Admit it…you’re already tired of year-end lists; you want to hear a great song or two before you go home for the Holidays. Luckily, Australia’s Annual Leaf have just dropped a wonderful collection of new songs that warrant your attention. I mean, I’d go ahead and give this band all my money for the opener alone. It teases you, with this really slow guitar for a few seconds, but if you hold tight, the quick turn to bubblegum pop stylings will have you softly tapping your toes as Matty and Mel let their voices intertwine. If I were you, I’d go grab the Raspberry Intense EP now!
Jess Ribeiro is one of the great voices coming over from Australia, though she perhaps doesn’t get the deserved buzz that some of her fellow songwriters do. I’m hoping this video starts to make its way to our neck of the woods, creating some new friends for Jess in the States. The guitar on this tune is understated, lightly strummed behind the front of the mix, which is obviously reserved for Ribeiro’s striking voice. At times, she’s got this smoky chanteuse vibe, seducing your ears…though I think one of this song’s highlights comes just before the 2 minute mark with the lines “we did it over and over” before stretching for higher tones. This is Jess’ first new bit of music since 2015, so let’s cross our fingers a new LP is on its way.
Not too long ago I raved about “Losing Touch,” the latest single from Way Dynamic, so today I’ll treat you to the video version, if only to reignite your interest in this great song. I don’t know how you can be a pop fan and not enjoy the feathery vocals draped over the strummed acoustic guitar and minimal rhythm section present here. And, don’t even get me started with how ridiculously good that chorus is. The band release their new EP, What’s It All for Now, this Friday. Shout out to our friend Lach whose playing drums in the video! Go listen to this song a lot, right now!
Lloyd Meadows reached out to us from across the sea, and I feel like we shine some light on this 15 year old songwriter. Don’t worry one bit, the age is irrelevant, as he’s writing with a maturity far beyond his ears. His guitar lines have faint crystalline qualities, sparkling against Meadows’ deep vocal tones, crafting a contrast the fits perfectly for guitar pop. There’s a certain earnestness too, here, which perhaps could be due to age, but perhaps could play a bigger role in our own lives. If you have a minute, sit down and listen to Lloyd.
I greatly appreciate Cyanide Thornton today. I’ve got several other Aussie acts on the table today, but this one steps out from my expectations of the region (I’m a pigeonholing jerkstore, I know). Sienna Thornton has this breathy vocal delivery, deep in her register, which might draw some comparisons to Courtney Barnett; it’s great to find her notes wrapped in the rest of the band’s notes, adding textured depth. Most of the tune is fairly relaxed, sitting back waiting to suck you into the sound…go ahead and give in to it. The group will release their self-titled LP on November 9th via Bedroom Suck Records.
There’s a rule here at ATH, apparently. If the Ocean Party want to share a new song, we’re going to share it. It’s honestly one of my favorite groups, period. The diversity in songwriting alone makes the band like a hydra of pop sensibility. This new turn has this sense of longing, particularly in the way the vocal notes curl at the end. Musically, it’s steady and solemn, with slide guitar shooting off through the track’s distance. Plus, the last 40 seconds are definitely a nice extra musical bonus for listeners. The Oddfellows Hall will be out November 9th via Spunk/Emotional Response.
Pressing play on the latest track from Magpie, I almost expected the group to have swung over to the world of Black Sabbath; the riffs are definitely hard and heavy from this Melbourne outfit. But, beneath the rolling smog riffage is a bubbling pop curiosity, as well as an abundance of self-awareness. Singer Leish explains that the song came about as a way of expressing her guilt towards being white/middle-class in Australia; she spits it out in a venomous manner, perhaps the reason she says her songs are “incredibly therapeutic.” Into Space will drop on November 2nd via Psychic Hysteria.
A little over a month ago we brought you the first single from Gregor; it was a smoothed out pop gem with an electronic background. This outing, Gregor utilizes reggae-style guitar chops to provide a natural rhythm to the song; it automatically gives the song a light quality that is sure to woo listeners. Of course, his voice has this Aussie/British affectation that you can picture crooning in some old school barroom during karaoke hour. The finer touches, such as the added guitar line between verses elevates this song immediately into the front of my playlist. Look for Silver Drop on October 5th via Chapter Music.
Remember when you thought Iceage was dangerous? Well, if that was your sound, then spend a second or more with Constant Mongrel, an Aussie supergroup of sorts (Woollen Kits, Nun and Terry). It’s an easily discernible post-punk sound, with a howl that fades as the syllables die off; the rhythm section is mostly just working to show you’re alive while the guitars buzz through your eardrums. There’s this strange feeling of angry unity that pervades, almost like reveling in some sort of deep euphoric even amongst a crowd of peers. The band will released Living in Excellence via La Vida Es Un Mus on September 21st.
This Goon Sax tune dropped on the Internet yesterday, but I was working at the real job and such, so wasn’t able to get to it quite yet…until this morning! Admittedly, it’s one of my favorite tunes off of their new LP, so I had extra encouragement. I love how the track opens up with vocals working over a percussive loop and quiet piano chords. Then it switches, with an acoustic guitar strum accompanying the male vocals; I wasn’t completely sold, however, until drummer Riley joins the vocal fray for a powerful verse. The youthful attachment was shed for me on this song, as it showed me a great maturity I might not even have been expecting. We’re Not Talking drops on September 14th via Wichita Recordings/Chapter Music.