I’ve definitely been indulging my dance/electronic tendencies this year, looking for a nice little pick-me-up in this stressful year. With that, this Bolis Pupul tune has certainly found its way to my heart…and my listening rotation. The song, and the forthcoming Letter to Yu, are all written with Bolis’ deceased mother in mind…a love letter of sorts. This tune has a softened bounce to it, almost hiding there; when the chorus hits there’s a tiny adjustment that teases the track’s hook, but the subtlety keeps it buried deep in the tune. Watching it along with the accompanying video should certainly hold your interest, then having you, like me, looking towards the album’s release; Letter to Yu drops in March via DeeWee.
You’ve always got to keep an eye on the Melbourne music scene, as a new band seemingly springs up every other day, and today, we’ve got Baby Blue. The band features Rhea Caldwell, who played guitar in our old pal Michael Beach’s band, so you know the songwriting licks are already in there. This first single is like a Springtime pop tune, sort of wistful and pastoral, with little sprinkling dashes of psychedelia lurking here and there, giving off this mysticism. There’s this really delicious pop moment right at 2:09, and that moment right there sold the song for me, as if I needed more. The band will release Of My Window early next year via Lost and Lonesome.
I tried to dive into some Joe Ziffer background, but there wasn’t a lot out there; I can vouch for his new label, Tenth Court, as they’ve been a reliable spot for great Australian pop songs over the years. Joe’s sound is perhaps difficult to pigeonhole (thankfully) as it seems like its made of two minds. On one hand, there’s this natural guitar energy that courses through the song, providing almost a textural backdrop that allows the track to ride in the rock n’ roll sidecar. But, at the core, there’s this home-recording feel, like a guitar magician just noodling about with a melody in mind, strumming and filling the track with just a teaspoon of traditional pop mentality. Another exciting release coming from the label; Long Shadows hits on November 24th.
I love when a friend passes you a record or an email and says “Check this out; it’s right up your alley,” and then they’re actually right. This is my first introduction Richmond’s Hard Copy, with an allegiance to taking punk back to a stage when things were just getting figured out. There’s this sort of lop-sided back and forth shuffle as the vocals come into play; it’s building tension and making me nervous as I listen, but also propelling the tune forward. Then, chords ring out and there’s an underbelly of nervousness in the vocal; it gives off a bit of bite, something we’d most recently associate with Protomartyr or Ought…gruff but looking back at melody. Then the track completely breaks down and feels like the band just got caught by their parents, both strange and excited. Look for the group to drop 12 Shots of Nature on October 20th via Feel It Records.
When I think of Chapter Music, I tend to think of the incredible pop coverage their label has provided to the world over the last 20+ years. But, they’re also huge music heads, digging into all genres and styles, particularly when its a representation of Australian culture. Their latest signing, Yirinda, is exactly that; it is the project of Samuel Pankhurst and Fred Leone. Fred is one of three Butchulla songmen, as such, he sings all the tracks on this record in Butchulla, an endangered language spoken by only a handful of people. As such, the album offers generations of storytelling for listeners, with this lush production that would find a home with acts like Balmorhea; the string arrangements move you back and forth, rocking you with Leone’s vocal tones. Yirinda, the self-titled debut, is out early next year!
Okay, so perhaps the groundwork for the debut was written nearly 40 years ago, but The Five Year Plan has finally made the recording of the aforementioned record! Still, they wanted to stay true to the original demos, so recorded them as is, all technological advances aside. The band features members of acts like Heavenly and Charlie Tipper Rebellion, so you’ll hear some familiar sounds if you’ve hear us write about those acts. It’s amazing to hear a band create songs that sound so relevant now, but also be able to hear the licks and nods they were putting into their own craft…mentions of Go Betweens and The Only Ones never hurt at this house. It was a long time coming, and we’re so glad the band are finally getting to have their say in the music world. 1985 will be released on Breaking Down Recordings on September 4th.
Owsley. Now there’s a name I hadn’t heard in a while. I knew I knew them/him, but I couldn’t remember any songs off the top of my head. Then, I put the record on, the first pressing of his 1999 self-titled debut, and it all came back. Ahhhh, that’s right. I recognized track 1, “Oh No, The Radio” immediately, but the real banger (if you can have one on a late 90s pop/indie adjacent record from a guy named Owsley) is track 2, “I’m Alright,” which has now been stuck in my head ever since I first gave this a spin. Hit the jump to keep reading full review.
To be quite honest, the whole reemergence of psychedelia has worn a little thin; I mean, it’s such a specific sound, it’s got to have incredible songwriting to really stay the test of time. But, Austin’s Daiistar are flirting with mixing in other elements, especially when you turn on the opening seconds of their new “Star Starter” single; it takes on a bit of that old-school neo-psychedelia, adding an element that almost feels like its hitting on those Happy Mondays notes. Don’t worry though, there’s still tons of fuzz and squalling guitars, but that rhythm section gives it this dancefloor feel that illustrates the group pushing the expectations of Austin’s psych scene. The group will release Good Time, their debut, via Fuzz Club this September.
Another day in bloggerville with another single coming from Australia that I’m really enjoying; it’s coming courtesy of Meritorio Records/Lost & Lonesome, too! Small Intestines are a new act on my radar (though w/ members of Chook Race), but the pacing and twisting of this track is sublime. You get a good 35 seconds of nice clean guitar pop before the band bring in the vocals; they’re operating with dual voices overlapping, which, for some reason, is always best executed when its done by the Aussies. While the track might seem sated, it takes on the song title’s mentality, turning from a solid trot into a nice bit of a hurried horse riding gallop; it’s a nice twist that keeps you coming back to press play. They’ll be releasing Hide in Time this September.
Though they may hail from Brooklyn, the songwriting duo of Patrick Walsh and Andrew Clarke certainly show some Southern Rock twang in their sound as the musical group Tennis Courts. Take this new tune “Jamie’s Party,” as an example with its indie rock meets Americana vibe to it. Think a band like Young Buffalo or Band of Horses but with a more classic rock structure to the song. Whatever you like to call it, I’m sure you’ll find it catchy as hell.
This track is the first single from the upcoming debut LP due out sometime this fall.