TUESDAY EDITORIAL – the evolution of HEAVY AND WEIRD

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When I started Heavy and Weird my aim was to essentially just get more involved with the local music scene I loved so much. I never had any goals to go larger or be of any significance to those around me. I just wanted to write about music and in the process give people a glimpse of all that is wonderful about the local scenes of not just Australia but the world. Somewhere along the way people started taking me seriously and actually cared about what I thought and the overwhelming amount of music sent to me for review purposes is both humbling and a little scary. It made sense for me to balance my life as a music critic with my life as an artist because to me it is all the same thing and instead of making excuses for one over the other, I figured I’d just let the planets collide and do both at once.

So, after spending the past decade being an underground music world champion I have finally jumped from artist to entrepreneur and I’m proud to announce the launch of my record label “HEAVY AND WEIRD RECORDS” – I made a decision to expand the Heavy and Weird universe to go just beyond being another music blog.

I’ve long been a fan of artists who no one cares about, the kind of artist who doesn’t care about the pulse of what is popular and what will make money or get played on the radio. Considering the music industry has ceased to invest in forward thinking artists I wanted to do what I could in my corner of the world to collect and release the music I believe is helping to progress and advance the very idea of what music is and should be. A lot of the artists we’ll start working with are Brisbane based but I’m not seeing Heavy and Weird Records as a “Brisbane Thing” because that is way too limiting for me. I want to give a voice and do what I can from a business point for artists all over the world.

Although a lot of our artists would be deemed as experimental and within the avant garde terrain, the aim with Heavy and Weird Records is not to limit ourselves to simply one niche sound or idea. The purpose of our journey is to simply release the music that people don’t care about and to champion the kind of artist who understands what it truly means to be a counter-culture within the current landscape.

The 2015 release schedule will include the fourth album from Death Pop pioneers Galapogos aka my band, the second full length album from noise pop rock humans Thirteen Seventy, “Bitter Dream”, full length albums from Avant Garde Percussionists Macca Dickorice and Chip McNeily and their band Chip and Macca play The Hits, full length albums from metal band Beach Massacre Circa 1885, the debut Australian release of Italian Noise Composer Giovanni Zorzan’s latest opus “David In The Echo Machine”, the debut Australian release of Thomas Pang’s long out of print avant-garde masterpiece “Food We Ate Indoors” along with his much anticipated follow up “Is This Wine Vintage” which has been in the works for the past eleven years, two albums from improvisational vocal group Conversations We Ate For Breakfast, the debut album from drone artist Silk Shivers as well as my debut solo record.

In addition to acting as a music review blog and now a record label Heavy and Weird has also undertaken a once a month community event at the Brisbane Square Library. THE HEAVY AND WEIRD MONTHLY RECORD CLUB is a monthly meet up curated by me and is designed to discuss the diverse world of music. Each month will see an in-depth analysis and discussion on various artists/music scenes that have made an impact on the cultural lexicon as well as a series of very special live Q&A’s with some of Australia’s best musical minds along with some very exclusive performances.

The Library events are an extension of my desire to educate people about the many different secret histories that exist within the music world. It’s the perfect way for the community to engage with artists and scenes that may not have a mainstream voice and to also illustrate just how important it is to value and respect all facets of the music industry.

To discover more please visit – https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

Big Love

Dan Newton xo

Heavy and Weird Blog

Heavy and Weird Blog – https://heavyandwierd.wordpress.com/

To have your music reviewed by Heavy and Weird’s music blog please send all associated press releases to heavyandweirdblog@gmail.com

If you make noise then we’re happy to listen and write words about said noise, we have no genre preference. We can’t promise we’ll make you famous, but we’ll vomit all kinds of honesty and passion into a blog about what it is you create.

Head Jerk Off / writer / editor = Dan Newton
Writers = Clint Morrow and Roger Killjoy
Occasional Writing and Photos = Thomas Oliver

Useful Contacts:

Blog – https://heavyandwierd.wordpress.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/HeavyWeirdBlog
Email – heavyandweirdblog@gmail.com

Heavy and Weird Records

Artist Roster

1. Galapogos – www.facebook.com/galapogosbrisbane
2. Thirteen Seventy –
3. Chip and Macca Play The Hits – https://www.facebook.com/thirteenseventy
4. Beach Massacre Circa 1885
5. Giovanni Zorzan
6. Thomas Pang
7. Conversations We Ate For Breakfast
8. Silk Shivers
9. Daniel James Newton – https://www.facebook.com/shitonthecarpet

To enquire about or book any of the above artists please email heavyandweirdrecords@gmail.com

If you are interested in having your music released by Heavy and Weird Records then please just email us and we’ll see what we can do

THE HEAVY AND WEIRD MONTHLY RECORD CLUB

Every second Friday of the month at the Brisbane Square Library – if you’re interested to find out more please email heavyandweirdblog@gmail.com

SINGLE REVIEW: “Electrical” by EVES THE BEHAVIOR

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The brand new single from Eves The Behavior is called “Electrical” and it is classic pop music no matter what decade you are in. As an artist, Hannah – the human behind the moniker – has always showed a great ability to be direct with her writing. To use the everyday language that we may find trivial in order to explain the deeper thoughts and more complicated emotions funding the melodic twists and turns. Anyone whose been following this blog for the past few years will know that I’ve been an early champion of Hannah and the music she has been creating. Over time I’ve seen her go form spacious Mazzy Star experiments to the forever evolving world of electro-pop. No matter the vehicle, the music has always had depth and the kind of ache that keeps me coming back for more.

