Baroque Garage Folk
You might know Gabriella Cohen from Brisbane indie rock band The Furrs. She’s down in Melbourne now (for the time being at least) and making wonderful music of her own. There’s a touch of 2000s-era Marianne Faithfull to Cohen’s tunes – you know, when Faithfull started collaborating with Beck, Pulp, Blur and the like, and entered a wonderfully spacey world of enchantment. Get into this before the lines grow too long.
My first exposure to Plum Green came via a cover of PJ Harvey’s ‘Desperate Kingdom of Love’. It’s a good indication of what Plum has to offer – personal, emotionally wrought tunes that tread the borders of gothic, folk and rock.
The Polly Medlen band make an instantly familiar sound, dishing up melodic country rock with a backbeat that’s looking to take names. The tone of familiarity mightn’t fade on repeat listens, but the songs are no less insistent.
Disciples of the late-‘00s R&B revolution, Sumner are still finding their own personality, but have already developed a keen grasp of brooding, addictive melody. The production is detailed, yet deftly minimal, and the emotional outlook avoids soppiness.
THE GOOCH PALMS
There’s not much to The Gooch Palms. Two members, one guitar, half a drum kit, scant clothing, and a couple of voices that are hardly overwhelming. But believe you me, they make good use of their limited resources to create beating garage rock that’ll rouse misbehaviour from a pub crowd and tug the heartstrings when listened to alone after a four day bender.
Sophie Hopes sings and plays guitar in ‘90s devotees Tired Lion. They’ll be running round the country with Spiderbait next month, but beforehand Hopes is playing a solo show supporting Lou Barlow. It’s a good match, two performers who’ve made their mark in decidedly louder surrounds. If Tired Lion’s brash indie rock attitude is anything to go by, Hopes’ solo show will be anything but inconspicuous.
It’s pretty nice stuff, Jess Locke’s music. Nice; it’s not the most ravishing of compliments, but despite her ability to circumvent obvious verse-chorus-verse structure and the often-resolute introspection of her lyrics, Locke sounds like a friend. And that’s always a nice feeling.
Sydney producer Katalyst is a versatile chap. Across a multi-decade career he’s given us a handful of cleverly individual hip hop/dance records. He’s also a voracious collaborator, most notably with Portishead’s Geoff Barrow as Quakers. This week he’s rolling around the country with Detroit’s Guilty Simpson, with whom he struck an effective bond on Simpson’s Detroit’s Son LP.
The Sydney Festival might be over for another year, but the Harbour city ain’t done curating special shows at spectacular venues. The Opera House Concert Hall is hosting Sound + Vision this weekend, which’ll include the likes of Empress Of, Oscar Key Sung and Banoffee. We’d recommend getting in early to check out rising beat maker and Key Sung/Banoffee collaborator Charles Murdoch.
Deviant Electro Pop
Brisbane songwriter/producer Scraps is prone to deviant impulses. She’s also got an unflinching willingness to explore these impulses in drawn out pieces of murky electronic subversion. It’s not ingratiating, that’s for sure, but it is strangely compelling.