The world is an absolute mess right now. Assuredly so. But, one good thing we’ve slowly started to see is the great music being crafted in this solitude. Today, for instance, our friends at Chapter Music have gathered 14 tracks for a new compilation titled Midnight Meditations; the goal is “to help listeners through long dark nights of the soul.” My first few runs through, and I’m drawn to the R. Edwards (of Dick Diver) track quite a bit. But, just as I say that, I get another run through of label founder Guy Blackman and his number is pretty striking too! I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out the special performance by Sarah Mary Chadwick too. Honestly, there isn’t a single song worthy skipping here. Feel like your soul needs musical accompaniment on its daily journal? Maybe it will find solace in these 14 songs.
Having written one of my favorite albums of 2019, Cool Sounds are back with a brand new EP on the horizon. The songs on Sleepers EP were written over the past couple of months, surprisingly offering up a light-hearted feel, despite the dire situation surrounding us. Opening with a light strum and gentle percussive stomp, the band begs you to circle around the campfire and join them in their chorale vocal approach; it’s that united melody that made me immediately feel as if I was part of something better, bigger in the world. Plus, the middling “nah nah nah” don’t do a damn thing to diminish the inherent joy of this tune. Look for Sleepers on July 31st!
Over the last month or so I must have been asleep while Australian based musician Sophie Payten, known musically as Gordi, released several stunning singles to preview her upcoming album. Well I stay asleep no more and am very pleased to share with you all this mesmerizing new single called “Extraordinary Life”. It is a truly haunting, yet lovely piece of music which seemingly combines songwriter elements like Joni Mitchell with a dash of some darker qualities like The Knife. Somehow the breathy, hushed quality of the vocals combines to work perfectly with the piano, sparse drums and plucked guitar. Not something that would typically fall in my wheelhouse, but I am struggling to resist hitting play on this one over and over again.
Gordi will release Our Two Skins on Friday, June 26th via JagJaguwar.
Admittedly, I wasn’t entirely aware of Gordon Koang until earlier last year when Music in Exile began to work with him in Australia while he sought to secure permanent residence. Today he announces his new 11th studio album, Unity, doing so with the release of “Tiel e Nei NYwal Ke Ran (We Don’t Have a Problem with Anyone).” He crafts the song using his own modified string instrument, combing his voice with the strummed notes and dripping them atop the percussive element. What’s drawn me to Gordon is the positivity in his voice; it seems like its always been there, even as he’s fought to find a permanent home outside of his native Sudan the last six years. Give a listen; it drops on August 14th.
Feel like we should start off Thursday with a bit of rabble-rousing, and what better way to get up and going than a scuzzy little punker from Australia’s Vintage Crop. The tracks interesting to me, as it seems to be of two minds, musically speaking. One one end, its frantic and quick, just ordinary rock n’ roll with flare. But, lurking in there are these little artsy odds and ends…little lines of pogo propulsion or jittery spastic guitar notes. Its like the best of both worlds! And, toss in the vocals, you get the feeling that you’re in the live setting, you can feel yourself being stalked from the stage by the band; they’re trying to rile you up…just as I am on this early morning riot. You can grab Serve to Serve Again on August 7th via Upset the Rhythm/AntiFade
Most of the world is likely not familiar with the Brisbane based musical group Torpid, so allow me to introduce them to you. About a year ago the four Australian friends decided to get together and make some music, which resulted in the indie hit “For Your Health”. Since then, the band have been quietly working out plans for new music and recently dropped this new bangin’ single called “Don’t”. It will quickly bring up feelings of Joy Division meets The Strokes, meets Viagra Boys. The vocals are heavy and deep, the sounds are sort of in this garage rock/post-punk arena, and the lyrics are just quirky enough to put a smirk on your face. A little different and unique which is definitely my jam.
We heard news of Pop Filter on an all Aussie compilation from earlier this year, but we had no idea how quickly the band were ready to drop their debut LP. Those who recognize the familiar faces in the video probably won’t be shocked at how quickly (and amazingly) these songs seem to have come together. They’re all masters of casual pop stylings, allowing the chorus to include the whole band for this charming hook that you take with you when the song’s done playing through your speakers. Always endearing…their debut Banksia will be out on August 21st via Spunk/Bobo Integral/Osborne Again.
Imagine finding a band that references Built to Spill and Fugazi, yet sounds like the Wedding Present fronting a pop band? That’s precisely what I got when I first pressed play on this single from the forthcoming LP from The Electorate. I immediately fell in love with the energy from the start; it’s propelling your forward, carefully nodding towards its own pop sensibility. The guitars are heavy and jangling, sounding like the strings are loose as the trio furiously push the track forward; its such a killer sound that I can’t get enough of at the moment. This song appears on the group’s brand new album You Don’t Have Time to Stay Lost, out soon via Templebear Records.
Fridays should always start with a band, a rocker of sorts, so let us turn you onto Bloods, the hottest pop punkers in Sydney who celebrate the release of their Seattle EP today by dropping this bad ass video. Singer MC dedicates the song to all women out there who stand in the face of expectations and carve out their own path. The video’s vibrant and fun, with a nostalgic bent of the 90s (I mean, that Silverchair record ruled!), which should be no surprise considering the group’s dedicated their album title to the home of the 90s alternative scene. Their EP is out today via Share It Music, so turn it up and have some fun.
I’m always digging on what Jade Imagine is working on, and this new single from the band is probably one of my favorites from their forthcoming EP, You Remind Me of Something I Lost. There’s a steady rhythm section that helps keep the ship steered straight on this one, with the guitar lines sort of fading in and out of the mix, shimmering here, evaporating there. Jade McInally’s voice meanders through the paths of dreamy pop with this cool indifference, seemingly shrugging off whatever surrounds her as she veers to song towards its melodic best. Their new EP will be officially out on June 5th.