Tag: Melbourne Australia

New Audio: Up-and-Coming Aussie Dream Pop Act Poppongene Releases a Coquettish and Playful Ode to 21st Century Dating

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Bryon Bay, Australia-born, Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and multi-disciplinary artist Sophie Treloar. Treloar is the creative mastermind behind one of Australia’s more buzz worthy and emerging acts — Poppongene, a dream pop act that finds Treloar performing as a solo artists and within a full-fledged band featuring Skube Burnell, Gemma Helms, Justin Kuchel and Deanna Ramsey. The past few months have seen the band release three critically applauded singles, — “Do It, Girl,” “Belgravey,” and “Esky,” which resulted in opening spots for Lucy Dacus, Weyes Blood and Slow Dancer.

The up-and-coming Aussie act’s forthcoming Tim Harvey-produced EP reportedly marks a distinct step forward in Treloar’s artistic and musical development. The Still Corners-like EP single “Not Wrong” was a glittering and slow-burning track centered around Treloar’s achingly tender vocals that thematically focused on the initial pangs of infatuation, and of the equal thrill and uncertainty of attraction. And as a result, the song was imbued with equal parts blind hope and despair. Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the upbeat  “Eternally Alone.” Centered around jangling guitars, Treloar’s coquettish vocals and an infectious hook, the track is an ode to dating-complacence, of dreaming of an effortless connection — but all while reasoning that being alone isn’t so bad anyway. 

“It’s a humorous pop song about wanting warm connection without warped compromise,” Treloar explains in press notes. “It’s me daydreaming about a lovely shimmering romance the I don’t have time for. Less morbid than the title suggests, much more about poking fun at my priorities.” 

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Sophia Exiner is a Melbourne, Australia-based indie pop singer/songwriter and producer, best known as Phia. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for some time, you may recall that Exiner initially received international attention for a genre defying, playfully experiential sound centered around loop pedals and kalimba, an African thumb piano-like instrument popularly used throughout sub-Sahara Africa. Building upon a growing international profile, Exiner has played hundreds of shows across Europe, including appearances at Melt Festival, Berlin Festival and Fusion Festival.

Several years have passed since I’ve personally written about Exiner, but in that period she has released a handful of singles, two EPs, her full-length debut, 2016’s The Ocean of Everything — and she’s the founder of a the contemporary choir ensemble, Melbourne Indie Voices. Exiner’s latest single, the infectious and  sugary pop confection “Full Circle” is centered around a looping, 12 bar blues guitar line contributed by her longtime collaborator Josh “Josh The Cat” Teicher, handclap-led percussion,  a 50 person choral arrangement that weaves itself in and out of the mix, Exiner’s self-assured vocal delivery and an infectious hook. And while being a sugary sweet and carefully crafted pop confection, the song thematically asks an important question that must be considered as you get older: How can we honor our childhood aspirations through the weathered and wearied lens of adulthood?

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard Release a Bonkers Visual for “Organ Farmer”

2017 saw the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock septet and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard release five albums — with each album managing to be in a completely different genre and style, all of which further cemented the band’s reputation for being both restlessly experimental and prolific.

Now, for a band that has managed to be as wildly productive and prolific as the Melbourne-based JOVM mainstays, not releasing new material last year was an extremely odd; however, during that same period, they were busy with a number of other things including — a relentless tour schedule that featured a headlining set at Desert Daze and three sold out-dates at Brooklyn Steel, the largest venue they’ve played in the States to date. The band also re-issued their first five albums on vinyl for the first time ever — and it created such a frenzied demand that the Flightless Records website crashed from the traffic.

Earlier this year, King Gizzard and The Wizard Lizard released their 14th album Fishing for Fishies earlier this year, and the album’s material found the band creating a sonic world in which the organic met the automated; where the rustic met the robotic; where the past and future collide in the beautiful present. But at the end of the day, the material was essentially boogie blues that strutted, shimmied and stomped through several different moods and terrains,. “We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it – or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

2019 find site Aussie JOVM mainstays returning to the prolificacy that their fans and the blogosphere knows them for. In fact, the band’s 15th album, Infest The Rats’ Nest is slated for an August 16, 2019 release through ATO Records here in the States. While the members of the band have long enjoyed a fluid creative approach, the recording sessions for Infest The Rats’ Nest featured a pared down lineup featuring Stu McKenzie (vocals,. guitar, bass) Joey Walker (guitar, bass) and Michael Cavanaugh (drums). This stemmed from other commitments — including Cook Craig (guitar) and Ambrose Kenny-Smith (keys, harmonica) being busy with their side project The Murlocs; Lucas Skinner (drums) taking time off to spend time with his newborn; and Eric Moore (drums) being busy running their label Flightless Records. 

