Apollo’s Son ride along on the psych train, though there’s a barren Wild West darkness propelling their vehicle. It’s like krautrock got a gothic makeover. Perhaps not purveyors of a good time, but an experience indeed.
Recently picked up by Nina Las Vegas’ NLV Records, Brisbane producer Strict Face is probably a few months away from mass ascension. As it stands, he’s made a number of grimey, and not exactly pretty club tunes. The beats are constant and the melodies deft, but nothing falls snugly into the in vogue pile.
Autumnal Folk Rock
A few years back, anyone describing their music as folk was worth avoiding. The suffocating earnestness of the nu-folkies has faded out somewhat, which is a big relief. Otherwise I mightn’t have stumbled across Perth’s Galloping Foxleys, who’re partial to the rustic charms of English folk music and not afraid to project them onto a big screen of sweeping instrumentation.
There’s got to be a topographical explanation for the ongoing outflow of indie pop from Brisbane. It doesn’t seem like the product of a unified scene or due to heart on your sleeve, slightly melancholy guitar pop being the height of trendiness. Whatever it is, Mid Ayr doesn’t break the spell of the northern city’s indie pop pre-eminence. Latest single ‘Letting You In’ weeps a little before opening the shutters and telling us everything will be okay.
Somewhere along the line ‘jangle’ became a dirty word. Probably due to overuse. But in the case of Full Ugly, the descriptor ain’t no pejorative. The Melbourne collective stick jangly, trebly guitars right in your face. Not out of compliance or petulance, but to buoy their wonderfully scrappy and personable pop songs.
Prints Familiar know the way to a good’n’solid groove. There’s a touch of early Franz Ferdinand to their angular indie/post punk, but it’s not so intent on getting the party started. More cerebral perhaps. Either way, the groove sticks, tempering the tone of solemnity.
Melbourne’s Evelyn Morris is a restless creator. Always looking for some new way to elicit an emotional response, a corporeal response. Pushing the listener into a zone of mystery, not to confuse but to encourage constructive thought. Her work as Pikelet is by no means inaccessible – rooted in strutting beats, simmering synth bass and enveloping vocal melodies – but it refuses to be easily categorised.
Saturday January 16 – Brisbane Hotel – Hobart, TAS
As the name implies, Miss Miss is a two-woman combination. They’re not perfectionists, playing a hell-for-leather kind of garage punk. But they’re not capricious either. There’s a lot of subversion going on amid the seemingly familiar sonic surroundings. Espousing a ‘fuck no, you can’t tell me what to do’ attitude. It’s not just invigorating; it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Fuchsia aren’t hot young things, alright. The band’s self-titled album was released in 1971. I’m not crash hot at arithmetic, but that was a little while before the contemporary psych rock boom kicked into gear. Perhaps by virtue of that boom, the record doesn’t sound dated. They know how to handle the typical genre tropes – reverby vocals, tempo fluctuations, interwoven acoustic and electric instruments and melodies that spin around your head. More, please.
Clare Quinn has just let loose her latest single ‘Lover and Friend’. It’s an apt way to begin the year. Gentle, confident, detailed with positive resolutions. Quinn’s vocals dance around the root melody, adept but not showy, intent but relaxed.