NEW MUSIC: The Finalists – Ignore All The Hate (On Your Telephone)

*Shameless self-promotion – Chris Familton of DS is the bassist in the Finalists.

It’s Sydney in the year 2020 and for the last two years The Finalists have been honing their sound beneath a Waterloo tin roof, in a Petersham attic, and down long, polished corridors leading to a Marrickville practice room. The results are the musical amalgamation of singer/guitarist and songwriter Mark Tobin (Scarlet, Panic Syndrome, The Black Halo), guitarist Robert Young (The Wednesday Night, Semi Lemon Kola), bassist Chris Familton(Charlie Horse, Thorazine Shuffle) and drummer Matt Brown (Charlie Horse).

The band’s debut single, ‘Ignore All The Hate (On Your Telephone)‘, on Half A Cow Records, is an understated slice of melodic melancholia, draped in acoustic and electric guitars that sparkle and gently jangle over rolling bass and Velvet Underground meets The Ronettes drums, while Tobin sings of the darker side of social media and modern technology. “It can be a bruising experience for someone in the sights of a social media hit squad, that ruthlessly cuts down those who don’t conform to their perceived correct set of values and beliefs,” says Tobin.

“Some enjoy antagonising this mob and can cope with the resultant social media pile-on, but for others it can mess with their mind so much they decide to stay silent in the future. This song is about how to avoid the negative effects on your frame of mind if you find yourself at the centre of an awful online onslaught,” he says, offering some strong advice that, “if you have something important to say you should never pull your punches out of fear of a backlash.”

THE FINALISTS

With a sound that draws on the band’s collective music history playing in a number of bands in Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, they’ve concocted a blend of jangly guitar-based indie rock, with elements of psych-rock, shoegaze and post-punk threading through the music. You can hear the ghosts of Factory and Flying Nun Records, the evocative strains of The Go-Betweens and The Smiths and other Antipodean contemporaries such as Underground Lovers, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and RVG. On their debut album, the twin totems of melody and melancholy course through the sparkling and shimmering guitar lines. Elsewhere the group take flight in Sonic Youth-inspired six-string explorations.

The songs of The Finalists are predominately written by Tobin, with Young and Familton adding colour, shape, rhythm and texture. Tobin’s lyrics capture and reflect on the contemporary human experience with astute and measured poeticism – whether it’s the chronicling of fractured relationships, navigating the modern world or writing about a catastrophist who starts smoking again because he believes the world will end before he gets cancer.

photo by Rory Toomey

SONIC KICKS: The Electorate

Sydney trio The Electorate release their debut album You Don’t Have Time To Stay Lost tomorrow, via Templebear Records/MGM. It may be their debut album but the band members have a rich lineage through a raft of Australian bands including Big Heavy Stuff, Knievel, The Apartments, The Templebears, Imperial Broads, Atticus and more.

The Electorate is: Eliot Fish (Bass/Vox), Josh Morris (Guitar/Vox), Nick Kennedy (Drums/Vox)

Guitarist Josh Morris says “I stepped away from playing music to study, work and be a parent. I’m kind of myopic and not a great multitasker. When my kids got to an age where I could pick up a guitar again I did. I had forgotten how much it meant to me, and reuniting with old friends Eliot and Nick to make music again felt like I was reclaiming a large part of myself I’d forgotten was there.”

The album was produced by Tim Kevin (The Apartments, Holly Throsby, Youth Group, Peabody, Buddy Glass) and mastered by JJ Golden (Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Neko Case, Soundgarden) in California. It finds them exploring indie and pop-rock in the wide and varied sense of those styles. There’s the emotiveness of Suede, the classic songwriting of Crowded House, surging power pop, the angles and avant swerves of Modest Mouse and the bristling riffs and rhythms of a number Australian 90s bands.

Drummer Nick Kennedy was kind enough to dig back through his musical memory bank to give us an insight into some of the albums that have musically shaped him.

The first album I bought:

Dev-O Live

Helping it get to #1!

An album that soundtracked a relationship:

Field Music – Plumb

The relationship I was having with myself!

An album that inspired me to form a band:

PJ Harvey – Dry

When that came out and I realised we were the same age I seriously had to

lift my game!

An album that reminds me of my high school years:

Siouxsie & The Banshees – Tinderbox

So many but this one sticks with me. 1986 was an amazing year!

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

Fugazi – In On The Killtaker 

… but I know it’ll never happen!

My favourite album cover art:

Leah Senior – The Passing Scene 

Just magnificent!