Naturally, the pared down set allows for much tighter arrangements and blistering velocity — and as a result, the new album’s material finds them scratching a long-held thrash metal itch. “In fourth grade there was an older kid who was into Rammstein” explains Stu of his early discovery of metal’s extremities. “I made friends with him and we put together a performance at our school assembly where we headbanged to ‘Du Hast’. I got whiplash, which I thought was pretty cool. That was my introduction to heavy metal, and soon Rammstein led to Metallica, Metallica led to Slayer, Slayer led to Kreator and Sodom. The German bands really kicked my ass and scared the hell out of me too. Later on, when I picked up a guitar I realized that shit was too hard to play, so I got into rock ‘n’ roll and garage. That was liberating.”

“Organ Farmer,” Infest The Rats’ Nest latest single is blistering, balls-to-the-walls thrash metal, complete with shrieking guitar solos, howled lyrics, thunderous drumming, and rapid fire tempo changes. And naturally, the track brings Kill Them All and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica to mind — in other words, the song which seethes with disgust and fury, is a straightforward headbanger. 

Directed by John Angus Stewart, the recently released video for “Organ Farmer” features the members of the band, shirtless with the words “Organ Farmer” and others scrawled on their skin. The first portion of the video sees them smashing a car up with hammers — but by the end, the zombie-like members of the band are moshing in a sweaty and packed basement. It’s an insane and intense visual for an equally insane and intense song. 

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Electro Pop Act Miami Horror Releases a Sepia-Toned Visual for “Restless”

Initially formed in 2007, as the solo recording project of Melbourne, Australia-based DJ and producer Benjamin Plant, Miami Horror eventually expanded into a full-fledged band with the addition Josh Moriarty (vocals, guitar), Daniel Whitechurch (bass, keys, guitar) and Kosta Theodosis (drums) — and with the release of 2008’s Bravado EP, 2010’s full-length debut Illumination and 2015’s All Possible Futures, the band established a sound that drew from Prince, New Order, Todd Rundgren and Pink Floyd, combined with contemporary electronic production techniques, including house and electro pop. Interestingly, the act’s most recent recorded output, 2017’s The Shapes EP was a decided change in sonic direction with the band’s sound being indebted to 80s pop and New Wave — in particular, Talking Heads, Blondie and the like. 

Two years have passed since the acclaimed Australian indie electro pop act has released material and the act’s latest single, “Restless” finds the project returning to its collaborative and production-based roots. Plant champions this return to his roots as Miami Horror’s new incarnation. “The Shapes was always meant to be a one-off conceptual project, so once that was complete I began moving back towards the original creative process that Miami Horror started with; a simpler approach to production and a continued emphasize on outside vocalists.” Plant says. “For me, music has always been about completing a vision and trying to make something stand out. Allowing outside collaboration really opens me up to complete that vision without being restricted to my own skill set.”

Interestingly, “Restless” is a breezy and summery track centered around shimmering synths, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, hi-hat led drumming and a plaintive and sultry vocal contribution from Kevin Lavitt. And while retaining the slick, dance floor-friendly electronic production that has won Plant international acclaim, the song sounds indebted to 80s Quiet Storm R&B — in particular Cherelle’s “Saturday Love,” and Mtume’s “Juicy Love” immediately come to my mind, as the song has a similar sophisticated sexiness to it. “I love putting two people in a room that wouldn’t normally work together and seeing what comes of it,” Plant says of his collaboration with Lavitt. 

Directed by Keenan Wetzel, the recently released sepia-toned video for “Restless” features an assortment of quirky characters coming together for tennis training and some meet-cute lust — before ending with a menacing and suggestive air. “When I heard ‘Restless’ I was struck with a nostalgic feeling of starting out a relationship; those first feelings of anxiety coupled with the uncertainty whether or not the attraction is mutual,” Keenan Wetzel says of his video treatment. “I wanted to take these familiar feelings and add Miami Horror’s style to create a bright but strange world for these young people to find each other. I have always been interested in 1970’s culture and how people turned to communities, often ritual-based, to find a sense of belonging. So the idea for the ‘Restless’ music video was to put a pair of young people into a tennis playing community where they were looking for meaning. Only, instead of finding purpose in this community, they find each other, which leads to both love and realization that the nature of the community was not going to give them any more sense of belonging.”

