
Lucy Cliche – ‘Outer World’
“When we asked Lucy Cliche to play WETFEST, we thought ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen? She’ll say no? Probably.’ So we just did it and she said yes! We are so, so excited to see her wild set of outer-space techno this weekend. Butter yourself up, cunts. It’s going to get wet.”
24 Jan Trading Tunes with Fractures
‘Lowcast‘ is the latest single from Melbourne producer and singer/song-writer Fractures, off the upcoming album Still Here. The album was almost entirely recorded by Fractures, with a bit of help on the drums and from Wayne Connolly and Andre Eremin on the production mixing. After the album’s release on February 10th, Fractures is setting off on an East Coast tour which will include stops in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Until then he has shared his Trading Tunes choices with us:
“I’m not a person who seeks out music all that often. I’m not sure why that is but that’s my situation so to curate a list of any theme is difficult in that context. I’ve let the folks at Spotify do the groundwork for me by way of their ‘Your Top Songs of 2016’ playlist. If not for this I would have struggled so very much.”
Josh Rennie-Hynes – ’27′
“This song was particularly poignant for me this year – nailed where I was at in between the ears and also the age factor was spot on, and will remain so for another six months.”
Day Wave – ‘Stuck’
“This was a vibe thing. The guitar sounds, the lo-fi sonics and the uplifting chorus despite the lyrics. It’s more or less what I am to achieve in every song.”
Neighbourhood Youth – ‘For Nothing’
“Another guitar sound driven song. It piqued my interest, then the rawness of it all brought it home. It’s nice to hear bands rather than computers I suppose. I am cynical in my older age.”
Anderson .Paak – ‘The Bird’
“The groove sags so nicely. The song never explodes but that isn’t an issue. It just floats along nicely and rises and falls. His voice is like beautiful soft butter.”
Kyko – ‘Pull Me Up’
“Put this under ‘perfect pop song’ category. Was made using the formula but it ticks every box. It’s seriously slick and economical in what it does and how it does it. 10/10 Pop banger. More please.”
|Feb 17th – Brightside, Brisbane||Feb 18th – Newtown Social Club, Sydney|
|Feb 24th – Howler, Melbourne|
Since premiering Chelsea Bleach‘s debut single ‘Public Safety‘ last year, we’ve been curiously following their progress. Tonight they finally launch their debut EP Decent Connections at The Tote in Collingwood, with support from Cable Ties, Kandere, Palm Springs and DJ Sov Trax.
I like to describe them as garage IPM (intelligent punk music), because they’re more diplomatic than pure force with their punkness. If 2016 only saw them testing the waters, then with this EP in 2017 they’re doing a full on knee splash bomb.
Each member of the band has contributed a track from another Melbourne-based act for their take on Trading Tunes.
GL – ‘Number One’
“GL is definitely in my top 10 list of Melbourne bands. This is such a fun dance track, and I could listen to Ella Thompson’s angelic vocals all day. Just a warning – the bouncy bass, catchy vocals and sparkly synths will probably be stuck in your head for days. I love this quirky video with it’s amazing colour coordination and visual composition.”
Various Asses – ‘Down, Down’
“I really love the vibes on the whole Locion release by Various Asses but this track is a standout for me. I love the heavy bass and variety of samples in the track. I find it’s always stuck in my head. I was lucky enough to catch Various Asses live for the first time recently and it was such an incredible experience it truly blew my mind. Raquel (from VA) is also the drummer in one of my fave bands Palm Springs and to be honest, I think she’s a musical genius.”
Huntly – ‘Please’
“The first time hearing this song was during a live performance. It’s got a full energy, great groove and relatable lyrics. This recording does not let you down on that front. From the quirky keys at the start, to the catchy melodies, this song has to be a fave of mine. I would be lying if I said I don’t sing and boogie to it every time I hear it. A great track from a fantastic Melbourne band.”
