SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “Silverline” by Hawkmoon

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Artist: Hawkmoon
Song: Silverline
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hawkmoon.music/

Hawkmoon are in full Rock N Roll revival mode with their fantastic new single “Silverline” which is out today.

Kicking off with a Beatlesesque Psych Pop guitar line, the song explodes into a groovy swagger that illustrates the bands enthusiasm for big hooks and tasty riffs. This is the kind of rock music that inspires you to dance as opposed to mosh and that makes it an extremely sophisticated piece of songwriting.

This is but a glimpse of what the band has in store for their upcoming debut album. There is a great hint of creative growth since the bands early material and its clear that “Silverline” is going to be one of the many examples of why Hawkmoon are a band to take notice of in 2017 and beyond.

By: Dan Newton

You can stream the song via this link:

 

 

SINGLE AND FILM CLIP OF THE WEEK: “Brisbane, Transit Centre” by Andrew Tuttle

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Today we are proud to be bringing you a combined single and video of the week. The artist in question is a Brisbane underground legend whose pioneering sounds have helped establish him as one of the most respected artists in our country. I’m of course talking about Andrew Tuttle and we’re proud to be premiering his new single and video for a new piece titled “Brisbane, Transit Centre” which you can stream down below.

 

The single is a re-interpretation of a live staple of Andrew’s which was originally recorded a few years back for his first EP under his own name. The song was recorded and mixed whilst Andrew was doing a fortnight residency at EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm after a short European tour in April/May, in between working on a new album,  a follow up to his fantastic 2016 release “Fantasy League.” This single is the first of two standalone singles Andrew will be releasing over summer in the lead up to the album release in mid-2017.

There is a dedication to mood and atmosphere but where other artists may favour the drone Andrew slips into the sunshine of pop music and more traditional folk stylings in order to ground his noise experimentation’s. There are lots of Jim O’Rourkeism’s all over this new single and that totally rules because I’m a devout believer in the healing power of Jim O’Rourke. I can hear the nods to all the pioneers of this genre but for me it was the pop skills of this track that impressed me most. I automatically had millions of different vocal melody ideas leap out of my mind as I sunk deep into this strictly instrumental track. The song is a beautiful thing to witness and is a nice slice of cinematic bliss that will leave you wanting more.

The film clip for this song also does a wonderful job of selling the magic of this song – have a peek below:

 
For those that don’t know, here is a quick history lesson (courtesy of Andrew’s BIO) –  Andrew Tuttle, based in Brisbane, Australia; creates sounds that explore the relationship between instrumentation, structure and genre within electronics and acoustics. Tuttle, usually solo, although occasionally in semi-regular and ad-hoc collaboration, creates a synthesis of electronic/acoustic instrumentation and genre, and improvisation/composition performed on computer, banjo, synthesiser, acoustic guitar, etc etc.

Under his own name and previously from 2004-2013 under the moniker Anonymeye, Tuttle has released recordings on labels including A Guide To Saints (Room40), Heligator, Someone Good (Room40), Bedroom Suck, Feral Media, hellosQuare, Twice Removed, Duskdarter, sound&fury, Flaming Pines, and New Weird Australia. Under his own name, solo, and in collaboration, Tuttle has performed at festivals including St Jerome’s Laneway Festival (Brisbane, AU), Melbourne International Jazz Festival (Melbourne, AU), OtherFilm Festival (Brisbane, AU) and Sonic Masala (Brisbane, AU); and venues including Cafe OTO (London, UK), Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane, AU), Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane, AU), Le Bourg (Lausanne, CH), 107 Projects (Sydney, AU), HeK (Basel, CH), Plunge (Milan, IT), Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane, AU), The Old Museum (Brisbane, AU) and Howler (Melbourne, AU). Tuttle has collaborated live and/or on record (or in other situations) with musicians and sound artists including Matmos, Lawrence English, Mike Cooper, Blank Realm, Cornel Wilczek (Qua), Heinz Riegler, Inner Light (Smoke Bellow), Seaworthy, Rauberhohle, Kris Keogh, Joel Stern, Feet Teeth, Pale Earth and Sasha Margolis (Automating). As well as the aforementioned, Tuttle has shared concert lineups with artists including Matmos, Julia Holter, Forest Swords, Hauschka, The Soft Pink Truth, Daniel Bachman, Gudrun Gut, OM, Deradoorian, Pimmon, Omar Souleyman, Heinz Riegler, Julian Day, Kris Keogh, Tralala Blip, Wixtes, Lumisokea, Monika Brooks, Marihiko Hara and Sparkspitter.

Prior to 2013, Tuttle primarily recorded and performed under the moniker Anonymeye. After three albums, two dozen other recorded appearances and over one hundred live performances in Australia, Europe, and New Zealand; the Anonymeye moniker was retired in early 2013. When not creating music, Tuttle is an active participant in the Australian independent music community, as a creative director, tour manager, freelance writer and arts administrator. Tuttle also has a strong love for cricket.

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/andrewtuttlemusic
Official Website – http://andrewtuttle.com.au

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “Savage” by Quintessential Doll

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“The idea of songwriting is a transformative thing, and what I do with songwriting is take situations that are quite ordinary and transform them in some way. Apart from things like the murder ballads, the songs I write, at their core, are quite ordinary human concerns, but the process of writing about them transforms them into something else.”

Nick Cave

Listening to the new single “Savage” from Quintessential Doll it was hard for me not to think of the above Nick Cave quote because lyrically this song speaks a lot about the sting and stained aftermath of a personal and spiritual transformation. The main refrain of “My Mad Beauty Will Never be Yours To Tame, I will never by yours” roars like a hushed vehicle of desired escapism. A line later in the song “My Conflicted Heart Attempts to Escape My Ribcage” gives a great illustration of the deep rooted pain anchoring the delicate yet ache shaped melodies that soak every inch of this beautiful track. It’s an intoxicating experience that combines the exotic search for understanding in a world that continues to function within the boundaries of rules and regulations.