There is a storyteller tradition to the way Hannah communicates musically and within that there is a deep mysterious swirl of despair and disconnection that you can feel, as if the author has never felt comfortable in her own skin or the different environments she has had to navigate. It is a similar story for anyone navigating the ancient path of youth warfare but in the digital age there carries a unique sense of separation if you are one of the rare few who have been christened as an old soul. The songs Hannah writes are able to universally connect whilst still visually being covered in question marks. It’s hard to understand if these tales of loss and heartbreak are just good stories courtesy of her own observation of the world or if these are deep personal scars buried deep beneath the thousand yard melodic stare. Either way it is a thrill as a listener because it is those questions and that heavy mysterious sound that has you begging for more.

With the kind of smart artful way in which Hannah has evolved her Eves The Behavior project it leaves you wondering just where she will take it. A song like “Electrical” is merely acting as an advertisement to her restless nature and desire for the rush of being the chameleon she has chosen to be. In the pop world that will always yield sonically delicious results putting Eves The Behavior in that elite territory where not only will she learn how to break the rules, she’ll invent a few of her own along the way.

9 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/evesthebehavior
Website = http://www.evesthebehavior.com/

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Stallin'” by Airling

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Airling is one of the most talented humans making music in the world at the moment. Her releases thus far have all been flawless pieces of pop music soaked in a wide array of moody sub-genres. There are smart bubble-gum hooks as well as sonic experimentations which gives her music a nice even balance of danceability and slow sinking chilled reflection.  I was particularly a big fan of her 2014 EP release “Love Gracefully” which was one of those go to movements of music whenever I wanted a series of sounds to help me get into a creative headspace in order to write melodies and lyrics for my own band Galapogos. There is just that incredible floaty feeling that is unlocked whenever I hear Hannah’s voice and musical arrangements. It has the power to heal but is mystical in the way that it can allow you to just fucking sink into your own heartbreak memories in order to find the right words or melodic structure for your own creative muse.

The information about what her new single “Stallin'” is leading to is vague but I sure hope it’s a full length album. The world needs a full length album from Airling in 2015. As a song “Stallin'” showcases a deeper ode to R&B without sacrificing those wonderful moody soundscapes. Depending on your reason for listening you’re either going to use this to soundtrack your latest heartbreak, brand new crush or just a hell of a good time late on a Friday night. The songwriting is once again flawless, smart and futuristic with nostalgia stained lyrics. This is some truly “love long distance” type drama and it is unbelievable infectious.

It’s an important turning point for Airling because I think she has proved once again why she is poised to take over the music world in the next 12 months.

10 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links = https://www.facebook.com/Airling
Website = http://airling.net

Listen and Purchase the single via Bandcamp – https://airlingx.bandcamp.com/track/stallin-single-2015

SINGLE REVIEW: “I For An Eye” by WAAX

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The brand new WAXX single is a song called “I For an Eye” and it is no nonsense pop music framed by the forever evolving rush of punk rock. On the surface it explodes with enthusiasm and enough forward motion to inspire equally the dance floor or the moshpit. Instrumentally, each player here is supremely disciplined considering the loose nature of the genre’s the band is leaning on. This shows a commitment to craft and composition as opposed to pure rock n roll anarchy allowing for the subtle dynamics of the song to be revealed with multiple listens. This kind of smart simplicity will give WAXX an edge over their peers because they are willing to go for the big art payoff as opposed to just being another party rock band.

The true joy of this song comes from the vocal performance of lead singer Marie DeVita who sings with vulnerability and full force aggression whilst never sacrificing the importance of a good hook. Underneath the clever wordplay and playful melody is a human being who has gone to a truly deep place to unlock some divine pain in order to give “I For an Eye” purpose. Most surface level listeners will connect this song to being about the corrosion of an important relationship and that certainly jumps out as being one of the many reasons why this song is so covered in hurt.

Personally I feel like it goes a bit deeper than that and all you really need to do is focus on the aggressive delivery and you’ll hear that DeVita is musing on more than just human relationships, she is mourning just how fucking boring and hurtful planet earth can be. There is a plea inside her explosive cries that indicate that artistic self-expression is her only resort for pushing out just how emotionally violent modern life has become. Within that plea there is also a deep sigh wishing for some kind of escapism. Don’t be fooled by the good time vibe, this is a song about the true nature of pain and about how being dragged down by the weight of existence can be a really fucking dull blade to the desire for that better place.

