We’ve already covered our Best of Oceania for 2017, but something I’m already penciling in will be the newest album from Totally Mild. This new single is strikingly bare, but in that, it delivers the powerful emotional connection listeners seek; it’s almost as if we’re sitting in the drawing room of Elizabeth Mitchell while she works on a newly penned tune. It’s impressive with how memorable this song is, despite employing piano and vocals as the key element; Mitchell’s performance will fill your room through your speakers. Look for the band’s new LP, Her, on February 23rd via Chapter Music.
Thigh Master has been high on my list of Aussie imports this year, and they just announced a forthcoming split with Dag (another of my favorites) for December. Those familiar with any of the previously managed bands will surely enjoy this track, as it walks that line between angular guitar and haphazard melody. To me, the band just embrace their own musical inclinations, even with slight tonal imperfections; this is what Pavement would have sounded like had they just gone out to have a grand old time. This split 7″ will drop on Bruit Direct Disques come the end of December.
I don’t think the Ocean Party ever stop writing songs together; they seem to be the most prolific act about. Fresh off the release of Beauty Point, the band are back with a brand new collection of tracks for the Guilt EP. The vocals are deep here, especially in the opening 45 seconds, before they change the pace with steady percussion and slide guitar, fleshing the song out. You’ll even get to hear the whole gang chant “please tell me nothing’s wrong,” adding emphasis to an already joyous track. You’re not going to find a single band out there writing pop songs this good, anywhere. Look for Guilt to drop on December 1st via Spunk!
Not too long ago I brought you a tune from Australia’s Girlatones, an act I had penned as an up-and-coming powerhouse…but today I’m here with the stream of their album, Fitting In Well. Across 9 songs, the band takes you all over the pop spectrum. You, of course, get to start off with the infectious “Share the Love,” bringing a bouncing bit of casual pop. But, my favorite highlight in the album’s opening moments was “You’re My Friend;” it reminds me of listening to Richie Valens in the kitchen as a kid. Then you’ll find the dark brood of “Misunderstood,” which stretches out into a minor jam before settling back into the groove. My two cents would also be well spent on “Put Me Back Together,” a track that definitely seems rooted in the well-discussed regional vibe (especially as of late). Saying that Fitting In Well is a gem from start to finish seems like a bit of an understatement, as each track could easily stand on its own. But, lucky for us all, it’s a complete collection; you can buy it directly from the band HERE.
I was first directed towards the Newsletters by way of the band’s association to Tam Matlakowski, who played with the group during the recordings of this self-titled effort. It’s difficult to pigeonhole this album, with indiepop flourishes, post-punk rhythms and just straight up rock n’ roll. I’d start with “Tuesday” or “Don’t Let Me Walk Away;” with the latter fusing power-pop vibes with touches of psychedelic guitar flare. The good thing is that you can enjoy the entire LP for the mere price of a mouse click, as they’re currently giving it away. Lucky for us!
While we here at ATH have little say in the realm of Australian politics, we do care deeply about their citizens…especially when it comes to the musicians. At the moment, some of the best from Twerps to Courtney Barnett have teamed up for 30 Days of Yes, a song-a-day mixtape featuring unreleased and rare songs from the country’s best…all standing in solidarity (as are we) to show support for Marriage Equality and the LGBTQI community. All proceeds from the project will go towards organizations furthering that cause, Minus18 and Twenty10. Be a good human and buy a song or two; help us stand up for basic human rights…both home and abroad. Also, be sure to spread the
Aussie based band Heart Beach have picked up lots of love on ATH over the years. Nathan and I have both proclaimed them as one of our favorite Australian acts from the last few years. Well today the band sent over not one, but two new singles for us to check out! Both tracks offer the same guitar driven pop music with powerful vocals and perfect timing from the rhythm section. Both songs appear on a new album entitled Haircut due out on November 1st. Enjoy.
Not too long ago I ran a Wireheads tune that was infectious and gritty, illustrating that the cool knows know bounds in Australia. Now we’re back with a new hit from the band, though this time they take more of a arty post-rock vibe. This tune’s more like a vocal barrage with the musical accompaniment jangling in almost as an afterthought. Blasts of squalling chords jump through in the aftermath of vocal delivery, and you’ve got your ears pinned back waiting for what’s next. What’s next? The band release Lightning Ears on October 20th via Tenth Court.
Ciggie Witch has long been an outlet for Ocean Party member Zac Denton, but on the work for the group’s newest album, they took a more collaborative approach to the recording. In the end, it leaves listeners with a completed sound…details are fleshed out, space is filled…but pop sensibility is ever present. For instance, take the exuberant explosion that jumps off around the 3 minute mark, which comes after a brief interlude of stark guitar work. It continues to amaze me how consistently good these guys are; some artists are prolific to their own detriment, but as Zac and his pals illustrate, there’s not a bad track this round. Mad Music will be released by Lost and Lonesome next Friday (10/13).
Julia Jacklin has slowly become one of my favorite female voices in the music world over the last year or so. She seems to effortlessly deliver in this sort of restrained, raspy tone while seemingly on the verge of exploding at any moment. Add in just the right amount of bluesy guitar, and you’d be spot on in a description of her latest single “Cold Caller”. It won’t get much better than this in the singer/songwriter genre.