 

As a song “Savage” is just as much about the elite freedom attached to the explosive fresh breeze of a blank canvas whilst also touching on the pure bleakness of the shame you feel when you have to execute some collateral damage on humans you loved, the whole process of graduating to the place where people you know become people you knew. The production is pure perfection and matches the flawless vocal patterns contained both in a lead and backing capacity. Everything moves in a hypnotic unison hooking you in, taking you deep beneath the drama beating at the centre of the songs turmoiled shining light. It flattens you to the point of being totally breathless and haunts long after the track has finished. There is an exhaustion and real high that comes on once the track finishes, almost like an endorphin release. It’s a fucking soul drenched experience that rips open your heart, makes you want to weep but at the same time you want to just fucking run and get the fuck out of what ever bad situation you find yourself in.

In 2016 “Savage” by Quintessential Doll deserves to be the new national anthem for those human beings who have graduated from teenage angst to adult pain and who still seek the emotional rush of a good pop song when it comes to finding a remedy for trying to feel some kind of “I’m not alone” resolve.

Pure, Fractured and Pop Song Perfection – Quintessential Doll is one of the first real 21st Century artists to light a path to the new sound of now

By: Dan Newton

Official Website – http://quintessentialdollmusic.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/quintessentialdoll

Film Clip for “Savage” – https://youtu.be/JLmLHxiJS68

SINGLE REVIEW: “No One” by KING IV

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One of the great pleasures of running this blog is when you discover a new artist who just flaws you, to the point where their music becomes the new soundtrack to every inch of your daily routine. The kind of collision that tears away all of the cynical feelings you can start to inherit after having to spend days going through your inbox and being constantly underwhelmed by how many bands / artists are all “style over substance” – that really fucking bums me out. Lucky for me there was an artist who I have encountered who pulled me out of this zone.

The artist I’m talking about is King IV and her glorious new song “No One” helped remind me of the joy of music and why I love the thrill of humans finding radical new ways to communicate about that “ache” that is buried at the centre of all good art and let me be clear, King IV is an artist in the truest sense with music being her chosen vehicle of expression and pain being her paintbrush. By using the aesthetics of established genres her vision is able to explode out of the speakers sparking a dynamic emotional reaction from you the listener. There will be a desire to dance, to be still and to slowly edge yourself to the outskirts of the party in order to engage some quiet reflection. All in all the comfort of being sad will be dulled amplified and totally erased giving you the space to explore the new taste of desire, giving new names to old feelings scheduling in the smooth rush of a cool breeze. This song shivers up and down your fucking spine, pushing the politics of broken hearted warfare to front and centre of your memory. It haunts and it creeps.

 
For me, this song is another example of what 21st Century psychedelic music should sound like and the production along with the vocal arrangements showcase that King IV is a human who knows the importance of coating the pop song template with weirdness in order to amplify the hooks. All good pop hooks have sprinklings of the avant-garde. This is so the hook can have a degree of hypnosis buried within it. To those who love art, we know the secret, but to those who are merely just audience members the easiest way for me to explain the role of the avant garde in a good pop hook is to say that it is that “thing” that attracts you to the song, that “thing” you just can’t explain. Artists invent new ways to communicate these avant-gardisms, musicians and big industry music machine humans manipulate the weirdness and dull it down. With her song “No One” King IV shows how creative she is by letting her music breath the language of both the avant garde and the pop birthing a very “new” and “timeless” sound.

It’s the emotion of the song that hooks me in however. The technique is world class and it’s quite clear that King IV has the goods to construct interesting pop music but the science of a song is only allowed to make sense if there is a deep emotional core sprinkling a little bit of that special stuff across the aesthetics. That’s what I connect with, the deep emotional ache of King IV’s lyrics and melodic approach. That’s where I escape into when I’ve got this song playing. I want to know more and I want to know exactly who or what is inspiring this song.

In 2016 I’ve had the thrill of discovering many different artists and King IV is just another example of how lucky I feel to get to witness the birth of an artists career. I look forward to the future of King IV’s career and to see what she’ll release next.

Don’t fucking stall – make sure you devour King IV before she becomes the worldwide hit she is destined to become.

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KingIVmusic/
Official Website – http://www.kingivmusic.com/
Bandcamp – kingivmusic.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud – soundcloud.com/kingivmusic

SINGLE REVIEW: “Cheap Wine” by VOIID

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There was a quote from Kurt Cobain at some point during his life where he said that the next great rock revolution would be lead by a woman or something like that. Whilst I don’t want to get too political I think it’s a relevant stance because in this godforsaken local music scene known as Brisbane, the only relevant music being made and the only music that resonates with me is the stuff driven by Female Human Beings. Make of that what you will but you know, there is only so much “hell fuck yeah” I can fucking take and I feel like VOIID might be the antidote to all that white middle class macho rock bullshit that is swelling both above and below ground at the moment.

The bands sole recording exists via the following SoundCloud and YouTube link and it is a 1 minute and 18 second pure kool thing lo-fi rock n roll thrill – put on the headphones and turn it up loud:

 

 

The production is supreme and perfect for this musical communication delving deep into the whole late night party drunk as fuck boredom shtick. This approach truly amps up the vocals and adds a nice contrast to the crunch of the guitar as it creeps along like a distorted washed out sigh. VOIID combine smart lyrics with simple pop melodies all the while slapping together some righteous chords that mix the hiss of shoegazing and the dust and dirt of the whole Sebadoh aesthetic. It has one foot in the past and one foot in the future and displays a desire to at least re-shape some of the established dynamics of the genres influencing them. Whilst the music is more party than arty there are hints of surrealism and dadaism weaving in and out of their overall presentation. There is a mystique to it all and that mystery begs repeated listens. This song along hints at future punk rock greatness and I can see this band taking it all the way, from the house party to the festival stage.

 

 

This is smart music and I’m a big fan of what VOIID is communicating. I get the feeling that in 12 months time they’ll also be everyone else’s favourite band as well but for now, keep them as your own little secret before you have to share them with the rest of the world.

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/voiidtheband/

SINGLE REVIEW: “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll

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There are moments in my life where I fucking hate rock music with a passion. It can produce some of the most uninspiring art in the world and when it’s bad it is really bad and when I hate rock n roll, I really want to destroy it. All of the leather pants wearing fuckholes, the guitar solos, the fucking rolling stones and all of their disgusting songs, all of the fucking humans who pretend to be Dandy Warhols, all those fucking 60’s / 70’s / 80’s revival throwback bands, all the fucking grunge revival bullshit and the army of humans who just love love love rock n roll and live life on the edge by adhering to the sex, drugs and rock n roll ethos. Fuck it makes me so very sick to witness and it honestly stands in the way of progress, you’re holding up evolution fuckwit, but I digress. Sometimes I just need to break free of it and to escape into something a little less generic in terms of musical communication.

