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: body / negative – Figure 8

Figure 8 is a haunting and dream-like piece of instrumental ambient composition from 22 year old queer, nonbinary ambient artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Andy Schiaffino from Los Angeles.

There’s a David Lynch, otherworldly atmosphere to both the music and the video clip – like a ghostly ballroom soliloquy from a bygone era. The song is a cover of a cover — originally a children’s song on the educational cartoon ‘Schoolhouse Rock’, popularised by Elliott Smith’s cover of it on his Figure 8 LP. Here it’s given a similar treatment to artists such as The Caretaker and William Basinski.

The song appears on body / negative’s new album Fragments due October 23rd on LA label Track Number Records.

NEW MUSIC: Wax Chattels – Cede

PHOTO CREDIT: Ebru Yildiz

The Aotearoa/New Zealand trio Wax Chattels release the final single from their new album Clot, out September 25 via Flying Nun and Captured Tracks.

The vitriolic choruses of ‘Cede’ are in Amanda Cheng’s (bass/vocals) native language — Taiwanese Hokkien — and are an indignant confrontation about Cross-Strait relations and self-determination.

Amanda Cheng on ‘Cede’ — “I am angry. Saying “you don’t know who I am” in Taiwanese Hokkien is to say “you don’t get to tell me who I am”. You don’t just scream like this to put on an album — you scream like this because it’s the only thing you can do.

This song is an affront to the near-silent cultural genocide that’s taking place — the censorship, the militant threats — and the international community’s insistence on practicing diplomacy with economics at the front of mind. If it takes a loud song that’s half in an unfamiliar language for people to ask, “what’s that about?”, then so be it.”
 

Amanda Cheng on the video for ‘Cede‘ below — “I set out to make a video that was unenjoyable to watch; unhinging a domestic, ‘safe’ setting. To contrast the blunt lyrics, the thematic statements in the video are more subtle — there’s a geopolitical narrative there, but you’ll miss it.”

The video was directed by Amanda, with the helping hands of Annabel Kean and Callum Devlin of Sports Team.

PRE-ORDER AND SAVE CLOT

NEW MUSIC: Boy Pablo – Honey + Rest Up

Last month, Norwegian pop-wunderkind Boy Pablo released ‘Honey‘, the second single from his forthcoming new album Wachito Rico (out Oct 23rd).

The stylised video for ‘Honey’ continues the story of his romantic adventures with girlfriend Sofia who heads to Antwerp to continue horticulture studies, as well as his ongoing rivalry with arch-nemesis Nacho. The videos feature narration by Tiger King star Rick Kirkham.

He’s also just dropped the brand new single ‘Rest Up‘, yet another hyper-melodic ear worm of a track that sounds like the lovechild of Beck, Phoenix and Mac DeMarco.

NEW MUSIC: Tristan Welch – Asset / Defect

Tristan Welch‘s track starts with a keening, searching feel. Slow vaporous tendrils reaching up and out into the aether. There’s an insistent quality to ‘Asset / Defect‘ but one that takes the uplifting route rather than a dark and foreboding path. As time ticks by, the sonic layers deepen and widen, with a dawning quality – the first rays rising slowly from the horizon.

Gradually the celestial peak is reached before Tristan retreats from the digital waves and a more tentative place of solitude takes centre-stage. Across 11 minutes he achieves what the best ambient and drone music does – take the listener on a journey, drawing them into a certain headspace.

Tristan Welch is a musician, artist and activist based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. His focus is creating soundscapes via electric guitar, treated with electronics and loops that are drenched in reverb, delay, and distortion. He likes to call his compositions; heavy ambient movements.

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: Buddy Glass – If You Sail Out (feat. Rhiannon Back)

A steady chiming guitar sets the scene before Rhiannon Back’s (The Gaze) hypnotic and melodic incantations enter the fray on Sydney songwriter and Peabody frontman Buddy Glass‘ new single, the second taste of his forthcoming album Wow & Flutter.

As a primitive Mo Tucker-indebted percussion joins the procession, there’s a clear nod to the Velvet Underground and their droning pop nuggets. While Glass’ first single ‘Wasted Habit‘ was a frantic, frayed-nerve dispatch, ‘If You Sail Out‘ is all about a controlled and dreamy mood amid questions of context and perspective on one’s life.

“If you sail out past this story, you’ll see your life in all its glory. If you sail out into the darkness, you’ll see your life in all its starkness.”

NEW MUSIC: Andy Bell (Ride) Releases Single From Debut Solo LP

Andy Bell hasn’t let a pandemic slow him down, after a productive few years with a resurrected RIDE. ‘Love Comes In Waves’ is the excellent first taste of his debut solo album The View From Halfway Down, due out on October 9th via Sonic Cathedral.

Pre-order on Bandcamp

The View From Halfway Down:

1 Love Comes in Waves
2 Indica
3 Ghost Tones
4 Skywalker
5 Aubrey Drylands Gladwell
6 Cherry Cola
7 I Was Alone
8 Heat Haze on Weyland Road