Tag: Our Golden Friend

New Video: Rising Aussie Indie Act Poppongene Returns with a Stop-Motion Animated Visual for Tense and Jagged “Don’t Even Know”

Over the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the rapidly rising  Bryon Bay, Australia-born, Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and multi-disciplinary artist and JOVM mainstay Sophie Treloar, best known as the creative mastermind behind Poppongene, an Aussie dream pop project that finds Treloar performing both as a solo artist and as a full-fledged band featuring Skube Burnell, Gemma Helms, Justin Kuchel and Deanna Ramsey. Between 2016 and 2017, Treloar released three critically applauded singles in her native  Australia “Do It, Girl,” “Belgravey,” and “Esky” — and as a result of the growing buzz surrounding the project, Treloar and company opened for a handful internationally acclaimed acts during their Aussie tours, including  Lucy Dacus, Weyes Blood and Slow Dancer.

Now, as you may recall, Treloar’s Tim Harvey-produced EP Futures Unsure, which is slated for a July 3, 2020 release through Our Golden Friend reportedly marks a distinct step forward in the rising Aussie singer/songwriter’s artistic, musical and personal development: the material generally represents Treloar closing a difficult but rewarding chapter in her personal life, in which she comes to terms and embraces her identity as a queer woman. So far I’ve written about two of the EP’s latest singles, the shimmering and slow-burning, Still Corners-like “Not Wrong” and the ironic and jangling guitar pop ode to doing complacence and effortless hook ups, “Eternally Alone.” The EP’s fourth and latest single “Don’t Even Know” is centered around jagged guitar stabs, a propulsive rhythm section, Treloar’s plaintive yet punchily delivered lyrics, and a razor sharp hook. Although the single may be the most anxious and uneasy single the rising Aussie JOVM mainstay has released to date, it’s inspired by deeply personal experience: “‘Don’t Even Know’ was written in the midst of a relationship breakdown,” Treloar explains in press notes. “It follows the subtle observations of change and disconnection. It’s punchy and direct, both lyrically and tonally. I distinctly remember feeling particularly irked when I wrote this song, a feeling which translates suitably. It feels like a small step away from the usual dreamy nature of my music which is a refreshing change.”

Directed and animated by Carolyn Hawkins, the recently released video for “Don’t Even Know” features painstaking stop-motion animation using handcrafted from materials in Hawkins’ own home, and filmed  over many hours during Quarantine isolation. Throughout the video, evokes several different tensions happening simultaneously — human relationships, the relationship between the country and the city and how they shift and morph seemingly at will. “Being quite a labour-intensive technique, it was the perfect all-consuming iso project… The materials I used to create my hand cut elements came from sources I already had around the house, such as coloured card, wrapping paper, and an old book entitled The Earth and Its History,” the video’s director explains in press notes. “[Poppongene] and I spent a bit of time brainstorming and coming up with some imagery that related to the song, centering around the tensions between nature and the city, geological shifts, and how these things can act as visual metaphors for the changing nature of relationships.”

New Video: Rising Aussie Act Poppongene Releases a Hilarious Ode to Dating and Settling Romantically

Sophie Treloar is a Bryon Bay, Australia-born, Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter and multi-disciplinary artist and creative mastermind behind the rising act Poppongene, an Aussie dream pop project that finds Treloar performing both as a solo artist and with a band featuring Skube Burnell, Gemma Helms, Justin Kuchel and Deanna Ramsey. Last year, Treloar released three critically applauded singles in her native Australia “Do It, Girl,” “Belgravey,” and “Esky” — and as a result of the growing buzz surrounding the project, Treloar and company wound up opening for Lucy Dacus, Weyes Blood and Slow Dancer.

