Posts Tagged ‘Australian’

Fronted by the ferocious Jenny McKechnie, Cable Ties are a three-piece from Melbourne who have built themselves a reputation as the saviours of contemporary Australian punk.

With a razor-sharp edge, they deconstruct the ragged aggression of stadium rock bands like AC/DC, the minimalism of post-punk pioneers Au Pairs, and synthesise them into bellowing anthems of discontent that are distinctly their own. Jenny screeches like a bogan banshee (or Siouxsie), Shauna pounds the drums like they owe her money (they do), and the Verlaine-thin bassist Nick Brown boogies like he’s hearing Blondie for the first time.

This simultaneously bright-eyed and jadedly anti-capitalist approach is the first thing you’ll notice on their new record Far Enough. From the way early single ‘Tell Them Where to Go’ harkens back to the cover of Sonic Youth’s Goo: ‘Are you stuck in your bedroom with your stereo on? Why don’t walk out your bedroom? And steal your brother’s guitar!?’ To the way ‘Sandcastles’ jumps back and forth like a fever dream, Far Enough is a stunning sophomore effort.

‘Sandcastles’ is the most concise song I’ve heard from you guys. Given you’re mainly known for stretching out punk songs beyond their limits, that’s a pretty big deal. How come it’s so much more concise?

Cable Ties are preparing to unleash their towering wall of ’70s hard rock and proto-punk to the world with the release of their second album (and Merge debut!) Far Enough on March 27th. As a final preview to the record, the Melbourne trio recently shared “Hope,” the opening song and lyrical centerpiece of Far Enough.

Singer-guitarist Jenny McKechnie says “Hope” serves as the record’s mission statement of sorts, touching on environmental, feminist, and anti-colonist themes explored in greater depth on “Sandcastles,” “Self-Made Man,” “Tell Them Where to Go,” and the rest of Far Enough.

We wrote that song when we had a weekend away writing, and we spent the whole time doing something which never ended up on the album. It was one of those weekends where it got too convoluted, and we had to start again. And right at the end of the weekend, we had two hours where we wrote ‘Sandcastles’ pretty much in one go. We just had a really good crack at it where… it felt like it was what it needed to be. It was straight to the point. Focussed. Like, when we write a song we start with a riff and if we can’t play that same riff over and over again for like half an hour, and enjoy it and really sink into it, sort of like feel it in our bodies in this cathartic way, we don’t think it’s worth making into a song.

On ‘Pillow’ you sing about feeling like you’ve fucked up and can’t go back. How do you cope with that feeling?

That feeling is something that I struggle with in music a lot, to be honest. Like, I did my undergrad arts degree in politics, and then I tried to go to Law School like, ‘I better do something that’ll get me a job,’ and I dropped out. Then I tried to do honours, and dropped that too. That feeling is me being like, ‘Why do I think that I’m so special that I can spend all my time playing music?’ And really beating myself up about it, which I would never do to anyone else, but for some reason, I still do it to myself. It’s still in my head that art’s a waste of time and that I should do something useful. So, that song was me convincing myself that it’s ok, what I’m doing. And that the voices in my head telling me that I’ve fucked up aren’t actually mine, in a way.

On ‘Tell Them Where to Go’ you sing about the aspirational component of being in a band. Is that your narrative? Are you singing to yourself?

That song was actually written when we were going to play at Girls Rock in Melbourne. It’s this program that gets young girls between 12 and 18 and puts them in bands. And they have to write an original song in one week and then perform it, and we were like ‘that is amazing.’ We were thinking about our own writing process like, it takes us months, we would never be able to do that! So we were like, ‘righto, we’re playing girls rock, let’s write a song for it. If they can do it then we should be able to.’ So that song is written for those kids. And also thinking about myself, and how much I would’ve loved to have something like that when I was growing up.

You sing very unapologetically. Was there any insecurity involved in finding your voice when you first started singing?

I first started playing music in [giggles] folk bands! So the stuff that I used to do was really quiet and sweet and I didn’t think that I could project my voice at all. But then when we started rehearsing we were really loud and I couldn’t get my voice over the sound of the amp. So the way that I’m singing was just a result of me really trying to be heard over the sound of everything. By the time that we were playing in venues where I could actually hear myself, I realised that I was doing this thing with my voice that I’d never thought I could do. Actually projecting and singing loud and high and just going for it. Cutting loose

At the end of ‘Anger’s not enough’ there’s a sound that sounds like a rooster. Is it a rooster?

