Duluth Minnesota’s Low return with their first new release since the overwhelming sonic experience that was their last album Double Negative. From the opening harmonies of ‘Days Like These’ to the stark mirroring guitar chords and the fractured static and alien vocal effect, it’s clear they’re continuing to push the boundaries of song and sound on this new track, taken from the forthcoming BJ Burton-produced new LP Hey What, out Sept 10th via Sub Pop.
This is Last Wars‘ take on the Flipper single ‘Get Away’, from the late 70s. I dig the way the different tracks and layers operate in their own segregated corners of the song. Primitive bass grooving away while synths cycle around, getting progressively weirder and wonkier with each digressive spin. The drums sound like they’re lifted from a Sisters Of Mercy practice session while the vocal hits similar goth territory. It’s lo-fi NJ/Philly weirdo post punk and it sticks like glue.
‘Get Away’ is out now on Bandcamp and streaming services and looks to be the latest in a run of singles from the group.
The drama is high on this recent single from Melbourne artist Cong Josie. It sways, pulses and seduces like the love child of Suicide and early primitive Depeche Mode. That said, there’s a lushness to the sound. Tropical funk in a woozy state of sunstroke or The Cramps sipping piña colada’s poolside.
Cong Josie is Nic Oogjes, best known as the bandleader of heat beat ensemble NO ZU. While Cong Josie is ostensibly a solo project, Nicolaas has enlisted talented friends to contribute both to the recording and production of the album and as a live band. Cayn Borthwick (or, Cong Josie non-de plume, Johnny Cayn) also from NO ZU provides the most significant contributions performing the majority of the tonal instrumentation (Nicolaas programs the rhythms and some basslines) and support. Kate Bishop, Margarita Strateas, Cassandra Kiely (CJ band name, Cassandra Capri) of Pearls fame and Simone Page-Jones (Mona Rêves), the triple-threat star of the Dark MoFo school of alt cabaret performers all perform backing vocals. Finally, Simone Galassi (Italy) also contributed from afar to add sharp, reverb-drenched, and almost-crying guitar on two tracks.
There’s a debut solo album on the way via IT Records.
Dunedin, New Zealand group Negative Nancies have released the song ‘Monkey Chest’, a discordant, deconstructed art-punk sound that grinds and crawls in a collision of Suicide, queasy Lynchian discomfort and no wave Sonic Youth yelps and chants.
The band’s strangely intoxicating sound is manfested on their new album HEATWAVE, out now via the Fishrider Records label and in their own words it “sounds like it was recorded in a concrete basement with power cords running through puddles of water, everything crackling with live arcing electricity and a sense of impending danger.”
Negative Nancies are Tess Mackay – Casio keyboard, vocals, Emilie Smith – Drums, vocals, Mick Elborado – Guitar, vocals.
Taken from his March EP Spack in the Box Allstars vol. 1, ‘Autumn Leaf’ is Cederick Knox‘s nod to the common jazz standard ‘Autumn Leaves’ – often used as an early track in learning jazz improvisation.
Cederick Knox is a Brighton, UK based producer/composer and co-founder of the Ceremonial Laptop experimental music night and label. For this project he brought together members of Squid, Pelican Man and ‘Spack in the Box’ a YouTube drummer and TikTok star with cerebral palsy.
It’s an intoxicating sound. Both calming and hypnotic while at the same time inducing a subtle sense of dread and psychic disorientation. They describe the music as nodding to 70s psychedelic jazz and downtempo electronica, evoking a kind of paranoiac lounge muzak. There are distorted hauntological echoes and fake memories of jazz clubs, late 90s chillout rooms, and catwalk electronica as if filtered through the postwar European Avant-Garde.
Following the release of his first single for 2021, ‘Here It Is’, Perth-based New Zealand singer-songwriter Damien Binder releases its follow-up ‘Everything But’.
The new single ‘Everything But‘ continues Damien’s exploration of a new stylistic direction. He’s taken his proven credentials as a consummate songwriter and married them with the acclaimed production nous of Matt Gio (Katy Steele, Birds of Tokyo, Abbey May, Rudimental). The melodies sound even sweeter, the songs more poetic and the overall sound is one that defies categorisation by way of its universality.
