FIRST LISTEN: Prudence – Major Tom

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Sydney artist Prudence releases his debut EP Major Tom tomorrow on Bandcamp and streaming platforms. Prudence is songwriter (and bassist for DMAs) Tom Crandles who also releases music as Au.Ra with Tom Jenkins.

Major Tom’s six tracks were recorded in Margate, Kent UK, completed in Sydney and finally mixed in Auckland earlier this year. The results are a kaleidoscopic blend of post punk, new wave melancholia and art rock.

They are songs that dig into dark corners one moment and shine psychedelic colour wheels of sound across the speakers the next. Languid guitar chords hang in the air on songs such as ‘Caramel’ while ‘Save It For Me’ is an intoxicating blend of New Order and liquid pop dance-floor shapes and ‘Euphoria’ is an aching wander through rhythm and dark synth textures.

Major Tom is out May 10th on Forged Artifacts.

 

SONIC KICKS: Wahoo Ghost

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Sydney trio Wahoo Ghost have just released their debut album The Eighth Door and the brand new single She Wolf’ (check out the video below). The album is high on atmospheric psychedelia that swirls around the dark poetry of Charli Rainford. Space and texture is paramount, whether it’s raw and bluesy or grainy and dream-laden.

The Eighth Door is available now on Spotify, Apple Music and CD Baby.

Guitarist Rob Crow took the time to take our Sonic Kicks Q&A to give us a taste of some of the albums that have shaped his musical life.

Wahoo Ghost are Charli Rainford (vocals, guitar), Rob Crow (lead guitar), and Jarvis Woolley (percussion).

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The first album I bought.

The Goodies – Greatest Hits.

Well I was only nine, what did you expect, Iggy & The Stooges?

Black Angels

An album that soundtracked a relationship.

The Black Angels – Phosphene Dream.

I used to have a neighbour whose dog would howl every time I put this album on. As soon as the guitar riff in ‘Bad Vibrations’ started, that set him off, then he’d howl over the fence for the entire album. After a while we became friends. His name was Boris. Wait, you didn’t mean a romantic relationship did you?

Hawkwind

An album that inspired me to form a band.

Hawkwind – In Search of Space.

Space music doesn’t have to mean songs about other planets, but music that uses space – sparseness, atmosphere and strange whooshing effects, to take you to your own inner zone-out space. We try to create atmosphere and space in our music too. Have I used the word “space” enough yet?

The Fall

An album that reminds me of my high school years.

The Fall – This Nation’s Saving Grace.

I was the weirdo at school who didn’t really fit in. So I used to travel on the tube up to central London to see bands, to escape the humdrum suburban life. The Fall were one of the best. Sarcastic, angular, awkward and repetitive. A bit like me as a teenager.

Spiritualized

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

Spiritualized – Pure Phase.

Epic, soulful, emotional, soaring, beautiful. Spiritualized are another band who are masters of using space in their music. Some moments in this album feel like time is frozen, and you are transported to another world.

Kraftwerk

My favourite album cover art.

Kraftwerk – Computer World.

This album cover is what the future looked used to look like, in the past. Oh, and they also kickstarted the whole movement of electronic music. Geniuses.

 

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A guilty pleasure album.

A Flock of Seagulls – A Flock of Seagulls.

I don’t really feel guilty about any music that I genuinely like. But once you can get past the haircuts, this is actually a pretty good album. And now that 1982 is the new black, they’re kind of cool again, aren’t they?

Grouper

The last album I bought.

Grouper – Grid of Points.

This is the ultimate in atmospheric music, very introspective, reminiscent of early Portishead. Liz Harris’ voice is run through reverbs and delays, along with sparse instrumentation, creating dense layers of sound. Don’t put this on at a party.

Syntax Error

The next album I want to buy.

Syntax Error – Message.

You absolutely should put this on at a party. One of the best bands in Sydney right now. Hypnotic rhythms, swirling swooping space effects, and a theremin, the only instrument you play without actually touching it. 

 

NEW MUSIC: Glenn Echo – Overwhelm

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Glenn Echo is a musical project from Matt Gaydar out of Brooklyn, NY and we were instantly drawn into this track ‘Overwhelm’, with it’s warm and intimate sound. Really nice chord changes in the verses of the song as it gently weaves together its varied sonic elements. I like a track that knows its strengths and how to work with them and not try to build them into something that they’re not, or add extraneous parts to the music. This track builds but never outgrows it’s initial charm and attraction.

‘Overwhelm’ is the first release off an EP set to be released in 2019.

NEW MUSIC: Timothy Eerie – Transformation Of Things

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A suitably trippy clip for this psychedelic somnambulant space jam from Timothy Eerie. The group hail from Austin, TX and based on this track they’ve found a damn good angle on imbuing blissed out English psych and US West Coast sounds with a post-modern dream sheen.

For fans of Mac DeMarco, Chad Van Gaalen, early Pink Floyd, CAN and The Byrds

NEW MUSIC: Toy Savoy – Something New

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Fresh sounds out of Norway this morning with this sleepy psych trip from Toy Savoy. We’re keen to hear more from the quintet as the song fades out after three minutes, just as full immersion in their dreamy soundscapes takes hold.

Listening to some of their earlier material it seems they can take things up a notch into noisier shoegaze territory but ‘Something New’ excels in its restraint. With a loping mid-paced groove and spectral spaced-out vocal the song sits somewhere between Field Music, Radiohead and Tame Impala before they discovered disco-rock.

Their first EP will be released early May via Kraakeslottet Platekompagni.

NEW MUSIC: Japanese Television – Bloodworm

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Galloping ramalama psych rock hurtles straight out of the gates on this instrumental track from wild and eclectic London quartet Japanese Television. It’s like a manic sideshow ride with a streak of reverb-laden surf rock blasting out of battered amusement park speakers. The song careens along with patches of spiralling space rock sending bent organ notes exploding skyward. You think it’s over and it all kicks off again with a Krautrock urgency.

Head over to Spotify and you can also check out their 2016 self-titled EP.

‘Bloodworm’ was recorded in an old isolated village hall onto an 8 track tape by Kristian Bell of The Wytches who had set up the makeshift studio from scratch to manifest the live sound they were after. The band said; ‘’The track only had a working title when we started recording it, we’d played it out live for the first time the night before. The name comes from a book we found in a collection of second-hand novels in the corner of the village hall. The cover of the book has a giant worm wrapped around a ruined Big Ben, which seemed to fit pretty nicely with the mood we were trying to capture! Another weird fact is that a character in the book shares the name of our guitarist, Tim Jones. He is in the book for a single page, at which point he gets eaten by a Bloodworm.’’