This is not a new feeling for me, I’ve had it for as long as I’ve been listening to music and through the years this disgust with (sigh) “rock n roll” has lead me to some truly radical places. One artist who has been the shining light for me for the past few months has been Quintessential Doll. The freedom of her music really left me feeling inspired because I’m always on the search for new extremes and new ideas when it comes to the punk rock spirit. It seems that she has birthed a new kind of creative language for the riot grrrl scene (at least that’s how I interrupted it) and instead of being literal with her influences and sound she scatters all kinds of art reference points across her brand of pop music.

Quintessential Doll is one of the most original artists coming out of Brisbane at the moment and her sound is absolutely fascinating to me. That is how a lot of the music I invest in starts off, a fascination and an attraction to the way an artist conducts themselves and how they use their creativity to communicate to the outside world. A lot of this fascination starts because of the mystery and wonder of this particular person or persons and it just drives me to the point of wanting to know and hear more. I like to think of myself as a human that is genreless, I think art is about communication and I’m only ever attracted to those who are masters of communication and Quintessential Doll is brilliant with the way she communicates via her art.

This brings me to Quintessential Doll’s recent song “Beautiful Violence” which was released earlier this year.

Here is the film clip to the song:

 

Once again I’d like to use this review to get a bit controversial in terms of how and why I think Quintessential Doll is the perfect remedy and true evolution of psychedelic music. In order to do that I guess I have to outline my problem with the modern psychedelic movement happening across the musical community of late. I’ve got a big problem with all of the modern psychedelic bands popping up here there and everywhere. The reason why I find them difficult to enjoy is because they add nothing to the evolution of the genre of psychedelic music. They simply replicate what has come before them and it essentially starts to sound like a whole range of different tribute bands simply doing psych music circa 1960’s / 1970’s and whilst enjoyable it just adds nothing to our humanity. The music press certainly eat it up and shit out reviews praising the mediocrity of it all but those of us with seasoned ears and a desire to move the world into a place of equality for all, just hears a bunch of fraudulent humans adhering to a formula that can’t fail and that will help them achieve an empty kind of success.

Upon first listen of “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll I started to feel like that finally we have the first real movement of music that will help push and evolve the idea of psychedelic music into the new decade. This is a song and artist that is trying to reach some kind of true sonic revolution.

Now before the internet warrior humans pull my review apart (I’m mainly talking to the straight white males who work in guitar shops with this next sentence), let me dull down your fiery trigger finger by outlining to you that in order to evolve any genre aesthetic you need to do a bit more than purely replicate it. Proving that you can do intricate Beatles harmonies and adding some weird orchestral twists and turns and other psychedelic flourishes does not show that you are evolving the idea of psychedelic music, you’re simply paying tribute and pat yourself on the back sunshine you’ll make a lot of money in the process being a fucking fraud. All the bros will love your band but your basically just a covers act.

That is why I love “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll so much, because her music has this quality where it certainly exists within certain pop music structures and hip hop genre dynamics but it still stands alone as a unique musical communication. After listening to “Beautiful Violence” you can tell just how important it is for Quintessential Doll to present her music like art as opposed to just an exercise in commerce. It is her fearlessness that will allow her to not only be successful but also to do it with a unique creative dialogue.

I’m pretty confident not a lot of humans will buy into my assessment of Quintessential Doll being a leader of the evolution of Psychedelic Music but you see that’s just the problem with the world that Quintessential Doll is also attempting to rebel against, most humans automatically assume that the kind of evolution I was referring to was and will still come from a group of weak bodied white male humans playing guitars and potentially have a horn section or theremin or sitar for good measure. Sometimes this world has the capacity to make me feel fucking sick with the way it breathes in and breathes out.

This review of “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll is starting to potentially sound like some kind of feminist rant and for that I make no apologies because I am a fucking feminist you stupid jerks. Sorry, I forgot that music is subjective. My mistake, I’ll keep my pleas for equality and the way forward to making the world a better place to myself. You’re free to go back to sleep and live under the 1960’s / 1970’s / 1990’s rock that you all love so much, you know the one where revolution and evolution comes in the form of white middle class males.

Anyway, fuck it, I don’t really care too much what you all think of my crazy theories, yeah, yeah, musical taste / resonance and subjectivity and all that, I get it fuckwit, but trust me when I say that “Beautiful Violence” by Quintessential Doll is the way forward and considering we still have humans pretending that it’s 1960, 1970 and 1990 it’s fucking refreshing to have an artist pushing sound into some truly evolutionary places. I am just glad that finally somebody is trying to fucking be a bit creative and artistic with their music and that someone from Brisbane isn’t using bad Dandy Warhols or Brian Jonestown Massacre riffs to communicate how “out there” and “weird” they are – fuck, you don’t know how refreshing that is.

The new single from Quintessential Doll is called “Beautiful Violence” and it is a modern punk rock / psych rock / pop music classic and trust me when I say that she will be the Tom Waits of our generation.

Shut your fucking mouth and just listen – she’s a healer

 

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Official Website – http://quintessentialdollmusic.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/quintessentialdoll

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “Baby” by Angharad Drake

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Angharad Drake is a bright light in an often predictable and redundant landscape of singer songwriters. Her music is dark and moody and is clearly influenced by the many different faces of music. Now Brisbane based, Drake grew up on Australia’s famed Sunshine Coast, where she began writing music during her early years of high school, and scoring gigs at small local venues. She later went on to study a Music degree at Brisbane’s QUT. Influenced by the stylings of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Laura Marling and Bon Iver, she began to develop her own individual style during her University years and recorded a self titled debut EP in 2010. Since then she has completed two more self-­produced EP’s (2013’s ‘Lay Down’, and 2014’s ‘Swing’), all in preparation for her debut full ­length album, ‘Sword’ which was released in 2015.

