THE TWOKS & STRINGS
The Twoks just released a new single called ‘Doona’. The title comes from the song’s key hook, “You keep taking the doona away.” We’ve all been there; that sleeping partner who just continues to cause discomfort. It seems so trivial and yet it’s a real deal breaker. The song chugs along on a mid tempo blues groove, which suggests the narrator ain’t going to be around for long if the sleep disruption continues. Fittingly, to launch the single, this Thursday violin wielding frontwoman Xani Kolac will be getting cosy with a full string section.
Thursday July 16 – The Gasometer Hotel – Melbourne, VIC
Earlier this year Stephen Malkmus described Pavement’s ‘Major Leagues’ as the most “dad” song he’s ever written. Maybe it has adult concerns, but it’s not so old-hat to qualify as dad rock. Brisbane’s Major Leagues happen to have named their band after this song. The foursome have just dropped an assured new single ‘Someone Sometime’. It’s by no means free from worry, but it patiently assesses the ‘settling down versus running wild’ debate.
Thursday July 16 – Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane, QLD
Dear Plastic have just dropped Overwinter, the fourth single from last year’s The Thieves Are Babes LP. It’s a good representation of the band’s strengths: the tension builds thanks to a simmering bass groove and eerie synth sounds. Meanwhile, vocalist Scarlette Baccini maintains a wistful cool, in a manner akin to Portishead’s Beth Gibbons. It fills you with a sense of unease, not unlike a dark winter night.
Thursday July 16 – Goodgod Small Club – Sydney, NSW
Industrial junk blues
The Growl are affiliated with a whole stack of Perth bands that roam the turf of psych, pop, garage and glam. But the music The Growl make is the manifestation of a much darker spiritual energy than their compatriots. Led by Cameron Avery (Pond, Tame Impala), their repertoire ranges from traditionalist swamp blues to Birthday Party bad behaviour with the occasional hint of industrial brutality.
Friday July 17 – Mojos – Perth, WA
Wizz fizz punk
If the music of Ausmuteants were a person, they’d have one leg longer than the other, a thing for fluoro jumpsuits and some sick passion, like swigging goon on the way to work in the morning. The Melbourne synth-loaded punk dudes are snotty and off-balance. But they’re also tenacious workhorses who put plenty of thought into their prolifically produced tunes.
Friday July 17 – Brisbane Hotel – Hobart, TAS
Flyying Colours own some very nice guitars and they know how to build big walls of fuzz out of them. As a result, their live shows can be a bit of an onslaught, and sometimes the songcraft gets obscured by the mess of noise. However, the band’s latest single ‘Running Late’ isn’t quite so aggressive. It’s an easygoing jangly number that expresses a tired melancholy. It’s really quite nice. So nice, in fact, that I can almost excuse the singer for wearing that awful bucket hat in the video clip.
Friday July 17 – Odd Fellow – Perth, WA
Gorsha’s tunes bear some semblance to the current Aussie garage rock movement. But while their contemporaries are often either relaxed janglers, melodic romantics or blokey hedonists, Gorsha are afflicted by a darker malaise. Their music’s evocative of a scene where the house is in disarray, there’s needles in the arm and money at stake.
Saturday July 18 – Hotel Metro – Adelaide, SA
JEROME FANDOR AND THE INNER VISIONS
Jerome Fandor takes quite an honest, respectful approach to crafting soulful R&B music. He’s got a voice smooth as premium merlot and a whole lot of heartache to work through. But production-wise, he weaves in enough subtle acid jazz inflections and crisp electronic sounds to make this a distinctly 21st century experience.
Saturday July 18 – Lazybones Lounge – Sydney, NSW
ALPHA BETA FOX
It doesn’t take a musicologist to detect Adelaide’s Alpha Beta Fox are fans of UK indie-popsters Saint Etienne. Along with their band name’s allusions to Saint Etienne’s ’91 debut Foxbase Alpha, they toil in the realm of elegant keyboard-laden danceable indie pop. Thankfully, they’ve applied the influence of their heroes with enough smarts that it doesn’t sound like a dry re-make.
Saturday July 18 – The Wheatsheaf Hotel – Adelaide, SA
The Label of Love celebrations continue in Melbourne this weekend. On Sunday it’s underground electronic stable Butter Sessions’ turn to strut their stuff. At the core of the collective is experimental house duo Sleep D. Sleep D make tunes that firstly kick away the tables to get down to body-flinging. But these same tunes are composed of such expertly applied detail – sci-fi sounds and flourishes of psychedelic colour – that they’re just as suitable heard through headphones in a dark, still room.
Sunday July 19 – Shadow Electric – Melbourne, VIC