Posts Tagged ‘Poison City Records’

Mere Women Sydney post punk new album Romantic Notions Amy Wilson

Romantic Notions’, the fourth album from Sydney post-punks Mere Women, confronts its listeners with a question about the nature of “romance” itself. We tend to think of romance, broadly speaking, in its simplest and most wholesome terms – a rose-tinted equivalence with love and fulfilment. But what of the word’s more sinister connotations? That is, the romanticising? If romantic notions are ultimately just that, how do we come to terms with the way they shape how we move through the world?

That tension forms much of the new record’s conceptual background. ‘Romantic Notions’ is not an easy listen, as it focuses on the coercion, obsessive love and controlling behaviour faced by women throughout time, and interrogates the way idealism can become a coping mechanism in otherwise fraught circumstances.“That term ‘romantic notions’, for me, it’s really double-edged,” explains singer and keyboardist Amy Wilson. “It’s really beautiful, and it sounds so lovely, but it’s also quite a naive state to be in, I think. It can be quite disempowering to live in a dream world of romantic notions.”

Wilson’s song writing is direct, economical, and plays a lot with repetition and motif. It’s a style well-suited to an album like this one, where lyrics are presented as intimate internal monologue. On album track ‘As You Please’, against a wave of discordant guitars and frenetic rhythms, she repeatedly sings, “Take what you want as you please / I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve”, a crescendo that epitomises the desperation, yearning and quiet hope that underpins ‘Romantic Notions’.

Women’s lived experiences have long informed Wilson’s song writing. They were particularly influential on Mere Women’s previous album, 2017’s ‘Big Skies’, written largely while Wilson was living in regional NSW. Exploring the expectations placed on women of her grandmother’s generation, along with the experiences of women in remote communities, the record juxtaposed its spacious textures with lyrics about being penned in and held back by tradition. ‘Romantic Notions’ – which is out this Friday – continues to examine those themes, with Wilson drawing heavily on her generational family history.

“This record was kind of brought about by my family, and particularly my grandmother, who recently gave me a whole stack of her mother’s diaries. And they’re amazing to read – how intensely she felt about everything, and how she was held back and mistreated by people around her, but she still held onto these really romantic ideals about how her life should be and would be.”

Given its subject matter, Wilson says it’s the most personally connected she’s felt to a Mere Women album, the closest to home she’s ever written. NME asks what it was like delving into such personal content, and about the kind of responsibility that comes with communicating stories like the ones Wilson does on ‘Romantic Notions’.

“I get obsessed with certain things, and it goes over and over and over in my mind,” Wilson says. She pauses.“It’s really complex, because I look at people in my family, especially women of older generations – I see all the things that they struggled with, how hard it’s been for them to find their identity, to find their way in the world independently of whoever their partners were. For me, I feel so lucky. There’s still challenges, of course, but these stories have affected how I’ve turned out as well. I feel so honoured and privileged that they’ve been able to share those stories with me, and I just want to be able to pass them on.”

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‘Romantic Notions’ is Mere Women’s most accessible and cohesive record, the culmination of the 11 years spent finding their identity. It’s a refined version of what they’ve always done best: pairing urgent, angular guitars with atmospheric soundscapes, propulsive rhythms with Wilson’s Siouxsie Sioux-esque vocals. While ‘Big Skies’ was an album full of masterful performances, ‘Romantic Notions’ feels more focused on the band locking in with each other, each part in service of the song.

That may be due in some part due to the conditions in which the songs on ‘Romantic Notions’ first came together. Much of the album was written in a rustic house on the Hawkesbury River shared by Wilson, guitarist Flyn McKinnirey and bassist Trisch Roberts. An hour out of Sydney, it takes driving through national park for 15 minutes to get to the small town the house is located.

The trio – along with drummer Mac Archibald, who makes his recorded debut with the band on ‘Romantic Notions’ – crafted a huge deal of the record collaboratively, all crammed together in the house’s living room.

