Kim Salmon & The Surrealists – Ranting From The Book Of Swamp
A certified legend of Australia’s musical underground, Kim Salmon has seen and done it all – he’s had stints playing in Beasts Of Bourbon and The Scientists on top of recording his own solo material, and is recognised as being one of the most eccentric guitar players of his generation. Largely improvised and unrehearsed, Ranting From The Book Of Swamp is Salmon’s first album with his band The Surrealists in ten years, and man, what a trip it is. Spanning 75 minutes and featuring more than a few mighty ramshackle moments, there’s an energy on this record which feels incredibly apt for the world we live in today; expect chaotic, experimental rock and plenty of Salmon’s titular ranting from start to stop. Nevertheless, it’s a killer listen, and serves as another reminder of Salmon’s enduring status as a trailblazer.
Steve Kilbey – Eleven Women
Steve Kilbey never expected to make Eleven Women this year – but this year hasn’t exactly turned out to plan, has it? After initially planning to finalise a new album with The Church, the pandemic threw Kilbey’s plans into disarray, and now, here we have Eleven Women: recorded over three days as a personal test for the prolific songwriter. Kilbey’s third release this year, the record bears a certain cinematic quality that one should come to expect from Kilbey’s songwriting, with songs like ‘Josephine’ and ‘Queen of Spades’ delivering shimmering guitars and sharpened songwriting. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that this record is arriving just days out from Father’s Day, and we’d strongly urge you to pick up copy for your old man if you can.
Boy & Bear – At Golden Retriever Studio
After last year’s triumphant comeback Suck On Light, Boy & Bear have maintained their newfound momentum with the release of At Golden Retriever Studio; a largely acoustic compilation of fan favourites from across the band’s illustrious career. Recorded at the titular Golden Retriever Studio in Sydney, the album sees the band opt for an ‘unplugged’ approach, stripping their songs down the acoustic essentials to breathe new life into their back catalogue. The band’s harmonies are a major highlight of At Golden Retriever, as are their renditions of old favourite ‘Limit Of Love’ and the unsuspecting Chris Isaak cover towards the end of the disc. A cruisy, enjoyable way to revisit the band’s catalogue that should serve as prime-time Sunday morning listening material.
San Cisco – Between You And Me
Almost ten years after arriving on the scene with exuberant tracks like ‘Fred Astaire’ and ‘Awkward’, Perth indie outfit San Cisco have turned in another hotbed of upbeat jams in the form of Between You And Me. While Jordi, Josh and Scarlett have certainly grown up a lot since the world first met them, they’ve certainly not lost their knack for penning catchy indie-pop songs, with singles like ‘Skin’ and ‘On The Line’ featuring all the irresistible guitar interplay and soaring hooks you’d expect from the group. While there’s certainly a shortage of ambitious or forward-thinking material on Between You And Me, I don’t think anyone’s expecting San Cisco to lead the charge for Australian indie anymore, and for that reason, Between You And Me ticks the boxes: it’s a fun record that’ll undeniably translate impeccably to the stage – whenever that may be.
Shlohmo – Heaven Inc. EP
Emerging from the same circle as trailblazing producers such as Flying Lotus, Teebs and Samiyam, Shlohmo has always been a bit of a dark-horse in the music world. With a sound palate that centres around contemporary electronic and hip-hop with eclectic rock and ambient influences, Shlohmo is certainly somewhat of an underrated figure within the modern production landscape, and his new Heaven Inc. EP acts as a reminder of just how versatile he is. The dark, ambling ‘Looking At Plants’ is an engrossing slow-burner, while the title track explodes with a driving post-punk rhythm at the midpoint to set a heavy tone for the rest of the project. It’s a dark and all-too-short listen, but Heaven Inc. could certainly teach younger producers a thing or two about setting moods, and proves that Shlohmo is only getting better.
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