Ex-Olympian – Afterlife
A stalwart of Melbourne’s neo-soul scene over the last decade, former Saskwatch and Dorsal Fins member Liam McGory has debuted his first solo offering as Ex-Olympian, Afterlife. Packing in eleven tracks of lush, forward-thinking funk and crunchy soul, Afterlife is effervescent in every sense: gleaming Rhodes pianos, twinkling synths and driving grooves create a ludic playground for McGory to showcase his chops as producer, while his horn arrangements across the entire project help to tie everything together into one seamless package. Whether it’s the piping hot collaboration with fellow Saskwatch alumnus Nkechi Anele ‘Lilac Youth’ or the ultra smooth ‘Penny In The Well’ with Sam Lawrence, Afterlife packs in jam after jam after jam, and certainly establishes McGory’s might as a musical tour de force in Melbourne. For fans of latter-day BADBADNOTGOOD and The Avalanches, you’ll get a big kick out of this joint.
Beabadoobee – Fake It Flowers
Initially gaining a fervent online following through her early lo-fi works, UK’s Beabadoobee was thrust into the mainstream this year when she signed to The 1975’s Dirty Hit label and was picked as the face of Fender’s Player Series campaign, and it’s all led to this. On her debut album Fake It Flowers, Beabadoobee channels the spirit of ‘90s alt-rock and repackages it for a whole new generation of young listeners, eschewing her lo-fi origins in favour of a palate drawn from Britpop, shoegaze and grunge. Album opener ‘Care’ sounds like it could have been plucked out of Thom Yorke’s songbook circa 1994, while ‘Sorry’ carries on the sonics of groups like Silverchair and spruces them up to sell back to Gen Z. Get ready to hear a lot more about Beabadoobee in the years to come – there’s every chance she’ll be the next big thing, if she’s not already.
Pluaralone – I Don’t Feel Well
The recently minted solo project of former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, Pluralone’s latest effort is a sublime slice of art-rock that shows just why Klinghoffer got the call to fill the shoes of one of the biggest guitar heroes of the modern age. Sculpted around jagged electric guitars, syncopated drum grooves and sophisticated electronic instrumentation, I Don’t Feel Well is a testament to Klinghoffer’s uncanny talent as a multi-instrumentalist, with songs like ‘The Report’ and ‘I Hear You’ even verging on Radiohead territory at times. Meanwhile, Josh’s vocals and arrangements help to carry I Don’t Feel Well far above just being an instrumental showcase, and although Klinghoffer tends to opt for abstract lyricism, it’s the timbre of his voice that does the talking on these tracks. If you’re a Chili Peppers fan who feels Josh has been hard done by with John Frusciante’s unexpected return to the band, you’ll lap this one up.
Osees – Metamorphosed
They might change their bandmate like a pair of socks, but Californian psych-punk mainstays Osees (formerly Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, The Ohsees… and the list goes on) certainly haven’t switched up on the quality of their songwriting, and it’s on their latest album Metamorphosed where their virtues shine through. Kicking things off with three raucous tracks that creep under the two-minute mark before taking the record up a notch with the 14-minute ‘The Virologist’ and the sprawling 23 minute jam ‘I Got a Lot’, Metamorphosed is packed with fun front-to-back. John Dwyer’s guitar playing on the first three cuts is absolutely manic, while on the dual drummer front, Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone take the band straight into Krautrock territory on the final tracks. Metamorphosed mightn’t be anything out of the ordinary for Osees, but it’s still a red hot listen for anyone craving a fix of janky rock ’n roll.
trials – ‘i’m a fucking wreck’
Best known as one half of Aussie rap trailblazers AB Original, trials has stepped out to share his first release as a solo artist, sharing his short-but-sweet debut ‘i’m a fucking wreck’ alongside US rising star Daniyel. Tapping into the emo-rap wave made big over in the States as of late, ‘i’m a fucking wreck’ sees trials assert his prowess as a producer, fusing big drums with warm guitar arpeggios to blanket Daniyel’s impassioned vocal performance across the track. If anything, ‘i’m a fucking wreck’ serves as a reminder that trials is one of the country’s best names in hip-hop today, and we’re itching to hear more from the Adelaide MC/producer in the future.
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