Lurch and Chief have released their new track ‘Keep It Together’ pioneering some new aspects to their sound.
Dropping the heavy beats and increasing the dominance of their male vocalist, ‘Keep It Together’ is a pretty hard hitting on the old eardrums. Instead of the previously intricate he said, she said arrangement this new single is firmly showing of the intense raging vocals of Hayden Somerville and hits you like a whole wall of sound. Its pretty different from ‘Mother/Father’ and ‘We Are The Same’, but I can definitely seeing this style working.
After being missing in action for a little while, Oceanics have returned with their second song in a month called ‘Feel It Coming On’.
‘Feel It Coming On’ gives of some real Hungry Kids of Hungary vibes, with soaring vocal highs and a delightfully casual kick along beat. I was a big fan of Oceanics last EP, and love their rolling guitars and the occa-ness in the vocals that the guys have maintained in the latest two singles, the other being the slightly pacier ‘Broken Record’. Pretty keen to see how the rest of the EP shapes up. Watch this space.
Sydney’s Little May have been one of my favourite rising bands on the local scene and the release of their debut EP has been much anticipated by the industry and myself alike.
Having already had the likes of ‘Dust’ and ‘Hide’, and now latest single ‘Bones’ gracing the Js, and debut track ‘Boardwalks’ popping up on Unearthed and a host of blogs, its fair to say that we had a fair idea of how this EP was going to pan out, and also outlines the why there was so much hype.
Safe to say the EP stands the test, with their five raw indie tracks not only showing diversity in sound but providing a blissful listen. There is something about their arrangement and the ease of the vocalists in nailing those harmonies, that makes your ears warm and is so uplifting. But if harmonies aren’t your thing (firstly wtf), then their intricate rolling guitars and rustic tribal beats is sure to hit the spot. I am a personal fan of ‘Boardwalks’, with their melodic guitar crescendo blowing my mind.
With these guys having already supported the likes of Mikhael Paskalev, being announced of Falls Festival, and being about to set out on their own tour their is plenty of chances to get on the Little May bandwagon. In the meantime, check out the EP and see why the hype is justified.
Davey Lane found fame and success as the lead guitarist in You Am I, but late last year he stepped out as a solo artist with his 22 minute EP The Good Borne of Bad Tymes. The EP was lauded and lead single You’re The Cops and I’m The Crime earned a lot of triple j airtime. Now Davey is back with a full length record, Atonally Young, and a trippy new film clip for lead single Komarov, chronicling the ride of a doomed Russian space voyage. Cam Warner caught up with Davey ahead of the release of Atonally Young.
As part of your Pozible crowd funding campaign you offered to make a fan a hand made guitar, did that pan out?
No nobody opted for that particular prize. I’m slightly relieved actually because I’ve built a couple of guitars before and it really is three months solid work.
How did you learn how to build guitars?
Well I’m a big fan of Brian May the guitar player from Queen, and his guitar the Red Special he built for himself when he was 15. So a few years ago I thought, I’ve been playing guitar forever but I have no idea what goes into making one. So me and a friend got together and built a copy of the Brian May guitar, it was a lot of work but well worth it. I got a pretty good guitar out of it.
Did you see Queen when they were out recently with Adam Lambert?
Yes I did and actually through making that guitar I met a friend who about 15 years ago restored the original Red Special. He’s a friend of Brian and when they played in Melbourne I was lucky enough to go backstage and spend about half an hour with Brian. As a guitar nerd it was probably the greatest night of my life. He was such a lovely bloke, they say don’t meet your heroes but Brian’s an exception to the rule I think.
When you started with You Am I gaining funding for an album would have been very different, this record is literally funded by the fans, how does that feel as an old school musician?
Well I was kind of weighing up my options before I jumped into the Pozible thing, one half of me thought that artists like myself are doing it by ourselves now and there are no record companies that will throw some money at you to go into a studio and make a record, so it is a great way to have people who like your music directly involved in the process. The other half of me kind of thought is it a little too presumptuous to think that people are going to give me money, they have no idea what the record sounds like. It might’ve ended up being a pile of shit for all they knew, but obviously I was going to try to make a record that wasn’t shit. The Pozible thing did turn out really well though and I was really happy, considering I don’t really have a fan base so to speak. Well you must have some sort of fan base if you got thousands of dollars to make a record. I think I’ve just got a lot of generous family and friends.