Slated for a July 3, 2020 release through Our Golden Friend, Treloar’s Tim Harvey-produced Futures Unsure reportedly marks a distinct step forward in the rising Aussie singer/songwriter’s artistic and musical development. Now, as you may recall, EP single “Not Wrong”  was a shimmering and slow-burning, Still Corners-like 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. The EP’s latest single “Eternally Alone” is a deceptively upbeat and dreamy ode to romantic and dating complacence and of hopes of effortless connections centered around jangling guitars, twinkling keys, an infectious hook, an infectious hook and Treloar’s coquettish vocal delivery. But the song is built with a playfully  ironic reasoning — that maybe being alone ain’t so bad. 

“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.”

Directed by Clancy Walker, the recently released video features Treloar heading to a speed dating event at local bar that quickly turns into a frustrating and unsatisfying nightmare that includes a selfie taking jock type, a paranoid spy, a pompous, wine drinking magician, an incredibly nervous woman, who laughs inappropriately, drinks too quickly — and spills a drink all over everything. And with each meeting, you can see Treloar’s character feeling as though her soul is being sucked away from her. “The video is a humorous depiction of the pure chaos faced when seeking a romantic human connection,” Treloar says in press notes. 

New Video: Watch the Members of Rising Aussie Indie Act RVG Star in a Troma Films-like Horror Film

Over the past few months, I’ve written a bit about Adelaide, Australia-born Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter Romy Vager and her rapidly rising band RVG. Now, as you may recall Vager was a teenaged goth kid runaway who left her hometown of Adelaide and headed to Melbourne. Upon her arrival in her new city, Vager joined her first band Sooky La La, a project that crafter material centered around anger and discordance — and as a result, the band was largely misunderstood, routinely cleared rooms and never found much of a following. Eventually, the band split up. But it resulted in Vager committing herself to write songs that people would actually listen and listen to by attempting to do what countless other aspiring songwriters try (and hope to) do: match feelings of alienation, loneliness, heartbreak and feeling misunderstood with introspection, melody and rousing and soul-stirring hooks and refrains. 

For a while, Vager wound up living at The Bank, an erstwhile recording, rehearsal and performance space that took over an old bank building in Preston, Australia, a suburb about six miles from Melbourne. The Bank was a scene unto itself, featuring a handful of bands that would soon become acclaimed, including Jalala, Gregor and Hearing, who at the time, all played, practiced and lived there. Living in such a space, surrounded by musicians, who were constantly working and honing their work was profoundly inspiring to Vager. 

In September 2015, Vager launched a tape of solo material that hadn’t actually been pressed and landed her first solo show at The Bank’s downstairs performance space. For her live solo debut, Vager recruited Drug Sweat’s and The Galaxy Folk’s Angus Bell, her Bank neighbor, Gregor’s and Hearing’s Reuben Bloxham and Rayon Moon’s Marc Nolte to be a one-off backing band. But once they began playing together, they all realized — without ever having to say it aloud — that they needed to continue as a band. Shortly after that show, they initially formed as Romy Vager Group before shortening it to RVG.

RVG’s 2017 full-length debut A Quality of Mercy was recorded live off the floor at Melbourne’s beloved and iconic rock ‘n’ roll pub, The Tote Hotel. Initially released to little fanfare — no press releases, no music videos, no press photos of the band or any significant press push, the album’s material was heavily inspired by The Go-Betweens, The Soft Boys and The Smiths and prominently featured Vager’s passionate and achingly vulnerable vocals. Much to the band’s surprise, their full-length debut received attention and praise across their native Australia and elsewhere. The album caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed the band and re-issued A Quality of Mercy, which led to a much larger profile internationally.

Building upon a growing profile, the band then went on world tours with Shame and Kurt Vile. Late last year, the band released the Victor Van Vugt-produced single “Alexandria.” Written as a response to the immediate aftermath of Brexit and Trump, the song is appropriately urgent and ardent. Featuring jangling guitars, pummeling drums, a rousingly anthemic hook and Vager’s earnestly plaintive and gravely howl, the song finds the band gaining a subtle studio sheen but without scrubbing the grit and honesty that has won them attention.

