Partner Look Announce Debut LP

We first brought you news of Partner Look last April, when the band dropped a quick 7″ after forming as kind of a spur of the moment projects between the Hasnain sisters and their partners, Lachlan Denton and Dainis Lacey. This is one of the unique things about the Melbourne scene right now, with friends trading places all over to create exciting new projects. Today, the band announce their debut self-titled LP, dropping via Trouble in Mind/Osborne Again/Spunk in February. Lachlan (of Pop Filter/LD + ER/Ocean Party) gets the lead on the vocals here, and his voice always has this familiarity and spirited vibrance; it adds to the bouncing rhythm section helmed by his drum work. There’s a little bit of twang in the guitars, sort of taking a kind of psychedelic folk boogie to the track that reaches its climax in the chorus when everyone joins in for a singalong. Try this one on for size.

Snowy Band Share Call It A Day

Right now, I couldn’t think of a better way to begin my day than to curl up next to this new track from Snowy Band. There’s just something about Liam’s delivery that’s soothing, whether its the tone or just the natural volume, it feels like wrapping up in a weighted blanket. But, while the song’s mostly working around the light strum crashing into discord and heavier guitar work, the chorus is this sublime little treat you’ll want to put in your pocket and save for a rainy day; you get this moment for its first time right at the 2:30 mark…that’s when I became well and truly smitten. Alternate Endings is out on August 27th via Osborne Again/Spunk Records.

Rock n’ Recipes: Quivers

Earlier this year, Quivers released the most excellent Golden Doubt, receiving rave reviews all over the globe…not to mention ATH adoration. So, having followed the band, we reached out to songwriter Sam Nicholson to ask a few questions about the record and its release, and asked him to share a recipe with us. He’s obliged with some incredible answers, and a recipe for Golden Doubt Lemon Delicious Self-Saucing Pudding. Read on and find yourself a detailed recipe you can easily follow at home!

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Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton Announce New Album

Two of my favorite songwriters have teamed up once again! Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton (Pop Filter) have reunited for another record, which based on the first single, will likely be filled with charming pop numbers you’ll play time and time again. We open here with this jangling piano line, something akin to a classic rock feel with Lachlan narrating the storyline. Quickly, guitars begin to ring a bit more, there’s a swell and suddenly Emma joins in to lift the song’s spiritual connection. The song travels back to another verse/chorus before the rest of their friends join in the fun to “take solace” in the togetherness. They’ve titled the new record Something is Going to Change Tomorrow, Today. What Will You Do? What Will You Say, and its out on October 8th via the always reliable Bobo Integral/Spunk Records/Osborne Again.

Snowy Band Share Whatever You Want

As mentioned earlier, we’re hanging in Melbourne today, musically speaking, so it only makes sense that I toss out this new single from Snowy Band. For me, when listening to Liam sing so softly, it actually begs your attention; you have to pull yourself closer to the song, effectively making you an active part of the craft. This tune gets a nice lift after the 2 minute mark, as backing vocals create this melody-filled helium balloon, rising to the top of the mix, all before the song sort of meanders into the creative guitar interlude. This track appears on Alternate Endings, which will be released on August 27th via Spunk.

 

Snowy Band Announce Alternate Endings

I seem to be drawn to a particular brand of pop of late, and it comes as no surprise (to me anyways) that I’d be inclined to share a track from Snowy Band, the project led by Liam Halliwell (Ocean Party/Pop Filter). I love how this tune begins rather sedated, almost muted riffs creeping to match Halliwell’s walking vocals, faintly hanging a melody out there to drift through your speakers. The percussion seems to stay out of the way, almost enticed to pop out, though always staying close to the track’s center. You also get a beautiful eruption of joy when Emma Russack joins in for the gang chorus, giving the song almost a celebratory nature that’s sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. This track appears on Alternate Endings, which is out in August via Spunk Records. Video directed by Jordan Thompson.