The genius of Drake’s music comes down to the mood and how she approaches the melodic structure of her songs. Drake saturates each song with darkness and a spooky whisper and it becomes hard not to be pulled into her psyche. It is real journey-person material and you can hear that Drake has lived every inch of pain contained within her lyrics. There are also pinches of resolve and hope swirling in and out of the music but it is more attached to an acceptance of ones weirdness as opposed to anything found in positive thinking handbooks. As is the case with all good pop music, the intensity is front and centre and Drake doesn’t waste time grabbing your soul and taking you on a journey through the dark and light regions of our existence and the other dimensions she is channeling. Drake makes both very intellectual but also very spiritual music and when you mix the science with the soul you get a beating heart that is well balanced and rooted in purity.

Today we are very proud to be premiering Angharad’s new single “Baby” which is from her forthcoming second album which is due out in early to mid 2017.

 

Once again we see Angharad digging deep and delivering a beautiful slice of melancholy sweetness that feels autobiographical in terms of the story she’s telling. The melodic changes that swing in and out of the verses and choruses of this song are so heavy emotionally and you get dragged into the drama of it all. This is perfect pop music that is communicated with such beauty and grace. Production wise we see a few stylistic changes helping to provide the song with some interesting dynamics. These new additions sonically don’t spook Angharad’s delicate and almost whispered playing style or take away from the poetically somber tone of her music. This is music for those of us who need the rush of a broken heart in order to give purpose to our creative muse.

All in all Angharad Drake proves once again what an important up and coming artist she is. Her music is the secret weapon against this fast paced need for technology to swoop in and strangle the pure musical experience. Her voice will haunt you and her songs plant themselves deep into your existence. She will help you understand that the best art comes from those who communicate honestly and with a sense of bravery. With “Baby” we glimpse just how powerful and emotionally violent a hushed heartbroken whisper can be. It’s truly fucking “stop what you’re doing” stuff and utterly flawless.

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Download the song for free from JJJ Unearthed:

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/angharad-drake

Do the right thing and support the artist – visit Angharad’s Bandcamp and buy her stuff:

https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/track/baby

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/angharaddrake
Official Website – http://www.angharaddrake.com
Bandcamp – https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/

 

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “PDFC” by post-dusk

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The moment the chords open up on post-dusk’s new single “PDFC” you relax into the groove of this amazing little heartbreaker. It swoons and aches like a late afternoon connecting directly to that part of your eternal sigh for a better place. This song is pure perfection and beautifully ethereal, I just fall deep inside of it every time I hear it and it becomes a glorious explosion of escapism that is heightened ever so magically when the vocal melodies weave in and out like a cool breeze. It’s like being caught in a divine shiver and it just takes over your body and you get fucking elevated to some truly righteous places.

I love when pop music is moody and atmospheric as opposed to being sticky and obvious. That’s exactly what “PDFC” is, a moody masterpiece that connects due to its darkness as opposed to its sunshine. It takes an artist to be able to be this direct and deep. What “PDFC” illustrates is the importance of a solid and consistent groove in order to build the atmosphere and mood of a song. The simple drone gives “PDFC” the direction it needs to unfold with the array of keys and synths flowing over this track with a Twin Peaks spookiness allowing for the guitar lines to erupt enough Cocteau Twins via Sonic Youth orchestral tone to provide the ethereal frame. This is a pure dream pop masterpiece and the kind of song that belongs on a mixtape for someone you are secretly crushing on.

The vocal performance and lyrical direction of “PDFC”is a simple ode to the desperate pulse of loss and I know it’s a typical thing for me to search for in most music but I think it is a musing on the power and turmoil of death. It may be masked inside the rhythm of a break-up song but I think at the core of the song lyrically is an ode to the angst of loss and the claustrophobic fear of aging in a world that prefers to move quickly as opposed to being a slow cheetah. Regardless of the muse it is clear that post-dusk is yearning for escape from the crippling sting of routine and for an extreme new experience to help her feel comfort and satisfaction with the moment as opposed to the dense haze of being stuck in the fear drenched cycle of feeling powerless and unable to stop the motion of time. The real joy is the way it connects and relates with your own personal experiences and provides the ultimate pain relief from your own life dilemmas.

 

 

“PDFC” is a timeless piece of art carefully crafted and communicated to ensure that all of your emotions are beautifully serenaded to a place of extreme relaxation and dislocation. This song is a personal and very warm invitation into the world that post-dusk creates for you and although the song is awash with personal and very relatable experiences it is the stylistic swoon of the dream pop genre that allows you to engage with her landscape but to also instil your own imagination and to arrive at a place of pure escapism. This movement of music is very open and as a result it provides you the ability to become tangled in your own ache stained sighs for the one you love / loved with the only logical resolve to hit repeat on your stereo in order to sail deeper into the beautifully delicate yet emotionally raw sound of post-dusk’s music.

This song will not just become the most trusted pain reliever but also the early morning rush of a sunrise after spending an evening of discovery in the arms of someone you hope will learn to love you back.

There is a very famous lecture that Nick Cave gave about the importance of the love song that I’d like to quote in order to conclude this review. The following quotes are important to understanding what post-dusk communicates as an artist and what makes “PDFC” so important:

“Though the love song comes in many guises – songs of exultation and praise, songs of rage and of despair, erotic songs, songs of abandonment and loss – they all address God, for it is the haunted premises of longing that the true love song inhabits. It is a howl in the void, for Love and for comfort and it lives on the lips of the child crying for his mother. It is the song of the lover in need of her loved one, the raving of the lunatic supplicant petitioning his God. It is the cry of one chained to the earth, to the ordinary and to the mundane, craving flight; a flight into inspiration and imagination and divinity. The love song is the sound of our endeavours to become God-like, to rise up and above the earthbound and the mediocre”

“We each have a need to create and sorrow is a creative act. The love song is a sad song; it is the sound of sorrow itself. We all experience within us what the Portuguese call Suadade, which translates as an inexplicable sense of longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul and it is this feeling that lives in the realms of imagination and inspiration and is the breeding ground for the sad song, for the Love song is the light of God, deep down, blasting through our wounds.”

“The love song must be born into the realm of the irrational, absurd, the distracted, the melancholic, the obsessive, the insane for the love song is the noise of love itself and love is, of course, a form of madness. Whether it be the love of God, or romantic, erotic love – these are manifestations of our need to be torn away from the rational, to take leave of our senses, so to speak. Love songs come in many guises and are seemingly written for many reasons – as declarations or to wound – I have written songs for all of these reasons – but ultimately the love songs exist to fill, with language, the silence between ourselves and God, to decrease the distance between the temporal and the divine.”

