Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

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Cable Ties, a trio from Melbourne, blasts a coruscating onslaught of punk mayhem, guitar scrambling madly in a scrubby, discordant fury, drums banging, bass pumping pick-driven clangor into the mix and, above it all, Jennie McKechnie wailing in an exposed nerve kind of way about apathy, sexism, LGBTQ acceptance, income inequality and activist politics. The sound is supercharged, ear-ringing, tight; the fast chug of the bass line in stellar “Tell Them Where to Go,” has a nearly tactile force, while the guitar howls like careening sirens. The easy thing would be to compare McKechnie’s vibrato-zinging vocals with those of Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker or her verbal agility to Courtney Barnett, but the blunt force and agile violence of the music, brings to mind post-punk bands like the Wipers, Protomartyr and Eddy Current.

Cable Ties formed in the mid-teens and has one self-titled and a clutch of singles and splits in its catalogue so far. Far Enough is the first of this band’s albums to get a wide U.S. release, and it’s a doozy, no question. McKechnie may be the band’s focal point, but bassist Nick Brown defines Cable Ties’ ragged power. The rough-sawed churn of “Lani” starts and finishes with his abrasive, insistent bass playing that boils like magma under urgent, trilling vocals. Drummer Shauna Boyle is pretty great, too, banging out aggressive beats, that are passionate not sloppy, trance-like but never tuned out.

Band members are active advocates for women’s and LGBTQ rights. McKechnie co-founded Wet Lips, a Melbourne festival focused on inclusion of female, gay and non-binary musicians, and both she and Boyle volunteer for Girls Rock, an organization that promotes opportunity for women, trans and gender diverse musicians. Far Enough engages in these issues through the lyrics, especially in “Tell Them Where to Go,” where between murderous bass and clanging guitar chords, McKechnie sings about empowerment. “Are you stuck in your bedroom? With your stereo on? Thinking you’ll never play that way cos you’re too weird or too young/Why don’t you walk out your bedroom/and steal your brother’s guitar/ Go see the folks who took rock back from blokes and who get who you really are,” she wails, and you can see a hundred kids squaring their shoulders and heading out there.

Later, “Self-Made Man” launches an incendiary blow at the rich, skewering people who “work hard and don’t share,” in a hard bumping, intricately lyric’d song that vibrates with rage, and elsewhere “Sandcastles” pokes a rusty nailed prod at the politics that strangle otherwise well-meaning activist organizations. (“You don’t do anything because you know that people like you they just don’t do anything but tear each other down”). And right at the beginning in “Hope,” the band addresses boomer complacency on climate change, as McKechnie warbles, “My uncle Pete’s he’s complaining about the greenies, he says they’ve gone too far, I say Pete, they don’t go far enough.”

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And yet while not a moment on this album fails to engage in issues, the vibe is brash, celebratory, undeniably a gas. This is no over-earnest diatribe. It’s a series of party anthems about stuff that matters. One drum flattening call to arms insists that “Anger’s Not Enough,” and that’s right, there’s a lot more here. But it’s a really good place to start.

Released March 27th, 2020

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Girlatones play their own brand of garage-pop injected with unique lyrical humour and sincerity, drawing you into their upbeat and inclusive world. Swoonsome Melbourne four-piece Girlatones are set to release their new album “Horn if You’re Honky”, out March 20th.

Following the unabashed garage pop of first album Fitting in Well (2017), Jesse Williams and crew have refined their DiY production chops and crafted an album that is rich in sonic layers and emotional depth, whilst remaining loose at the edges like all the best pop music.

First single, the piano-led ballad ‘Get to the End’, displayed a more melancholic, introspective side to Girlatones but the band struck back for second single, ‘We Respond to Love’ a one-minute-fifty-second slice of pop bliss that was described by blog Austin Town Hall as “shimmering like some of the best power-pop you’re likely to hear this day, or ever”.

Impending third single ‘Bingo Level Humour’ takes an altogether different path – one perhaps led by Paul McCartney and a parade of marching drummers, spouting quirky one-liners.

Elsewhere on the album, we hear some baroque strings on Jesse’s ode to solitary creativity ‘To Sing’, while instrumentation gets stripped back to a 12-string acoustic on the tender ‘2 Young 2 Forget’. But the big bubblegum feels are never far away, as heard on songs like ‘One Chord Too Many’, ‘Pop Stars’ and ‘The Saddest Synth’.

Regular gig-goers in Melbourne will have been hard-pressed to miss a Girlatones show in the past few years, the band playing regularly at pubs, clubs and small festivals, with band members also doing the rounds in other outfits like Traffik Island, Way Dynamic and Baby Blue. Not to mention one quarter of the band is Leah Senior whose beguiling folk tunes have been winning hearts all over Australia and overseas.

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Jesse Williams – Vocals, Guitar,
Leah Senior – Vocals, Guitar,
Tam Matlakowski – Bass,
Fabian Hunter Shaw – Drums

“Horn if You’re Honky” by Girlatones is out March 20th on Lost And Lonesome in Australia and Meritorio Records of Spain.

