Summer in Australia is approaching - and that can only mean one thing: festival season!
The summer’s first major festival, the touring Parklife, has just released an incredibly well-done mashup video, containing videos and tracks from their extensive bill, creating a seamless teaser to get Australia ready for the upcoming festival season.
This year’s installment of Parklife will include Australia’s The Presets with their first Australian performances of their massive new album Pacifica (due for release September 7th via Modular Records), along with Passion Pit, Justice, Robyn, Tame Impala, and many more.
Stay tuned for more Parklife info, including what will hopefully be our coverage of the Sydney date!
The full lineup can be seen here, and the dates below:
September 29th - Brisbane
September 30th - Sydney
October 1st - Perth
October 6th - Melbourne
October 7th - Adelaide
Tin Lion, moniker of the Melbourne-based Jesse Fultone (what is it with all this Melbourne talent?!), who’s joined by percussionist Jordan Garuccio for live performances, sounds like something straight out of DFA Records - James Murphy’s renowned label, whose roster includes the perfect blend of electronic and rock music with bands like The Rapture, Hot Chip, Holy Ghost!, and of course - LCD Soundsystem.
I believe that Tin Lion is truly the reincarnation of the late LCD Soundsystem - and this is coming from a true die-hard fan (I may have casually cried while streaming their final show at Madison Square Garden…). Is it just a coincidence that just as the band responsible for some of indie rock’s biggest hits (“All My Friends”, “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House”, and “Losing My Edge”, just to name a few) and greatest live performances (seeing them at New York City’s Terminal 5 and Bonnaroo back in 2010 was utterly mind-blowing) breaks up and releases a documentary, these guys pop up, seemingly out of nowhere? The only explanation is that this is a miracle from the indie rock gods!
All kidding aside, Tin Lion produce some of the most infectious blend of electronic and rock that I’ve ever heard. With obvious New York disco, funk, and Talking Heads influence, Jesse creates a masterpiece out of everything he touches. And the music is multi-functional: it suits just lounging around, can incite a dance party, and can be the perfect soundtrack to a long, summer drive. Or a long winter drive. It’s just got the multi-purposeful sound that isn’t too common these days.
The newly released “Indigo” is without a doubt Tin Lion’s greatest track, as it sounds like something that would be found on LCD’s Sound Of Silver - possibly my favorite album - with its cowbell-lead rhythm, Jesse’s sing-talking, and a groovin’ bassline that just makes you wanna get up and dance. The cowbell gives the track a similar post-punk, acid house feel as The Rapture’s biggest hit, “House Of Jealous Lovers”, though Jesse’s voice is a bit more polished than that of Luke Jenner’s voice, giving it a different feel, even with the similar groove. Hopefully “Indigo” will push Tin Lion to similar electro-rock legend status as The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem.
Even with the constant comparison to the great James Murphy & co., Jesse’s music is truly his own, as he adds many of his own elements to his music. For one thing, the mid-song magical guitar solo in “Indigo” isn’t something you’d find in anything LCD Soundsystem. On a similar note, Tin Lion production is much simpler, spacier, and less layered, making their music more on the electronic/dance side of the spectrum, as opposed to LCD Soundsystem’s grouping with more indie rock acts.
Definitely keep an eye on these guys, as they’re charting at #1 on Triple J Unearthed - an impressive feat on its own, but even more so for these considering the fact that Tin Lion was only founded less than a year ago! In the meantime, you can stream and download a couple of highlights below.
Pinch me - am I dreaming? For all I knew, I was watching the The Ramones in a world where CBGB was in Olympia, Washington and it’s 1983. It was February 2012 and I was at Death By Audio in Brooklyn watching the Woollen Kits. The garagy punkers hailing from Melbourne, Australia had me at their feet without even trying, as the cartoon likenesses of the late Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone peered over their shoulders off the muraled wall of the venue. It was nearly impossible to resist singer Tom H’s bassy monotone, reminiscent of Calvin Johnson and Beat Happening together with a sound that borrows more punch than twee from all my favorite Sub Pop and Sarah Records bands.
Tom, Tom and Leon (“Not Tom”) of the Woollen Kits have been coupling hooky vocals and guitars with Energizer bunny percussion since 2009 (though a previous lineup had been technically around since 2007). The first time I heard the trio was 22/09/11 , a cassette of a live show released on Fan Death Records. The recording speaks perfectly to the band’s immediate, frenetic and stickily-memorable songs, with the charming bits of a small, but excited audience dashed for good measure. I play sides A and B over and over again, even though I learned many of the words and hooks the first time around - such is the life of great pop music.
Their self-titled full-length was released this past January, but these are the songs of summer: From upbeat opener “Sloan” to the sleepy, dreamy “I Love You” and sassy closer “Watch You Walk” (with sax!) - I’m in psycho beach party heaven! The sweet grime of The Vaselines and The Pastels is here, as well as the structured surf pop of The Beach Boys. It’s an answer to Best Coast, without the stoned California pining and more of an earnest boys-will-be-boys yearning.