You’ve been doing this solo thing for about a year now, does it become easier with time or were you comfortable with it from the get go?
It’s something I’m into, I’ve still always had You Am I in my life and obviously that’s a completely different kettle of fish entirely. And I fronted another band The Pictures too, who were kind of a democratic band and another thing entirely again, so I am enjoying being able to spread my wings stylistically in that I’m not tied down to one group’s genre. There’s no expectation as to what a record with my name on it should sound like and that comes with a lot of freedom.
Komarov the first single off your forthcoming album is a dark, spacey, psychedelic affair, is the whole album in that vein or did it just aid the subject matter of the song?
I’m sure the subject matter lent to it, that song was always going to be like that. I was really into the Soviet Space project as a kid and the doomed mission of Komarov, I kind of had tunnel vision when it came to everything so I never went half hearted at anything. The record is a real mixed bag of styles though. There are a couple of other songs rooted in that psychedelic space-rock genre, then there’s one track that’s almost late ‘70s early ‘80s Talking Heads kind of stuff or Grand Master Flash. It was nice to dip our toe into a range of different styles to see what we could come up with.
The film clip to Komarov was done with Danny Wild of Zonk Vision who has done awesome work with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and The Murlocs, is he as free thinking as his film clips lead me to believe?
I think so, I spent a bit of time with him and he just seems like a really switched on young guy. Aesthetically I love all the stuff that Zonk do, and I thought the song really fits it well with what those guys do.
You launched your solo career at Bigsound last year, what do you think of the festival?
To be honest anything that’s too industry focused it is not for me, I’m happy to live in my little bubble where I just make and listen to records. It’s a necessary evil, sometimes you do have to know the ins and outs of, I hate to use the word, industry. It’s fine, to me there are just too many record company dudes walking around with lanyons, it’s too business oriented and I don’t have a brain for that kind of thing. Last time I was there I got to catch up with some friends who were playing and that was fun. But I don’t put too much emphasis on it. If your music has a big sound scope it can be hard to translate when you’ve only got five minutes to set up. The sets are so short that by the time the sound guy is on top of everything and you get into a rhythm it’s probably your last song. But at the same time I like that pressure, it has its’ pros and its’ cons.
So when can we see you live?
I think I’ll be doing some East Coast shows late October early November, unfortunately gone are the days where you can get in the Tarago and tour for a month especially if you’re funding it yourself. We’d like to get over to Perth but we’ll see how the East Coast shows go. Atonally Young is due out October 3rd and you can expect Davey to announce a string of East Coast dates real soon.
In the meantime check out Komarov’s awesome film clip.
Bigsound officially kicked off on Wednesday 10th September, though on Tuesday the party had well and truly started, with the fantastic The Night Before Bigsound party at the Black Bear Lodge with the likes of Tin Sparrow and Little Odessa on the lineup, though if I were to tell you your trusted reviewer missed it due to a lack of funds required to spring for an extra night you wouldn’t hold it against him right? Didn’t think so, jeez you’re good people.
I did manage to drag my poor ass along on the Wednesday and witness the full brunt of Australia’s answer to SXSW. With 70 shows in one night across 14 official venues it’s impossible to catch everything so compromise comes in to the equation, ten minutes of this band, twenty of that, though the sets are already short so bands are going as hard as they can for the entirety of their set. They understand the beast that is Bigsound. Adelaide teenager Jesse Davidson opened the New Globe Theatre with half an hour of intelligent indie pop. The Unearthed high runner gathered a crowd full of record company types and youngsters out for a good time.
Davey Lane warned us in an interview last week about Bigsound “to me there are just too many record company dudes walking around with lanyons, it’s too business oriented” he told us, and there is that element, but with that comes seventy bands per night playing their absolute arses off because it’s quite possible this festival is the moment they emerge from the underground and explode onto our radios and televisions in a big way. So as Davey said, it’s a necessary evil.