Chastity Belt and Melbourne band Loose Tooth have shared a “digital split single” featuring new material from both acts: Chastity Belt’s A Side “The Process” and Loose Tooth’s B side “Lonely.”

Fifty percent of Bandcamp sales for either track will benefit Australian wildfire relief efforts, specifically the Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities and the Country Fire Authority.

Of “The Process,” Chastity Belt songwriter Lydia Lund explains, “The lyrics came later and are a sort of reminder of the way self-criticism can compound. When I’m in that critical state of mind, I try to suspend judgement for that current state and I find it reassuring to remember that it’s temporary – a process.”

As for “Lonely.” Loose Tooth says, “We wrote ‘Lonely’ at the end of 2019. It is about an experience we witnessed when we were teenagers. #MeToo brought up a lot of realizations for many people, and for us; thinking back to us as young and vulnerable women, finishing high school and feeling invincible; we didn’t realize that we could be taken advantage of by predatory and powerful men. ‘Lonely’ is about the power dynamics and manipulation of these relationships, and the lasting cycle of trauma that they can bring.”

released January 31st, 2020

Swept together from the ashes of your finest night on the tiles, Loose Tooth are a Melbourne three-piece who craft sweet guitar pop with frayed edges.

“Everything Changes unspools like your standard low-slung churner in the manner of The Velvet Underground, but Loose Tooth make it interesting with both sweetened female vocals and a surreal, hot-boxed atmosphere.

Cable Ties Origins Lisa Businovski Hope

Cable Ties are just weeks away from the release of their sophomore album, “Far Enough”. Arriving March 27th via Merge Records, the record came together amidst a struggle to reclaim that essential element of enduring life’s countless hardships:

“In the past, I thought I could change things,” singer Jenny McKechnie said in a press release. “I thought if I pointed out how messed up everything is, then people would see a clear path to fixing these problems. By the time I started writing this album, I had lost this hope. But it’s about the importance of getting hope back, even when you can see no logical reason to have it. Without hope, anger becomes despair or bitterness.”

If that quest to keep a level of optimistic faith is the core of the album, then new single “Hope” is its molten center. Opening with just a reverberating guitar and McKechnie’s voice, that sense of despondency seems to be the overarching feeling. But as she’s joined by her bandmates to sing, “It might be hopeless, but if I lose hope/ I’ll bring on that ending,” the song begins to take off. In come the drums, the guitar tightens, and the propellent bass kicks everything into gear. It’s an energy that reminds you hope isn’t just about resilience, but adamance.

Brand new single Hope is out in the universe today. It’s a song to hold on to in turbulent times. Speaking of which, we are gutted to announce that with the cancellation of SXSW our US tour has had to be postponed. We are all so disappointed to have to wait to play the states but we promise that we’ll be there soon. So much work, energy and anticipation has gone into this trip and we’re gonna make it happen – just not right now. UK, Europe and Australian tours are still full steam ahead so there are still riffs on the horizon. See ya out there soon x

From the album “Far Enough,” out March 27th, 2020

Stuck in limbo between wanting closure and never getting it, ‘Keep Walking’ begs you to look inward and move on. It poses the tough questions of vulnerability with the risk of leaving them unanswered: Why do we stick around for those who don’t deserve it? Why are we ashamed of how we feel? Why is it so difficult for others to confront their own emotions? ‘Keep Walking’ captures the frustration of having to do all the emotional labour alone. It’s an inner monologue, a solitary debate between rational and reality and how to resolve the unresolved. And yet it always comes back to a simple conclusion: trust your gut, and trust yourself.” – El Tee
Written by Lauren Tarver

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Melbourne’s RVG return with their highly anticipated second album, “Feral”.

Following their beloved 2017 debut ‘A Quality of Mercy’RVG perform the tricky alchemy of combining rock’s urgency, punk’s anarchy, and pop’s empathy to create a record that feels vital: Feral is a catharsis, a call to arms, and a forthright indictment of contemporary complacency. ‘Feral’ was recorded at Head Gap studios with producer Victor Van Vugt (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Beth Orton).

Internationally renowned, Van Vugt currently resides in Berlin, Germany and travelled to Melbourne to work with RVG. One of the producer’s key tenets is a sense of spontaneity, of capturing the essence of a song’s live performance, a concern that RVG prize above all else when recording, RVG return with new single “I Used To Love You” from their highly anticipated second album. RVG perform the tricky alchemy of combining rock’s urgency, punk’s anarchy, and pop’s empathy. A goodbye that’s devasting in its simplicity, ‘I Used to Love You’ is shattering, potent and powerful. Simple and sincere, the track breathes through the pain. “There’s a lot of power in reclaiming yourself but also a lot of sadness. I adore Tom’s video and feel like it captures the energy of the song perfectly.” Romy explains.

The band recorded the album’s instrumentals live to track, allowing their playing to be infused with the kind of electricity that has seen the band’s live show lauded across Australia and internationally.

‘Feral’ is RVG’s first full-length release in three years and marks the beginning of an exhilarating new era for the band. Both a cry for help and a call to action, this is an album that demands your attention.

RVG is Romy Vager, Reuben Bloxham and Marc Nolte.