For all my referencing back to music I’d never been around for, at the end of the day bands like the Woollen Kits only cement my earnest belief that the best are still around, right before my very eyes in small sweaty packed (and sort of unpacked) rooms full of eager kids. The past is long dead, but the music sure isn’t.
Earlier this week Woollen Kits released the 7” “Shelley” (which you can listen to below and buy here) b/w “Down Your Street” via Chicago’s Trouble In Mind. It is also not too late to check out their ridiculously under-the-radar self-titled album from R.I.P. Society and start praying they come to a town near you very soon.
“The Sun” puts SURES campy beach vibe front and center, never letting up with the grooving bass and cave ambient vocals which fill this song with an optimistic core wrapped in a sea of good vibes.
Although simple, “The Sun” is the best archetype to gain appreciation for SURES creativity and a presage of what we should be expecting from them in the future. Just keep in mind that their “Stars” EP is one designed to be taken as a whole, creating a replete sound and much more rounded dynamic than any single song of theirs could ever portray.
If you’re ready for some soaked-in-the-70’s neo-punk go ahead and skip to the bottom and press play. There is nothing I can write which is going to persuade you one way or another when it comes to Slug Guts, they are just one of those bands you either absolutely love or you don’t and to clear up any confusion I fall into the first category.
It doesn’t take much to figure out which bands have influenced these guys but with all the time in the world to analyze their sound I’d bet you could never trace the Slug Guts sound to Brisbane. That seems to be typical of Australian bands in general, they have a way of stripping away their entire heritage and embracing their influences with unnatural emulation.
With a new album set to drop in July “Stranglin’ You Too” is the perfect teaser to get us stoked for this bands future.
Listen to and download Conner Youngblood’s new song “Proportions” below.
Conner Youngblood’s got quite the repertiore of musical stylings in his pocket.
One minute he can be busting out the laid-back, folding slow-jams, the next he’s rocking a banjo and singing over some fat, skewed, electronic synths, like on “Monsters”.
On his latest song “Proportions” he’s doing the former, finger snapping his way through a down-trodden, late night lament, lifted from his upcoming album “Sketches Part 2”, due for release later in the year.
Listen to “Proportions” below and check out his other songs if you’re unfamiliar with his talent (“Monsters” is a highlight).
Something a little different on LBYB today: a feature about jaguars! No, obviously not. That said, I do probably know more about jaguars than I do about the actual subject of the post, Jagwar Ma. Like Martyn of Pinemarten, the gentleman behind it prefers to remain largely anonymous. What I can tell you is that his real name is Jono Ma; that he spends his time between Berlin and Australia; and that you probably know of his brother - or at least his brother’s work - even if you don’t realise it.
Why’s that? Well, his brother’s Dave Ma - a.k.a. the guy who directed every Foals video. Not to mention Delphic’s “This Momentary”, Wild Beasts’ “Albatross”, Wolf Gang’s “Lions In Cages”, and so on. I imagine this is the sort of contact that’s probably quite useful when you’re in the music industry. And funnily enough, Jono has also done some work with Foals, and they’re due to unleash their remix chops on his debut single, “Come Save Me”. Nice.
Let’s be clear, though: Jono’s music - at least, the teasing snippets I’ve heard so far - are perfectly capable of standing up on their own merits. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it: it’s something of an eclectic bag of styles from across the past fifty-odd years. “Come Save Me” has a feel of Kasabian or Death In Vegas, which I guess equates to old-school psychedelia filtered through a big beat/rave-inspired ’90s-Manchester rock lens (no, I’m not proud of that description). The drums come courtesy of Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa. Also nice.
The other tracks up on his Soundcloud are “What Love?” and a remix of The Bumblebeez’s “Betty Jane”. Both deliver a pulsing, hypnotic brand of house; Mike Bradford of The Recommender hit the nail on the head with his comparison to The Orb. “Betty Jane” especially is pretty darn weird, but then so was the original, and it works. For the life of me I can’t decide whether that’s a Radiohead sample at the end, or if it’s “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, or something else entirely. Whatever, it’s been on repeat all evening and I’m still not bored.
It was pretty much inevitable I was going to be drawn to Jono’s music given his influences. For starters, he mentions Andrew Weatherall, who co-produced Primal Scream’s “Screamadelica”, and whose remix of My Bloody Valentine’s “Soon” is a bit of a blinder. As it happens, The Orb also had production credits on “Screamadelica” - small world, huh? Also mentioned are The Avalanches - literally the best thing about Australia, ever - and Phil Spector - literally a very famous and influential guy who I needn’t bash on about.
Still, there’s no need to take it from me: you can stream all three tracks below. Keep a look out for “Come Save Me”, which gets formally released in February (something tells me it might have quite a good video to accompany it). And expect to hear a lot more from Jagwar Ma next year.