Hello and welcome to our new fortnightly indie artists column. Head here if you missed the previous column, featuring The Vovos, Winter McQuinn and Spiritual Mafia.
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.
Time For Dreams
‘Death to All Actors’ – the latest single from duo Time For Dreams – is a song so hazy and lo-fi it sounds like it’s coming to you from a tiny AM radio in the corner of an antiques shop. It’s the third single from their forthcoming album Life of the Inhabitant, which if ‘Death to All Actors’ is anything to go by, promises to be filled with themes of pandemics, plagues, rituals and spells.
There’s a dense, thick fogginess to ‘Death to All Actors’ — a bit like someone burning too much sage in a room where Portishead are working on Aphex Twin covers. It’s the sparsest of songs, but Tom Carlyon’s crunchy instrumentation is held together firmly by Amanda Roff’s magical vocals, which drift in and out like a poltergeist imitating Victoria Legrand.
This four-piece punk band return with a six-track record about life’s first world problems, rattling them off one by one like tin cans being obliterated by slingshots. Modern Problems is as raw and rocking as punk gets: extremely lo-fi, teeming with attitude and full of riffs.
Vocalist Al rages against everything from the monotony of suburbs (‘Modern Problems’), fascinating about the ultimate revenge (‘Revenge’) and rightly screaming about the fuckery of robo debt (‘Robo Debt Blues’).
Recorded at notable jam factory Moonah Arts Collective and mixed by Mikey Young, Modern Problems is a bracing and sobering take on the state of Melbourne today. If you after more, check out their three-track self-titled EP from last year. It’s blissfully cathartic.
Modern Problems is out now via Legless Records. Catch cutters play at Moonah Arts Centre in Rye on Saturday May 8. Tix here.
Eva Popov recorded There’s a Field, her new album as Hello Satellites, in her home during lockdown last year. Vocals were walked in walk-in wardrobes; friends were invited to hum along over the internet in a virtual choir. It has all the hallmarks of a pandemic record, and yet it carries none of the weight of one – There’s a Field is bright and delicate, like a ray of sunshine breaking through a wall of clouds.
“Each song was a joyous, wide open space to occupy, whilst the outside world felt so closed and restricted under lockdown,” Popov says on her Bandcamp page.
While Popov maintains that There’s a Field is a folk album at its heart — and the lovely ‘Thief’ (which is actually Big Thief-esque) does well to back that up — it’s the genre-defying moments that really steal the show. ‘No Delivery’ channels Tune-Yards in its wobbly rhythms and psychedelic vibrations, proving itself a robust pop anthem that could well end up being Popov’s new calling card.
Keen on another fun read? Check out our piece diving deep into Melbourne’s underground music scene.