Friday has finally arrived, which means it's release day for a bunch of albums at home and around the world. With so many hot releases out there, we've compiled some of the best new albums to present to you for the long weekend of listening. This week, we're spinning local fodder from Melbourne's own Mildlife, Tassie punks A. Swayze & The Ghosts and WA surf gurus Peter Bibby's Dog Act, as well as some premium new funk from international acts Steve Arrington and Yellow Days. Let's get digging!
Mildlife - Automatic
With their irresistible blend of groovy jazz-funk, spacey disco and psychedelia, Mildlife have emerged as one of the country's premier festival acts, with their 2018 debut Phase proving to be the soundtrack to many a light night escapade upon release. On Automatic, the four-piece sharpen their instrumental talents and match them with laser accurate structuring and gridlock grooves, making for their most immersive listening experience to date. Automatic is equal parts Pink Floyd and Herbie Hancock: for all the shimmering guitar parts and warbling analogue synths that pepper the album, you can almost bet there'll be some rubbery drum and bass parts holding in down in the background in a manner that's certainly nostalgic, but definitely not derivative. The sprawling synth odyssey of the epic title track finale is a huge highlight, but keep an ear peeled for some amazing moments across tunes like 'Downstream' and 'Memory Palace' -we can't wait to catch this one live some day soon.
A. Swayze & The Ghosts - Paid Salvation
On their debut album, Tasmania's greatest musical export in recent years channel the restless energy of their live shows into a twelve track release that's jagged, raw and all too fun. Recorded over a mere matter of days in a converted warehouse studio in Northcote, Paid Salvation carries all the energy of a band playing their hearts out in a packed room, with the witty lyricism and charisma of frontman Andrew Swayze proving to be the band's cutthroat secret weapon. Album opener 'It's Not Alright' gets things off to a riotous start with its angular disco-punk groove, while songs like 'Cancer' and the title track draw upon Krautrock and early post-punk to pull things across the line. The raw production quality of Paid Salvation, as well as the band's tight songwriting and unmatchable energy, make this record a big tick in the books for us: these guys are the shit.
Yellow Days - A Day in a Yellow Beat
With the immense popularity of figures like Mac DeMarco and Tame Impala in music today, the world's seen an influx of woozy, DIY indie artists - many of them varying drastically in quality and longevity. With his brash experimentalism, stoner ethos and a wonderful knowledge of neo-soul, funk, blues and psychedelia, Yellow Days represents the finer side of this new wave, and his new record A Day in a Yellow Beat delivers enough fodder to prove just why. A monstrous 23 track affair, A Day in a Yellow Beat is cluttered thematically yet sonically concise: Yellow Days is drawing from so much source material over its 77 minute run-time that it's occasionally overwhelming, yet the production and quality of performances still makes it a killer listen. There's some super funky grooves over this album, and it seems that Yellow Days has finally made his mark as an artist in this sphere when you listen to songs like 'Open Your Eyes' and 'I Don't Mind' - even Mac DeMarco turns up himself to add his guitar chops to 'The Curse'. A curious, indulgent offering that poises Yellow Days as the next big thing - if he's not already.
Steve Arrington - Down To Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions
You mightn't recognise his name, but I can guarantee you've probably heard Steve Arrington's voice: the man is an Ohio legend who's been lending his talents to funk groups since the '70s, and has been sampled on hit records from Jay-Z, NWA and Snoop Dogg. For the last decade, Arrington's been associated with revered LA label Stones Throw, and it's with these icons that he's sharing his latest record Down To Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions. Featuring production from some of the label's best beatmakers, including Knxwledge, J Rocc and founder Peanut Butter Wolf, Down To Lowest Terms is a head-snapping contemporary funk odyssey that delivers everything you'd want from a Stones Throw release - there's plenty of nasty Dilla-esque grooves, and Arrington's might as a vocalist shines on each track to make for the perfect tape to smoke out to.
Peter Bibby - Marge
A Western Australian cult sensation from way back, Peter Bibby is a troubadour born from surf and sand, with his ramshackle brand of garage rock being beefed up by his penchant for dishing out little nuggets of wisdom that could've only been conceived in a beer garden. His new album, Marge, exemplifies everything that's made him such a local hero in Fremantle: 'Batteries' starts as a folky sea shanty before descending into surf blues madness, 'Stressed' is a sub-minute punk freakout, 'Your Mum' a tenderly written acoustic track that's certainly not as gruff as the title would imply. Bibby's voice is as textbook an Australian snarl as you can get, and the blunt imagery of his lyricism works a treat over Marge - the legend lives on.
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