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Oh Ye Early Finish

12 Oct

Review: Street Press Australia, 4ZZZ and Golden District presents: Megastick Fanfare and Oh Ye Denver Birds (September 24th, 2011)

Oh Ye Denver Birds (OYDB) are Brisbane celebrities, with chatty front man Dominic bubbling, “I’m super excited to begin the tour in Bris. We’re going to few places on this tour that we have never played before such as Wollongong & Ballarat so they should be a blast too!”

After being labelled with an obnoxiously large “Wild Parlour” stamp on entry, Alhambra is looking a little quiet considering the 300+ response on the Facebook event, RSVPs just ain’t the obligation they used to be.

Megastick Fanfare begin at 9pm sharp with a hooting, maraca filled track that unfortunately doesn’t instil much movement in the crowd.

These five, friendly looking Sydney boys, with nice – make Mum proud – haircuts complimenting their polite stage banter, “wow, you guys are being very well behaved!”, unfortunately sound so much like Animal Collective you kind of just wished you were listening to the Brooklyn boys, rather than their young counterpart.

However that is not to say that the sound was bad, in fact, punter Lucy thought that it made it easier to listen to, “I love that people are making music so similar to A/C, it expands my choices when i’m in the mood for that kind of thing”.

At 10pm on the dot (what is it with Alhambra and timeliness?) OYDB begin with a long intro of “Swamp”, a song that illustrates what OYDB are about, taken from their upcoming album Good Ivy, due for release in February 2012.

“We all draw inspiration from many different bands and experiences and we try to use this broad array of interests to create something fresh and original. We have always tried to make our band stand out from the rest and make sounds that are new to peoples ears. Otherwise what is the point of creating music?” Dominic Stephens (lead singer, synths, rhythm guitar.)

The audience thickens during the set and a few girls express their love through interpretive-gypsy-turn-stripper dance moves to the band on stage, so much so that key boardist Kat Gough stifles laughter while she, too, grooves along to their all absorbing sound.

How do they react to fans like that? Dominic says it’s no issue, “the atmosphere that a packed room creates is indescribable and always seems to help your performance in the most positive and surprising ways.”

OYDB smash through their tracks, ending on a high note with Triple J Unearthed 5/5 rated, “Walls”. But as Dominic says over the feedback, “it sucks we have to finish up early tonight, guys”, obviously Alhambra’s mum had a strict curfew :s.

Megastick Fanfare Grit Aglow is now out through Other Tongues, OYDB have just released  the single, “I Believe in Love, Kid” with a crazy technicolour film clip exclusively on TheMusic.com.au.

Indie Indian Takeaway Anyone?

12 Oct

Album Review

I like a good curry just as much as the next white, anglo saxon, never-been-to-India person, but this is a different kind of fix.

Named after a British-Indian takeaway joint, Bombay Bicycle Club (BBC), came from reality television beginnings, have experienced the glamour of music awards and are now back with their third studio album, A Different Kind of Fix.

This record sees the band return to electric guitars and introduce sampling into their mix of drums, keys and falsetto harmonies -probably thanks to production input from Animal Collective’s Ben Allen.

Drawing from a pool of creative influence, you get the impression that BBC are still trying to define themselves, with each track using a different approach to the last. For example, “Bad Timing” has such a Modest Mouse darkness and brooding moments in “What You Want” have a distinct Joy Division ring. Let alone the vocal stylings so folkishly Simon and Garfunkel it’s no wonder BBC have described the album as “bringing our fans something different”.

The title A Different Kind Of Fix was taken from an old song lead singer Jack Steadman wrote, about “bad habits and addictive behaviour”, which goes decidedly well with the album, a bit all over the place and indulgent.

Having said that though, the album stands out when all these inspirations come together for  a moment of synergy, a la first single “Shuffle”. The track has no chorus, rather just a bridge that never ends and a catchy and driving hook that makes you wanna do a little head-bop.

Opening track “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” is another example of clever craft, with textured layers introduced subtly throughout the intro and first verse, building tension before the chorus unleashes haunting vocals and tribal like repetitions, ending before it even begun, stripping back the layers in reverse until it is just Steadman and his guitar.

The album seeks out a new range for the band, a step away from their previous effort Flaws, which was entirely acoustic and attracted an awards nomination. The band deserve praise for not sticking to their winning formula and instead, pushing themselves further as a band.

I can’t say I’m always in the mood for melodic indie pop, but Naan bread, man, I love that stuff.

Austra Alluring

26 Sep

Just while I have a minute, Austra is bloody awesome and gets me through long sessions of arduous assignments with her spurring and emotive music. Electronic, auto tuned to the shit house and a bit Fever Ray on a happy day, Austra is the new La Roux for this season, minus the bad hair.