“It was really nice to not be in a studio in the city at 9pm on a Thursday night, trying to jam,” Wilson says. “We’d spend the whole day or the whole weekend just hanging out and playing, having lots of tea and coffee breaks and diving into the river when we felt like it. “It was just such a different way to write a record than we’d been used to in the past. This was a way less isolating experience, even though we’re still in a remote sort of place. We could all easily be together.”

Wilson formed Mere Women back in 2010 alongside McKinnirey and drummer Katrina Byrne, who played with the band up until 2017. Debut singles ‘Sun Rising’ and ‘Waves’, released shortly after the band’s formation, were stark no-wave cuts that commanded attention in the makeshift warehouse venues the band emerged from.

Following on from members’ previous acts like Ohana and Little A, Mere Women became a distinctive figure in Australia’s underground punk scene, finding their peers more through a shared DIY ethos than similarities in genre. Debut album ’Old Life’ arrived in 2012, with its follow-up ‘Your Town’ two years later. Roberts joined in 2016, and Archibald after the release of ‘Big Skies’ in 2017.

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Throughout the decade, across a handful of records and line up changes, they found a home in the community fostered by the likes of inner west institutions like Black Wire Records and the Red Rattler, along with Beatdisc in Western Sydney. They were part of a sea of fiercely independent bands creating esoteric music, by and for the small niche who passionately championed it.

In 2021, things look different. Black Wire’s physical store and venue on Parramatta Road in Annandale, where the band regularly performed and rehearsed, has been gone for a few years – leaving a gap that has yet to be filled. Similar venues have had to weather the impacts of the pandemic over the last year, and the small, intimate shows that bands like Mere Women found an audience in were stopped dead in their tracks. While the band’s recorded output is captivating listening, they’ve always thrived most in a live context.

“I miss it so much,” Wilson says mournfully. “It’s like a piece of me is missing. I love playing live, and it’s such an important part of my life. And I knew that, but you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

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Though shows in Sydney have been able to safely return in recent months, the way they’ve been able to take place feels somewhat incongruous with the kind of community Mere Women emerged from. Large venues capable of hosting seated, socially-distanced shows may have begun to recover, but the impact on small, community-oriented spaces remains yet to be fully seen. Wilson says that while they haven’t found the right setup just yet, they’re planning on eventually touring ‘Romantic Notions’, excited at the prospect of bringing these urgent, visceral songs to a sweaty room once more.

‘Romantic Notions’ is out March 5 on Poison City Records

Music from Sydney, Australia, Mere Women are back with a divine new offering song ‘Romantic Notions’ the title-track from their eagerly awaited fourth album due 5th March 2021 via Poison City Records. We are excited to premiere the song’s clip directed and lovingly crafted by the band, shot on the land of the Kuing-gai and Eora Peoples. Vocalist Amy Wilson gives us an insight into the track, We wrote the majority of the record at our place on the Hawkesbury River where three of us live. It’s a stunning spot right on the water, surrounded by national park. The record has soaked up this place over the writing process and as a result is more spacious and considered I think. Living here has made me feel like more of an outsider and this really comes through lyrically. As an album it’s dark and self-reflective but hopeful.

‘Romantic Notions’ the theme came from. It explores the idea that love can be used as a tool to control someone or can be used as a reason to make destructive life choices. As a band at that time we were inspired sonically by groups like TFS, White Hex and BAMBARA and wanting to create something that sounded sludgy and enveloping.

We were trying to create this sense of ‘becoming’ something new and leaving the old behind with the clip. It was filmed at our cottage and in the surrounding bushland by Flyn and Mac from the Band. Mac edited the clip and made the opening titles. Our friend Kim from White Lion Cosmetica got on board to do makeup and created this really cool monsteresque look that changes and grows throughout the clip. We’re so happy to be releasing again and getting back to playing music. Thanks for watching and listening to ‘Romantic Notions’ – it means a lot and we hope that you enjoy it. 

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.”W.Y.G” follows a trail of destruction left behind by family violence. It travels through distressing family resemblances and conflicting feelings of loving someone and hating them all at once”.

