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: Key Out – Chorus

 

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Straight outta Sydney come Key Out with their driving, insistent new post-punk single ‘Chorus‘. Their dark, melancholic and moody synth-rock is built on an insistent bass/drum machine combination and a melodic yet wistful lead vocal, bringing to mind acts such as Underground Lovers, Ride and New Order.

Key Out is an indie pop trio from Sydney, Australia. Its members (Paddy Haid, Rohan Geddes and Caroline Wake) have previously played in Ides of Space, Sounds Like Sunset, and with Sarah Blasko. Their forthcoming album, Anthropomorphia (June 26th), was recorded by the band at home, and mixed and mastered by Wayne Connolly (Amy Shark, Matt Corby) in his Sydney studio. The album will released on Nic Dalton’s (ex-Lemonheads) Half A Cow Records label.

 

 

 

NEW MUSIC: Fontaines D.C. Release New Single and Announce New Album ‘A Hero’s Death’

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Fontaines D.C., who released one of our favourite albums of 2019, are back with a new single ahead of the release of their second album A Hero’s Death on July 31st. The album title-track is a great first single too – with that trademark energy and verve of the band and some added texture and melody thrown into the mix.

Singer Grian Chatten has this to say about the song and video:

“The song is a list of rules for the self, they’re principles for self-prescribed happiness that can often hang by a thread. It’s ostensibly a positive message, but with repetition comes different meanings, that’s what happens to mantras when you test them over and over. There’s this balance between sincerity and insincerity as the song goes on and you see that in the music video as well. That’s why there’s a lot of shifting from major key to minor key. The idea was influenced by a lot of the advertising I was seeing – the repetitive nature of these uplifting messages that take on a surreal and scary feel the more you see them.

The title came from a line in a play by Brendan Behan, and I wrote the lyrics during a time where I felt consumed by the need to write something else to alleviate the fear that I would never be able follow up Dogrel. But more broadly it’s about the battle between happiness and depression, and the trust issues that can form tied to both of those feelings.”

NEW MUSIC: Protomartyr Release New Single/Video And Push Back New Album

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Protomartyr announced their forthcoming new LP Ultimate Success Today with its first single ‘Processed By The Boys‘ . Now they’ve got a new track for you to wrap your ears and eyes around in ‘Worm In Heaven’. A slow burner that gradually swells into a warm wave of distortion with singer Joe Casey chanting repeatedly. You’ll need to wait a bit longer to hear the full album though. They’ve pushed back the release date to July 17th.

ALBUM REVIEW: New War – Trouble In The Air

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Trouble In The Air
Heavy Machinery Records

Last year Sarah Mary Chadwick released an album that she’d recorded on the Melbourne Town Hall Organ – the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. New War had already ticked that box in 2017 when they recorded this new live album.

While Chadwick created a grand widescreen soundtrack to her songs, her Melbourne contemporaries use the instrument in a much more varied way by utilising drones, pulsing rhythms and haunting melodies. Played by Jesse Shepherd, the instrument conjures up images of gothic churches, demented carousels, horror soundtracks and shadowy circuses. Those moods are enhanced by the cold electronic drums of Steve Masterson and Melissa Lock’s post-punk bass playing. Topped off by Chris Pugmire’s sinister incantations, the overall effect is one that draws a line back through Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire to Suicide, Nico and the dark side of Krautrock.

Nearly all the songs include a colour in their title, the exception being the accessible opener Bang On. I Am Position Yellow is a highpoint, wonderfully combining atmosphere, rhythm and melody, while Cocaine Blue is a beautiful piece of Joy Division-esque melancholy. 

The album no doubt had immeasurably more impact and resonance when experienced live, with the imposing Grand Organ imposing but never overwhelming the rest of the musicians. This recording serves as a fine document of the occasion.

