The Babe Rainbow – “Peace Blossom Boogy”

I’ve had a soft spot for The Babe Rainbow in the past and they’re scrubbing up and crystallizing their sunshine pop from the sounds of it. They finally have a full length on the way from Flightless in AU and apparently from Danger Mouse’s 30th Century Records here in the US (sure, why not?). The first single is as lackadaisical as they’ve ever been – another hippy sturummer with a touch of blue-eyed soul and a sugar shaker beat that feels like it’s primed for clear skies and picnic playlists. They accompany the cut with a walk back to ’60s pop films, mashing a ton of Magical Mystery Tour action into a double decker bus full of what seem to be family and friends. Sounding like a good one, not shaking the foundations of pop too hard, but when good homage has its place, especially when its this catchy.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Mt. Mountain

Perth’s Mt. Mountain stretch out heavier and headier than ever before with a record that evokes the endless stretches of outback, scorched earth futures and shamanistic auras. The record opens with a crusher, the 17+ minute “Dust” that builds from a parched stumble into a storm of guitar fury, ominous flutes and feedback swirl. The track anchors the record. It’s a tempest that guides the album, harnessing their soft touch of desolation and the kill switch quick change of noise and power that they have at the ready.

The rest of the album doesn’t necessarily crouch in the shadows, though. They continue to mine the desolate squalls of Barn Owl and Earth, dip into a quavering well of shimmer psych that owes no small favers to Japan’s psychedelic past and then marry it all to a comedown cascade that recalls mid-00s psych with a softer touch along the lines of The Occasion. The band’s been building steam steadily, but one gets the sense that this is where they’ve been headed. Dust is Mt. Mountain cracking through the veil of rote psychedelia and into the branch that’s reserved for those vibrating at a higher frequency. This is where the journey begins and, if you’re unfamiliar, where you should as well.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Light In The Attic: Japan Archival Series

Light In The Attic are absolute masters at digging up the past and their latest series fills an essential hole in the cataloging of Japanese music. They’re beginning the series with three compilations – Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973; Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1975-1985; and Kanky┼Ź Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990. Presumably they’ll spread to some singular artist focused releases from there as they tease a release from “one of the most respected and influential artists in Japan.”

The first release on the docket is Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 and it catalogs the post-war folk wellspring that became known as angura among students and fans at the time. The folk movement prized an authenticity over recreating Western sounds and as a result this lays the groundwork for many of the modern folk and psych-folk artists from the country we’ve come to love. The first installment is out in October and available on limited “Weeping Sakura” colored wax. Check out a cut from Kazuhiko Kato below.

0 Comments

Warm Soda

Rather impressively, Matthew Melton has not one, but two records slated for the next couple of months. First up, he sends his tenure i Warm Soda off in style, delivering a fourth platter of faded yet sugar shaken power pop that proves he’s a man who’s done his homework time and again. Melton set out to run Warm Soda as an ode to those soft crushes in power pop – The Quick, Milk n’ Cookies, Shoes, Hubble Bubble – and as always he delivers that pining pop swoon with the kind of devotion to form that’s usually lost under lesser ambitions. Melton has assembled four albums that spin themselves out like a one man Yellow Pills and it’ll be sad to see him set it aside.

That said, four albums in the arms of lavender punk seems about right. It can be a hard genre to work through without repeating oneself, which probably explains why most of the original class of Power Pop High only churned out one or two before toughening up or calling it quits. Melton himself has already found himself in garage punk’s embrace (Snake Flower 2) and the leathered lock of glam-ignited punk (Bare Wires) so the road to toughing up feels closed. In a move no one expected he’s actually taking a tack into prog territory with his new Dream Machine project out next month. Before that though, it’s one more romp through the jukebox speakers, serving up a xeroxed dream of the the past that’s always been as strangely sweet as it is inescapably infectious.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

White Bleaches – “Mystery Child”

Melbourne’s Mystery Child come with a crack team behind the boards (King Gizz’ Stu McKenzine recording/Mikey Young mastering) and they deliver on the hopes of those that have taken them in. Their latest single has a loose-slung garage-surf feel to it that’s just the right combination of shaggy and catchy. The a-side drops a fuzzed out groove with sun in its hair and a dark ripple snaking through the bass. You can feel the Gizzard influence, but they’re definitely keeping things restrained, no J Dwyer howls blistering the paint, just smoke ring cool with a dash of psych sneer. They actually find a lot of common ground with Black Lips during their Ronson days to drop a point of reference. The flip is a bit lighter in tone, with a pop top beat that shakes the shutters and makes for a beachside highlight when paired with the tanned to distraction vocals that fleck the track. Not a bad showing. Hopefully they keep the tech team in tact and turn this momentum into a full length for Flightless. Aussie garage psych that’s bone-dried and best here.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Mikey Young – “Socks”

Well, it should be no small secret that I love Mikey Young around here. The Aussie veteran of bands like Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Ooga Boogas and Total Control has gone on to be one of the country’s great mastering engineers and more than that, a litmus for great bands that bubble up from the underground. So, its with plenty of excitement that Young has a solo release of his own on the way. It’s not what I would have pegged or expected to be honest, but keeping us on our toes is what the man does best. The first entry in Moniker Records’ new synth series “Your Move,” it finds Young wading into bubbling ’70s synths that thankfully skew more to the Kosmiche than the Italo-horror side of the coin. He’s found himself in the midst of glowing Germanic tones, fluttering with a wide-eyed wonder and no shortage of head nodding beats. The series is intriguing and this is a great first entry to be sure. Check out “Socks” below:





Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Woods

Like many, Woods turned to art and music to process their feelings following the fallout of 2016. Love is Love was recorded in the two months following last year’s election. It feels, and for all intents and purposes, acts as a companion piece to their 2016 album City Sun Eater In The River of Light. Love is Love employs some of the same notes of brass and fuller orchestration, the band itself swollen to six members for the recording. The contrast comes in the tone of the recordings. Oddly, the album that preceded the regime change was darker and a bit more foreboding, whereas this record seems to turn to hope rather than the anger that could, and has often been the reaction.

