Sydney musician Tom Crandles, better known as Prudence has a brand new four song 7″ Untitled EP out today (May 14th) via Endless Recordings. Featuring the tracks ‘Celestial’, ‘Chlorine’, ‘Better’ and ‘Relief’, it showcases the lush and baroque avant-pop that Crandles has been developing across a handful of tracks and an EP over the last few years.
We’re very pleased to premiere the video for ‘Better’ here on DS today. On the song, and the wider EP, Prudence filters the sound of David Sylvian, Talk Talk and numerous other auteurs of forward thinking art-pop into his own sound. Melodies run strongly through the bass guitar while tones and textures drift and blur across the speakers. It’s a beguiling mix of ornate and intimate songwriting with sonic obfuscation and a dreamy, narcotic-infused atmosphere – with Crandles’ voice leading you into the ether with quiet drama.
Director McLean Stevenson says of the clip for ‘Better’, “We shot this in Tom’s late grandparent’s abandoned, half burnt down home a few weeks after Tom met Dom (the actor) in hospital. It was shot on a 2017 Chinese manufactured Android device.”
From a wholly solo project for Crandles, Prudence has developed into a full live band with pianist Aleesha Dibbs, bassist Kat Harley and drummer Liam Hoskins.
Untitled is available to order digitally and on 7″ via Bandcamp and on the usual streaming services.
‘Dark Too Long’ is a song that Swansea, UK band Bandicoot describe as a “frenzied cry of desperation from the depths of excess and loneliness, influenced by the driving rhythms of NEU! and Can.” After the initial ambient drift of the intro, it tumbles along in synchronous perpetual motion. There’s the unhinged end of the Radiohead spectrum in play here, as much as a swaggering art pop aesthetic in the production and precision of it all.
They’ve since released another new single Fuzzy which heads in a fun glam direction and which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Supergrass record.
This recently released track from Lu (a Colombia born drummer and electronic musician based in Philadelphia, PA) hits a fine line in dark Krautrock-flavoured electronic music. Heavily rhythmic and propulsive it gathers momentum and heads for the stratosphere on a psychedelic lunar mission.
UK avant post-punk group Squid have released another single from their forthcoming new LP Bright Green Field, out May 7th on Warp Records.
“Written from two different perspectives, Paddling is a song about the dichotomy between simple pleasures and decadent consumerism. Recounting a familiar scene from Wind & The Willows, the song reminds us that although we are humans, we are also ultimately animals that are driven by both modern and primal instincts and how that has led to vanity and machismo around us in the everyday.”
“We started writing it when we were but kids still living in Brighton. Last summer we really got into playing this together again. Straight away we started to work the tune into new places whilst we were writing at the Old Road in Chippenham, the track became an important part of Bright Green Field for us. Recording Paddling was great, it was quite hot so naturally the tempo was upped a fair bit too. Dan Carey’s modular synthesizer is definitely the 6th band member in this one, turning Louis & Anton’s guitars into racecars from about the 5 minute mark.”
Formed in Brighton, Squid is the brainchild of Louis Borlase (Guitars & Vocals), Ollie Judge (Drums & Lead Vocals), Arthur Leadbetter (Keyboards, Strings, Percussion), Laurie Nankivell (Bass & Brass) and Anton Pearson (Guitars & Vocals).
Perth, WA quintet Mt. Mountain released their new album Centre last week and earlier this year this great clip for the record’s second single ‘Peregrination’ was posted on YouTube. It shows the slow-build mastery of dynamics and interplay that the band have built into their music. Elements of post-rock, stoner, psych, Krautrock and more. They all intertwine and combine to form a wonderfully immersive and hypnotic listening experience where the power comes from the metronomic groove, not needing to hit a multi-pedal crescendo – but knowing they can if they want.
They say of the song: “‘Peregrination’ is a classic example of how we write together. Songs like this one generally start off as a ‘jam song’ that evolves slowly over months of playing with no real direction in place until it finds its own structure. At the end of recording, the path to get there has been stretched so long that there is barely any recollection of how the song came into existence in the first place.”
