Words By: Our Music Writers
Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’
Kurt Vile may have gained a reputation as a perpetual slacker (despite being one of the most prolific artists of the decade), but ‘Pretty Pimpin’’ is certainly his most intensely focussed and arguably most gripping track yet. The carefree breeziness of ‘Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze’ has vanished in a puff smoke, replaced with a stern paranoia: the daze is over, Kurt is alert, and there’s something vile afoot. While his previous records haven’t been lacking in terms of production and arrangement intricacy, there’s a cleanness evident here (coupled with the beautiful big budget video) that suggests maybe Vile’s looking to branch out beyond the fringes. One thing’s for certain though: another contender for Record Of The Year is about to throw their hat into the ring, and based on this track, it’s gonna be a doozy.
Chelsea Wolf – Carrion Flowers
During the recording her latest release Abyss, Wolfe made sure to cut herself off from the world, setting up in a big empty barn away from the city and recording her demos and which eventually turned into fully worked songs. What Wolfe has returned with is some of the most metal (without actually being metal) stuff I’ve heard, the drone-y moments merge perfectly with her style of vocals and the opening track “Carrion Flowers” is the mission statement. Dark, brooding and brutal.
Catcher of the Fade – 1 of Mine
Where the hell did this come from? Residents of esoteric LA rap crew Hellfyre Club have come out of nowhere to drop this fantastic 4 song EP, reminiscent of the Dorner vs Tookie from 2013. The first track “1 of Mine” sees philosorapper Milo on a harp plucked beat, employing his almost spoken word approach to rap flow by letting us know he’s here to “Usher in a new era of raps post-Herzog“. The hook is done by no other that Nick Diamonds of the Unicorns fame, if you don’t know who the Unicorns are please hit this up. Open Mike comes in for quite a heavy verse about his secretary Gladys receiving a suicidal message from one of his old friend, seeking advice. Mike explains that he’s no beacon of advice and is just a guy with a lady and a kid who makes “stupid records”. Either way this song and EP is a great surprise.
We Lost The Sea – Challenger part 1 & 2
Okay, calm down, I know what you’re thinking. “Who has time to listen to a half hour song”. Well, you do. If you can watch The Bachelor for an hour and a half, you can listen to this for a third of that time. We Lost The Sea are an instrumental, progressive post-rock band that hail from Sydney. Challenger, as the song name alludes to, deals with the ill-fated journey of the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle, which exploded shortly after take-off. Riddled with monologues and eulogies to the deceased space pilots, juxtaposed with soaring guitars, diving synths and crushing harmonies, We Lost The Sea do a breathtaking job of conveying the sheer scale of what this tragedy represented. The range of emotion that Challenger puts you through is hard to put into words, which is probably why We Lost The Sea used them sparingly. Grab a set of good headphones, turn The Bachelor off and sink into the genius that is Challenger Part 1 & 2
Jungle Giants – Kooky Eyes
I feel like this track is more reflective of the overall vibe of the album, with verses that rely on simple catchy distorted riffs, contrasting to bigger more up beat choruses, the whole time Sam’s voice soars above with clever melodies. The chorus reminds me of most of the tracks from their earlier album Learn to Exist. It is definitely more similar to the idea people might have of what to expect from the album.
Jaala – Hard Hold
Hard Hold flirts with pop sensibilities, while sounding like an insane hybrid of Perth bands Moana and Tired Lion. Maybe a chuck a splash of early Little Birdy just for good measure as well. Spiraling jazz infused, droning bass lines juxtaposed with jagged, jarring guitar that dutifully follows the vocal hooks. Clearly, the minds behind JAALA are no strangers to the odd Swans record.
Puck – Take the Day
Off the back of a WAMi award in 2014 and a stellar split EP with Foam early this year, Puck are back and killing it with the new single Take the Day. This latest offering has fuzzier yet somehow more melodic guitars, and is Puck’s dreamiest and most refined release to date. The structure and production of this release makes for a single almost too perfectly manicured for Puck – a single which I can’t wait to hear live.
The High Learys – Letters to Alice
The recent popularity of psychedelic pop music in Perth is almost enough to make you think that there’ssomething in the water. The High Leary’s latest track ‘Letters to Alice’ is typical of that rock psych-sound: fun, trippy, melodic, and lyrically-clever. These guys even incorporated a sitar; Ravi Shankar would’ve been proud. The video is pretty cool too, with overt indications that the guys in the band more than live up to their name.
Teij – Tell the Boys
Launching straight into the thick of their sultry sound, new kids on the block TEIJ have honed their impressive skills to create debut single ‘Tell the Boys’. Pushing forward with progressive drum beats that give off a certain blues vibe, lead vocalist Tahlia Beeson saunters in amongst the bass line, oozing confidence and instantly creating the melody for the vocal hook, cheeky lyrics in tow.