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
Well, I’m pleased to meet Tyrannamen, though participating members of Twerps and Whipper mean I’ve likely already met the band in some form…not to mention their initial release picked up some minimal traction Stateside. That being said, the group is getting a worldwide reissue of their self-titled album via Static Shock Records. If you haven’t heard of the group before, this is a perfect introduction, offering up a ramshackle of hook-laden rock n’ roll; it’s got rough edges and pop sensibility, with a brevity that begs listeners to come back and listen time and time again. Not unlike fellow countrymen, Royal Headache, you can hear bits of soul/R&B blaring through your speakers, waiting to make you boogie down with your besties. Look for the album on September 23rd.
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
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.
It’s amazing what a little push from the big guys like P4K can do for a band; this new single from Twerps has blown up in the last four days with the “Best New Music” tag, and I couldn’t be happier for the band. Ever since we first covered the act way back in 2011, they’ve brought this great calm to low-tempo pop music. I love the littlest touches the band puts to finishing up each track, like adding a slight backing female vocal in spots…especially when the guitars ring a hint louder than normal. All this points towards a sneaking suspicion that Range Anxiety is going to be a sure-hit for Chapter Music/Merge Records when the LP is released at the end of January.
There are some bands you just can’t get enough of, and, for me, that band is Twerps. Any time they have something to offer, I clamor to get my hands on it. So today, we’re tossing up this next tune from the Aussie group, in advance of their next album, Range Anxiety. This tune take up the same emotional appeal as earlier work, though many people might be a touch surprised at the lead vocal role going to Jules on this number. Still, the guitar work, as always, is sublime, working somewhere in the vein between jangling and drifting; it creates a lush bit of pop. Look for the new album on January 23rd via Chapter Music/Merge Records.
I’m going out on a limb to say I was the first person to write about the Twerps in the US…thanks to a heads up from their great label Chapter Music. But, it seems like the rest of the world is catching on, deservedly so. The band have just announced that they’ll be working with Merge Records in the US (as well as Chapter in Australia) to release their brand new album, Range Anxiety. You’ll be able to hear the record in early 2015, but I want to take note of how upbeat the group sounds on this debut single. It’s not like they were ever bummed out, but this new glimpse offers an uplifting tone to fans. You can also check out THIS VIDEO to see how they tie it all together. So happy they’re going to have new tunes for us!
It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard from our Australian friends in Twerps and I’m excited today to share reports of some new music from the band. Apparently Merge has swooped in and signed the band and are releasing a brand new EP of material entitled Underlay. Lucky for you and I, the label is offering up the EP in its entirety for the next week via soundcloud. Naturally we will embed the entire thing here for your listening pleasure. I haven’t made it through the whole thing just yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be incredible.
Stay tuned for more information on an upcoming full length release in 2015.
We’d previously run the B-Side from Free Time, but the A-side is even better. Dion Nania’s project seems to have fully taken form, stepping further away from his work with Twerps, and moving in another direction, though still paying homage to his past. There’s cascading guitar solos maneuvering in and out of the song, and you’ll find the relaxed vocal approach working too. If you expected another chilled bit of casual pop, then check yourself, as “Esoteric Tizz” is a stunner. The 7″ will be released this week on Underwater Peoples, so grab it while its hot.
I wonder if Dion Nania is still playing with Twerps? I reckon it’s irrelevant at this point, with his Free Time project announcing a brand new single. Today we’ve got the mellow vibe of “Guess Work” for your listening pleasure, and while there’s similarity to his Australian friends, there’s an interesting spin he offers on this song. It’s definitely got an Australian vibe in the guitar playing, but I hear a bit of Kurt Vile in the vocal delivery; it’s a nice touch that makes the song rather reflective in nature. This here is the B-Side to the Esoteric Tizz 7″ that’s being released by Underwater Peoples in mid-August.