 

Quivers Share Chinese Medicine Video

At this moment, I’m not sure anyone’s writing timeless pop music quite like Quivers; Sam Nicholson has dialed into peak songwriting, and with his band’s arrangements, they’re crafting some truly unforgettable tunes. This latest single opens much the way you’d expect, with semi-wayward jangles and Nicholson’s voice; the steady beat keeps things moving, giving the listener this undeniable connectedness. Soon, a synth note twinkles in the far off night sky, matched by some very faint backing vocals that build towards a burst…a shooting star of pop falling across the song’s skyline. While all this goes on, sit back and watch the great video animated by Jordan Thompson of the Ocean Party; I’m a big fan of the line work there. But, the song’s not done, as the vocals swell, joined by more of a backing chorus, letting the guitars ring silent as the song fades into a tinkering piano line that eventually disappears into the world. Just another string pop number from the forthcoming Golden Doubt, out on June 11th via Ba Da Bing/Bobo Integral/Spunk.

Quivers Announce Golden Doubt

I was all in on Quivers when they dropped We’ll Go Riding on the Hearses, so of course I have high expectations for their forthcoming Golden Doubt LP! I’m sure they’ll hate hearing this but the first 2 minutes or this so sounds like classic Grant-led Go-Betweens, using a casual vocal pacing from Sam, and incredible backing harmonies from Holly and Bella…needless to say, I was slow-tapping my toes and enjoying myself. But, as a fan of 10-20 second moments of pop magic, the musical interlude around 1:40 was a nice additional touch, setting me up for the body-tingling pop eruption at 2:30! Group harmonizing never sounded so sweet, and the churning jangles and overall brightness guarantee we’ll all need a copy of the new album; it drops on June 11th via Bobo Integral/Spunk/BaDaBing!

Dannika Shares First Single from Gems LP

As always, I try to listen to the Aussie tip hotline, where I was pointed in the direction of Dannika, who just announced the forthcoming release of Gems, slated for release in January. For me, what I’ve found interesting on my repeated listens is how the song seems to straddle two varying styles. On one hand, the music has this casual pop feel that fans of the Melbourne scene will surely be familiar with; you know that I’m a fan! Still, the vocals, 95% of the time, feel like they might fit in with a Waxahatchee or Big Thief style; it definitely gives off a feel that’s slightly different than what I’ve come to expect from the region, which makes it refreshing. Figured it’s a nice way to get you started on this week! The LP drops on January 29th courtesy of Osborne Again/Spunk.

Rock n’ Recipes: Pop Filter

The story of Pop Filter as a band is quite long, although Banksia is their debut LP. But, that story is easy to find for those who wish, so instead, I wanted this post to reflect how the a group of friends was able to cope with tragedy by writing an album full of wonderful pop songs. We dive in a little bit to the process that went into this record, plus, Mark is so kind as to share his recipe for Chicken Fricassee with Porcini Mushrooms; you can really impress your friends with “something you just threw together.”

ATH: The band is essentially a gang of songwriters/friends working together. How does the editing process work for you all? Does is change from songwriter to songwriter, or is there a routine approachyou all use when it comes to completing a track?

Mark: It genuinely changes song to song and album to album. Sometimes things arrive pretty much done, with a lot of parts already written. Sometimes things are jammed into place. Sometimes things sort of accumulate as we record them. With Banksia, because it was all done so quickly, we basically started recording things before wed even heard the vibe of the song. Then figured it out piece by piece, adding things and trusting that Snowy would be able to mix it into a nice shape. Theres a lot on the album that is first or second take. Most of my guitar parts Im just improvising to the song. It was very loose.

ATH: There’s a huge backstory/history to Pop Filter, but does Banksia represent something new, aside from the name? Does it feel like you have to start all over? And to a certain extent, is it a relief to have it under your belt, so to speak?