Ha! I wish it was. But no, it’s not. I’m very glad that you can hear that though. The sound at the end of ‘Anger’s Not Enough’ is me with two guitar amps, and – I hate to get all spinal tap on this – they’re both turned all the way up to 10 and just pushed into overdrive. I also had this pedal from Newcastle called ‘when the sun explodes’—it’s like a reverb pedal where you can also get some really interesting feedback things going on. So its that looped over and over—I guess about three different tracks of me just messing with the guitar making crazy sounds. So if you can hear a rooster in there, I’m happy.

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Australian trio Cable Ties recently shared “Self-Made Man,” another thrilling preview from their second album and Merge Records debut, “Far Enough”, out March 27th. The track arrived alongside an Oscar O’Shea-directed music video featuring performances from the band and their community.

Cable Ties are a fierce, tense rock’n’roll trio. They take the three-minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point to deliver smouldering feminist anthems. Post-punk and garage rock hammered together by a relentless rhythmic pulse. Jenny McKechnie channels her struggles into songs that resonate deeply, giving voice to feelings often buried in modern life. Shauna Boyle and Nick Brown are a rhythm section anchored in Stooges primitivism—relentlessly hammering out a bedrock for McKechnie’s guitar pyrotechnics and vocal wallop. Three friends summoning a rhythmic tide to deliver anthems that turn latent anxieties into a rallying cry.

Renowned for their incendiary live shows, Cable Ties make their American debut next month with dates in LA (including the recently announced Burgerama 2020), NYC, and at South by Southwest, followed by a European tour in April. Stay tuned for the band’s full SXSW schedule.

In case you missed it, watch Cable Ties’ previous equally potent Far Enough single “Sandcastles” and order the album today on CD, LP, and translucent amber and black swirl Peak Vinyl in the Merge Records store,

david mccomb solo album love of will

The long lost solo album “Love of Will” by the late David McComb, singer-songwriter for much loved West Australian band The Triffids, has finally received a release. Originally released at the end of 1993, nearly half a decade after the dissolution of the band with which he made his name,  Love of Will was McComb’s final major release before his unexpected passing at the age of 36 in February 1999.

The album, which the NME later described as “a full-blown foray into country rock and reconciled his dark, almost Leonard Cohen-like songwriting with the Velvets-like psychedelia” was the only album that McComb recorded and released following the Triffids final album, 1989’s The Black Swan. The album originally appeared without much fanfare;  remember The Triffids only received limited commercial success in their time, and their 2008 induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame would have seemed unimaginable in McComb’s lifetime. And it has disappointingly remained out of print for nearly two and a half decades, despite continued generational rediscoveries – and upgraded reissues – of McComb’s work with the Triffids.

Of course, that work with The Triffids includes classic albums like 1986’s Born Sandy Devotional and the now iconic minor hit “Wide Open Wide.” Hard works to live up to perhaps, but many of McComb’s fans believe Love of Will found McComb still at the peak of his writing and performing powers.

Although it was recorded from June to August 1993, and it was a return to something akin to The Triffids style after a couple of single releases that flirted with hip-hop, McComb reckoned the album was four and a half years in the making. His chosen band of musicians for the recording included some ex-Triffids, and members of the Black Eyed Susans, a group that McComb had formed and worked with part-time after The Triffids demise with a couple of old friends from Perth, Phil Kakulas (who had played in the original line-up of The Triffids) and Rob Snarski.

That band of musicians included amongst both Kakulas and Snarski as well as former Triffids Martyn Casey and “Evil” Graham Lee, and, on violin, Warren Ellis (who McComb described to Juice’s Toby Creswell as “the best musician in Australia”) who was then on the cusp of coming to prominence with the Dirty 3. Not long after the release of Love of Will, McComb and Ellis both appeared on Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Let Love In, and Ellis became a full-time Bad Seed alongside Martyn Casey.