RVG – ‘That’s All’
“RVG are my favourite band in Melbourne right now and I love everything about this song. It evokes emotions in me every time I hear it, regardless of the fact that I’ve listened to it a ridiculous amount of times. Keep an eye out for their new album this year, and if you haven’t seen them play live you are missing out.”
Friendships – ‘Paradise’
“Off their debut Album Nullarbor 1988-1989 , Friendship‘s ‘Paradise‘ is some seriously hard-hitting techno — like a punch in the guts in a really good way. This whole album is stellar in my opinion, but if you haven’t caught Friendships live yet then make it a New Years resolution – as an audio visual duo their music is meant for the stage. Totally terrifying and unique, with strong characterisation and spoken word elements. I’m so psyched for what they’ll bring out next.”
Ahead of the Sugar Mountain Festival this weekend in Melbourne, local legend Katie Pearson A.K.A. Whiskey Houston has kindly traded some tunes with us. If you’re wondering why you can’t see her name on the Sugar Mountain line-up, it’s because she’s playing in a secret club, hidden within the grounds of Sugar Mountain. The secret club is called Absolut Nights presents Studio 45 and if you find it, not only will you get the best disco, house and club bangers via Whiskey Houston, but Andee Frost, Kate Miller and 2 secret international acts.
You can also catch Whiskey Houston on the 4th of February at The Gasometer. Until then, here’s Whiskey Houston’s Trading Tunes based on the theme of ‘secretly queer songs’.
Wham! – ‘Blue (Armed With Love)’
“A huge hurdle to coming out is doing it alone. A lot of queers will keep their queerness quiet until they’ve fallen for someone because you feel a whole lot less vulnerable when you’ve got some company for that kind of journey. It’s such a smooth jam for such a heart-breaking story.”
Dusty Springfield – ‘In Private’
“This is maybe my favourite thing the Pet Shop Boys ever did, and definitely my favourite Dusty song. She craftily includes the lyric, “When you run back to your wife?”, which would have been a her sharp defence against the homophobes to get the song some mainstream airtime.”
The Skatt Brothers – ‘Life At The Outpost’
“This song is the namesake of a disco night I run with a couple of friends called The Outpost. “What a way to keep up your raging” indeed. The Skatt Brothers made masculine disco with hyper-homoerotic lyrics and had the world thinking they really were into wooing the ladies with their cowboy ways.”
Material & Nona Hendryx – ‘Busting Out’
“Nona Hendryx is a bit of a musical genius. She’s a third of Labelle and wrote a lot of their music, pretty much all the sexier later stuff. She made a bunch of amazing new wave and had video clip banned from MTV for having drag queens in it. It’s said that she wrote this song with Material to celebrate finally busting out of that awfully grim closet.”
Carl Bean – ‘Born This Way’
“Ok, so there’s nothing secret about this one at all. This was probably the most unfiltered and direct declaration of a person’s queerness at that point in time (1977!). Queer or not, it’s impossible to not feel overwhelmingly gay when this comes on, but maybe that’s just me being a massive queer.”
Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird have been oozing synth-rock all over Melbourne and abroad since singer Lachlan Rose and guitarist Kieran Christopherson founded the band in 2014. Their most recent EP, Melbourne Bitter, has a truly exciting mix of impeccable songwriting and engaging, evocative tracks — while maintaining pop sensibilities and a high level of danceability.
We’ve heard rumours that they’re busy writing and recording new songs at the moment, but while we wait for those you can catch them live at The Toff on Saturday night, with support from six-piece Frida and Scott Candlish and his band. Find more details on the Facebook event, or jump right on board and buy tickets.
A big part of the depth (pun intended, no shame) of CTBNF’s sound is the deep baritone of lead singer/songwriter Lachlan Rose on tracks like ‘Make It‘, and the melancholic title track ‘Melbourne Bitter‘. For this addition of Trading Tunes he has very kindly sent us a selection of songs from artists with beautiful baritones who have inspired his vocal stylings.