This accurately describes what post-dusk has done with her music and with “PDFC” she takes a deeper plunge into the abyss of her hurt shaped experiences in order to clean her wounds and create an incredibly divine movement of music. The safety of pop music is not on the agenda here and whilst this song has hooks it is the overall atmosphere of loss and despair that lets it hang inside your heart and soul. You carry this music with you and it buries itself deep inside of you long after you’ve listened to it. A song like “PDFC” will haunt you and wrap itself around you like a warm blanket. Like all great pieces of art it is not an instant or easy communication to digest but this is not music designed purely for the beat of major label consumerism. This is music created by someone who has loved and who has been damaged by the madness of it but who also uses heavy optimism to communicate just how much joy she gets from the rush of rejection and connection.

On “PDFC” post-dusk proves that depth, intensity and atmosphere are more important to the successful communication of pop music than the emptiness of one hit wonder world domination. I feel privileged to be able to review this song because it provided me with so much personal comfort and I’ve only lived with it for seven days. I look forward to what long term listening will do and how “PDFC” will soundtrack the many more adventures I plan to take into the landscape of broken hearted disco dancing and new romancing. This is a flawless song from a true artist who has successfully entered the realm of being one of the few modern contributors to the timeless dialogue of beauty, honesty and truth.

By: Dan Newton

SINGLE OF THE WEEK: “We Made It” by Huntly

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The test of a good song is how it sounds when you are alone in the dark laying in your bed with the headphones on. A good headphone song will transport you so far away from yourself that it will be like an out of body experience where you get to muse on her or him or them and basically every other circumstance that shapes the ache you have deep inside you for that face and that place.

As the journey unravels and your stillness becomes animated in your mind by the pace of your ache you’ll leave the dread behind and transform from a key into a lock as you attempt to shut down the yearning and the heavy secret that is the memory of the face. The fate of this illusion will keep you drowning as you start to understand all that you mourn as the shiver unlocks and unravels. This music feeding your imagination helps frame this hidden love like a cinema for a human written like fiction and as the final notes dissolve you’ll remain haunted but at peace and deeply satisfied at your silent and still form of self-expression.

When you lay there motionless after the music has stopped a sweet sense of melancholy will erupt like some kind of spooky magic. This dream you have, of that face and that place will continue to go forever inside every inch of air that you breathe as they remain so far away. Once you press play on the song once again, all you can really think is how you missed your loneliness but you imagine once again that they are somewhere near. You delve deep into regret for a human who never knew just how much you needed them. The ache radiates through every inch of your body as you cling to it like oxygen and realise that this music is helping you heal, giving you a moment of pure peace. As you negotiate sleep you hope that your thoughts will not be taxed with these thoughts of ghosts who don’t talk.

This is the kind of strong emotional reaction that occurs when the fantastic new single from Huntly – called “We Made It” – hits your headphones. It doesn’t take long for you to understand that sometimes it feels right to be so invested in this kind of sadness when it comes to pop music and Huntly have crafted a new modern classic with “We Made It.”

 

 

On a scientific level the headphone listen will always expose you to the deeper layers of sound being manipulated and in the case of “We Made It” it has cracked the song wide open for me framing the genius of Huntly. The way they have pieced this song together is utterly amazing and it really does come alive during the headphone listen.

My reaction to this song was so strong that I had to take it out on the highway with me. When I want to test the validity of a good song I jump in my car really late at night put the song on the car stereo system and just drive for the sake of driving. Last night I was in a position where I couldn’t really sleep so I thought that it was the perfect time to give Huntly the dark highway test.

I find the late night drive process births a lot of joy in me, it is the moment where I start to feel like a truly blessed human and I achieve a healthy degree of inner peace. So satisfying is this inner peace that I rarely ever want to go home. I’m yet to work out if it is the music or the act of driving that births the peace, either way it is a ritual that helps calm me down, disconnect and recharge so that I can once again interact with the world around me. It’s becoming a bit of a theme I know but essentially escapism is at the centre of any listening ritual that I have.

During the course of my drive I fell deeper in love with “We Made It” and I also started to understand what it is that I really love about it. The excitement and feeling I had in my stomach was like a cross between the first date jitters when you really have a crush on someone and the relaxation and joy that comes from hanging out with your oldest and dearest friend who you haven’t seen in ages. There is just joy to the whole proceeding with a deep emotional frame that peppers the joy with glimpses of the pain, the hurt and the ache. I think the joy comes from the excitement of discovering a brand new artist and all that other dark / hurt related stuff is what you’re trying to escape. It’s about being saved and it’s about redemption.

By the time I arrived home and spent three hours with “We Made It” on repeat I understood more about myself than I did before and made peace with a lot of my past, present and future self. I also fell deeper in love with the song and felt privileged to have such a wonderful soundtrack for my life circa 2016

I slept well once I returned home, with a satisfied mind and “We Made It” playing through my headphones. If “We Made It” teaches us anything it is that survival is a lot more satisfying then self-pity and that all good things in this world come from a struggle and that love is just as much about the darkness as well as the light.

“We Made It” by Huntly is a Shiver Pop masterpiece designed for those of us who like a bit of drama mixed with our quest for love life bliss.

By: Dan Newton

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Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/huntlymusic
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/huntly
Bandcamp – https://huntly.bandcamp.com/
 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Stonapop” by Ultrafeedy

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It always bothers me when I read some clickbait bullshit article on any online music website about the “death of rock n roll” in the modern age. The reason it annoys me so much is because I hate to break it to all of you, but the real enemy of rock n roll is the ignorant music listener who is too much of a fucking idiot to look a bit deeper. Considering we live in the age of the internet I would have assumed that finding new music for people would have been so much easier but apparently somehow all the good “rock music” just magically disappeared.

There is an ample amount of good rock music being made on both a mainstream and underground level and it isn’t hard to find. In fact over the past few years a lot of my listening has been dominated by amazing rock records and the brand new A-side / B-side single release from Ultrafeedy is a great example of the type of great stuff being made and what’s even better, it’s made right here in Brisbane.

Ultrafeedy make gloriously “right on” rock n roll sounds and after their fantastic debut EP the band are back with “Stonapop” which uses the past sounds of the rock n roll artform to catapult the band deep into the future. Aesthetics aside though this new group of songs just flat out fucking rocks.