From 2011 release: Feel It Break, which also features singles “Beat and the Pulse” and “Lose It”, “The Villain” is a hidden gem on the album, and I think, the most atmospheric.

 

Listen to it loud and dream of a cold Toronto winter where assignments cannot be submitted, because the university is too busy giving away free hot chocolate and holding rave parties.

A Mighty MP3

12 Sep

This week I want to link you all to a magical, 1 hour and 12 minute MP3 that is a part of Gorilla Vs. Bear’s monthly music hand outs. This is awesome, because you are sourcing fresh tracks, legally, that are remixed into a random mix of pop, hip hop and electronic music that sets the scene to a great party. The little thrill of not knowing what will come next is enough to keep me coming back for more, and everytime you listen you hear something different. I’m talking SBTRKT, Active Child, Sleep Over, Ghost Town DJs and so many more. There’s even a bit of Britters at the end, just for a laugh. The best moment is the change over from Sleep Over to Active Child at 21:20mins.

Click the image above to source the MP3, and while you’re there check out the rest of Gorilla Vs. Bear, they have interesting, short and fast style reviewing, mostly just sharing with the world what they think is cool right now. I dig it.

Cute Pop Group of the Week!

5 Sep

BOY

BOY is comprised of Valeska Steiner & Sonja Glass, two gorgeous German girls capitalising on folk pop cuteness. Last week I posted about my summer predictions and I purposely left these guys (pardon the pun) out because I think they warranted their own spiel. There are a plethora of male folk acts (cough, favourite of mine Bon Iver, cough) out there making afternoon music and not enough girls… So here’s to new blood!

A mixture of Feist and Camille, BOY are like the German beach equivalent of our Laura Marling, without the country twang. This is the first release from the EP, entitled Little Numbers.


Such a pity they don’t sing anything in German, however perhaps I wouldn’t have heard of them if they had? Obviously language does provide a barrier in intended lyrical meaning, but that doesn’t stop our parents frothing over Puccini or 15 million people viewing the “Numa Numa” song.

But I digress, Thomas Hedlund, of Phoenix fame, drums on their EP Mutual Friends, however the rest was left up to the girls and their many instrumental talents. Like Sweden’s First Aid Kit, BOY’s music is painfully emotional, with the raw voices and acoustic guitars unmasked by metaphors, instead just the bare facts.

As in Little Numbers, the girls have a knack for the catchy as chicken pox choruses, with their sweet vocals and trendy look. Boys will swoon.

Mate, What a Chune!

2 Sep

Baths: Lovely Blood Flow

Killer clip, pretty chill song. Great study music!

Baths will be at Alhambra Lounge in Brisbane, on the 19th of October, supported by the lovely O Ye Denver Birds.

 

Summer Predictions

30 Aug

Last year it was all Sleigh Bells and Mark Ronson, fake tan and denim underwear, this year it’s all half-shaved heads and denim jackets. But what will be the sing-a-long of choice? Here’s my guesstimates…

CSS: La Liberación/ Hits Me Like A Rock

 

This is a lame and quirky pop tune that I literally cannot get out of my head as I ride my pushy around the city today getting from class to class. I love Lovefoxxx, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie is a rad dude and summer love is always a winning theme.

This is the first single off CSS’s third studio album, La Liberación and so far hasn’t hit 20,000 views on Youtube… But just you wait. CSS are masters of this kind of dance punk music with weird lyrics… A la LCMDF that has gained them American Teen TV Show soundtrack popularity in the past, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happened this year. Hits Me Like A Rock is pretty tame compared to their 2006 stuff, that’ll piss off the old fans. However, as they don’t take their music too seriously, neither should we, just relax and admit it, it’s pretty cute.

BALL PARK MUSIC: It’s Nice To Be Alive

 

Aw man, this is a good, catchy, local, pop-indie tune. Last year it was their debut release, “IFLY” and now this. Not usually my scene and I especially don’t like blatantly optimistic slogans coming at me like bugs when I’m peddling through the park… However, great film clip. It is a pristinely produced three and a bit minutes of lovely clapping, harmonies and suitably quotable lyrics. A Youtube sensation I reckon, then Triple J will be all over it and bam, Hottest 100 top 20, fo sho.

BON IVER: Holocene

 

For the calmer mornings, nursing hang overs and band-aiding blisters, this beautiful track from Bon Iver’s self titled LP will soothe the stomachs and inspire a walk in the sunshine to cure all ailments. Justin Vernon (founder and songwriter) is a master of the ambient, delicate and quietly atmospheric musical qualities that build transient and meaningful music, track after track. Accompanied with a breathtaking film clip (a first for Bon Iver) this song makes me want to take off my helmet, throw my bike in the river and move to Norway, period.

What do you think though? Test them out on a bike ride in the sunshine, there’s no way you can deny it, this summer is warming up to be a cracker!