New Video: Up-and-Coming Aussie Singer/Songwriter Gena Rose Bruce Releases a Surreal and Vulnerable Visual for “I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You”

Earlier this year, you may have come across a post on Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Gena Rose Bruce. And as you may recall, her highly-anticipated Tim Harvey-produced, full-length debut Can’t Make You Love Me is slated for a June 28, 2019 release through Dot Dash Records took three years to write and record — and it features a notable guest spot from multi-instrumentalist Jade Imagine, who plays bass and guitar on the album. 

Fans have received glimpses of the album’s material with its first two singles “Coming Down” and “The Way You Make Love” being released independently last year. The album’s fourth single “Rearview” was the second single that Dot Dash has released this year, and the track was centered by a sparse arrangement of atmospheric synths, shimmering guitars, propulsive and pulsating drumming and a smoldering vocal performance, imbued with longing. And while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Mazzy Star and JOVM mainstays Still Corners, the song as Bruce explained in press notes “is a conversation I could never have with this person, it’s about accepting failed love. I was angry at the time but I didn’t have the energy to stay angry or feel sorry for myself.”

The album’s fifth and latest single, the slow-burning, “I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” features what may arguably be the most sparse, atmospheric arrangement on the entire album — shimmering and jangling guitar lines, a simple yet propulsive rhythm second paired with a breathy and achingly vulnerable vocal performance by Bruce. Unsurprisingly, the song manages to evoke someone haunted by the lingering memories and ghosts of a lover that they can’t seem to let go. And in some way, the song’s narrator acknowledges that maybe they don’t want to get over this relationship either. 

“We wanted to create a meditative, surrealist-inspired video for this song,” Bruce says of the Katie Adams directed visual for the song, “The imagery hints at the concept of being buried, in this case by the thoughts or memories of someone you can’t let go of. It’s quite a personal song, so we felt it was important to include the lyrics – kind of like a scrawled letter where all vulnerability is revealed. Everything this song is about is captured in the opening lines; “I don’t think I’ll ever get over you. I don’t think I’ll ever really want too”. (But eventually, of course, I did.)” 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Release Insane Visual for Thrash Metal Ripper “Self-Immolate”

Over the course of 2017, the Melbourne, Australia-based psych rock septet and JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard released five albums — with each album being in a completely different genre and style from its predecessor, further cementing the band’s reputation for being restlessly experimental and prolific.   

For a band that has been as wildly productive and prolific as the Melbourne-based JOVM mainstays, not releasing new music last year was extremely odd; however, they were busy with other things, including — a relentless tour schedule that featured a headlining set at Desert Daze and three sold out-dates at Brooklyn Steel, the largest venue they’ve played in the States to date. Additionally, the band re-issued their first five albums on vinyl for the first time ever, and it created such a frenzied demand that the Flightless Records website crashed from the traffic.

Now, as you may recall, the band released their 14th album Fishing for Fishies earlier this year, and the album found the band creating a sonic world in which the organic meets the automated; where the rustic meets the robotic; where the past and future collide in the beautiful present with the band crafting material that’s essentially boogie blues that struts, shimmies and stomps through several different moods and terrains. “We tried to make a blues record,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “A blues-boogie-shuffle-kinda-thing, but the songs kept fighting it – or maybe it was us fighting them. Ultimately though we let the songs guide us this time; we let them have their own personalities and forge their own path. Paths of light, paths of darkness. This is a collection of songs that went on wild journeys of transformation.”

Interestingly, the acclaimed Aussie JOVM mainstays have written, recorded and released a couple of standalone tracks that simply don’t fit on their most recent album because they’re on a completely different tack — one of those tracks is the thrash metal ripper “Self Immolate” which finds the band piling power chord riff upon riff upon riff, thunderous drumming and McKenzie taking on a growling vocal delivery reminiscent of Slayer’s Tom Araya and Sepultura’s Max Cavalera. Interestingly, the track is a reminder that they’re not dabbling dilettantes when it comes to thrash and thrash metal — and that they can pummel eardrums with the best of them. 

Directed by frequent visual collaborator John Angus Stewart, the recently released video for “Self-Immolate” sees the members of the band burnt alive in a Satanic ritual in the middle of nowhere.