 

This is a no nonsense group of tracks that combines hardcore punk energy with thick Black Sabbath riffs and in true Ultrafeedy fashion it flips a middle finger to the popular vote and goes straight for the gold by using the rock n roll launch pad and in the process sounding as sincere and brutal as ever. There are some humans who can lean on nostalgia and sound contrived and formulaic but when it comes to Ultrafeedy they manage to push the idea of the riff forward to new and exciting places whilst still bowing down to our lord and saviour Mr Tony Iommi although in Ultrafeedy’s case I think that lord and saviour may just be Mr Josh Homme.

I pity any fuckwit who says something as stupid as “where has all the rock music gone” – open your fucking ears dipshit, great rock music is everywhere and once again Ultrafeedy are leading the pack as one of its great innovators locally. Turn this motherfucker up loud and nestle into the warmth of all those sludgy riffs, you’ll feel inner peace in no time.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Ultrafeedy
http://ultrafeedy.bandcamp.com/
http://www.soundcloud.com/ultrafeedy

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Glow” by Amanda Merdzan

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The brand new single from Amanda Merdzan is called “Glow” and it is a masterpiece of a song that combines the ethereal dream pop skills of artists like Cocteau Twins and Julee Cruise with a modern electro / hip hop aesthetic. The end result is a slow moody dirge which beams with a beautiful rush of winter sunshine. Lyrically the song touches on many different emotions with the main melodic gallop of the track fixating on the idea of escapism and the thrill of being immersed deep inside the suffocating stillness of the blank canvas. Naturally there are all sorts of links to heartache and heartbreak but all good songwriters find the time to bury these kinds of aches in their music despite the tempo.

Amanda Merdzan once again proves that she is an artist to watch – it personally excites me because her music has always had a deep personal connection. It’s like she’s singing directly to your environment and circumstance and there is nothing better than feeling like an artist you admire is somehow swirling inside the same kind of spiritual and physical chaos that you are.

 

With “Glow” Merdzan may be singing about the damaged life she has experienced but lucky for us, the music she delivers in order to communicate her pain is without any imperfections or defects, it is true perfection – clear, unblemished, unmarked and beautiful.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/amandamerdzan
www.amandamerdzan.com
www.amandamerdzan.tumblr.com
www.myspace.com/amandamerdzan
www.twitter.com/amandamerdzan
iTunes/amandamerdzan
www.noisetrade.com/amandamerdzan

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “When The World Ends” and “Waiting” by Ayla

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After listening to Ayla’s latest singles “When The World Ends” and “Waiting” for the past few months it became clear to me that she is a master of making emotional music with depth and pop music sensibilities whilst allowing space for some modern flourishes to her old world sounding voice. The music aside, that is where Ayla’s true talent is – her amazing soul drenched voice. She commands your attention with her overwhelmingly intense performance and the best part is that all its texture and tone is original and striving to be its own unique sound. As a music reviewer it is always the most refreshing thing to hear when new music comes into your inbox, a voice that isn’t striving for nostalgia or striving to sound like someone else. On impact, Ayla gets me as a fan on that aesthetic alone.

“When The World Ends” is a sultry introduction signalling the moment you awake from a summer steam soaked dream to a brand new horizon of wonder. The essential emotional question lingering underneath the heartbeat of this song is “are you waking up with regret for taking them home or are you musing on regret for the fact that you didn’t actually ask for a kiss on the ride home?” It’s all simple teenage chord movements with the loneliness of youth beating at its emotional core. It is the perfect song to soundtrack the opening montage, setting the ground for characters and plot to be established. The track is clearly a plea to that unrequited love who keeps escaping your grip and who just hasn’t understood just how much you love them. There is blood all over this track; the lyrics are full of the summer holidays yearn and the sting of “what do I have to do to make him / her love me?” It feels like this song was written while everyone else was busy having fun and all you could do was think about them and the only way to dull the ache was listen to some swoon and write a heartbreaker.

 

“Waiting” is the next logical step of a summer spent yearning for the “she or he” that you can’t have. This is a total ode to the kind of crush you have for a motion picture actor / actress during a summer time yearn, the only thing that will dull the pain, same themes as “When The World Ends” but a different colour.  I like “Waiting” quite a lot as it perfectly captures that shattering moment when you see the “she or he” and just how that moment just shapes your emotions and puts a mix of swoon and ache into your day. You reach the point where you are so in love it is physically hurting you, you can’t breathe and the thought of him or her is like a subtle degree of suffocation. The “ He or She” is both the oxygen and the beautiful disease cutting you off from reality and life itself. These are the kind of teenage love songs I still love hearing as a 32 year old human being because nothing was as pure or as vicious as falling in love in your late teens / early twenties.

 

I like the stories contained within these songs and the emotion in which they were delivered.

This is a very promising start and I can’t wait for a full length album.

8 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AylaLive

SINGLE REVIEW: “Matter” by Amanda Merdzan

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In 2013 I had the pleasure of reviewing an EP by the incredibly talented Amanda Merdzan. In my final paragraph of that review I wrote the following:

“Sometimes you love to have your world challenged by music and other times you just want the music to help give purpose to your own pain. Amanda’s music falls in to the latter category for sure and while it may not be dynamically weird or envelope pushing music stylistically, the music itself is carried and ignited by Amanda’s deep emotional world and that is what is put on full display with “The Map Has Been Redrawn.” This EP is a perfect glimpse of an artist who has just uttered her first musical communication and I feel after both personal and musical growth we’ll see Amanda combine her world class songwriting with some intense experimentation to birth a sound that is unique to her muse.

I can’t wait to see what comes next from Amanda Merdzan and I’ve got a feeling that she’ll do some very interesting things making beautiful future music that goes deeper and weirder.”

After following her career with a feverish desire to know “what will come next” I was absolutely blown away when she sent me her new single “Matter” which was released digitally earlier this year. Instantly I was blown away by the creative leaps taken and although we can talk about the aesthetic changes made, the real joy of this new song is the emotional performance that comes through in Merdzan’s vocals and melodic delivery. We finally hear Amanda finding her own voice and although her debut EP provided the significant vehicle for her stories to be told, on “Matter” she truly sounds comfortable and like she has settled on a sound that better communicates all that haunts her.