Love of Will inadvertently caused the demise of The Triffids, who had initially stopped playing just to take a breather. Their final gigs in New York in 1989 weren’t meant to be the end (although Casey did join the Bad Seeds the following year.) According to Graham Lee: “We didn’t know they were final performances. Dave wanted to do a solo album, and we were due to get back together after that. Much to his chagrin, his solo album took longer than expected, and he kept writing songs that sounded like Triffids songs. Domesticity snuck up on most of us, poor health snuck up on Dave, a planned ’94 reunion tour was put on hold, and The Triffids faded into the mist.”

Let’s remember David McComb with a video made for “Setting You Free” from his solo album’s original release, and a 1994 live performance by David and his band the Red Ponies (Warren Ellis, Graham Lee,  Peter Luscombe on drums, Bruce Haymes on keys and Michael Vidale on bass) from Later… with Jools Holland in the UK.


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When Australian music legends Kate CeberanoSteve Kilbey and Sean Sennett announced that they were forming a new group together last year, fans were immediately curious.

It didn’t take long to conclude that this supergroup would be an impressive one following the release of their first single, “Monument City Lights, 1973″ , and today’s release of the debut record, “The Dangerous Age”, only proves this is no side project for the trio – this is the real deal.

“Creating [Monument City Lights, 1973] with Steve and Kate was a dream,” Sennett at the time. “You can hear where both of these artists came from in the grooves. To write with them – let alone sing and play with them – was a joy.”

To celebrate The Dangerous Age’s release the group have shared the exclusive music video for Not The Loving Kind”, recorded at David Bromley’s studio in Melbourne“Not The Loving Kind is our power-pop song,” the trio said .

“Three or four chords … and the truth. Fittingly, it was written in a garage by Kate and Sean. For the clip, the boys weren’t around, so we roped in Alison and Jessie to play the guitars and had it filmed by a wonderful emerging director Tash Curato and edited by Cassie Chechinelli.”

Not The Loving Kind from the Kate Ceberano, Steve Kilbey & Sean Sennett from the album The Dangerous Age. Written by Kate Ceberano and Sean Sennett

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Angie McMahon is an Australian musician who loves honest songwriting and romantic melodies, with songs that ruminate on life, love and takeaway food. Angie loves to write and perform across the full dynamic spectrum, shifting between gravelly intimacy and pounding rock.

One of the standout discoveries at this past South By Southwest, was Australian artist Angie McMahon has now released her debut LP on Dual Tone Records, a partnership she announced during the festival where she was awarded the Grulke Prize for Best Developing International Act. Considering she has only released five or six tracks for us to spin incessantly since then (and they are, by all means, each incredible) we’ve been ready for this album since first hearing McMahon’s guitar fill the vaulted ceilings of a church in Austin. 

McMahon’s gorgeous vocals range over somber folk melodies, evoking passionate emotions in anyone within earshot. Look no further than the stunning energy of “Keeping Time” for the essence of one of the finest vocalists and songwriters we’ve had the pleasure of discovering this year.

DMA’S have announced a new album to be released 24th April 2020.

The Australian trio – who are comprised of Tommy O’DellJohnny Took and Matt Mason have announced they will visit London’s O2 Academy Brixton on Friday 6 March 2020.

A chance to buy tickets for the Delete rockers – who play live as a six piece with Joel Flyger on rhythm guitar, Thomas Crandles on bass guitar and Liam Hoskins on drums. CD + LP Album & 7-inch bundle Limited to 500 copies.

Our new single ‘Silver’ is out now. Watch the official video

Australian favs Royal Chant have consistently been purveyors of 90s injected power pop and they’ve perfected the sound on their new long player ‘Minor Crush‘.

Taking the College Rock torch from names like Dramarama, Guided By Voices, The Church, and The Replacements as well as a hint of Beatlesque psychedelia ‘Minor Crush‘ is a rewarding collection of hook-laden power-chord rockers with both brains and brawn.

Yes we have a new album out and yes we have a bunch of film clips to go along with with it because that’s how we roll. This is “Hearing Voices Movement” and this snazz-tastic clip was done by James Robert Carthew, forever in Royal Chant but blessed/cursed with perpetual shore leave.

Royal Chant is a 2-piece garage band from the sleepy coastal town of Port Macquarie. Fast & fuzzed, slanted & slurred, they have spent the last 10+ years playing shows across Australia on stages big & small. After a handful of singles and a smashing on Triple-J with their single “Somedays”, their debut LP Raise Your Glass & Collapse was named Indie Album of the Week by the Brag amongst a flurry of press, and their raucous live show gained the band some serious attention.

