AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE: The Bats – Gone To Ground

We’re excited to be premiering the brand new single/video from New Zealand legends The Bats. The track comes from their forthcoming album Foothills, out Nov 13th via Flying Nun Records.

There’s a warm and heavy-lidded dreamy quality to ‘Gone To Ground’, in large part courtesy of the use of EBow on the guitars and the way drummer Malcolm Grant gently propels the song along. A rich atmosphere pervades the song, perfectly capturing a wistful sense of retreat.

Robert Scott on ‘Gone To Ground’ — “Hide and seek, do we want to be found…. maybe not. Many people have gone to ground in these tricky times. A slight sense of unease pervades the song with the spooky strains of an E bow filtering through the trees. You could walk the marshes and go far. It’s funny how you can draw connections between a fictitious tales and present day life.”

The video clip was created by Sports Team and Annabel Kean has said on the ‘Gone To Ground’ video, “This is by far the longest we’ve spent on a video. We started about a year ago when we heard an early mix of the song, but the discovery of perpetual motion by way of spinning veges really opened a can of worms. Then it took us three attempts to pluck up the courage to light a guitar on fire.” Co-director Callum Devlin adds, “It was a total collaboration, and a very instinctive process. We wanted to try and capture what we felt listening to the song. There’s an uncertainty and a mystery to the lyrics that I feel lead us somewhere a bit more conceptual.”

Foothills is the band’s tenth album, on top of their many singles, EPs and compilation releases and over 35 years they’ve never put a foot wrong. The new album was recorded in Spring 2018 at a country retreat pop-up studio. At that time, 15 songs were captured and immortalised in the Canterbury foothills of the Southern Alps, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Only too well, The Bats know the possibilities, potentialities and sonic vistas that arise when one takes the reins for the recording process in a beautiful place that’s on home turf.

Robert Scott, on the making of Foothills has said “Time marches on… finally, we found a gap in our busy lives and chose a week to convene. We found a house that is usually inhabited by ski field workers — Kowai Bush, near Springfield about an hour west of Christchurch and of course nestled in the foothills of the mighty Southern Alps. The songs had been written, demo’d and arranged for some time, but still with a little room for trying things out in the studio. Many carloads arrived at the house, full of amps guitars and recording gear, we set up camp and soon made it feel like home; coloured lights, a log fire, and home cooked meals in the kitchen. We worked fast, and within a few days had all the basic backing tracks done, live together in one room, the way we like to do it – it’s all about ‘the feel’ for songs like ours.”

ALBUM REVIEW: Tropical Fuck Storm – A Laughing Death In Meat Space

TFS_ALDIMalbum_COVERMED

Gareth Liddiard has been the most important Australian songwriter of the last 15 years, certainly within the world of chart-swerving guitar music. His strengths lie in literary lyrical astuteness, willingness to explore the sprawl and corners of his songs and the raw, unhinged and visceral quality of his performances. The Drones always seemed like the cross between Neil Young, Dirty Three and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds but by the time they hit Feelin Kinda Free (2016) their restless inventiveness had branched out into new experimental territory, the precursor to Tropical Fuck Storm.

With new members around Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin, Tropical Fuck Storm have thrown away any rule book they may have had and taken an ‘anything goes’ approach, embracing dark electronic undercurrents, heavy funk and a wider palette of voices. Liddiard is verbose and incoherently eloquent as ever, this time railing against popular culture, the rise of intelligent machines, the despair of modern politics and the fear and paranoia of modern living with an apocalyptic backdrop. 

‘You Let My Tyres Down’ is pure Drones with it’s quiet/loud dynamic and beautifully weary chorus. ‘Shellfsh Toxin’ is an instrumental comprised of queasy unease, the title track is optimism short-lived, ‘Two Afternoons’ is a coruscating death disco and ‘Rubber Bullies’ suggests Liddiard has been immersing himself in Saharan desert rock. Tropical Fuck Storm are a glorious detour into deconstructed rock music, reflective of societal malaise and unafraid to tell it like it is. Qualities desperately needed in the current musical climate.

Chris Familton

TOUR NEWS: The Field Announces 2015 Australian Tour

the-field

Axel Willner aka The Field is heading our way for a run of shows this October courtesy of Mistletone. One of our favourite electronic artists who has released a run of superb albums (Cupid’s HeadLooping State of Mind, From Here We Go Sublime and Yesterday And Today), EPs and remixes all with his signature mix of drone and hypnotic loops. Melancholic euphoria!

THE FIELD TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22 @ Goodgod w/- Barker (Ostgut Ton / Leisure System – Berlin) + Noise In My Head (DJ sets). Early bird tickets on sale now from Moshtix. Presented by 2ser.
  • MELBOURNE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23 @ Melbourne Festival Hub, doors open 11pm. Tickets + more information here.
  • PERTH: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24 @ Jimmy’s Den w/- Barker (Ostgut Ton / Leisure System – Berlin) (DJ set) + Basic Mind. Co-presented by Camp Doogs. Tickets on sale now from Ticketbooth.

the-field-poster-724x1024