The simple lyric refrains of “Matter” explode with a sullen sigh that wrap around your own sadness and amplify’s that desperate need for human connection. This is a song about the true sting of loneliness and that simple plea we all carry inside of us to be understood and loved unconditionally by another human being. To issue a degree of sacrifice and surrender in order to truly commit to love.

The music of “Matter” slithers with a spooky degree of late night malaise almost sounding claustrophobic in its attempt to be spacious. The minimal electronic pulses wonderfully give a modern context to an old world pain. It all collides together to create a timeless piece of escapism that gives the listener the opportunity to apply their own meaning to the song. I just fucking drift away to so many places when I hear “Matter” and my life has been enriched beyond belief because of this song.

It’s quite obvious that Amanda is on a new journey of self-discovery. Her music has taken on more meaning as a result and taking genre laws out of the equation the real victory of “Matter” is that she is finding a way to be more direct with the complicated emotions that she is drawing from for inspiration. I’m honestly so excited about this song and what the future holds for Amanda Merdzan.

10 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

 

Useful Links:

Official Website – http://www.amandamerdzan.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/amandamerdzan

SINGLE REVIEW: “Doubt” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” by Avaberée

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The music of Avaberee is an incredible cool breeze that saturates your existence and stains you with shivers and sighs. A collective of intelligent songwriters who are melodically flawless with pop music being their main vehicle, but its more than bubblegum and fairy floss, this is the kind of pop music that has been birthed from a collective scar. Both “Doubt” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” are delicious little heart-breakers about all the complications of love, distance and the eternal need for the unrequited rush of yearning for some kind of escape. It is all bliss and beauty from a band who are poised to conquer the world with their refined other worldly shiver pop anthems.

8 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

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Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/avaberee

SINGLE REVIEW: “Vice” by Grrl Pal

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I had to interrupt my planned schedule to rush and review the wonderful new single / song from GRRL PAL called “Vice” – I was intrigued by the name and the fact that they are playing a show with Solo on the 31st July 2015 in Sydney as part of Rare Finds #4. As is the case with social media timing I clicked on the bands soundcloud and was greeted with “Vice” and fucking boom I’m hooked. Before we continue, please have a listen for yourself:

 

I hate doing the “they sound like” thing but in this case I have to, so if I were to describe GRRL PAL to the elite I would say that they sound like Boards Of Canada, Crystal Castles, M83 and Frou Frou mixed together with a deep understanding of hip hop and dream pop. That is not to say that GRRL PAL rip these artists or aesthetics off, quite the opposite. These are merely music journalist wankerisms I need to smash into an introductory paragraph so I can inspire some kind of interest from those who need the food shoved inside of their mouth.

Those that know me understand that I’m not interested in the typical path laid out for humans that review music. I could sit and talk about the production and how sublime it is and how all of the scientific requirements for good songwriting is accurately met but you know, that is obvious criteria to submit to. For me it is always about the way a song connects with me emotionally and as soon as I heard it “Vice” had the right kind of mood. It just sways and shivers with the uncertainty of a Saturday night. It drifts in and out of darkness and sounds as beautiful as the way the sky looks at about 5pm on a winters afternoon when the sun almost becomes a faded orange. That spooky moment when day becomes night and the adventure of intoxicated bliss awaits, that’s what GRRL PAL really sound like to my ears and it is fucking delicious stuff.

This is good time music for those party humans that carry a deep sense of loss with them wherever they go and who chase escapism through the freedom of being alone with everybody.

9 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GRRLPAL

SINGLE REVIEW: “Once Upon A Time” by Holly Terrens

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I stumbled across Holly Terrens’ music by pure chance courtesy of my facebook newsfeed – a handful of my mutual friends had liked a recent status update from her official page and as is the case I clicked the link and had my head blown off by the following track:

https://soundcloud.com/holly-terrens/once-upon-a-time

 

Now I’m not sure if this is an official single or part of a bigger release but either way it inspired me to want to sit down and write some words. You can accurately describe Holly’s music as Progressive Pop and it automatically reminded me of Tori Amos and Fiona Apple which is always wonderful because I’m quite the Amos and Apple devotee. It also sounds like Holly is in someway influenced by the more forward thinking heavy metal groups because I also hear a human deeply in debt to artists like Maynard James Keenan, Chino Moreno, Mikael Åkerfeldt and Peter Steele. I can also hear little flourish’s of the 1980’s goth and dream pop sounds of bands like Cocteau Twins, The Cure and Depeche Mode with an obvious hat tip to the outrageously experimental Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson. The sound of Holly Terrens is not purely a nostalgia trip because she also leans equally on more modern pop music icons like St Vincent, Julia Holter and Anna Calvi who are all artists that manage to occupy a unique place within the current lexicon because of the way they make immediate yet challenging music.

To use the word “haunting” is too limiting because the level of emotion on display with “Once Upon A Time” is deeper than that. The song does indeed creep along with a certain kind of spooky dirge that is equal parts horrifying and beautiful. There is a murder ballads tradition sprinkled ever so slightly on top of the narrative communicated lyrically with the song clearly being somewhat autobiographical. The drama of it all is intoxicating and you hang on every word, every note and every emotional twist and turn until the song climaxes with the kind of conclusion that echoes louder than any riff or distorted instrument. To be this intense and emotionally raw whilst still keeping the music stark and restricted to just percussive sounds and a rolling piano is a true gift.

8 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/hollyterrens
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/holly-terrens
Triple J Unearthed – http://triplejunearthed.com/hollyterrens
YouTube – youtube.com/hollyterrensmusic
Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/hollyterrens

SINGLE REVIEW: “I Don’t Feel So Alive” by Gabriella Cohen

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The brand new single from Gabriella Cohen is called “I Don’t Feel So Alive” and is from her soon to be released album “Full Closure And No Details” – you can listen to it via the following link:

 

As a song it is an amazing collection of ideas and truly sounds fresher and more honest than the music she’s made with her band The Furrs. On this track we hear Cohen wrestle with her old world influences whilst also surrounding the song dynamics with a deep need for futuristic voyeurism and when the climax of the song arrives you start to feel the warmth and comfort of a successful dark horse balancing that fine line between genius and madness. This is music birthed from a human who clearly sounds out of step with the modern world presented to her and although the lyrics are self explanatory, it is Cohen’s melodic delivery and guitar strums that signal her disconnection from the sway of what it means to be a young human in 2015.

