NEW MUSIC: Slowcoaching – Between The Walls

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Here’s a nice new slice of sophisticated indie guitar pop out of Melbourne, Australia. Slowcoaching (the project of Dean Valentino) have a touch of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever in their music through they mix it up with a sun-kissed and prettier melodic approach. This track sparkles and shines quite wonderfully and it follows their 2017 debut EP.

 

NEW MUSIC: Bollard – TSINA

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‘TSINA’ has an unsettling start, it feels off kilter and slightly disorientating. Then things fall into place as guitars drench the song in warm and fuzzy distortion. There’s a really nice blend of styles going on in Bollard’s music. Part, jangly rock, part post-rock and post-punk deconstruction and the verve and carefree noise of 90s rock pioneered by bands like Swervedriver and Sonic Youth.

The song follows their 2018 LP Trawlers and is set to appear on a new forthcoming EP.

Gathered round the soft light of the screen,

Talk until words such as these,

Leave no mark on the places they have gone,

In the darkness there remains a light on,

In a downtown apartment, in the coolest of scenes, where each morning they tell you what they saw in their dreams.

And all around you thoughts are endless, just as you speak they leave. Til it all just crumbles away

I’ll tell you something – they don’t know what it’s like. Come to think nor do I!

I answer your strange fascination for where the virtue goes with a smile for I don’t know.

Our desires they are twisted and they unwind in the breeze. It’s all just plastic you can shape it as you please.

Whenever I come round and no-ones there,

I wonder ‘why did evan dando cut his hair’?

In a downtown apartment, in the coolest of scenes, where each day is a reminder of what you could have been.

And it hangs around your neck, and in the doorways and in the things they just won’t say.

I’ll tell you something – they don’t know what it’s like. Come to think nor do I!

I answer your strange fascination for where the virtue goes with a smile for I don’t know.

And I’m looking out the curtain as I star across, they’ll never know. From the garden I peer into their vacant home.

A crowd is gathering up this road. It is nothing, it is nothing, it is just and empty sack of blood and bones.

NEW MUSIC: Mantell – Can I Set It Right

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Last year we posted Mantell‘s single ‘Lulu’ and now they’ve gone and upped the ante with this excellent new single ‘Can I Set It Right’. The tempo is brisk and breezy with cascading guitar melodies over a lazy and choppy Strokes-ish rhythm. The chorus is totally theirs even if it sounds like one of those eternally familiar, catchy indie rock refrains. Since their last single they’ve expanded to a five-piece and it’s served them well.

NEW MUSIC: Hercules & The Bricks – Gena Rowlands

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This track (named after the American actress Gena Rowlands) by Melbourne group Hercules & The Bricks, snuck up on us and burrowed into our synapses over the last week or two. There’s a post-punk cabaret vibe, a dramatic noir aesthetic that gives the song a timeless feel. It could have come out of the 80s art-pop underground yet it draws a line right through Melbourne bedsits across the decades, right up to the knowing styles of Jack Ladder and Alex Cameron. Get lost with The Bricks.

NEW MUSIC: Diana Radar – Growing

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A new track and clip from Melbourne quartet Diana Radar. ‘Growing’ is their third single this year, taken from an upcoming LP or EP from recording sessions engineered by Lachlan Wooden (Primary Colours, Archie Roach), and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring). ‘Growing’ is a tumbling cache of sparkling and jangling guitars and melodically rolling bass. It has that New Order, Smiths kind of vibe, definitely placed in an Anglophile 80s world but also in the same orbit as Real Estate.

 

NEW MUSIC: Mantell – Lulu

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Mantell are an Australian quartet hailing from the suburbs of Melbourne and ‘Lulu’ is a track lifted from their EP thirty two which comes out tomorrow (October 5th). From the sound of this song they’ve got a firm handle on big emotive indie rock. The key aspect of this track that appeals to us is the restraint they show in not taking the song over the top into bombast. Over a rolling primitive rhythm and strong vocal they let the guitars swell and gracefully erupt in the back part of the song to great effect.