From RVG’s new album ‘Feral’ (out 24 April 2020),

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TERRY is a band from Australia. Divide Terry in half and you split the genders, into quarters and you get Amy Hill (also of Constant Mongrel, School Of Radiant Living, Primo), Xanthe Waite (Primo), Zephyr Pavey (Eastlink, Total Control, Russell St Bombings) and Al Montfort (UV Race, Dick Diver, Total Control). Guitars, bass, drums, all four sing. Terry are busy people and Terry is a particularly active project too, having released three EPs, three albums and conducted three European tours with the help of London’s Upset! The Rhythm before having a crack at the American market with this spiffy single for Sub Pop Singles Club subscribers.

Terry’s new single “Take the Cellphone” b/w “ Debt and Deficit Disaster ” (Release Date: February 24th, 2020) is available now on all streaming services and is a part of the latest edition of the iconic Sub Pop Singles Club series.

The fourth album from HTRK, the duo of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang, arrives five years on from 2014’s Psychic 9-5 Club. While some much-loved HTRK hallmarks remain—the combination of space and intimacy, the unmistakable interplay between Yang’s guitars and Standish’s vocals—“Venus in Leo” differs markedly in its energy, returning to HTRK’s underground rock past with the stylistic playfulness and variety of a modern mixtape.

Over the soft strums of acoustic guitar, the album’s introduction, “Into the Drama,” posits a theory that “what was once considered self-sabotage could be revisited as being under the influence of Venus in Leo,” Standish explains. Finger-picked guitar loops rise slowly and fall over a cold, brittle beat. Previously released lovesong “Mentions” finds Standish exploring the lack of physical intimacy in the social media age. Elsewhere, there are emotional highs, like on the kaleidoscopic single “You Know How to Make Me Happy,” which details a suspended state of ecstasy, Standish commending her partner’s conscious efforts to prop her up with compliments. “New Year’s Day” traces a flimsy resolution to get healthier, instantly busted by an evening of debauchery, recalling “the worst possible start to the year with bad friends and bad behavior.” The silver lining is the sunrise: “pink, red, orange, white, peach” Standish repeats as the track laps with a velvety, hypnotic refrain.

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Archetypal themes emerge as the band explore the makings of personality. Standish revisits her childhood home in a recurring dream (“Dream Symbol”), a doomed first kiss (“New Year’s Eve”) and high drama (“Venus in Leo”). Recorded more or less live in HTRK’s home studio in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, the album’s simple production reveals gorgeous, toned-back arrangements and an evolving, idiosyncratic songcraft.

It’s been ten years since HTRK released their breakthrough first album, Marry Me Tonight. The band has undergone profound changes, with the first two albums released amid the deaths of close friend and collaborator Rowland S. Howard and HTRK co-founder Sean Stewart. Psychic 9-5 Club set them on a path of self-discovery, and Venus in Leo marks a spirited new chapter by one of the most distinctive bands of the past decade.

released August 30th, 2019

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever release new track ‘Cars In Space’

Rolling Blackouts, Coastal Fever have today released a new single called “Cars In Space”. Following on from last year’s releases ‘In The Capital’ and ‘Read My Mind’, The Aussie five-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are back with a brand new slice of gorge guitar-pop, ‘Cars In Space’.

Speaking of the track, the band’s Fran Keaney says, “In my head this song is set inside a car. It’s the swirling words and thoughts before a break-up.” with the first glimpse of new music in 2020, and hopefully an indication that the follow-up to 2018 debut ‘Hope Downs’ could be on the way, the new track is accompanied by some sunshine soaked visuals.

Watch the video, which was co-directed by fellow Australian’s artist Julia Jacklin, No details of a follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed debut album Hope Downs have been revealed as yet, but a press release states: “Watch this space – 2020 is gearing up to be a big one for Rolling Blackouts CF.

Cars In Space is the new single from Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

‘Sand Dunes’— a new single by Bonniesongs released as a benefit for wildlife charities helping to preserve and restore Australian wildlife following on from the devastation from recent bushfires.

The track is the first piece of new material to be shared since the Australian Irish art-folk virtuoso’s debut album Energetic Mind, released last year through Small Pond Records in the UK and Art As Catharsis in Australia.

According to reports, almost half a billion animals have been impacted by the bushfires in New South Wales brought on by record-breaking temperatures and months of sustained drought. In response, Bonniesongs will donate all proceeds from ‘Sand Dunes’ to WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) a charity whose mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.

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Commenting on the track, Bonnie explains: “‘Sand Dunes’ was inspired by a trip I took part in with large improvising ensemble The Splinter Orchestra. We were exploring and recording in the vast natural landscape of Mungo National Park. Mungo is one of the most powerfully resonant environmental and cultural sites in Australia. I found that connecting with the land as well as the sharing of. as the sharing of this connection with like minded artists to be a significant experience in my life. It is in a part a love song for that place and time. In response to the recent bushfire devastation I would like to release this song in honour of Australia’s natural landscape and wildlife”.

Released February 6th, 2020
Vocals + Guitar by Bonnie
Cello by Freya Schack-Arnott