Blur – ‘The Universal’
“Life is hard etc. But occasionally we are blessed with these little moments where the path ahead seems clear and you feel so deeply excited to be alive. This song has always scored those moments for me. The lush orchestration underneath Damon Albarn‘s wonderful lyricism instils so much hope in the listener.”
Barry White – ‘Hard to Believe I Found You’
“Barry always seemed like a caricature of himself to kids like me who really only knew him from the Simpsons or any remotely sexual film scene. But musically, this entire album changed my life. The orchestration is absolutely gorgeous and Barry exhibits such mastery over his voice and how to use it.”
Roxy Music – ‘Mother of Pearl’
“They say in country music all you need is “3 chords and the truth”. This absolute gem from Roxy Music certainly isn’t country, but adheres to this simple rule. The band stir up a wild, playful groove while Brian Ferry spits some of the most colourful, poetic and poignant lyrics I’ve ever heard. (Recommended listening from 1:20 onwards).”
Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – ’69 Annee Erotique’
“Serge is my favourite example of someone who understands the texture of their own voice. When the sound palette is as sexy as it is on this album, Serge’s smoky French is all the song needs to create a seriously sensual mood. And of course Jane Birkin’s chorus line juxtaposes the husky texture of his voice so wonderfully.”
Frank Zappa – ‘Camarillo Brillo’
“Zappa’s singing voice isn’t often spoken about due to his legendary approach to the guitar and to composition in general, but I always loved the low, almost fatherly sound of his voice. His lyrics are so colourful and while they never take themselves too seriously, they seem to function so nicely with the music itself.”
Take Your Time, a new and exciting project from Melbourne’s Angela Schilling and Lee Hannah, recently released a two track EP featuring ‘Sleep In‘ and ‘I Feel It Every Day‘ – two tracks that caught our attention in the huge year of music that 2016 has been.
‘Sleep In’ with it’s slight throw back to more mildly paced indie albums from the early to mid-2000s, brings back memories and sounds from Röyksopp‘s Melody A.M., Writer’s Block by Peter Bjorn and John and several other lesser known Swedish albums.
It’s a rather refreshing revival with a modern, and more dance orientated execution. Despite the track’s dreamy title, ‘Sleep In’ is deceptively spry with playful percussion and vocals bouncing back and forth. Being a fan of Lee Hannah’s work in the past, under the moniker The Townhouses, he has always had a good ear for sound combinations that prosper together.
Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Take Your Time about their upcoming tour dates and they chose for us five songs to share with you that sing true to their namesake – finding the phrase ‘Take Your Time’ in their lyrics.
Sade – ‘Hang on to Your Love’
This one always gets kinda forgotten – being the single from Diamond Love that isn’t ‘Smooth Operator‘. I had only heard Sade really occasionally on the radio until I picked up this LP from Greensborough Savers for $2. I play it a lot, but it’s never really at home as my house mate always takes it out to DJ, which is fine with me because EVERY dance floor needs Sade.
The Lucksmiths – ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better’
The Lucksmiths were so special to me in high school – a band with Australian accents talking about the mundane things that I’d lost all interest in by that stage. They had an eye for seeing beauty in so many things we take for granted and the Staring at the Sky EP really is one of their strongest releases. I could go on for hours talking about them, because how could you not be sentimental about a band who taught you that it’s okay to be sentimental.
Grizzly Bear – ‘Two Weeks’
With an extremely creepy and beautiful video clip, this Grizzly Bear track is more outspoken than a lot of the earlier, more subtle tracks, but shows off their songwriting in an incredible manner. The juxtaposition of quick piano and synth stabs and slow melody is heart-stopping. I saw the tour for this album (Veckatimest) when it came to Melbourne at the Palais Theatre and I sat by myself crying for two hours or more – it was so inspiring. GB are an important part of my connection to contemporary music.