The majority of the songs on the album speak to an optimism that doesn’t feel naive or tone deaf, rather it’s a message of hope through the dark. They’re clearly acknowledging that a lot of people feel fear and anger and confusion and ultimately lost, but that out of those feelings springs community. The core of Love is Love is a feeling that we can all lean on one another and try to exit the other side of the next four years as better listeners, better friends, better lovers, better parents, better children.

Obviously that message only speaks to how you conduct yourself. There’s a lot that’s out of our hands and that anxiety hangs over the instrumental track “Spring Is In The Air,” an almost ten-minute bout of paranoia and psychedelic anxiety. Woods prove that even their own philosophy of love as the weapon can’t curtail all the external forces. It’s unclear how the concept of America will change – to us, to others, to those that see themselves as winning back or losing their own internal convictions of what country and community mean. As the weeks and months following our own blunder have proven, it’s unclear whether others will follow the same roads or choose the steady hand over reactionary change. For all those questions, Woods don’t have answers, but they have hope and that’s not a terrible start. Someone said that poor administrations mean the art gets better. I don’t for a second take that as consolation, and besides, the art was always good, it’s just a bit more resonant now and maybe we’re paying a bit more attention.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Premiere: Oister – “Lovin’ Me”

HoZac has been doggedly reissuing lost singles from power pop legend Dwight Twilley and this time they’ve got a real gem and true fan release on their hands. Pre-dating The Dwight Twilley Band, the pair of Twilley and Phil Seymour went under the name Oister around their stomping grounds of Tulsa, OK. They operated under this moniker from around 1967 until they broke through in 1975. The pair’s legendary ‘Teac Tapes’ contain recordings from this time period and they’ve yet to see release until now. HoZac Archival will issue Oister 1973-74 a double LP set of recordings from Twilley and Seymour before they shook power pop forever with “I’m On Fire.”

“Lovin’ Me” harnesses a bit of the same vein of dirty twang that their seminal hit taps, though it’s rougher with the band still finding their explosive footing. The track proves that both songwriters had plenty of chops from the outset. These were home recordings, laid to an early edition Teac four-track before accessibility made everyone a bedroom sound engineer, but they still sound remarkably crisp. The pair put these tracks down to tape and pressed the results to acetate to sell to friends and at shows. This era of the band is deserving of its own deep dive, and thankfully now these recordings have been shined up for power pop completists no doubt waiting to hear a clean copy. Check out “Lovin’ Me” below:


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

V/A – Follow The Sun

While the new crop of Australian indie is being etched and codified presently, US archive house Anthology has been doing their best to begin to dig into the independent ’60s and ’70s past of the country, mapping out some of the Nuggets-era fodder that’s been long overshadowed. The label has explored bands that mapped the country’s surf culture through reissues of Tamam Shud and Tully and now they’re teaming up with Aussie luminary in his own right Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control, mastering on every essential new Oz release) to scour the bins for a collection that encapsulates not just a sound, but the sound of Australia in the ’70s.

The collection, like Lenny Kaye’s now iconic roundup of garage, cherry picks gems that were consigned to local fan culture rather than world shaking hits or hints of things to come from artists in their infancy. Unlike Nuggets’ ranks though, they twist the dial from loner folk to psychedelic fizz, prog-jazz glints to lush singer-songwriter territory. The only real consistency seems to be that each track feels like an instantly necessary addition to your life. It’s full of faded sun melancholy and a feeling that inside the bubble of Australian pop, the outsider could be king.

The double LP set is a perfect companion to the relatively recent Down Under Nuggets release, which scratches a much shallower surface of the ’60s and gives the overview of acts that found their way out (see: The Bee Gees, The Easybeats) alongside some gems that would stretch the pocket book. In a way, using the ’70s as their touchstone lends itself to much less homogeny and much more experimentation. Follow The Sun winds up a dream classic rock station set to sink into the sea. It’s getting harder these days to do these kind of comps right, but this is hitting all the marks.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Kikagaku Moyo

It’s hard to suppress a smile with the news Kikagaku Moyo is back for another round on the speakers so soon after their lush masterpiece House In The Tall Grass landed last year. The previous album has hardly left the turntable around here and while the stopgap EP, Stone Garden, is a leap away from the pastoral tranquility that rounded out House, it serves as a call back to their more improvisational beginnings. The EP was carved out of freeform sessions in Prague, finding their way home to refined versions back in Tokyo. The first shot out of the gate rattles the listener out of the comfortable cocoon Kikagaku Moyo left us in. It’s a fuzz riddled stalk through the night with an air of danger dialed in.

Tonally they don’t embrace the menace, though, as they return to buzzing drones and winding sitars by the time the second track “Nobakitani rolls around. Each of the five tracks shows off a side of the band’s psychedelic fortitude – from instrumental fry to languid pools of acoustic shimmer and driving psych buckshot. Naturally, this is not as complete a statement as House In The Tall Grass, but it’s brevity is no discount to the band’s ability to wield tumultuous rhythm and crystalline serenity in equal measure. This isn’t the band’s next great leap, but it’s a pretty nice piece of their overall puzzle.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments
Protected with SiteGuarding.com Antivirus