Both of Damien’s new singles are the first taste of his fifth solo album currently in production with Gio. It’s been five years since Damien released his last album, the critically acclaimed A New World – years in which he relocated from Sydney to Perth, refocused on his songwriting craft and has now returned with renewed intent and exemplary songs.
As Damien explains, as “Everything But’ started to take shape in the studio it was the instrumentation that shaped the sound and feel of the final recording. “When we started out building the track Matt got this drum and keyboard feel going which reminded me a little of some parts of ‘Tunnel of Love’ (Springsteen) – Not a bad thing I thought!”
On the surface the track emanates a warm glow, the perfect counterpoint to the gentle sway of acoustic guitar and the clipped accents of an electric guitar.
The sound the pair conjured up is one that perfectly reflects the idea and sentiment behind the song. “We decided to follow that vibe keeping it spare but atmospheric and driving forward. Originally while writing this I was looking back a bit at the path that brought me to this point in the last 5 years, about the idea of growth & independence and one’s intuition, of learning to listen to and trust it,” Damien reveals. “I wanted to try and capture the mood of that journey while still looking forward.”
The feel of ‘Everything But’ is one of classic melancholic indie rock as Damien reflects on his personal journey while casting his eyes to the horizon. The War On Drugs, The Police, Neil Finn and widescreen 80s pop are all sonic and stylistic touchstones on this evocative new single from an artist who continues to explore and develop his world-class songwriting craft.
As Ant Rosen explains, the whole creative process of putting together the clip, was a highly rewarding experience. “Working on the video for ‘Welcome To The Ages’ was a really cool process. Eleanor & Giovanni work out of their home studio space in Canberra and I was drawn to their style after seeing some of the projects they had worked on. We met a bunch of times over Zoom (as you do in this day and age) to discuss the song and the feelings it evokes, which lead to ideas for the video. We came up with the idea where the main character falls into a bit of a time vortex, exploring things from his past and travelling through time before he needs to get back to where he started from. It’s a bit abstract and dreamlike, and even though it’s animated, I feel there is real life and emotion that comes through in the video. It’s a fun clip too, I reckon it looks unreal!”
“I don’t even know what’s right, and I can’t get to sleep at night, just take me back to where we were before,” sings Rosen through the chorus, an exceptionally relatable refrain in 2021. However, when those words arrive on ‘Welcome To The Ages,’ they seem to be delivered from that world of love, rather than the world of fear.
“All the songs are personal in their own way,” admits Rosen, “but a song like ‘Welcome To The Ages’ in particular is one which is quite reflective for me. Even more so now after such big personal life changes for me coupled with what we’ve all collectively gone through recently with the global pandemic. I hope that sentiment resonates through.”Arriving with the warm immediacy of power pop, swaddled in layers of guitar reverb and subtle harmonies, ‘Welcome To The Ages’ possesses that same sense of awe that drifted through so much of the triumphant rock and roll that emerged at the turn of the century. Indeed, Anatomy Class has always worn its ’80s and ’90s influences on its proverbial sleeves – from the classic sounds of Lemonheads, Swervedriver an Pixies – through to the more modern day acts like Doves, The War On Drugs and DIIV.For Anatomy Class, it’s an exciting return with what they see as just the first taste of what quite possibly is some of the best music of their career. “I feel these are our strongest collection of songs yet,” says Rosen. “After years playing together, particularly for Nick and I, the song-writing process felt a lot more intuitive and focused on what the Anatomy Class sound is all about.”
Tearjerker recently released this video clip for their new single ‘Deep End’, a dreamy, drifting slice of indie guitar rock that impresses with its slow-motion, heavy-lidded sound. Guitar notes unfurl and dissolve over the metronomically simple yet effective drumming and cyclical rhythmic quality of the song.
Things take a beautifully hypnotic and immersive turn as the song fades from view in an ether of ambience and soft bed of field recordings.
Deep End is the title track for the Toronto, Canada trio’s new EP which is out now.