Amidst all the global pandemic hoopla, it’s allowed that something truly great gets to slide by my ears, like the debut album from the Bell Streets. The band features Josh from Sugargliders/Steinbecks fame and Nick Batterham, for those of you falling the breadcrumbs of great indiepop stuffs. Opener “Brooklyn” is definitely one of the immediate highlights, offering a bouncy pop feel with ringing guitars and pure pop vocals. You’ll also find songs that are more contemplative in nature, though as rewarding, such as the slow burn of “Crying Inside” or “About to Find Out.” There’s a great amount of diversity within, so I highly suggest you check out Monument today!
I’m always trying to figure out what’s going on in the Melbourne scene, and luckily I got an email that turned me onto Jarrow, which is the solo work of Dan Oke. He’s got a self-titled album slated for May release via Spoilsport Records, so why not toss out two tracks from said release. On “Sauce Song” we find Dan fairly synth driven, which isn’t always my cup of tea, but there’s something familiar in the chorus; it definitely sounds like everything that swirls around the pop indie scene. I liked the experimental flare that drew the song to a close. “Flowerbed” seems to burst brightly from the get-go; I like the way the vocals sort of jump high up, only to casually come down to Earth. Oke has these little vocal inflections here too that pack the punch, raising the tune above mere mimicry in the scene.
Don’t you dare let the slow tease of the guitars catch you off guard on this new Go Get Mum track, as this might be the pop tune to make today slightly less shitty. Once it kicks on, those guitars start to ring fast and quick; the vocals do their best to keep up with the frantic pace. Those angular notes and the harmonic gang vocals are just too good for you to turn away from; I also kind of feel like there’s hints of the Feelies in this number (probably just me, right?). Their new EP, Ok Now What, is out on Meritorio Records on March 20th. It’s so damn good!
Having already shared “Best and Fairest” from Primo‘s forthcoming LP, it only makes sense that we continue our personal hype machine for the band’s album with their newest single. What I love about the tunes we’ve heard from Sogni, like the one below, is that the band seem to have really settled into their skin as a group. The harmonies are spectacular, faintly outlining the band’s pop leanings. Here, the guitars ring out in this steady fashion, sort of holding court patiently with this crunchy sound; guitar layers get built in around to craft this wondrous wall of catchy discord. I love this record. It drops April 17th via Upset the Rhythm.
It’s always great to find new stuff going on in the world, and this new single below has two great things to offer: 1) it’s the first release from new Aussie label Cannery Records and 2) Brain Drugs is a new project from Mike and Pete. Who are they? I can only surmise they’re the two hay-covered gentleman in the accompanying video (the costumes took 6 people and 2 weeks to construct!). Musically, they’re offering this sort of intoxicating instrumental synth and drum work; it’s rhythmic pulses find some magical way to crawl beneath your skin as you watch the grainy 8mm footage before your eyes. The steadiness and constraint are important, neither pushing or pulling the song in one direction, just holding the line, and you! Their debut album comes out this April.
Put everything down and do yourself a favor; you’ve got to press play on this Primo pop tune. Guitars jump out of your speaker as the rhythm section gurgles just beneath the mix, allowing the vocals to coolly charm you with this measured indifference. Suddenly, the rhythm picks up the pace and you’re presented with the repeated titled as the chorus; all this makes way for a post-punk interlude that sets up the next verse. While the song seems frantic and destructive, the vocals serve as this gravitational pull, drawing on just the slightest pop sensibility to suck you into the song. The band will release Sogni on April 17th via Upset the Rhythm and Antifade.
Oh, just another day and another great track coming out of Melbourne, Australia. Today we’ve got this brand new tune from Pting, along with the announcement that they’ll soon be releasing the Boo EP. This one’s exactly as charming as you’d expect, with the appropriate amount of bounce mixed with super crisp guitar noodling. Once Elsie comes into the party with her voice, you can’t help but to feel swept up in the exuberant energy they’re pushing through your speakers. There’s an emphatic closing that finishes your listening off on a high note; you’re going to want to grab this EP when it hits on February 21 via Osborne Again.
Wondering what’s hot in that hip Melbourne scene? Right now it seems like it’d be good to place your bets on Mystery Guest. The group offer up this super low-key club vibe, using the first 1.5 minutes to seduce you with this deep bubbling pulse working beneath smoothed melodic vocal notes. You get an energetic uptick afterwards, with the song taking on a shimmering sparkle with tribal rhythms and keyboard stabs. It’s not exactly a club bang, which is perhaps why I’m drawn to it; it feels a little more nuanced and carefully crafted, drawing out the emotional release rather than beating you over the head with it. This tune will be out on the duo’s debut LP, Octagon City, which drops March 6th via Tenth Court.
Snowy Band is the recording project of Liam Halliwell, who you might recognize as one of the core members of the Ocean Party; he’s also played on a ton of your favorite Melbourne band’s records too…he’s all over the place. Today, news comes across the great pond of a new album titled Audio Commentary, which will be released at the end of March via Osborne Again. Our first listen is this really solemn ballad, gentle in its presentation, with each note carefully presented so Liam can allow his voice to blanket them in a calming warmth. The chorus builds in a special moment, with Halliwell’s voice raised up with support of his backing band, which includes ATH fave Emma Russack. A special moment awaits you if you press play below.
Two things you can trust on a Friday, or any day really: 1) Aussie pop is always going to make you feel better and 2) Meritorio Records is one of the top labels around. Today, I’m fortunate to share the first single from the forthcoming Go Get Mum release. The Melbourne quartet play an understated jangle pop, less jagged and more about churning those melodies that make you dizzy. Their big success comes in the way they combine female and male vocal roles throughout the song; there are times when the song feels like this joyous party where everyone sings along warmly, celebrating life with one another. There’s no way you can’t love this song. Look for the Ok Now What EP on March 20th via Meritorio.