Released via Poison City Records

Releases March 5th, 2021

Pic by Naomi Lee Beveridge

Flyying Colours have announced a brand new album. The Melbourne group are set to release their second album, “Fantasy Country”, on Friday 26 February. 

“This album was supposed to now be 6-12 months old,” said songwriter and guitarist Brodie J Brümmer of the album.

“We take touring and supporting our music live quite seriously so it would have been very difficult for us to put out this album in the early stages of the pandemic… but here comes a time now where we need to get these songs out there and make it work in any way that we can.”

The band have announced a tour in celebration of the release, which will kick off at Adelaide’s Grace Emily on release day. They’ll then head to Melbourne’s Corner Hotel, Brisbane’s The Brightside and wrap up at Sydney’s Lansdowne Hotel. 

Big Mess” by Flyying Colours Released via Club AC30 (UK & Europe) and Poison City Records

After two critically acclaimed EPs, Flyying Colours are set to release their second album  ‘Fantasy Country’ later this year on Club AC30. Residing in a dream-world that sits somewhere between psych, indie, grunge and shoegaze, the Australian band’s beautifully dynamic new offering showcases their talent for uniting a delicate vocal melody with a satisfying thick wall of abrasive drums and guitars. Flyying Colours premiere their video for Big Mess and let’s just say, we haven’t seen such an aptly named video for a while.

“The video for Big Mess was made with our long time collaborator Thomas Russell,” explained vocalist and guitarist Brodie J Brümmer. “We filmed it in the kitchen at The Bergy in Brunswick, across the road from where the guitars for the album were tracked. We didn’t think we would make such a mess when filming started but as you will see things escalated and we ended up covered head to toe in unbaked sponge cake.

“That’s what happens when you spend as much time with one another as we do and you have an opportunity to crack an egg over your bandmate’s head. “I think the video kind of represents what the song is about – doing what you think is right, but ending up making a big mess of an entire situation. As for the recipe, I wouldn’t suggest trying it at home.”

Leading track and first single “Goodtimes” further stirs the melting pot. Opening with a chaotic looped squeal, the knockout punch of the frenzied opening riff and steady, driving drums sets the bar high for the tracks that are to follow.

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Both new singles from forthcoming 2020 album ‘Fantasy Country’.
The Band:
Brodie J Brümmer,
Gemma O’Connor,
Melanie Barbaro,
Andy Lloyd-Russell,
Released February 7th, 2020

Cable Ties

Cable Ties are a fierce, tense rock’n’roll trio from Melbourne, Australia. They take the three minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point to deliver smouldering feminist anthems. 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.

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The band has been committed to an inclusive feminist and political outlook since its inception in 2015, exploring issues of gendered violence, colonialism and sexual assault.
Their debut self-titled album, released in 2017 on Poison City Records, was a Triple J feature album in Australia. The band toured UK/Europe in 2017 supporting Jen Cloher, and played Punk’d Festival in Berlin. They returned to the UK in May 2019 to play The Great Escape and shows with Tropical Fuck Storm and Amyl & the Sniffers.
Cable Ties have supported artists such as Joan Jett and The Kills.

Image result for KELSO - " Always A Godmother, Never A God "

After three self-released singles, Kelso (the new project from Camp Cope bassist Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich) has just announced a debut EP ‘Always A Godmother, Never A God’ to be released October 4 via Poison City Records. Lead by the dreamy single ‘I’m Okay, Life Goes On, I Don’t Mind’ the new EP was produced, mixed & mastered by Jo Née at 3BS on Darug / Gundungurra land in Kelly’s home state of NSW. Kelso’s self described ‘cute weird songs, for cute weird people’ weave together moody lo-fi/ indie pop with gentle hooks and tales of love, homesickness, loss  always searching for those meaningful little connections in life.

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Releases October 4th, 2019

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Camp Cope’s newest album How To Socialise & Make Friends released on March 2nd 2018. The follow up to their 2016 self-titled debut kicks off with the instantly remarkable bass line of “The Opener,” an explosive diatribe against the sexist double standards of the music industry at large. What follows the lead single are a collection of songs that anchor on the cycles of life, loss and growth through resilience and those moments of finding and being yourself. The second album from the Australian trio hums with rage and retribution, executed with biting specificity and vast emotional range by singer Georgia Maq.