NEW MUSIC: Mylk – Your Name

 

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Melbourne alt-rock quartet Mylk released a two track EP Full Cream earlier this year and below you can check out ‘Your Name’. It’s a curious song in that it begins sounding like a Talking Heads/Vampire Weekend/Strokes-sounding slice of clever indie guitar pop before it takes flight like a lit firecracker and morphs into a bratty grunge sound. The quiet/loud dynamic works well, balancing the quirky verses with the roaring teen-styled rage of the chorus. It all amounts to a fine piece of songwriting juxtaposition.

 

 

INTERVIEW: Harmony

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THE HAZARDOUS TERRAIN OF LOVE

It’s been four years between albums for Melbourne’s Harmony, with members focusing on other projects and babies entering the frame. As Tom Lyngcoln explains to Chris Familton, this time around there were changes in both the recorded sound of Double Negative and the way he approached the writing of its songs.

“Alex [Lyngcoln, drummer] and I had a baby daughter in that time so that’s where the majority of our energy has been placed,” explains Lyngcoln, as he reflects on the years since the band’s last album, Carpetbombing, was released. Away from Harmony, Lyngcoln is also at the core of The Nation Blue and recently made his first foray into releasing solo albums, while other members, such as Erica Dunn (Tropical Fuck Storm), have multiple extra curricular activities. “It’s an allocation of time for things,” Lyngcoln explains. “The band was dormant after we did a couple of tours. Everyone has been really busy with other things and Harmony has just been sitting there. It’s nice to put it back together.”

After the confessional, angst-ridden content of Harmony’s previous releases, Lyngcoln felt compelled to approach Double Negative from a new perspective and, as stated in the album’s title, he used a technique that incorporated the style of his earlier writing and cleverly reconfigured it towards a more positive outlook. “I just wanted to flip it and sing about something else. With the birth of a child you really struggle to continue putting a lot of negativity out into the world. I just found it wasn’t helping my depression and mental wellbeing singing about negative shit, so I decided to write about something more positive,” he explains. “That’s really hard to do, it’s so much easier to hide behind self-deprecation and much easier to mope than it is to celebrate. Wallowing in the crucible of grief was just something I couldn’t do for another record so we changed our focus to try and write about love, which is one of the most hazardous terrains you can enter into as a songwriter. It’s been responsible for some of the greatest music of our time and also the vast majority of the worst,” he grimaces.

“I worked my way in to it by trying to employ negative language. I looked at it through descriptors of negative things such as war. Taking the same kind of lexicon that I’ve used in the past but try to print it in double negative and apply it in a positive way. When I write a chord progression it always tends to revert to the same tricks and my vocabulary is limited to a certain amount of words that slide together. I wanted to try and refine them and use them differently.”

Previous Harmony albums have had a dense, lo-fi quality to them, and though it suited Lyngcoln’s throat-shredding howls, it often obscured the songs and lacked the warmth and nuance that Amanda Roff, Quinn Veldhuishe and Erica Dunn’s lush vocal harmonies called for. This time they worked with producer Mike Deslandes and recorded in a group environment at Kyneton Mechanics Hall. 

“It was recorded much in the same way as the two last The Nation Blue records. Mike has an amazing mobile studio and so we went to the same hall because it is suited to Harmony a lot more. I’d wanted to do it there for a long time. Mike recorded it and as I was recovering from wrist surgery and a hernia, I had a solid eight weeks to mix it over summer and obsess and fall in and out of love with it. I’m happy with it, it’s the best thing I’ve done recording-wise,” he proudly states. “The other records have been pieced together. This was the band playing in a room live and then each night the girls would come in and record their vocals live. They were long days. Mike would clock off recording the band and then I’d jump in the seat and start recording the girls until 2am. There are vocal takes where I’ve nodded off and they were trying to wake me up. It was probably a bit ambitious,” laughs Lyngcoln.

That ambition has resulted in by far and away the band’s best work and with Lyngcoln and family relocating to Greece for a year in 2019, fans would be well served to catch them on their upcoming tour, before temporary hibernation again beckons.