Kilo Kish – ‘Crosstown’
Kilo Kish is definitely a ‘someone’ if you’re into Alternative RnB, but this track was from her first release – the Homeschool EP – released independently in 2012. She was virtually an unknown then, and these tracks (although produced by some big names like Melo-X and The Internet) really show in their lo-fi nature and musical simplicity. Which, by the way, are what makes this EP so dreamy and compelling.
The Internet – ‘Go With It’
If I were going to sell my soul to the devil for a musical talent, it’d be for the ability to play bass lines like Patrick Paige from The Internet. I think these bass lines inform the way I brush my hair and what type of coffee I drink. This was the album of 2015 and is the future classic I’ll always turn to for inspiration on all levels.
|1st Dec @ Penny Black, Melbourne w/ Evan Klar||3rd Dec – 7″ Launch @ Belleville, Melbourne|
|9th Dec – Supporting ‘Polographia’, Adelaide||15th Dec – Supporting ‘Polographia’, Melbourne @ The Gasometer Hotel|
Photo by Sarah Chavdaroska
Joseph Cookson A.K.A. Amateur Dance has been one of our favourite local electronic producers in Melbourne for a few years now. Last year he dropped the highly enjoyable It’s Really Something EP, and he’s followed it up this year with Love System, his debut EP on UK label Anjunadeep. Love System is even more refined, direct and confident than It’s Really Something, showcasing a producer in the midst of a productive, creative hot streak.
|T R A C K L I S T
L O V E S Y S T E M
|You Give Me Butterflies|
|I Lost (Your) Touch|
After you’ve enjoyed the new EP, take a nostalgic journey through Amateur Dance’s selections for his edition of Trading Tunes – a journey back in time of “songs to play off your Motorola Razor at the back of the bus.”
Darren Styles – ‘Takin’ Me Higher’
“It’s the summer holidays and you’ve got your feet up across four seats, chugging from a warm, flat two litre bottle of Coke while you incur hearing loss from the staccato rave stabs in this song traveling an entire millimetre out of your phone speaker and into your ear canal. Bliss.”
Sneaky Sound System – ‘Pictures (Tonite Only Remix)’
You have to take one of those two-hour Healesville to Epping bus rides and you’re just praying to the gods of Bluetooth that the 2007 Annual Ministry of Sound compilation successfully transferred from your mate’s phone in Textiles that afternoon so that you can listen to this absolute banger. You’re blessed and now you and your friends are free to sing the bassline and stay quiet during the chorus. The trip is saved.
ATB – ‘Ecstasy’
Your friend’s disconcertingly-older-than-the-rest-of-you brother puts this (incredible) track on from his Razr, cups the speaker in his hand to crank the volume and tells you about a few weekends ago when he took two white hearts at Viper Room and the DJ dropped this. It sounds kind of like a scary experience but you really like the song and you want to try it one day.
Washed Out – ‘Feel It All Around’
Some years have passed. You have an iPhone 3 but it still feels like a Razr at heart. You also have cooler friends now, both cooler than your old friends and cooler than you. One of them tells you to try out this song and you sacrifice a big chunk of your data allowance to be a part of something. It’s worth it, and as the sun flits through the trees into the bus windows in the leafy suburb of your new high school, you think this summer might be the one that you finally try wearing shorts.
Washed Out – ‘Feel It All Around’ (Again)
Your mates get off at their stop, you put it on again and pinch yourself.
A couple of months ago Hobart band A. Swayze and The Ghosts sent us one of the best Australian songs of the year, ‘Reciprocation‘. We still can’t get enough of the track two months later, making us eager for more music from the band.
They have some shows coming up early next year and a few unannounced festival slots, but before that they have sent us a Trading Tunes with one of the more eye-opening themes of the year.
The Party Couple: James Brown – ‘The Boss’
Sometimes you need a count-in to get your shit together and realise you’ve both got something you need to do…
“1, 2 (and) get down!”
And it’s on! You’re all in, immediately groovin’, jamming and laying it down because you know why? because you the motherfuckin’ BOSS!”.