Bad Dreems played outside the Brightside hotel with Lucianblomkamp on inside. Remember that sentence about compromises? The latter built a mystique around himself from the beginning with smoke machines and an electric violin put through enough reverb you thought you were in heaven. He soon added in layer upon layer of synth, an eclectic beat and some smooth vocals, booty shaking was as plentiful as deep appreciation. Outside Bad Dreems were belting out some old fashioned but imaginative Aussie rock. The outsider band from Adelaide had the crowd pouring in right until the end of their set. An excellent cover of Bastards of Young by The Replacements was a highlight.
DMA’s certainly filled the stage with four guitars in total including bass, a drummer and a singer. Their dress sense is either straight out of deep Western Sydney, Campelltown, Liverpool etc, or they’ve seen Green Street Hooligans one too many times, lads or chavs take your pick. Delete and Feels Like were sung back to them in spades by an adoring crowd. The licks from their lead electric guitarist, the guy in the football jersey from the ‘80s, is what sets them apart from another indie band trying to be Oasis, the comparisons will come as the band gains momentum, but if you listen closely they have their own sound.
D.D Dumbo lit up the Alhambra Lounge, building his tracks one layer at a time with looping pedals, a snare drum and a guitar. His soaring vocals overshadowed his excellent technical skills however.
On Alex Cameron’s birthday Seekae closed The Rev, an old church transformed into a venue with excellent acoustics and an eerie aura. Barely visible through the fog of multiple smoke machines. The set was heavy, a mix of deep house and trip-hop beats. It was certainly a party, reaching it’s climax when they played the trance inducing Another.
Day two could have started better, with most weathering hangovers whilst watching Obama declare war on I.S and 9/11 commemorations on the news.
That being said there was still partying to be done and bands to be heard, the first of which was Sydney experimentalists Meniscus, who dazzled with an impressive visual display and tight instrumental set, welcoming new drummer Alex O’Toole into the band for his first live set.
Brisbane teenager Eves graced the Triple J Unearthed stage at Oh Hello and drew quite a crowd. Big things are expected from the teenager who has been busy writing with a host of industry big shots, she took over vocals guitar hooks, keyboards and a little looping while her drummer and bassist kept the beat. The watery hooks and elevated vocals of Zen got a huge response while the tropical drum beats of Heavy got everybody moving whilst Eves poured out intelligent lyrics.
Safia provided one of the deepest sets of the evening, it was easy to see why their cover of Cavalier earned them a call from James Vincent McMorrow himself. The packed Wooly Mammoth sweated and danced with the trio until they built up to ‘the song that started it all’ Listen To Soul, Listen To Blues.’
The undoubted highlight of the set from The Murlocs came when a highly intoxicated Zach Galifianakis lookalike was called onstage to play tambourine, and another crowd member tore his shirt off before he got up there. Resulting in three minutes of photos being eerily similar to the ones on the camera they find at the end of The Hangover.
Tom Thumb showed off his beatbox capabilities during Sampology’s set, as yet another impressive visual display was showcased. The heavy beats dropped perfectly in time with sprouting digital flowers on LCD screens that curtained the stage.
Despite so many previously mentioned quality sets Client Liaison probably won Bigsound, Monty with his perm-fect mullet has the stage presence of Prince playing to a sold out arena, never mind that it was Oh Hello and a crowd of 300 odd. Through newer tacks like Queen and earlier releases like Free Of Fear the boys had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands. At the close of The End of The Earth, Monty standing shirtless with his arms spread wide in a haze of smoke, like some Christ figure with a fresh perm, the band’s words ring true. ‘Think Nothing. Feel Everything. Pleasure is Good. Fantasy is Truth.’
Though the official Bigsound sets were finished parties went on all night, with more happening tonight, it’s a two-day festival that basically runs for five with Fortitude Valley completely encompassed by the industry. So when Bigsound 2015 comes around get yourself a ticket and some nurofen and get in on this party.