Seeing as we’re nearing the end of the year, this video from Goon Sax comes at just the right time. The video serves as a reminder that we should all be on the look out for the band as they prepare for the release of their new record, Up To Anything…slated for a 2016 release via Chapter Music. It’s a pretty rad little video, with the narrator coming via the band doing a little walkabout. Feel free to file this tune under things you’ll never get out of your head…or my head. We’ll keep you posted as more news comes our way for the final release.
A long time ago I met Guy Blackman at SXSW; he was working with our favorites The Crayon Fields/Twerps (he’s the head of their label) and checking things out in our city. I have to say, he was one of the most down-to-Earth and genuine people I’ve come across. And in that, it’s led to a lot of acclaim and success for the bands on his label, Chapter Music. But, he’s also been making music on his own account for a long time…and he just released a brand new track yesterday. It’s a smooth synth-pop jam, providing a solid groove that allows for Blackman’s voice to carry the rest of the song. Pop fans clamor for hits like this, and you’ll be able to get your hands on it as part of Kingfisher Bluez Buddy System Singles Club. What better way to kick back on a Friday than with this ridiculously rad jam?
After being relatively quiet for the past few years while various members worked on other projects, Crayon Fields burst back into my heart with their new album, No One Deserves You. It’s a pop record of the best sort, filling your ears with delicious melodies and the entrancing voice of Geoff O’ Connor. One of the album’s best tracks just got a brand new video treatment, and the video has the perfect feel for both the song and the record. This is honestly one of my favorite tunes this year, and the video only reaffirms its power. Buy the album now from Chapter Music.
One of the new albums coming out this year that has me waiting anxiously is the new LP from Australia’s Crayon Fields. They’ve been one of my favorites, but had been relatively until the last few months when they announced No One Deserves You. I’m on pins and needles here, and the newest single isn’t going to deter me. Interestingly, the vocals of singer O’Connor sound vaguely similar to Ramesh of Voxtrot, and there’s a definite synth drive going on here too that hooks listeners. Their new album is being released by Chapter Music on September 25th, so you better ready to fall in love.
I love Aussie label Chapter Music, but it looks like they’re about to really knock it out of the park with their new signing The Goon Sax. They just signed the teenage band, and it sounds remarkably like a wonderful blend of Violent Femmes and Go-Betweens…ultimately making for the best music combination ever. It’s filled with an infectious bounce and a remarkably unique, yet familiar, vocal delivery. They’ll be releasing Up to Anything early next year via the label, so stay tuned for another incredible single soon!
I’m not quite sure a lot of people Stateside have heard of No Zu…unless they picked up the Cut Copy compilation Oceans Apart from awhile back. But, the groove on this track from the Melbourne artists will surely perk up some ears here. First, there’s that throbbing pulse, yet you can also hear the influence of so many other areas like big band to 80s pop music. It’s an interesting pastiche, and one that should come across as rather refreshing in a genre that can often grow stale. You can grab this new single from the band’s new label, Chapter Music, or wait for their next LP on the label early next year; it’s titled Afterlife.
Are you a fan of great guitar pop? Fan of the ringing guitars coming from Australia? I know you are, which is all the reason you need to go to Mohawk tonight and check out Australia’s Dick Diver. They’ve long been part of our favorite Aussie label, Chapter Music, and recently caught on with Trouble in Mind Records here in the States…so if you’re one of those folks that assigns worth to labels, then you can’t get better than that. They’ll be touring behind the release of Melbourne, Florida, which is filled with excellent pop songs throughout, illustrating a huge step up in sound from Calendar Days. Also, they’ll be joined by Austin’s Jonly Bonly, who we’ve fawned over enough on these here pages.
It’s fair to say my love affair with heralded Chapter Music officially began when I discovered The Crayon Fields. I’m pretty sure I trolled the band, got them to play one of our SXSW shows at the Ghost Room, and fawned over anything they did. Still, the band’s been relatively quiet as a whole since 2009, though various members like Geoff O’Connor have been plying their trade at solo work. Today, we can rejoice rejoice rejoice; the band is back with a new offering, perfecting the beautiful adherence to pop that brought me to them long ago. There’s some great production value on here too, filling in the space with synth work and female backing vocals; it’ really fleshes out a near brilliant sound. They’re releasing No One Deserves You via Chapter on September 25th, so be on the lookout.
It seems like the Melbourne, Australia scene is where its at these days. Dick Diver is just another band from that area carrying on the tradition of writing these incredible guitar pop tracks for the world to sink their teeth into. The opening minute of this track is instrumental, focusing on the band’s musicianship, getting that groove. They jump in soon afterwards with that swinging guitar style, a slight little bounce and the ever relaxed vocal delivery. I didn’t think I could get any more excited about Melbourne, Florida, but this new single has me ready for the LP already; look for it to come out March 10th via Chapter Music/Trouble In Mind.
Twerps self-titled debut was something of a marvel. It hit the US with little fanfare, but won over the hearts of many listeners and scored them a tour opening for Real Estate. Me, personally, I fawned over the LP for the entirety of 2011. There was something in the relaxed attitude the band employed, and yet often offset with their jangling Aussie guitar prowess. Range Anxiety picks up where that album left off, though there’s touches with the vocals that elevate this effort above its predecessor.
While there’s a statement instrumental opener, Range Anxiety officially begins with “I Don’t Mind.” I hesitate to call it a true piece of slacker pop, though the pacing would suggest such. My issue with that revolves around the song’s time, spanning over 5 minutes. That’s not a slacker band running out of ideas, but rather a comfortable approach to well-crafted pop music. They follow it up with the bouncy “Back to You,” which sounds like a spritely version of the Go-Betweens. I love how the backing vocals don’t join instantaneously during the chorus, but rather build into it…that’s a nice touch.
Speaking of nice touches, I like how Jules has a more prominent role on this LP, particularly in the standout track, “Shoulders.” It’s a tune that features that shimmering guitar work, but her voice offers a different tonal quality than that of her counterpart, Marty. It actually harkens back to a time of more pristine female voices, void of auto-tune and all that other technological hoopla. Her presence on “Adrenaline” adds a continued softness that really smooths out the edges for Twerps; it’s still the same act, just a slight bit more leaning towards classic sounds of pop beauty.
In the end, I’m going to still fawn over this album for it’s guitar playing. Sure, everyone has praised the Oceanic influence on guitar over the last decade, but I don’t think there are many that do it quite as authentically as these guys. Listening to “Cheap Education,” I was pushed way back into my own record collection, at least mentally. There’s a spirit to it that’s hardly been matched, and it always make listening to the group a joy. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t invest a sentence or two in “Love at First Sight.” This song is unlike much of those that precede it, though I’ve found myself gravitating towards it again and again. There’s something ramshackle that’s set amidst a really subdued performance.
Those that first fell in love with Twerps will surely find every song on Range Anxiety to have a redeeming quality. But, I think they’ve put in enough finishing touches to really surpass their debut in many ways. It’s a different listen, but one that exemplifies growth whilst staying grounded to what got them their in the first place. Going to keep playing this album again and again.