But the, “WAIT A MINUTE! Surely the chorus is over by now?” – Is equal to – “oh shit, I am not gonna remember this in the morning and I need to be at work in an hour – at least I’ll still be high… maybe too high?”
The ‘Hurry, time is of the essence’: Black Flag – ‘Spray Paint’
You don’t have a second to spare – clothes get ripped, ornaments shattered, and you’re only half-hidden from the public eye – but it’s bloody liberating.
Raw, all or nothing, fuck thinking about dynamic, only explosive passion – Great!
But akin to the song, both can be ruined by your mother walking in to tell you to lower the volume.
The LSD: Pink Floyd – ‘Echoes’
On a subtle afternoon stroll through the garden of understanding – you may think of yourself as a disciple of universal awareness and even possibly become entwined with another ‘wanderer of space’. Like ‘Echoes‘, sex on acid is fucking long (supposing time is linear). Starts off dandy, but only to result in a bad trip. Yes, you could wait for the last section where everything feels nice again; but fuck it, go look at clouds or something.
The Marathon: Total Control – ‘Black Spring’
This track is no slow-burner, but like the ‘Marathon’, it creates a build up of comfortable intrigue and focus – delivered by repetition and great attention to dynamic layering. The layers are the positions that are slightly altered/added every so often, the voice is the guide. Mikey Young‘s constant riff alone keeps gearing you up for what may be following – which to me, is what ‘The Marathon’ is all about.
The Soloist: John Farnham – ‘Burn For You’
I don’t feel I need to justify this…
|1st Jan – Falls Festival Marion Bay, Tasmamia||10th March – A Festival Called Panama|
26 Oct Trading Tunes with DEN
Before I flew up to BIGSOUND in September, I had only heard one song – ‘Poltergeist‘ – by the Sydney band DEN. But its similarities to Total Control were enough to intrigue me and make sure I caught a set of theirs, and what I witnessed was the most exhilarating, unpredictable, yet extremely tight set of the week. Most importantly they defined themselves as more than just another post-punk band, with the live performance containing elements of Gothic, post-rock and even experimental music.
I chose to use a screen grab (above) from their latest video ‘Inertia‘ where a hand is reaching up to twistedly play the keys, because that’s actually something that happened during the set I saw. One of the band members was sitting on what looked like a milk crate, he was barely off the floor as he reached slightly up to play multiple keyboards around him, like a mad scientist who doesn’t have time for something so pedestrian as a chair. DEN themselves feel and sound like a someone going mad and it’s fascinating to witness.
Before the band embark on their tour next month, they kindly agreed to be part of Trading Tunes, and sent us some of their favourite late ’70s tracks.
Wire – ‘Single KO’
From the seminal ‘154‘. Cold and atmospheric. Wire effortlessly create an environment impossible to emulate in a three note riff. “I’ve found something, No one else was looking for”.
Magazine – ‘Light Pours Out Of Me’
Magazine was formed when Howard Devoto left the Buzzcocks with the intent of making a more progressive band. The very definition of Post-Punk. There’s a real sense of ambition on their first record Real Life. Massively influential.
Units – ‘I Night’
No guitars- Just synths. One of the most unique bands. When I heard them for the first time it was like hearing this piece of the puzzle you never knew you were missing.
Crime – ‘Hot Wire My Heart’
‘San Francisco’s first ‘punk band’. I always thought this was a Sonic Youth song (they covered it on ‘Sister‘). Off Crime‘s first 7″, this song has one of the most vicious guitar sounds I’ve ever heard. Do yourself a favour and get the Murder by Guitar LP compilation.
Richard Hell and the Voidoids – ‘Love comes in Spurts’
Proper ’70s punk. Richard Hell puts Television to shame in this song, especially that solo. Some of my favourite guitar playing on this track.
|17th Nov – Grace Darling Basement, Melbourne||24th Nov – Wooly Mammoth, Brisbane|
|10th Dec – Black Sydney|