This is what separates Cohen from her peers because she is on a quest to deliver more than just pop music and with “I Don’t Feel So Alive” we get to bear witness to the interesting dialogue of her internal universe. This song is perfect and buried within the “A to B” structure are little audio gems that jump out during a serious headphone listen. I’m especially in love with the way the backing vocals are striving for something a bit more and the way in which they are executed with intense creativity.

When I listen to Gabriella Cohen I hear a true artist who is striving and succeeding with breaking all the rules of what is expected from music. Whilst her journey is in its infant stages it is not hard to hear that with time Cohen will go on to change lives and influence a great many people with her art.

There is a classic Mike Patton quote that says “The Problem with music is that it is played by Musicians” and it is one that I live by because true music is the sound that comes from people who view it as art as opposed to a scientific collection of rules and regulations. The musician will interpret the rules set by the artist and will never destroy and re-create new ones. With “I Don’t Feel So Alive” we hear Cohen acknowledge the rules but destroy and re-imagine them at the same time which positions her as one of the real contenders for helping the sometimes redundant sounds of Brisbane move to some new radical ground.

8 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gabriellacohenmusic

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Someone Sometime” by Major Leagues

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Major Leagues have existed since 2012 and in that time they have managed to position themselves as one of the more interesting slacker pop bands to graduate from the Brisbane music scene. After one EP the band is back with a new single titled “Someone Sometime” and it is truly and honestly one of 2015’s best singles thus far.

As a song “Someone Sometime” is a Malkmus Milkshake served dripping with the kind of critically acclaimed under the radar explosive self-expressionism that Yo La Tengo was renowned for. The slacker aesthetics are in full bloom but it is the pop skills of Major Leagues that gets full marks. Lyrically the song hangs onto the boredom of young love and the kind of long distance relationship that can survive courtesy of our social media decorated lifestyles. It’s about the celebration of connection and disconnection and is bound to resonate with just about anybody who loves life from Thursday Night until Sunday Afternoon and who knows the importance of 11:30pm Sunday night shopping at the local super IGA, not quite Kangaroo Point and not quite East Brisbane.

The guitars ring with atmosphere and dream pop economics ensuring that the bubblegum hooks have increased float giving the listener even more reasons to lay back gently and just drift away into the freedom of unwashed bed sheets. Nothing is overdone on “Someone Sometime” which gives the song an appropriate pace and enough time to feel like a progressive step forward without sacrificing society’s need for musical nostalgia. The strength of Major Leagues is the hypnotic sway buried inside their musical dialogue. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this song and it feels that the author is both willing and reluctant to go deep resulting in suggestions as opposed to announcements. This gives the song a strong emotional quality and is the real centerpiece for why it connects so deeply when you listen to it and it’s the reason you press play again and again. You want to know “who” or “why” and you secretly hope that the glimpses of deep longing that you spy when hearing the track is not simply purely there for aesthetics.

There is enough raw emotion haunting the vocals to suggest that for all of its sweetness there is an incredible darkness swirling inside “Someone Sometime” and that it feels rather limiting to view this as just a pop song. A true student of the pop song will collide misery and joy in an attempt to serve the sometimes spiritual and sometimes scientific headspace required to make significantly timeless music. In the space of 4 minutes and 3 seconds Major Leagues do that and more with the true power of “Someone Sometime” being the mysterious dirge that rumbles its sunshine soaked refrains.

Truly and Honestly, Kool Things

9 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

 

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/majorleaguesmusic

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Short Term Plan” by Michelle Xen

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Michelle Xen is the future of music. A bold and vicious claim I know but in the modern context of evolutionary artists Xen has a million kinds of light and its the kind of light that pop music needs circa 2015. Although you can settle on calling her music “electro pop” I firmly believe it goes so much deeper than that. There is way too much ache in her sound to simply limit it to a “happening now” genre tag. Her music is more traditionally linked to the forward nature of psychedelic rock or experimental noise than just straight pop music. I’d even go as far to compare her ever changing visual and sonic aesthetics with the kind of genius that Bowie executed during the 70’s. The reason why she shares a strong link with Bowie is because for all the glitz, glamour and bubble-gum pop music that frames her sound, Xen is drawing from higher forms of self expression to craft her music. I would argue that it takes a true visionary and student of art to be able to immerse themselves in the more extreme forms of artistic self expression and to come back to deliver us a pop music dialogue as a direct result of its influence. This is what Bowie did and Michelle Xen is high art pop music for those of us who aim and desire to communicate our self expression with a clear and direct intent.

With her new single “Short Term Plan” we see Michelle birth a harsher more extreme rush of beats and electronic sizzle which automatically gives the song a forward motion into 21st Century digital angst. Lyrically the song bounces between the anger, joy, confusion and pressure of modern love. I can imagine that this is the kind of song that was written after Xen found herself once again misunderstood in some kind of romantic relationship. As is my habit, if I am to read into the lyrics I hear the yearning for understanding, from anyone and everyone. It feels like Xen has suffered for her art and because she is such a strong visionary, the modern love story cliché is hard to live because being cursed with the overthinking gene and creative streak pushes you to have the kind of restless nature that needs to constantly explore and expand the possibilities of breathing oxygen. To be limited to the dream of “settling down” sounds like it is a claustrophobic idea to Xen hence the black comedy of her Short Term Plan / Long Term Plan refrain throughout the track. Perhaps I’m right or perhaps I’m way off course, either way that is what I get from the song and it really fucking speaks to that part of me that hurts and that mourns just how many relationships I’ve ruined through the pursuit of art, so in short – perfect pop music.

Whether Michelle Xen remains an underground art hero or ends up becoming a mainstream art warrior fighting for a bit more meaning and depth in this world is up to the fickle and fucked up rhythm of the music industry. If I had all the money in the world I’d pay something or someone to make this happen because her vital communications need to be witnessed by the greater universe. I pray to the greater higher self everyday that we finally get Michelle Xen to break on through and as long as this blog is functioning, I’ll be doing my best to spread the goodness that is her music.

10 Cassette tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

 

Watch the video for Short Term Plan here

 

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/michellexen
Website – www.michellexen.tv
Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/user/michellexen

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