NEW MUSIC: Prudence – Heart Sways

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Last year we shared Prudence’s track ‘Smile & Nod’ and now the Sydney artist has released his first 2020 single in ‘Heart Sways’. It’s got a wonderfully immersive, dream-like quality with gently propulsive bass and climbing guitars. Think Ariel Pink in a hazy dream sequence with an 80s dream-pop/post-punk band. It’s that delightful blend of simple pop and arthouse sophistication – blurred and stirred.

Prudence is multi-instrumentalist Tom Crandles with Aleesha Dibbs (Divebell, Lorelei), bassist Kat Harley (The Laurels, Mezko) and drummer Steve West (Obscura Hail).

NEW MUSIC: Novelty Island – The End Of The Whirl

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Here’s some lush and immersive psychedelia courtesy of London-based musician Tom McConnell who records as Novelty Island. Recorded at the Abbey Road Institute’s studio, ‘The End Of The Whirl’ is an infectious cosmic trip that draws on the pop heavy explorations of The Beatles and more obscure English psych acts. The winning ticket is in the way he blends the hooks with a glam stomp – a warm and suitably warped cousin to Oasis, stripped of the posture and bombast.

‘The End Of The Whirl’ comes from the new Novelty Island EP Welcome To Novelty Island which takes in the art pop that Field Music do so well, Neil Finn’s bottomless well of melodicism, plus some dreamy electronica.

NEW MUSIC: One Sentence. Supervisor – Acedia

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For fans of Fujiya & Miyagi, Neu!, Hot Chip

Here’s a crazy, wild yet totally controlled Krautpop sound from Swiss band One Sentence. Supervisor. ‘Acedia’ is a metronomic delight, galloping along and fizzing with handclaps, a vocal sound reminiscent of The Charlatans, guitar that explodes and surges skyward and the unique blend of virtuoso oud player Bahur Ghazi.

NEW MUSIC: Shiva & The Hazards – Angkor Wat

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Recommended if you like The Verve, The Charlatans and Deep Sea Arcade.

Melbourne/London four piece Shiva & The Hazards will be supporting RIDE on their East Coast Australian tour next month and on the sound of this single they’ll be a great sound to complement the headliners. They’ve got an assured UK indie rock sound – doused in the kind of dreamy psychedelia that bands like The Verve, The Charlatans and Deep Sea Arcade have explored.

 ‘Angkor Wat’ has an effortless feel to it as guitars spark and head skyward on chemtrails and the rhythm section tumbles and spirals onward into the ether.

 

NEW MUSIC: Slark Moan – Honesty

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Almost a Beach Boys sound at the start of this new track from Slark Moan. From there it opens up into cascading piano notes before settling on a rubbery bass groove and classic baroque and power pop shapes. Vocal harmonies soar skyward while Ringo-style drums keep the song in check, while also adding some nice rhythmic colour behind the vocal, inhabited by the wandering ghost of Harry Nilsson. This is classic psych pop/rock of the retro variety but executed with skill and dreamy precision.

The song comes from his sophomore album Superstition for the Consumer Romantic (out August 9th), which took about a year and a half to craft. Sloan also spends much of his time on the road touring as a hired gun for an assortment of alt-country/pop acts such as Kelsey Waldon, Margo Price, Sam Outlaw, Erin Rae and more.

NEW MUSIC: Blain Cunneen – Feelin’ Kinda Fragile

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Here’s the debut single from Sydney singer-songwriter (and guitarist for Julia Jacklin), Blain Cunneen. ‘Feelin’ Kinda Fragile’ comes from his four track EP The Prizes We Demand which is due out later this year and finds him crafting a fine line in art-pop that reminds us of Beck, Sparklehorse and dEUS .

The song’s melodic hooks are draped over some wonderful angular and interwoven instrumentation, where a light psychedelia is built on simplicity and strong musical ideas rather than being oversaturated in effects or weirdness for weird’s sake. We’re looking forward to hearing the rest of the EP later in 2019.

EP REVIEW: Body Type – EP2

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Body Type
EP2
Inertia Music / Partisan

The Sydney quartet are releasing this, their second EP, on the eve of a UK tour, another sign of the band’s rising star status on the international stage. Of course, they’ve been the local talk of the town for a couple of years, building a solid following via their own shows and some fine support slots. 

If EP was their calling card, their first real statement of intent beyond a couple of earlier singles, then EP2 is another step forward. It solidifies their reputation as incisive songwriters and fine players. They’ve got an ear to the ground but a widescreen songwriting vision.

Opener and first single ”Stingray bursts from the gates with a spray of guitar notes, sparkling and cascading over the nimble rhythm section. It’s a great example of the rush of energy they can invest in their songs, the retention of the rough edges to the music and the economy of their songs. Pop in structure but noisy and damn catchy by nature.

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‘Free To Air’ initially dials things back to a wistful and melancholic slice of dream pop before choppy drums and their swirling jangly guitars take flight. It’s a song apparently inspired by an old neighbour of Annabel Blackman’s and his life as witnessed remotely from her bedroom. Musically the song captures that mood of both intimacy and disassociated observation. ‘Insomnia’ inhabits a similar atmospheric place, the highlight being Blackman’s vocal melody which is heavy-lidded and drowsy yet still irresistibly catchy.

‘Sad Wax’ weaves more of the same snake charmer guitar lines into the song’s DNA but it lacks the same impact and physicality of the other songs on the EP. It’s a pleasant enough track but it sounds under-formed as it repeatedly circles the same musical idea without building or elaborating on it. The final track ‘UMA’ gets things back on track with a different sonic palette. The bass comes to the fore, leading the song into grungier territory akin to Pixies with a dash of Hole. It works wonderfully, all tension and quirks courtesy of shrieks and sneered, gang vocals, capping off an impressive batch of songs from a band that just keep getting better and better.

Chris Familton