Posts Tagged ‘EP’

Holland – Not all Double Dutch


Brisbane indie folk quartet Holland have just released their debut EP, ‘No Control’, and we must admit its pretty sound for a first release (pun intended).

The title track ‘No Control’, combines some thoughtful lyrics with crisp vocals by lead singer Jarryd Klapper to tell a love story that most people can relate to, or at least appreciate. Although I can’t put my finger on it, there is something that really poignant about the way Holland plays. I’m not sure if it is the simplicity of the acoustic guitars or whether the aforementioned melancholy lyrics did it, but after listening to this track I was left with a feeling of satisfaction that not a lot of songs leave you with on the first listen.

“Eyes Wide Open” was the other studio recorded track and maintained the same feeling from ‘No Control’, being equally chilled. After listening to this track and then re-listening to ‘No Control’, Holland in some ways it remind me of a male version of Canadian indie songstress Feist. Which is not a bad thing.

Having supported Tim Freedman (of Whitlam’s fame) and Katie Noonan earlier this year, the boys are no strangers to performing and this is also shown in their EP, including live recordings of the songs ‘For You’ and ‘Interlude’. Given that Holland haven’t reached great fame (yet), the recordings were of surprisingly good quality, in fact the word perfect comes to mind. Its clear the band had avoided using dodgy equipment – you couldn’t hear a single person talking over the top, or fan ‘singing’ out of tune, leaving you only with what you want to hear, live music by Holland.

I just hope Holland release more tracks this year, or at least before this EP burns out from doing cycles in my cars CD player. A blissful debut album.

Crooked Saint – Distinctive Aussie Roots


Having released their debut EP “Every Angry Inch” in March and followed it up with their November released EP “Sweating Bullets”  is Victorian band Crooked Saints. I only just came across them and given my instant like will provide a rundown of both EPs.

Whilst perhaps being best described as having a foot in both the rock and roots camps, the band manage to really nail the dark side of roots exploring fights, guns and bars. Whilst musically there isn’t much that makes the band special compared to any other of the rockier roots bands, it is the vocals and lyrics of Tim Wheatley that make this EP such a great listen.

Wheatley has a very distinct Australian accent that comes across in his singing, which combined with his constant references to Australian culture allows you to really relate to the themes and stories told in each song. “Overcrowded Bar” is a great ballad that emphasises Wheatley’s storing telling ability. It uses faded vocals and haunting lyrics to describe the nature of a dodgy inner city bar in such depth and chilling clarity you can’t help but feel like your at the bar watching the song play out in front of you.

“Kick the Habit” explores similar grungy themes to that of ‘Overcrowded Bar”, with the added bonus of ACDC references. Regardless it is quite catchy and really gets your fingers clicking, which can also be said for the title song, “Every Angry Inch”.

The November released EP “Sweating Bullets” follows much the same themes as in “Every Angry Inch”, with rock track  “Lazy Bones” and frighteningly emotive number “Sweating Bullets” maintaining that quintessentially Australian sound. The major difference between the EPs is in the track, “Man in Waiting”, where Wheatley tones the negative imagery down slightly, and hits a happier more rootsy groove with banjos, guitars and the good old harmonica.

Overall I loved the haunting imagery that each one of Crooked Saint’s songs evoked, and it was nice to see a different albeit it darker side to roots music from the normal chilled country and nature references. I’m sure that we will see more of Crooked Saints in 2012, hopefully with a full length album being released.

Underlights – Resurgence of 60s Psychedelic Rock


If your Dad is really against modern indie music, let him listen to Sydney four-piece underlights whose kalidescope of sounds is a reincarnation of 60s psychedelic rock.

Currently working on their first EP, the band comprises Jack Friels and Darius Navidzadeh on guitar/vocals, Tom O’Dell rocking the drums, and Johnny Took on bass. Despite claiming that they have “developed our own blend of rock, blues and psych”, there is no denying that debut single “Now That You’re In Love” has shades of the 60s in it. Nonetheless, the boys have given us a pretty good debut track, with a classic psychedelic sound and smart, simple lyrics that describe the changes inflicted by love on a mysterious girl.

My only major criticism of Underlights is that they haven’t released many songs. Yet with their impending EP, and having all ready been featured on Triple J unearthed it is likely there are many more songs to come from these guys.

Oliver Tank

Oliver Tank

Coming out of Sydney is Oliver Tank, a low tempo electronica artist who released his first EP, “Dreams”, in October of this year.

“Dreams” is also such an appropriate name as Tank manages to blend a variety of instruments including, drums, guitar and keyboard with his soft and clear vocals to create what are essentially adult lullabies. Each song is in itself so well layered that if you don’t pay attention you miss the additional instruments that have been used. Tank describes his music as “different sounds organized to tell a story”, and whether you listen to a track individually or the entire six song EP, you cannot help but feel Tank is talking about a beautiful dream, so awe inspiring words struggle to describe it. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, in which case I think a track by Oliver Tank is worth 10,000.