Recently returned from their maiden tour of the USA, the duo is back to recording and touring, carving their own strange path out of the spotlight but somehow never far from it. They keep their heads down and the distortion up, creating an alternate world of pounding drums, walls of sound, & songs that speak with the ache and numbness of existence.

Minor Crush is our 6th studio album and is available wherever you get your music kicks these days.

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I am regularly astonished by the vividness of the imagery Bianca Blackhall’s music creates in my mind. On her debut self-titled EP, she demonstrates her prowess as a teller of stories imbued with the textures of our country’s vast and varied landscapes.

The slow burning ‘Sharks’ simmers and heaves, and the members of Blackhall’s band melt together to form one swelling organism. The clamorous blare of a CFA siren slices through the haze at the song’s peak, before the surging tide turns and ebbs and the waves subside.

From the Apple Isle comes Bianca Blackhall and her four piece band, stepping into the fracture of alt country and moody pub rock. Propping up shimmering vocals with lurching rhythms and wily guitar, Bianca Blackhall brings you music of the lucky country – it’s land, loss and love. Songs to lean back and have a long guzzle of your Cascade to. Grief and apathy. A commentary of Australian life from the bewildered perspective of a 27 year old woman.
The band have played every dog-eared pub in Hobart as well as Falls and Unconformity Festival. Their first EP is out in July 2019 and can be found on band camp.

Debut single from Tasmanian artist Bianca Blackhall.

Band Members
Bianca Blackhall -vocals
Nick Milnes- lead guitar
Trent Thomas – bass
Hans Christian Ammitzboll – drums

In 2013,Jen Cloher, Mia DysonandLiz Stringercame together in the spirit of collaboration and experimentation to release an all-too-brief 3-track EP. They took their music deep into the heart of the country, playing more than 40 shows across every state and territory. Dyson Stringer Cloher was a moment in time that showed extraordinary promise. In the intervening six years they all pursued their solo careers – releasing a combined 8 studio albums, winning multiple awards and touring globally. Now, the trio mark their return with a new single & video ‘Falling Clouds’ out now on Milk! Records.

‘Falling Clouds’ reminisces a time when Jen saw The Clouds and Falling Joys at an underage gig in her hometown of Adelaide in the early 90s. “You kicked the door wide open so I could walk onto that stage”  Jen sings, paying tribute to the axe wielding women in Australian music who showed those coming up that it could be done. In the same songthe band questions the absence of Australia’s female poet laureate, “Nothing against Paul or Nick, but if you want to be remembered, then you better have a dick.”

Of the video directed by Annelise HickeyJen explains, “Drag has always been a fun way to explore gender through performance. ‘Falling Clouds’ examines how the rules and privileges of gender have shaped the careers of women and non binary artists in Australia. Whilst it’s a serious subject, we decided to have some fun with it. Choosing to take on three of glam rocks most revered icons, we discovered that even masculinity is a performance. Ru Paul nailed it when he said, “We’re all born naked, the rest is drag.”

‘Falling Clouds’ is out now on Milk! Records:

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The new project of Australian artist Julia McFarlane. J McFarlane Reality Guest ,As a member of the group The Twerps, McFarlane has traversed guitar-centric, melodic pop music for some years while honing a highly unique, personal musical language. ‘Ta Da’ is the first recorded unveiling of McFarlane’s affecting, oblique songwriting panache. Originally released in her native Australia on Hobbies Galore, ‘Ta Da’ will be released worldwide by Night School Records in June 2019. ‘Ta Da’ showcases McFarlane’s songwriting immersed in psychedelic music and synths.

It’s a brilliant, deft concoction swimming in Young Marble Giants-type minimalism washed with bare pop and harmony similar to Kevin Ayers making sense of a Melbourne suburb full of faces half-recognised in the blanching sun. McFarlane’s vocal is straight forward, lyrically conversational but still not completely in focus, a surreal kitchen sink drama filtered through a dream where everything is in an unusual place. Reality Guest similarly draws on BBC Radiophonic Workshop-style noise synths, flute solos, palm-muted guitar and a sleepy, psychedelic tone that drifts away into the sunset, simple and direct.

From the album TA DA, available though Night School Records