Posts Tagged ‘Night School Records’

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Patience is the name for the personal pop project of Roxanne Clifford, singer for the adored early 2010s band Veronica Falls. Clifford possesses one of those singing voices that will echo and linger in your head long after the record is done, which fits these songs well, considering how much they resemble the dance-party-life we each imagine for ourselves. This is lush synthpop that speaks to unrealized dreams and long-held secrets. The melodies and grooves carry within them a general sense of unfulfillment and a simultaneous, perhaps contradictory, unbridled joy.

Clifford’s imagery perfectly nailing that nagging regret that haunts every new adventure. With the first appearance of a guitar hook in a Patience song, it’s a classic pop moment enunciated perfectly by Clifford’s instantly recognizable vocal.

The Melbourne band Twerps had a solid near-decade run as a melancholic, melodic guitar-pop band. Twerps guitarist Julia Macfarlane’s current solo project, J. Macfarlane’s Reality Guest, gets stranger and cuts deeper to the heart and bone. Ta Da’s first track is a mood piece, with ample silence; it’s a signpost of Macfarlane’s experimental approach to pop and it’s a preparatory step, getting us in a proper head-space of caution and anxiety. The songs have the ecstatic optimism of exploration, working through ideas in skeletal form.

Musically think of the Raincoats’ Odyshape, the primitive and visceral sound of early rock guitar, a one-person homegrown Stereolab, melodies you dream about and try to recapture when awake, small Casio keyboards trying to play psych epics on their own.

“Ta Da” is also a sustained exploration of heartbreak, over one dissolved relationship but also the whole of humanity. It’s the sound of someone realizing a relationship has become a dreary series of cold transactions… or realizing life itself might be becoming a dreary series of cold transactions on a planet nearing its end days.

Cheerful music, yes? But it is…and invigorating, exciting, adventurous, emotional. It ends with a gorgeous ballad aiming a direct question at the universe: “Where are you, my love?”

From the album “TA DA”, available though Night School Records on vinyl, CD, and digital https://nightschoolrecords.com/produc…. Originally released through Hobbies Galore.

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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

With the bittersweet stream of melancholy trickling through the half speed drum machine, Patience – aka Roxanne Clifford’s – plaintive appraisal of life’s turmoil, a period spent changing, aches across the ages. With The Pressure, Clifford’s songwriting continues to soar into new territories and textures, here providing irresistible Italo-disco hooks with a classic cry/dance backbone. The Pressure takes Patience’s crystalline synth-pop further into the dry-iced corners of a club in 1983.. though here Clifford has managed to marry a cold production, aided as before by Happy Meals’ Lewis Cook’s engineering, with the inherent sweetness in her vocal. The Pressure never relents, with pulsating waves of harmony and crisp snare cracks building like the greatest early Mute Records 7” they never released, an ode to relationships and the craziness they inflict on us.

Patience, aka Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls fame, released her debut single, The Church, earlier this year, and it not only almost instantly sold out, it also received near unanimous acclaim and an unstoppable wave of hype. That it was very good helped of course, as is her second single, The Pressure, which she shared earlier this week.

The Pressure takes the listener back to the hey-day of synth-pop, pitched somewhere between the electronica of The Human League and the indie-pop of The Pastels. In the best way possible The Pressure sounds a bit like a soundtrack to a 1980’s documentary about the future, all icy electronic production and sweet, multi-layered vocals; its triumphantly walks the line of harmony and other worldliness. Patience remains a virtue as we await details of a full length release, but by the time it does come round to being released, the wave of hype might just be deservedly unstoppable.

The Pressure is out September 30th via Night School Records.