These masterpieces have drawn comparisons to low tempo electro pioneer James Blake. Although I believe that doesn’t do Tank justice. I found James Blake random, his music disjointed and irritating, with the only reason he was a pioneer being because he was the first person with erratic clicks in his music to be given a record contract. Oliver Tank manages to piece together tracks that are soothing, soft and really flow.

However, given the success James Blake did have, it is likely that Oliver Tank will also occupy the same niche market. I have to say, having not enjoyed the slow tempo electronica in the past, I am a fan. You can check out Oliver Tanks EP in full here.

Top 10 Aussie EPs of 2011 (part 2)

Uluwatu - New Navy

5) Nantes EP (Self Titled) – Nantes. Despite having a band name in which the pronunciation is somewhat debatable, a feat acknowledged by the band in their unearthed site, Nantes have had a pretty awesome run since being unearthed by Triple J midway through the year. Their debut record features some solid bouncy indie rock, with catchy rifts and clever lyrics that makes for an awesome driving sing along.

4) Raiders – Owl Eyes. I was a big fan of Owl Eyes (aka Brooke Addamo) last EP, particularly the song ‘Paper Planes’, and was so excited to hear Raiders when it was released. Luckily it didn’t disappoint with the title song (which cracked by Top 20 songs of 2011) being top notch, and the other indie synth supporting tracks each being easy on the ears. Owl Eyes is meant to be releasing her first full length album in 2012, one I eagerly anticipate.

3) The Jungle Giants EP (Self Titled) – The Jungle Giants. 2012 was a whirlwind for this Brisbane four-piece, having just finished school they got stuck into their talents for music and produced an awesome debut EP. The band uses cute lyrics on the now popular songs, “Mr Polite” and “No One Needs to Know”, mixed with soft drums and simple but catchy guitar rifts, to develop lovely care-free feel good songs.

2)  Strangetalk EP (Self Titled) – Strangetalk. With the success of their first single, “Climbing Walls”,  this EP signaled another credible addition to the Australian indie dance scene.  The infectious song “Eskimo Boy” was a firm favourite of mine, and having toured mid-year with Art vs Science, I have no doubt Strangetalk will surpass themselves in their next album release. Till then soak up the sun “as its just another world for an eskimo”!

1) Uluwatu – New Navy. This EP produced two  awesome songs in ‘Zimbabwe’ and ‘Tapioca’, and really announced New Navy on the music scene. I actually saw them live last year and they were solid, but the quality of the EP was higher that I could have fathomed back then. Drawing comparisons to Two Door Cinema, the way the band mixes high pitched guitar rifts with soft vocals and African style drumbeats really hits the spot, and has led to them claiming top spot on my EP countdown.

Top 10 Aussie EPs of 2011 (part 1)


So as I mentioned in my Top 10 Albums of 2011, I was going to cover my favourite EPs for 2011 seperately. I imagine many of these bands will release full length albums in the coming 12 months, and I will ensure to update you guys as the bands release details. Anyway, here is the finished product and let me know what you think!

10) Summer Catalogue –  The Cairos.  Although Brisbane band, the Cairos, don’t tread any new ground with this indie rock album, it is very listenable. But as an indie rock fan, this did enough to scrape in at number 10. Unfortunately I was unable to find a quality youtube clip, there are a couple of live versions there, but you can download and listen to ‘Summer Catalogue’ here.

9) King Cannons EP (Self Titled) – King Cannons. Ok, so these guys are technically from across the ditch, hailing from Auckland to be precise, but have recently been calling Melbourne home, and have hence been included. They released a solid EP, that combined the deep powerful vocals of Luke Yeoward (complete with Kiwi accent), bongo drums, and the classic rock band sound, with great results. I’m looking forward to the release of their first full length album in early 2012.

8 ) We Left EP – Rufus. Now I’m not usually into dance music, but the Sydney trio known as Rufus has managed to blend my love for indie rock, with a bit of folk and a substantial chunk of electronica to make a really cool and unique sounding EP. Touted as the next Midnight Juggernauts, I’m sure Rufus will become more popular in 2012. As a side-note you can download most of the songs of the EP here at their Triple J unearthed page, what legends.

7) Golden Revolver EP – San Cisco. Arising from the Fremantle on the West Coast this four-piece released a pretty sexy number in their title track, Golden Revolver. The other songs maintain the same happy-go-lucky feel for listen that cannot help but leave you smiling.

6) Snakadaktal EP (Self Titled) - Snakadaktal. If you asked the five members of Snakadaktal where they would be this time last year, I doubt their reply would come any near current reality. They have released a very soothing EP with the vocals of lead songstress Phoebe Cockburn, and male counterpart Sean Kelly, mixing beautifully (particuarly in ‘Air’) along with the rest of the band that cannot help but leave you feeling stress free.


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