Hello and welcome to our fortnightly indie artists column. Head here if you missed the previous instalment, featuring Too Birds, Plaster of Paris and Third Space.
Every fortnight, we’re rounding up the best new Victorian bands and artists making waves online, underground and on the airwaves.
For those looking to keep an ear to the ground with the best emerging acts, this column will have you covered every two weeks with Victoria’s finest.
Catch up on the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.
Research Records has a penchant for finding Melbourne’s most cosmically connected musicians. The label that bought you Mildlife’s Phases, Elite Beat’s Selected Rhythms and Big Yawn’s No! is back with a release that’s simultaneously shrouded in mystery and blowing up immensely.
Glass Beams might be a band, it might be a person, or it might be something as yet undefined. Mirage is their first release, and before it even makes it into the world it has already caught the attention of disco heroine Jayda G, who has featured one of its tracks — ‘Taurus’ — on her recent DJ-Kicks compilation.
If someone beamed Mildlife down from space and set them up in the Sahara desert, they’d jam like Glass Beams. The spacey synths are still there, but they are blasted with sand and sunlight. Opener ‘Mirage’ is downright cinematic, taking elements of Indian disco, spaghetti westerns and ‘70s prog to create a track that sounds like Surprise Chef scoring Cowboys & Aliens. On the other hand, ‘Taurus’ takes an echoing, ethereal vocal and wraps it around Khruangbin-esque guitars, showing Melbourne’s many space-jazz pioneers there’s just as much fun to be had down on the ground.
Mirage is out Friday June 25 on Research Records.
It’s been just under a year since Floodlights released their debut album From a View, a record that served as a warm comfort for many during Melbourne’s long lockdown winter. Now, they’re back with a new 7” — The More I Am / Overflowing Cup.
B-side ‘Overflowing Cup’ is the only track available right now, but offers a window into the newly rejuvenated Floodlights. Where From a View packed grit, snarl and lyrics that pitted you against the modern world, ‘Overflowing Cup’ finds Floodlights treading a new, contemplative path.
Wrapped in a golden harmonica melody and soft alt-country production, ‘Overflowing Cup’ sees vocalist/guitarist Louis Parsons wrestling with some deeply held views: “My opinion seems ingrained/My view has been shortened/Tell me why is it so hard to see behind the fence that encircles me,” he muses, the band putting a distinctly Aussie spin on a Neil Young-indebted classic rock sound.
The More I Am / Overflowing Cup 7” is out Friday June 18.
Tahnee Ollerton brings a meditative, dreamlike state to the country sound on her recently released album I Hear Music. The Castlemaine musician embodies a stripped-back sound throughout I Hear Music, which glitters with the natural elements of the world around us.
Ollerton began writing I Hear Music back in 2018 after hearing a recording of her dad talking about his relationship with his impending death. That melancholy and grief hangs over the record, but never defeats it.
In fact, the opposite is true. On ‘Cherry Cola’, Ollerton’s deft, ethereal guitar playing shines through, providing a light playfulness to a record that’s otherwise steeped in raw emotion and, above all, love.
I Hear Music is out now on Bandcamp.
Keen for another fun read? Check out our piece on four inspiring Melbourne music workshops helping emerging artists break into the scene.