Low Lux make pretty smooth downtempo dream pop. They’re no slouches when it comes to weaving in arresting melodies, but they don’t slam anything down your throat. The group’s new single ‘Ruin’ is an elegant and subtly propulsive piece of atmospheric guitar pop, which shimmers around in your internal melody-bank long after its three-and-a-half minutes are up.
Thursday August 27 – ANU Bar – Canberra, ACT
Pazz & junk
There’s a definite technical know-how that underpins Jaala’s tunes. But the Melbourne outfit – fronted by Mangelwurzel’s Cosima Jaala – are far more playful than they are academic. Amid jazz chords and punky fearlessness, Jaala convey a sense of fun and patent affection for pop song dynamics.
Thursday August 27 – The Bird – Perth, WA
The Shifters make indie guitar pop that leans to the left of centre. Though it’s not as if they contrive for weirdness or labour to inject avant garde quirk. This simply seems like their natural format of expression, which is evidenced by the fact that no matter how skewwhiff things get, it all remains neatly accessible.
Friday August 28 – The Tote – Melbourne, VIC
Experimental dream pop
‘Experimental’ is a misleading tag, isn’t it? Surely every creation is in some sense experimental – even if it’s rigidly calculated pop music, it’s still an experiment to see if anyone responds to it. With regards to Adelaide’s Kimonono, I use the word in reference to the way their dreamy pop follows a reasonably straight course, yet is filled with enough misty fumes to keep you guessing where the next turn will lead.
Saturday August 29 – Hotel Metro – Adelaide, SA
THE TAMBOURINE GIRLS
What ever happened to Sydney psych-pop exemplars Deep Sea Arcade? Responsible for an album of greatest hits-worthy tunes, they ain’t made much noise for a couple of years. The Tambourine Girls’ lineup offers some clues; featuring three former and current DSA members, these guys deal in a similar brand of jangly psych pop. Though, they’re more willing to let things follow a windy path, and evoke melodic semblance such ‘90s acts as Teenage Fanclub.
Saturday August 29 – Republic Bar – Hobart, TAS
Gleefully absurd dance music
Spoonbill isn’t a new addition to this country’s electronic music ranks, but he’s been making engrossing avant-dance music since long before such sounds permeated the nation’s club scene. While he’s known for eccentrically fusing found sounds, field recordings and deep bass grooves, the new LP Tinkerbox is an impressively understated outing.
Saturday August 29 – Woolly Mammoth – Brisbane, QLD
Lowtide are easily placed into shoegaze/dream pop category. There’s a patent link between the Melbourne band’s debut LP – last year’s Lowtide – and the hazy sounds dispersed out of the UK in the early-‘90s. But despite this sonic semblance, they’re not just paying homage. Lowtide’s unique identity is in striking effect on their latest single Julia. The song is actually a cover, but they re-present with undeniable relevance.
Sunday August 30 – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, VIC
THE GOVERNMENT YARD
It’s no secret punk rock has some of the most conservative followers out of any musical style. Conservative, at least, in terms of what they believe constitutes ‘punk’. Perth’s The Government Yard embody punk’s original spirit in that they don’t waste any space. Their songs take issue with compulsive land clearing and the general sterility of urban society. And they’re chiefly motivated to write and perform by a sense of necessity, rather than stylistic uniformity.
Sunday August 30 – Mojos – Perth, WA
THE BOMBAY ROYALE
Bollywood surf funk
Inspired by composers such as R. D. Burman and Kalyanji-Anandji, Melbourne musician Andy Williamson was compelled to start a band that paid homage to the Bollywood soundtracks of the ‘60s and ‘70s. That was roughly five years ago and The Bombay Royale have since become Melbourne’s – OK, Australia’s – premier Bollywood-inspired theatrical superforce. It’s fun, it’s silly, it’s serious and the tunes are lovingly crafted.
Sunday August 30 – Estonian House – Melbourne, VIC
Terza Madre is a whole pack of savvy Sydney musos having a go at Italian pop tunes of the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Perhaps that sounds a touch obscure – and ‘60s/’70s Italian pop wasn’t a realm of innocuous ditties – but this is pretty hard not to fall in love with. The music’s tense emotional undercurrent is compounded in a live setting.
Sunday August 30 – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, NSW