Throughout the nine songs on How To Socialise & Make Friends it becomes clear that if their debut was the flame, this is Camp Cope rising from the ashes, stronger and more focused than ever. Camp Cope wrote How to Socialise before the #MeToo movement really took off. But reckonings don’t just fall out of the sky, and not since the alt-rock boom of the ’90s has music felt more ripe for a revolution. Camp Cope’s windswept punk feels both retro and right now, like Courtney Barnett covering Tigers Jaw covering Ani DiFranco. Their sound is jangly but unpolished, folky but not crunchy. Maq’s voice, decorated with Australian diphthongs, ably meanders from shouty to soft, conjuring an inexplicable mashup of Joe Strummer and Joni Mitchell.

‘Sagan-Indiana’ track taken from ‘How To Socialise & Make Friends’ LP/CD/Digital via Poison City Records.

Today we give a big warm welcome to Melbourne’s HEXDEBT! Ahead of their forthcoming album, we’re releasing their new single ‘Covenant’ - premiering tonight on PBS 'Mixing Up The Medicine’ and offically out world-wide this Friday. Don’t miss them at...

Today we give a big warm welcome to Melbourne’s Hexdebt Ahead of their forthcoming album, Poison City Records are releasing their new single ‘Covenant’ – premiering tonight on PBS ‘Mixing Up The Medicine’ and offically out world-wide this Friday. Don’t miss them at HEXFEST/ Gasometer Hotel on November 5th and GIZZFEST – December 1st at Melbourne Showgrounds. Hexdebt are one of the most ferocious and engaging Australian bands right now. We’re delighted to be working with them!

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Agnes Whalan on vocals and guitar, Isobel D’cruz Barnes on bass and backing vocals, Aife Larkin on guitar and Lucy Fry ondrums.

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‘Circle The Sun’ is the new LP from Melbourne’s sonic-indie-rock charmers TV Haze. It’s the trio’s third full-length album in just 18 months! Lead by the infectious Byrds-esque single ‘Maple Leaves’ and closing with expansive master piece ‘Circle The Sun’, the Melbourne trio have showed they can dial back the fuzz while still keeping the urgency and raw beauty of years gone by. “It’s a powerful first statement for an album that stretches beyond the band’s admitted ’90s sweet spot into rough-and-tumble college rock and ’70s power pop and country.”

If 2016’s self-titled debut and last year’s Scrap Museum tapped the ragged, flannel-draped glory of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Buffalo Tom, ‘Circle The Sun’ sees the Melbourne trio expanding their sound bringing forth a distinctive 70’s influence with 12 string guitar textures.

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Band Members
Dylan Stewart – guitar/bass/vocals
Andy Hayden – bass/guitar
Sarah Thompson – drums

Melbourne trio TV Haze have just announced their new long player ‘Circle The Sun’ is out on April 13th via Poison City & Cargo Records (Europe).

Last year we heard from Melbourne punks Cable Ties l and thier track the feisty ‘Say What You Want’.

The three are equally on fire with latest single ‘Tell Them Where To Go’, digitally released via Poison City Records on February 2nd (with a limited edition two-song 7” ).
The four minutes of rock ‘n’ roll swagger with a punk sneer and typical Cable Ties toughness was inspired by spending time volunteering and playing at Girls Rock! camps in Melbourne and Canberra – a week long camp dedicated to helping young women, trans and non binary folk play music, form bands and build confidence.

Lead singer Jenny McKechnie says of the track: “It’s about ignoring everyone who tells you that you can’t play music because you don’t fit Western society’s expectations of who can be a ‘rockstar’ – an attractive white, straight, cisgendered man. It’s about finding new heroes who reflect your life experiences and learning how to tell your own story through rock!”

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Cable Ties last released their self-titled debut album in May 2017 via Poison City Records. Poison City is an independent record label, distributor and skateboard/ music store based in Melbourne, Australia.