Shrapnel have been toiling around Australia for a hot minute, and now they’ve got a brand new record on the way courtesy of Tenth Court. This time around, the band have expanded their line-up, adding new instruments to flesh out their sound beyond the confines of jangling pop rock. Here you get a subtle nod towards psychedelia, with faint little woodwind nuances layered over the guitars. It almost feels out of place, but in the best way, reinventing the pop of 1970s communes and filling it with this new vibrant nature that makes it magical in its own way; you’re honestly not sure what direction they’re going, or where they’re taking their cues, but your ears are rewarded with every textural note. Alasitas drops on June 11th.
There’s always tons of stuff to stream and check out on a Friday, and I’m sure there will be lots of buzz around the new Crumb album, and its a solid jam for sure…but here’s a few of the records I’m stoked on today, so maybe you’ll get a chance to jam something else on the outside.
Space Tan – Inti Raymi (ATH Records)
Okay, so we’re putting this out on our ATH Records label, doing a fresh to death cassette designed by the band. Musically, its a blend of modern indie pop with dashes of psychedelia thrown in to expand your mind.
Phantom Handshake – Be Estranged (Z Tapes)
We’ve covered all the singles from this record, so that should suffice to say that this New York duo have crafted a wonderful collection of dream pop tunes that we can solidly support day in and day out.
Rosie Tucker – Sucker Supreme (Epitaph)
Rosie Tucker has been one of my favorite songwriters since the drop of Never Not x 3, and they don’t miss a beat with the new LP. You’re not likely to find a lyricist as clever, at least not today, so save yourself the trouble, if that’s what you’re looking for in your jams!
Mope City – Within the Walls (Tenth Court)
Imagine being in a band and loving Lift to Experience, Low and Bedhead, then throwing all that in a bowl and stirring it up with an inclination to fit into the Aussie pop scene, and that’s what you get here. This is one of those bands I wish more folks in the US got into, but you can’t save ’em all.
While I get that few people on this side of the pond have probably heard of Mope City, I kind of wish that would change, mostly so I could talk to someone who loved the band’s work as much as I do. At times, I feel like I’m listening in on some private late night whispering between Matthew and Amaya, but at other times, I’m taken aback by the barrage of feelings their work creates. Every time I look for pigeonholing, I can only come with references to the likes of Low, Lift to Experience or Bedhead/New Year…but maybe with like this quieted charm you might have picked up on a Moldy Peaches record. There’s really nothing like this Aussie outfit; look for Within the Walls on April 30th via Tenth Court.
Ever just wanna get in your feelings? Well, have you tried listen to Sydney outfit Mope City? I’m quite partial to their 2019 LP News from Home, but this new single is pretty much putting me into a one track state of mind. Just imagine the abandoned child of Low and Bedhead being left on your record player. There’s distorted edges, barely shaking your speakers, careful not to overplay against the underlying melody. This new jam features on the band’s forthcoming LP for Tenth Court, Within the Walls, which drops on April 30th, but the Rocket Surgery EP has three bonus tracks recorded during that session that will certainly put you in the mood for what’s in store here!
We return to our almost daily coverage of Aussie outfits, by looking over at Mystery Guest, who released a wonderful debut in Octagon City; they’re here now with a brand new single to wrap up 2020. The duo is known for making ‘club music for the chill pop crowd,’ and its clear that Caitlyn’s voice has the ability to force you to fall in love with a tune; I love her move in this tune of dragging and playing with pronunciation of syllables, particularly when its riding the melodic wave of the tune. It all works over a driving organ/piano and a percussive element that does its best to steer clear of the track. If you haven’t visited this band yet, then perhaps this is a great place to start!
There’s a slew of releases I missed last week trying to take a few hours for myself and my family, but this Zipper one is definitely one I would have shared last week. Dreamer’s Gate is a collection of five songs of swirling guitars and pounding rhythms, propelled forward by natural pop inclinations and Haruka’s voice. Don’t let that fool you though, as there’s a heavy darkness reverberating throughout the entirety of these five tracks; it builds this super tension that makes you anxious at every single turn, particularly if you’re listening to “Ice,” which is one of my favorite songs off the EP. The whole thing is available via Tenth Court, so give it a listen!
At the end of this week, we’ll finally get to hear the entirety of the new LP by Permits, but before launching off in that direction, it seems fitting we should get one new track. This one was pinned by Tam, who was one of the main songwriters in Pop Singles (he also dropped a bunch of great demos earlier this year that you can hear HERE). I love how his voice gives way to a sort of heavier feel for the band; it’s almost psychedelic in nature, which adds another layer to the band’s arsenal. Just a steady pop song I reckoned you’d enjoy on a Monday if you’re listening. Time Permits is out Friday via Tenth Court!
Been real weird lately, but I feel like the Australian scene is just hitting that sweet spot, and Permits are just another act that feels like they’ve kind of weaseled their way into my soul. I love the sort of garage-y swagger, almost falling off the rails, opening that sets the tone on their latest single. Still, not to be stuck in one direction, they take a left turn right before the 1 minute mark, almost with a little that sort of arrogant assuredness you’d associate with Jarvis Cocker…and suddenly the song opens up into something you never saw coming. It’s a roller coaster of incredible pop sounds, which makes Time Permits a promising release; it’s out on November 26th via Tenth Court.
I had no idea there was a Permits until the other day, which just goes to show you how important it is to keep an eye on your favorite acts; the band is a super-group of sorts, gathering up members of Chook Race, Dag, Pop Singles and the Shifters to help one another wrap up odds and ends of songs they had left from their various projects. They ultimately recorded the record in a short time with Jesse Williams of Girlatones (who also put out a brilliant LP this year!), then they’ve been working through the pandemic on overdubs and final tweaks. Just one listen, and you get what you’re looking for; you get that nostalgic NYC underground pop sound, spun through the lens of the best musicians in Australia. Pretty much the perfect way to introduce yourself to the world I reckon; Time Permits will be out on November 26th via Tenth Court.
I suppose a label’s reliability is the theme of today, with another one of my favorite Aussie labels, Tenth Court, sharing the latest from their forthcoming release. The trio that makes up Introduction formed in 2019 to escape the mundane male musical landscape. Here, both video and song take you into another realm; in a faint way, it reminds me of Tan Cologne, sort of creating this mysterious cinematic planet we get to briefly inhabit. Listening through on repeat, you kind of feel like you’re suspended in the air, floating while these minimal little beats warp in and out of your ear. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard a group embrace simplicity so successfully; their EP will be out on June 19th.