All in all, DeVita’s vibrant performance has peppering’s of defeat and disappointment scattered amongst the sticky hooks. Through her vocal performance we can glimpse the struggle and the disappointment she has been gifted and that instead of going for the full angst payoff she has illustrated an art school level of beauty and grace to ensure that her pain is both the open wound and the healed scar. It’s an exciting thing to preview and something I can’t wait to hear explored on a full length album.

There are a lot of good rock bands coming out of Brisbane at the moment and WAXX may just be one of the best.

8 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/WAAXBAND
Bandcamp = http://waax.bandcamp.com/
Triple J Unearthed = http://tinyurl.com/kuhbmqa
Soundcloud = https://soundcloud.com/waaxband/
Twitter = https://twitter.com/waaxband
Instagram = @waax_band

CASSETTE TAPE REVIEW: “Demonstration” by FOREVR

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There is a good reason why the shoegaze genre is making a healthy return to the cultural lexicon in 2015 and that reason is because it was always futuristic music made by weird alien humans who allowed themselves to be heavily emotional without all of the arrogance of angst. The beauty of the genre was the way it meshed the organic and the mechanical, giving the music the space to be consumed by atmosphere and mood and in the process making it about the journey as opposed to the traditional “song” cycle that other guitar rock bands indulged. It’s safe to say that it was misunderstood and ahead of its time when it started to arrive in the late 80’s and early 90’s with the proof of its influence and longevity being just how many different and diverse artists claimed its genre tag post Loveless.

As is the case with all genre specific music there are certain aesthetics that are distinctly built into the overall execution that no band, no matter how original (post loveless) can escape. The influence of shoegaze has helped metal bands sound less traditional, electronica artists sound more human and psychedelic rock bands more textured. Any of the “post” genres all owe their crescendo 101’s to the glide and swoon of a Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher guitar attack. Whenever you hear a human bury a distant emotionally emotionless vocal line under the thick torture of a warm fuzzed guitar, you have a lot of artistic debt to not just My Bloody Valentine but all of the bands who helped push the genre into existence 26 plus years ago.

Seeing the word “shoegaze” or having something sold to me as “shoegaze” is both an exciting and frustrating thing. It is a dilemma because a big part of my record collection is made up of bands within this genre from both a pioneering level and of course those that came after. It is a genre that fits me well and for years just hearing a Shields / Butcher inspired guitar or vocal line could hypnotise me for hours.  The dilemma comes in because a lot of the times I find myself listening to the newer shoegaze artists pondering that I should like it but for some reason I just don’t.

In my mind, the genre has gone into newer and more exciting levels both on a mainstream and underground level. Although some people may disagree with me I always felt that the evolution of shoegaze was hidden deep inside a band like Deftones who in 2000 brought the idea of the genre to a whole new arena of influence with their masterpiece “White Pony.”  With hindsight I felt they along with a handful of other more adventurous metal bands (ISIS, Neurosis, YOB etc etc) infused shoegaze into an even more futuristic playing field focusing on the aggressive nature of what My Bloody Valentine could sometimes produce. Similarly I felt that “Saturdays = Youth” by M83 did the same thing in the way it focused on the more beautiful and electronica elements. Either way, it was a genre aesthetic that has followed me around and one that I adore.

In 2015 a band like Forevr are incredibly important to the evolution of the shoegaze genre. Much like Tame Impala did with psychedelic rock, Forevr lean heavily on the established structure of shoegaze but it is their sincerity and vision that keep them from being simple nostalgia fiends. It is always important to be sincere when dabbling in such a sacred sound because sincerity is the key to effective communication. Despite being experimental in nature, there are pop skills buried deep inside Forevr’s music and it sounds beautiful enough to swim rather effortlessly to a more mainstream JJJ audience. That is not to say the band is rooted in formula, if anything Forevr will be one of those rare bands whose weirdness will match their ambition resulting in bigger things in terms of the domination of radio waves. They are a bridge, a gateway drug and a vital sounding band not just for Brisbane or Australia but for the world.

Over the course of four songs we get merely a glimpse of what is possible. Some may argue that Black Ryder has already done a better job at this but what excites me about Forevr is the chemistry of Donovan and Sam. Having sampled and reviewed their previous musical outfits it sounds as if for the first time both parties are reaching the vision they’ve always had for their music. No matter the genre, that is always something to celebrate. For all of the sonic beauty on display the band’s cassette tape demo feels like a preview for some kind of masterpiece. I’ll save my praise for when that moment finally comes, but to keep it brief – demonstration is total fucking godhead.

There is a very real threat that a band like Forevr will simply release one or two ground-breaking albums and then disband or remain absent for nearly 20 years. Regardless of what happens you’ll want to invest now because it feels like some kind of revolution may finally rise up out of Brisbane and I’m sure just quietly that Forevr may have finally mastered a way to be a big part of the rapture once it hits.

8 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/thebandFOREVR
Bandcamp = http://forevr.bandcamp.com/