COVID-19 pandemic has put the entire known world on an uneasy and indefinite hiatus but the band still hopes that this year will be a momentous year for them: earlier this year, they signed to Fire Records, who will be releasing their highly-anticipated sophomore album Feral on April 24, 2020 throughout the world — excluding Australia and New Zealand, where the album will be released through their longtime label home Our Golden Friend. Immediately after signing to Fire Records, the band released Feral’s second single, the devastatingly earnest and heartbreaking ballad “I Used to Love You.” Centered around a universal tale of suffering in the aftermath of an embittering breakup, the song’s proud and defiant narrator reclaims herself and her life — but while acknowledging that something important to her and her life story had to come to an end. 

Feral’s second and latest single “Christian Neurosurgeon” is a decidedly New Wave-like song centered around shimmering and jangling guitars, enormous and rousingly anthem hooks and Vager’s guttural growl — and while sonically recalling Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen, the song as Vager explains in press notes is “a very simple song about cognitive dissonance. It’s not just a song about bagging Christianity, it’s more about how we have to hold onto certain ideas to be able to survive, even if they’re not true.” 

Directed by Lazy Susan Productions’ Caity Moloney and Tom Mannion, the recently released video for “Christian Neurosurgeon” is a twisted Troma Films-like nightmare that features each of the band’s members: Romy Vager playing a brain that refuses to die, Marc Nolte as a demented and mad scientist and Reubean Bloxham and Isabele Wallace as his faithful and unquestioning assistants. 

“The video was very fun to make for us and hopefully the band too — even though we put them in some pretty weird situations,” Lazy Productions’ Caity Moloney and Tom Mannion recall in press notes. “We just embraced the song and went full surgical horror, using hand developed black and white 16mm film so the video feels almost as lo fi as the medical operation RVG are running in it. It was shot by our DOP Jesse Gohier-Fleet, who did an amazing job making every frame as spooky as possible. We’ve watched the video a lot and still laugh every time so thanks to RVG for bringing the comedy gold!”

New Video: Rising Aussie Pop Star Elizabeth Returns with a Languorous Sofia Coppola-like Visual for “meander”

Starting off her musical career as the frontperson and primary songwriter of acclaimed Melbourne, Australia-based pop act Totally Mild, an act that recorded two albums before breaking up, the up-and-coming Aussie pop artist Elizabeth has stepped out into the limelight as a solo artist. Interestingly, as a solo artist Elizabeth has been able to reimagine and reinvent who she is an artist — essentially turning herself into the patron saint of anguish, heartbreak and woe. Naturally, that period of reinvention has led her to develop a unique sound, completely apart from her previously released work.  

Elizabeth’s highly-anticipated, solo debut, The Wonderful World of Nature is slated for a November 1, 2019 release through Our Golden Friend. And as you may recall, last month, I wrote about album single “beautiful baby,” which was centered around a Wall of Sound-inspired production featuring shimmering and twinkling keys, gently padded drumming, strummed guitar and the Aussie pop artist’s achingly mournful vocals reminiscing about a recently lost love — and the lonely and uncertain attempt to move forward. Interestingly, The Wonderful World of Nature’s latest single “meander” is a shimmering and anthemic pop ballad reminiscent of Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” but imbued with lingering and confusing emotions — namely, desire, lust, shame, guilt and uncertainty.  

Directed by Julia Suddenly, the recently released video is a languorous and slow-burning visual that stars Elizabeth and a handful of women as pretty and achingly sad sisters in frilly 70s-inspired outfits and a Brady Bunch-like home, perpetually grounded by their strict parents. “This song is honestly about a distraction fling, taking a lover outside of your primary relationship and hoping it will solve all of your problems,” Elizbeth says of the song and the video. “The last lyrics of the song (‘a band of gold what a thing to hold me back/a band of ash what a thing to crash this party’) were written in a tiny piano room in the middle of Sydney CBD, sobbed out through gallons of frustration tears.

“I am so happy to have my beautiful band in the video with me. We play the saddest and the prettiest sisters, trapped in a 70s Coppola-esque dream house by our strict parents. We eat jelly, we tend to our bonsai, we find joy only in music, bonnets and each other.”