NEW MUSIC: Josephine Wiggs – Time Does Not Bring Relief

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Best known for her role as bassist for The Breeders, Josephine Wiggs is also a fine composer of atmospheric ambient music. ‘Time Does Not Bring Relief’ is the first taste of her new solo album We Fall. It’s a haunting piano-based, instrumental composition that gently pushes and pulls rhythmically across nearly five minutes, evoking the work of Harold Budd and Nils Frahm. Evocative, textural soundscape music.

We Fall was composed, performed and recorded by Wiggs, with drums and electronics by her longtime friend and collaborator Jon Mattock (Spacemen 3, Spiritualized).

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We Fall is due out May 17th via The Sound Of Sinners.

NEW MUSIC: Henrik Von Euler – F-dur

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As much as we love manic post-punk, sweet alt-country tunes and arch indie-rock, we also love to bliss out to relaxing ambient sounds. Not the cheesy lift music or Muzak or hippie-lite new age bullshit. We’re talking experimental, avant garde composition, whether it be electronic, acoustic or a combination of the two. Think Eno, Harold Budd, Fenenesz, Caretaker or Hiroshi Yoshimura.

This elegant track from Swedish producer Henrik Von Euler this the spot for us with its meditative qualities but in the background there lurks both beauty and distant ominous clouds on the horizon. It’s tranquil yet possessing some darker mystery beneath the surface.

We know little about Von Euler other than he runs the label Flora & Fauna and has been a part of the Swedish electronic scene for over fifteen years with numerous releases on labels all over the world. This track comes from his recently released EP Hemskogen.

NEW MUSIC: Tindersticks Soundtrack ‘High Life’

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Tindersticks and Stuart A. Staples are custom built for soundtrack work, such is their ability to conjure such exquisite and restrained mood and atmosphere, both musically and vocally. They’ve worked on a number of film projects in the past and this latest one by Staples is for the movie High Life, directed by Claire Denis – who Staples has worked with on seven of her other films. His soundtrack and sound design compositions on High Life earned him the George Delerue Award for Best Music at the Gent Film Festival.

Below you can watch the video for ‘Willow’, with lead vocal from actor Robert Pattinson, and listen to the instrumental piece ‘The Garden’ which rises and falls with dramatic tension and poise, a brooding cousin to late period Talk Talk experimentations with its droning bed and searching brass.

Most of the music for High Life was made before the filming. The conversation with Claire started maybe as far back as 2012. There were many ideas I wanted to explore and I appreciated the foresight of Claire and the producers in offering me support and encouragement to do this. As well as work with usual collaborators Dan McKinna, Neil Fraser and Earl Harvin, this afforded me purely experimental recording sessions with David Coulter, Thomas Bloch, David Okumu, Julian Siegel, Seb Rochford and the BBC singers. Several long sketches / pieces were created from these sessions that the eventual score was formed from or informed by. 

And then there was ‘Willow’. a seed of a song shared by myself and Dan Mckinna that eventually grew to be the conclusion of the High life with Robert Pattinson, the lead actor, singing the song in character to his daughter Willow, a theme that runs through the film.

~ Stuart A. Staples

 

NEW MUSIC: Deep Sea Peach Tree – Zanzibar

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Woozy, aqueous, dreamy, tripped-out vibes are dripping out of the speakers with this great track from NYC’s Deep Sea Peach Tree. It looks like they’ve been around for a few years with some EP and single releases  and an album, Vaguely Navy (2017), already under their belt. Some of their stuff reminds of the much-missed Girls.

NEW MUSIC: OVER – Mostly Plants

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OVER are two guys (Brett Paulin, Dan Workman) from Toronto, Canada who peg their sound as psychedelic digital shoegaze and it’s a pretty spot on description when you listen to this track ‘Mostly Plants’. It swirls, billows and decays across the sonic spectrum. There are vocals but they’re nestled just below the surface, partially submerged and it’s often hard to make out the lyrics. It matters little though as this is all about texture and the wash of sound and abstraction that evolves over five minutes with a graceful intensity.

NEW MUSIC: Earth – Cats On The Briar

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It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Earth released their last LP, Primitive And Deadly. The great news this morning is that a brand new album, Full Upon Her Burning Lips is set for release on May 24th.

Earth are Dylan Carlson on guitar and bass and Adrienne Davies on drums and percussion,

Here’s the first taste of the album with the track ‘Cats On The Briar’. It’s typical Earth though there’s more body and swirling melody to this compared to some of their more desolate work.