Chris Familton

INTERVIEW: Cable Ties

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CABLE TIES, LONG JAMS AND LOUD AMPS

Between festival appearances and European tours, Cable Ties’ Jenny McKechnie chats with Chris Familton about their new album Far Enough and explains the band’s 30-minute riff test.

Picture three figures, closely grouped between numerous amps and drums, hunched over their instruments in the middle of a large warehouse as heavy guitars at full volume fill the voluminous space and make their way through cables to an analogue desk. That was the scene as Melbourne trio Cable Ties laid down the tracks that make up their second album Far Enough.

With engineer and producer Paul Maybury (Rocket Science) behind the controls, the band knew they were in good hands after working with him on their debut album. “We love Paul so much,” enthuses singer, songwriter and guitarist Jenny McKechnie. “Personally speaking he’s really good at knowing what you’re capable of. When we went in and recorded our first 7” he got us playing it again and again and I think that made the single something that we couldn’t foresee at the time. On this record he’s both the recording engineer and the producer so he knew how far he could push it to get the best out of us and when to tell us to shut up and that we got the best take.”

The band have built up a strong reputation over the last half decade for their blistering and impassioned live shows and McKechnie identifies the essence of those performances as something they’re always striving to embody when they’re in the studio. “What we always want to do with a record is achieve that similar live feeling of excitement and capturing those emotions obviously has to be done in a different way because you can’t feel the bass in your lungs when you listen to a record.”

Sonically there’s a clear progression and evolution with Cable Ties’ sound on Far Enough. It’s heavier, more primitive and they’ve added a weightier 70s rock framework to their punk sensibilities. As McKechnie explains, it’s a sound born of experience and a deep and intense exploration of the power of the riff. “From recording the first album to recording the second one it was a matter of having a lot more miles under our belt, playing a lot more and getting a sense of who we are and what we wanted our sound to be – which was different to the first record. This one’s got a bit more of the primitive rock ’n’ roll thing going on,” says McKechnie. “It’s a bit heavier and that came out us going into the rehearsal studio and jamming on a riff for at least 30 minutes. If you can’t do it for half an hour it’s not worth it!”

The synchronicity of McKechnie’s playing with drummer Shauna Boyle and bassist Nick Brown is key to their sound and how astutely they can turn three minute punk songs into six minute hypnotic workouts. “It comes from jamming a lot and we’re all obsessed with repetition, the build and release of tension and chasing that cathartic rush and feeling that you can get from long jams and loud amps. That’s what we love about rehearsals and being in the band and so that’s what comes out on the record.”

Anyone who has heard Cable Ties is left in no doubt that this is a band who wear their hearts and beliefs on their collective sleeves. McKechnie populates her songs with intelligent, poetic and passionate commentary on a range of social, cultural and political topics. It’s something she’s always done as a form of catharsis and raising of awareness. “Even when I was writing folk songs in my bedroom as a teenager I’ve always written about political issues because I’ve always gotten really upset about them and needed a way to process them. That’s what I’m continuing to do to this day,” she explains, before adding “With this album it’s taking a bit of a jump from the last one in that it’s doing that and also starting to be a bit more self-reflective as well.”

With international and national tours ahead of them, including an appearance at SXSW in the USA, Cable Ties’ first priority is the release of their new album, says McKechnie proudly. “We worked really hard on it and I put all my feelings on it. I don’t really hold back much!”

Far Enough is out now on Poison City Records and Merge Records.

NEW MUSIC: bdrmm – Happy

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With a bass-line straight out of The Cure and Joy Division handbook, this track from bdrmm is undeniably the sum of its influences, but they’re great ones and they approach the music with reverence and respect, keeping all the elements of mood and texture in check. The result is a wistful, melancholically propulsive and free-flowing track that draws from shoegaze, post-punk and dark pop. icon1@2x‘Happy’ is the Hull/Leeds-based band’s first single from their debut album Bedroom, out July 3rd. The album was produced by Alex Greaves (Working Mens Club, Bo Ningen) and mastered by Heba Kadry (Slowdive, Beach House).