My guilty pleasure album:

There are no guilty pleasures, but I’ll say anything by The Police. Sting,

I know right?! But what a band!

The last album I bought:

Emma Swift – Blonde On The Tracks

If anything is gonna turn you onto Dylan it’s this!

The next album I want to buy:

Verlaines – Dunedin Spleen

A double LP by NZ’s finest!

https://theelectorate.bandcamp.com/album/you-dont-have-time-to-stay-lost

NEW MUSIC: Sunny Disposition – Rain On Your Parade

Melbourne band Sunny Disposition have that certain Australian indie rock of the 00s sound in their veins. That mix of jangly guitars, angular shapes on the fretboard, jerky, curious rhythm section explorations and a fine balance between raw emotion and intellectual musings in the lyrics and vocal delivery. ‘Rain On Your Parade‘ twists and sonically wrestles with itself quite wonderfully and brings to mind Antipodean bands such as Purplene, Jebediah and elements of Something For Kate.

Sunny Disposition formed in the early-2000s and actively played regular live shows in Melbourne and Sydney. They released their debut EP ‘Drifting by a Scene” in 2005 and have now reconvened to release their new EP Full Of Reasons, recorded over a decade ago.

NEW MUSIC: Chateau Chateau – I Saw Your Face

Synchronised guitar and vocal melodies are the winning tickets on this new track from Chateau Chateau out of Tucson, AZ. There’s an indie pop sound at play but with just enough melancholy and post-punk depth to the rhythm section to make it stand out above the plethora of other indie pop acts plying their trade in 2020.

This song in particular sounds like a cross between LCD Soundsystem and The National. A catchy song that never overplays its hand.

Chateau Chateau released their debut full-length album, Princess, independently on all streaming services July 31st, 2020.

NEW MUSIC: The Fainters – Guide Me To Beauty

The jangle is strong on this one, the new single from Melbourne band The Fainters. Vocals flow like Belle & Sebastian branded honey as the band sit back on the beat and let the guitars chime over high-in-the-mix drums. ‘Guide Me To Beauty’ has a loose, melancholic feel that works a treat.

Just as you think it’s going to roll on in the same fashion there’s a soft distortion that enters the fray giving some grit and sonic caffeine. Lovely, unassuming stuff all round.

NEW MUSIC: JW Francis – New York

We came across JW Francis for the first time last year and we were impressed by the irrepressible psych pop rush and tumbling melodies he concocted. He’s hit the nail on the head again with the recently released single ‘New York‘.

He locks down the insistent rhythm and drapes it in tumbling, slightly askew, dreamy guitar lines. Wonderful stuff.

“I’m a licensed tour guide of NYC. This place has taught me so much. I wanted to write an homage, but also express how I feel, which is mostly contained in the first line of the song ‘I’ll sleep when dead.’”

JW Francis on Bandcamp

NEW MUSIC: Torrid Horror – An Ode To The Chair

Torrid Horror hail from the UK and they’ve concocted a maelstrom of a crazed sideshow attraction on this pummelling post-punk track ‘An Ode To The Chair‘.

The brilliance of it lies in the way they offset the manic chaos with the sing-song, gang-chant vocals and the mid-song jerk and groove breakdown before the madness rears its beautiful tropical punk head once again.

For fans of IDLES, The Horrors, Tropical Fuck Storm, METZ

“This is a song about revenge, and the exploitation of perceived weakness. It’s a story of a woman’s birth, the atrocities she commits, how she fights against the constraints of her disabilities and how she ultimately lets a murderous urge consume her.” – Caine

NEW MUSIC: Elephant Castle – My Muse + Life In Outer Space

We recently posted the Elephant Castle track ‘I’m A Loser‘, which we loved. Now we’re stoked to also share the newer songs ‘My Muse‘ and ‘Life In Outer Space‘.

Both songs are further examples of the kaleidoscopic psych-pop goodness created by Los Angeles-based singer and multi-instrumentalist ​Phil Danyew who played in Foster The People for six years before leaving to focus on his own music as Elephant Castle. The tracks are also great examples of how to imbue life and playful energy into psych sounds – which are often too sterile and lacking verve.

Of ‘My Muse’, Danyew says “It was inspired by the sacred and addicting process of creating – the feeling that music and lyrics are channeled rather than entirely self-generated.” Heading into the starry skies with ‘Life In Outer Space’, he describes the songs as “a cosmic love story that starts in a park and ends in outer space.”