“I wanted this to be a ‘sexy’ record, a record acknowledging the ‘witchy’ and ‘sensual’ aspects in the music… sort of a ‘witch’s garden’ kind of theme, with references to mind altering plants and animals that people have always held superstitious beliefs towards. A conjuror or root doctor’s herbarium of songs, as it were,” Dylan Carlson says of the record’s aspirations.

Preorder Album

1. Datura’s Crimson
2. Exhaltation of Larks
3. Cats on the Briar
4. The Color of Poison
5. Descending Belladonna
6. She Rides
7. Maidens Catafalque
8. An Unnatural Carousel
9. The Mandrake’s Hymn
10. A Wretched Country of Dusk

NEW MUSIC: Kip LaVie – Function Is Form

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Taken from the brand new album This Creator, here’s a really nice track from Kip LaVie, a Portland-based producer.

‘Function Is Form’ has an aqueous feel, burbling and constantly in motion as organic and synthetic sounds intertwine and rise and fall in the mix. The arrangement and production is a standout on this track and stylistically he clearly draws on jazz, avant garde electronic composition and also some classical elements.

Fans of Nils Frahm, Four Tet, and the Ninja Tunes label will dig this.

SONIC KICKS: Darren Cross

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Defiantly independent and creatively driven, Darren Cross is always seeking new ways to translate his ideas and influences into music. Whether it was in the heady days of indie/electro guitar punks Gerling, as a DJ and electronic music producer, as one half of folk noir duo Jep and Dep (with Jessica Cassar) or as a solo artist.

Under his own name he’s released two solo albums that have both blended and negotiated a harmonious co-existence between neo-folk acoustic guitar and Kraut/psych pop songs from a parallel universe. _Xantastic was Springsteen and Kraftwerk meeting at the crossroads while last year’s PEACER found Cross broadening his palette into more meditative folk and hypnotic cosmic dance vibes. It’s a wonderful collection of songs, always pushing and pulling and questioning musical conventions. The possibilities are endless in Cross’ world and his genius resides in the ability to pull the disparate melodies, rhythms and lyrical ideas into conventional song formats.

You can catch Cross on tour with fellow sonic traveller Jamie Hutchings through NSW in March and April as well as a show at the Petersham Bowling Club on March 10th with The Finalists and The Ramalamas.

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SONIC KICKS: THE ALBUMS THAT SHAPED ME

 

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The first album I bought.

Maybe The Young Ones with Cliff Richard… it had ‘Living Doll’ on it. I thought the Young Ones were so cool!!

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An album that soundtracked a relationship.

Tortoise – TNT – I guess being in a band is a relationship right? This was Gerling’s interstate driving album. Such a great album and such a buzz that we supported Tortoise twice. Disco dancing with half of them after the shows was a rite of passage to me anyway!

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An album that inspired me to form a band.

Probably AC/DC – T.N.T. but seeing Angus Young on Rage doing a live guitar lead at an early AC/DC concert that sounds like the foundation of ‘Thunderstruck’ really blew me away. AC/DC were the bad gang’s music at my high school.

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An album that reminds me of my high school years.

As a whole, probably Nirvana’s Nevermind, but that’s boring! I also really loved Living Colour’s VIVID. ‘Cult of Personality’ really blew me away. My friend gave me cassette of the album.

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An album I’d love to hear live and played in full.

David Bowie’s Blackstar, but it’s impossible now. I loved the album when it first came out, just before David died. I love the songs and the especially the production. Always next level. A great gift to leave us. x

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My favourite album cover art.

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless. it looks exactly like the album sounds. Also Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted– The artwork on my new album PEACER is a nod to those two albums! Early 90’s – all about magenta man!

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A guilty pleasure album.

Cyndi Lauper – Essential Collection. I actually just did some shows in Europe and the album was on a plane music playlist! I forgot how great she is – her vibe, songs, voice and look. So great!! Not too guilty I guess, but yeah she’s done a few of those TV talent shows that made me wanna puke but 80’s Cyndi is top notch!

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The last album I bought.

Sleaford Mods – Austerity Dogs on vinyl. My friend in Berlin played this too me just recently at 4am after I had just played some shows on my latest Euro tour. I bought it the next day. Fucking amazing. FIZZI are my fave band this week.

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The next album I want to buy.

Best of Tony Joe White. Another friend in Berlin did the same thing – whacked the record on the record player at 6am after a solid night of boozing! I know BT from Love Police toured him in Sydney a few time but I never made it before he passed away! Such a great album. Super groovy, almost Krautrock beats sometimes. A converted disciple I am now!