NEW MUSIC: Milly – Talking Secret

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Some woozy, slow moving shoegaze sounds for you today. ‘Talking Secret’ is a new track from Milly, a Los Angeles band fronted by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brendan Dyer. The song blends UK and US styles really nicely. There are echoes of post rock and grunge in the mix. I guess a band that you could draw some parallels with would be Swervedriver and the way both acts combine texture and rock.

EXCLUSIVE ALBUM STREAM: Fleeting Persuasion – Forever Caught

 

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We’re very pleased to be able to premiere a stream of the brand new album from Fleeting Persuasion, the latest nom de plume of Melbourne songwriter James Spencer Harrison. He’s previously released music under the name J M S Harrison but now, with a richer and denser full band sound on Forever Caught he’s launched it under Fleeting Persuasion.

Sonically persuading it is too, with echoes of The Cure, tightly woven post-rock and Australian acts such as Bluebottle Kiss filtered through Harrison’s own brand of heart-on-sleeve melancholia. It’s indie rock but the kind that resides in the shadows, always carving out new angles and creating interesting dynamics. Whether it’s the chiming sounds and clever shapes of ‘Written Out’, ‘Set Afoot’s urgent, aching melodies or ‘Make Plans’ which recalls the dark rock of Afghan Whigs, there’s plenty to explore and go deep with on this strong new iteration of Harrison’s music.

TOUR DATES:

Sept 7th – Labour In Vain, Fitzroy VIC with Del Boca Vista
Oct 18th – Botany View Hotel, Newtown NSW with Donna Amini and Foxlore
Oct 19th – Gasoline Pony, Marrickville NSW with Buddy Glass and The Finalists

NEW MUSIC: Waldo’s Gift – Kaleidoscope

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Here’s some wild and freakish playing and composition from UK trio Waldo’s Gift. Jazz, post rock, avant prog and more combine on this fluttering, frenetic, precise yet freeing instrumental track that features an equally compelling video clip by Waveform Media. This beast grows and mutates, centred around that incessant metronomically pummelling rhythm. Hypnotic and thrilling stuff!

Their debut album ‘Improvisations’, released May 10th consists entirely of music composed on the fly, performed live at The Gallimaufry in Bristol on December 19th 2018. The album art was also created in the moment by artist Holysseus Fly. Speaking on the release the band share “We love playing improvised music together. It really is so cathartic to just play. To express your emotions in that moment. This album honestly captures that process, the three of us expressing. No overdubs or edits. We simply chose our favourite compositions from the performance as a whole. Having Holysseus Fly creating the artwork at the same time ties it all together.”

NEW MUSIC: Mazoulew – Shogun

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For fans of Four Tet, dub techno, Burial, Photek

These days our electronic music tastes veer towards the avant garde, experimental, dark and ambient end of the spectrum. This recent release from UK producer Mazoulew hits the spot, nimbly managing to combine a four to the floor rhythm with some sci-fi programming and textures that conjure up late-night, streetlight-lit city streets. It’s alive and vibrant but definitely on the darker tip.

Head over to his Spotify page to hear a couple of other recent singles that show the range of his work.

NEW MUSIC: Johnny Conqueroo – Rock and Roll

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Struttin’, shimmering, hard-hitting, vocal shredding, pouting, soulful rama-lama rock ‘n’ roll of the highest form is the order of the day on this track from Johnny Conqueroo (a Lexington, KY trio). Riff rock, MC5-styled shakedown, funk and groove-laden garage rock are all thrown in the musical blender. There’s nothing intellectual about this, there doesn’t need to be. It’s ROCK AND ROLL.

Johnny Conqueroo have a new upcoming EP, Taking it Easy.

NEW MUSIC: Reunion Island – Erasto Dream

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Texans Reunion Island (now based in Brooklyn and Dallas) deliver a finely tuned and sparkling synth swathe on this track of instrumental electronica, recorded at Soma Studios with John McEntire (Tortoise), who also contributed drums to the album the song comes from – Collapse.  There’s a Krautrock and kosmiche vibe to the song with it’s metronomic rhythm but over the top of that digital sounds spark and scatter across the stereo spectrum, giving life and perpetual motion to the track.

Reunion Island is Ashley Cromeens, Matt Leer, and Brad Loving.

ALBUM REVIEW: Aldous Harding – Designer

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Aldous Harding
Designer
4Ad / Remote Control

Aldous Harding’s artistic trajectory continues to billow skyward on her third album, the second produced by John Parish for the 4AD label. Long gone is the stark and fragile folk of her debut, though it still lurks under the surface of what is now lush and detailed avant chanteuse pop music.

The quirkiness of Harding’s vocal delivery has always been debated but it is a crucial component of what makes her music so compelling. She’s dialled it back on this album, ironing out some of the quirks and as a result the overall impact of this record feels slightly diluted. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of highlights. Early on, the title track is a light tripping affair with a brief chorus that dismantles the flow and gentle funk feel (reminiscent of Devendra Banhart) before it resumes for a summery run to the end of a song that seems to question the retention and spark of creativity. 

Baroque psych folk sounds enhance much of the record and come courtesy of woodwind instruments on songs such as ‘Zoo Eyes’ while ‘Treasure’ draws Harding’s vocals to the foreground. It’s good to see that the focus remains on Harding and her voice and that any temptation to make thing bigger and busier have, for the most part, been resisted.

First single ‘The Barrel’ is prime Harding with its almost hip hop backbeat over a brass sounding instrument and piano, which features widely across Designer. The song deals in issues of conformity, settling down and having parameters placed on one’s situation. Much of the album seems to one of questioning and doubt, looking for a strong moral compass to guide one through the vagaries and vulnerabilities of life. “I don’t know how to behave” Harding sings on the exquisite closer ‘Pilot’. Riding on a Tears For Fears melody and a bare piano she intones her concerns and fears. It may be decorated in almost theatrical avant-folk details but it’s a remarkably bold statement to end another strong and intriguing album from the New Zealand songwriter.

Chris Familton