Mt. Mountain is Stephen Bailey (vocals/organ/flute), Thomas Cahill (drums), Glenn Palmer (guitar/synth), Brendan Shanley (bass), and Derrick Treatch (guitar). Centre is the band’s fourth album.
Ahead of the release of the new self-titled album tomorrow, we’re pleased to premiere the video clip for Balcony’s Paradise single ‘Outta My Way’. Featuring a German (Lorenz O’tool) and an Australian (Jeremy Tayler), the duo set up on a balcony in Victoria, looking towards Tasmania and captured their shared experiences on 4 track.
‘Outta My Way’ reminds me of Darcy Clay, the much missed Auckland, NZ songwriter. It’s lo-fi and woolly, gloriously ragged around the edges, grizzled and bleary eyed but still rhythmically right in the pocket. It squints and nods with a homespun and organic feel. A sweetly infectious and dusty pop song.
The album features covers of songs by TheBeatles, Toots and the Maytals, Townes Van Zandt, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash – all given the laidback balcony treatment, with minimum overdubs. “We didn’t do many overdubs, just some piano, solos and backups. One day we visited Jeremy’s mother in Melbourne – a classical violinist – and overpowered her with a one take,” says Lorenz.
As the band say… “Don’t be thrown off by the noise of birds, mates dropping in, conversations, landcruisers and mowers. Just let it in and surrender to the mood!”
‘Trick of The Light’, the second of his studio collaborations with multi ARIA and APRA award-winning Australian songwriter Josh Pyke, also sees Estepa working again with director Nicholas Banicevic (assisted by Martin Greguric) to create some swirling, psychedelic imagery to perfectly accompany the song.
Estepa has always had an undeniable ear for hooks. Combined with classic pop and rock arrangements, (like his heroes You Am I, The Beatles and Wilco) his songs always possess a timeless quality. He’s proved it over and over again across six acclaimed albums and live shows in Australia, Japan, the USA, UK, Spain, Sweden and the Philippines.
On ‘Trick of the Light’, Estepa combines heavenly melodies and a melancholic air on this irresistible slice of indie guitar pop, singing about acceptance, letting go and allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that comes out while you’re treading new waters.
As always with his songwriting, there are layered, poetic brushstrokes in the way Estepa blends and informs his songs with multiple meanings, as he explains. “I like the idea that the presence of light does not necessarily signal happiness or life but can also mean that emotions and perception can be blurred by its appearance.”
Sonically, there’s a beautiful weightlessness to the production and instrumentation that gracefully carries the song. Guitars sparkle and lightly jangle amid some sublime piano, backing vocals and percussive elements that add unique detailing to the melodic richness of the track. Alongside the studio smarts of Pyke, it amounts to yet another sublime example of classic contemporary songwriting from Estepa.
“Bryan’s sense of melody is really strong which informs everything in his songs. His lyrics are really authentic and heartfelt and for me that’s the key of a good song. From there it’s a matter of pushing the boundaries of what the arrangement and sonics can be, to tell those stories.” – Josh Pyke
Working with Josh Pyke, Estepa was impressed with the producer’s instinct and ability to enhance the inherent strengths of Estepa’s songs. “It’s exciting watching Josh work! You sense that his creative light is always on and he needs to get his ideas out quickly before it starts to flicker. He takes on what I think the song’s direction might be but adds a couple of detours that are normally right on the money.”
Pyke is quick to reciprocate the praise. “Bryan’s a great writer and collaborator. He’s got a classic pop sensibility but is really open to feedback and experimentation which made my job as producer really fun and free.”
“In the end, I just really want people to hum my tunes and connect with them in some way,” says Estepa enthusiastically.
Cederick Knox hits cosmic mystery mode on this new track ‘Back In The Box’. There’s a shadowy creep to the sound he’s created. Part jazz, part avant-experimentalism, initial drum tracks were recorded with cerebral palsy drummer ’Spack in the Box’, on top of which a series of players (including members of Squid and Pelican Man) were invited to improvise. These recordings were then used as raw material for the project.
You can hear the collaborative process at work, elements feeding off each other, sometimes in harmony, sometime in contrast. The end effect is a hypnotic and transfixing one that pulls the listener in, draws the curtains and frees the mind.