Every month, we round up our favourite new releases from local acts and explain why you should get them around them.
Last month, we reviewed new tracks from the likes of Immy Owusu, TAMS/N OTWAY and Soft Powder, you can check that article out here. Otherwise, read on for the hottest new music this month from Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.
Amaru Tribe – ‘Candela Viva’
On paper, there’s a lot going on in the music of Amaru Tribe. The three-piece folktronica outfit consists of three Latin American expats, Oscar Jimenez, Katherine Gailer and Cristian Saavedra, who meld traditional Colombian and Chilean music with contemporary electronic music, giving rise to a genre they call “Cumbia Oceanica”.
‘Candela Viva’, from the group’s new album, Between Two Worlds, contains elements of hip hop, bass music and Latin percussion. At its core, however, it’s an uplifting dance song that’ll charm any and all sympathetic ears and limbs.
Smoke Stack Rhino – ‘Woolamai’
Woolamai Surf Beach is the longest and most picturesque beach on Phillip Island. The adjacent Cape Woolamai is the southern Victorian island’s highest point. ‘Woolamai’, the latest single from Yarra Valley blues rock trio Smoke Stack Rhino, accordingly sits at the extreme end of the scale.
Blues rock is a fair ballpark indicator of Smoke Stack Rhino’s sound, but ‘Woolamai’ is hardly a blues traditional. It’s in five-four timing, for one thing, and what starts off as a bulky grunge song in the style of Alice In Chains and early Soundgarden grows into a housefire of psychedelic guitar noise. ‘Woolamai’ crescendos with some robust riffing that cares none for the diktats of fashion.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – ‘Magenta Mountain’
‘The Dripping Tap’, the lead single from King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s upcoming 20th album, Omnium Gatherum, is a hard act to follow. The track runs for a cool 18 minutes and encompasses all the emotional and dynamic twists and turns one could reasonably expect from a full-length album.
But King Gizzard, being the runaway freight train that they are, followed ‘The Dripping Tap’ with the exceedingly bizarre and explosive Satanic Slumber Party EP, a collaboration with Tropical Fuck Storm that arrived one week after ‘The Dripping Tap’.
‘Magenta Mountain’ is the second single from Omnium Gatherum and it finds the six-piece at their most melodic and whimsical. ‘Magenta Mountain’ is built on a strong, hi-hat driven drum groove, which holds up a morning-sun keyboard motif. It’s lovely stuff.
Teether & Don Glori – ‘Dizzy’
What’s on the other side of a braggadocious lyric? MC Teether provides some likely answers on ‘Dizzy’, a collaboration with jazz and funk bass player Don Glori. “I bring the rain with me anywhere,” Teether raps early in the track. He follows, “Shit, what’s this stain on my puffer vest?”
‘Dizzy’ continues in this fashion, pulling the rug out from under a sequence of would-be boasts. There’s drug-taking (“Sniffing this shit till my head felt gross”); statements of talent (“Trying to read lips but they don’t move slow”); and faith (That man upstairs doing the most for me… apparently”).
Don Glori’s spirited bass playing precludes Teether from ever sounding bothered by any of this and ensures that ‘Dizzy’ remains utterly listenable from top to drop.
Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers – ‘Girl Sports’
(Domestic La La)
Teen Jesus & the Jean Teasers cite the nineties/noughties riot grrrl movement as a major influence. To date, it’s been apparent in the band’s distortion loaded power pop sound, recalling the work of riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill and early Sleater-Kinney. But riot grrrl’s unapologetic feminist ethos takes centre stage on ‘Girl Sports’, the Canberra via Melbourne via Wollongong band’s latest single.
The song’s palpable rage is rooted in the demeaning backhand, “you guys are pretty good for a girl band.” Not only does ‘Girl Sports’ extinguish the need for an asterisk, but the Jean Teasers make it clear that they don’t need your approval: “This time I’m not asking / I’m just telling you / Fuck off!”
Dorsal Fins – ‘Sister’
(Dot Dash Recordings)
‘Sister’, the new single from local super-trio, Dorsal Fins, seems utterly removed from this place, this moment. It might qualify as a post-punk power ballad were it not for Ella Thompson’s completely arresting vocal performance. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear Destroyer’s Dan Bejar chime in alongside Thompson, given how the trebly new wave bass sounds and paddy synthesisers of ‘Sister’ recall Destroyer’s latter-day releases.
But he’s not here and Thompson, who’s known for her work with GL and The Bamboos, absolutely rules ‘Sister’. Thompson’s band mates, Jarrad Brown (Eagle and the Worm) and Liam McGorry (Ex-Olympian), are wily musicians, as talented as they come, but they pull back, letting Thompson’s lead vocal and the track’s minimal arrangement command attention.
Punko feat. Christobel – ‘Time For Us’
Punko’s Liv Jansz is getting in early with an album of the year candidate – Plants Singing, the latest release from indie label to watch, Dinosaur City Records. The single, ‘Time For Us’, features guest vocals from Christobel of Melbourne duo and fellow Dinosaur City signees, Pillow Pro.
‘Time For Us’ is an electronic-pop slow burner. A song to inspire reflection. A friend in the dark; warm and sympathetic. The two voices combine on a melody that’s gentle and atmospheric, but not polite or meek. ‘Time For Us’ is foreground music to lose yourself in.
Check that out on Bandcamp here.