Mark: It definitely doesnt feel like starting over exactly. It feels more free, in a way. Because were releasing ourselves from the expectations of what being a band means. Were going to be less interested in concrete things like whos in the band, whats the album title, whos putting it out, whats the artistic statement – and more interested in the simple act of getting together and playing music. For me, its a kind of relief to lose some of those more careerist aspects of being in a band and focus on the real reason we play together in the first place, which is because were friends. In a world where the worth of everything is determined by the clicks it garners and the money it makes, it feels like an act of rebellion to focus on togetherness and friendship as the most important thing about an artistic project – rather than focusing on making a product. I think i speak for everyone when I say that I would make these albums with these people even if no one ever heard it and we never showed any of it to anyone. That would be just as valuable to me.

ATH: Is there a story behind covering “Romance at the Petrol Station?” Any particular connection that brought that song into the album process?

Mark: Everyone in the band has always loved that song and that first Stolen Violin record was Zacs favourite album. Lach had wanted to cover it for ages so it felt like the right time to do it.


ATH: Most of this record has been promoted throughout a global pandemic. How does that affect the way you, as a band, go about promoting the album? Plans for any live streamsor that sort now that it’s out in the world?

Mark: We havent really talked about it I guess. Obviously wed be touring if we could. Most of the band is under a serious shelter in place lockdown in Melbourne while Im free and relatively easy in a totally different state so I can at least go to the pub to celebrate the release. No plans for anything yet.

ATH: I admit this is a tough one to answer, but who brought the best songs this go round?

Mark: A lot of the songs were written in the four days we were recording so not many of us were very prepared! I like them all really. They all hit different feelings and vibes for me. I love Curtiss song Visions of You, and Nicks Kit Home, Jords songs didnt have lyrics at first so I loved hearing all the mixes back months later and discovering the songs anew. Jord pushes his voice to these amazing places on his tracks which I think is super thrilling. Dunno, mate. Theyre all good. You tell me!

ATH: Is there a story to your recipe, or any personal significance, other than you just enjoy cooking it?

Mark: I cook this all the time. Its my oh, this, I just threw something together show off dish. It has bugger all ingredients but is stupidly rich and delicious. Its a Marcella Hazan recipe and its like alchemy. I serve it with a crisp lettuce salad with heaps of Olive Oil, Mustard and Lemon. And crusty bread.

 

Chicken and Porcini Fricassee

A whole chicken – broken down in four pieces. (Keep backbone for stock)

40g Dried Porcinia Mushrooms.

100ml ish of dry white wine. I try to use resiling because I also like to drink that.

A can of Cherry tomatoes.

Salt

Pepper

That’s literally all the ingredients. This recipe rules.

– Soak the Porcini Mushrooms in about 400ml of boiling water for about 20 minutes. Keep them hanging out in that awesome umami mushroom water! Dont throw it away.

– After youve broken down your chicken pat the skin dry and salt and pepper it liberally.

– Get a decent sized pan (I have a biggish stainless steel one) nice and hot and add a big glug of olive oil.

– Place the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan and reduce heat a bit to medium-low. Leave them on that side for like 15 minutes until theyre really brown and crisp. Then flip em and give them another 5 mins.

– Chuck the wine in and let it bubble for a bit until it doesnt smell quite so boozey. About 3 mins.

– Pour in the mushrooms and the amazing juice theyve been soaking in, along with the can of cherry tomatoes, and bring to a boil.

– Turn heat down to low and half cover the pan. Cook for about half an hour. Turning the chicken every so often.

– When the chicken is definitely cooked through but not horrid and dry take it out and set aside for a bit.

– Then you want to reduce the sauce down so its barely watery at all, its just super charged mushroomy, tomatoey slightly wet mush. It will look brown and gross, do not worry. It is meant to look like that.

– When the sauce is thick and mega rich (prob 7ish mins), salt it to your liking and return the chicken to warm through.

– Serve it in a bowl with salad and bread. You can squeeze a lemon over it if this is your thing. You can also garnish with parsley if thats the vibe.

– Impress your friends with something you just threw together

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