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Scott and Charlene’s Wedding – “Don’t Bother Me”

After a solid sending EP that’s lead the charge up this year, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding return for that full length romp and, like the EP namesake, “Delivered,” their new cut, “Don’t Bother Me” perfectly sums up the band’s slack atmosphere and shaggy vibe. In the Aussie spectrum, there are plenty who know just how to make that jangle work and even more who know that the suburban ethos of bored, broke and nonchalant go a long way. That said, Craig Dermody fills those phrases with more weight than most and makes the slacker soul seem enlightened, or at least merely charming. The video appropriately stages a walkabout through the band’s home life, wandering the rooms and leading up to packing it all in a truck and taking off. The band has recently relocated back to Melbourne after stints in NYC and London and they’re sounding all the better for it. Nothing like home to fan the embers that flame in your heart, eh? This clip leaves me only wanting more.


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Ben Chatwin – “Euclidean Plane”

Another piece of the puzzle on Chatwin’s debut for Ba Da Bing, the gorgeous piece “Euclidean Plane” wavers between chamber pop bliss and the subtle underwater psychedelics of Sven Libaek. Aptly, like Libaek, the video for “Euclidean Plane’ takes to the seas, pairing the soft movement of an octopus with the burbling build of tension from Chatwin’s score. Though, unlike Libaek, Chatwin’s outlook is much darker. The edge of wonder is constantly in danger of being taken over by dread. The last dip into Heat & Entropy saw Chatwin move the dial a bit further from the clouded mist he’s been working in but this one fully emerges in bold and brilliant colors, albeit colors that are circling the reef and rippling with the light dancing on the surface of the water. Its a beautiful piece that bodes well for a full album that brings Chatwin the wider praise that he deserves.



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The Goon Sax – “Up To Anything”

The Goon Sax’s album for Chapter Music is a jangle-pop gem and they’ve setup the title track “Up To Anything” with a fittingly faded and pining video. The song’s a face-on-the-floor depression jam, the kind of upbeat on the surface, but ultimately soulcrushing pop song that sticks in your head and then squeezes your heart. They’ve given it a treatment like a Belle and Sebastian album cover come to life and that’s probably a pretty good neighborhood for the song to live in. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the band’s full album from earlier in the year, do yourself a favor and dip in. Its one of the most winningly truthful accounts of youth out this year.

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Omni

Atlanta band Omni keep their love of the Verlaine/Quine guitar axis close to their heart and that heart even closer to their sleeve. The band is flipping through wiry, vein pulsed post-punk like they were brought up on little else in their formative years. All the songs on their debut, Deluxe are bent and battered into metal shapes, though its their vocals that betray their new wave nods under the veneer of true grit punk spirit. Frankie Broyles’ delivery has a bit of dreamy-eyed wistfulness that gives the album a less rough sheen and an aproachability. They also walk it further away from the source material near and dear to their heart, feeling less like trying on your punk Halloween costume and more like a fitting digestion of the intervening years of post-punk and new wave hangover.

The aesthetic choice to rough up the edges on this one seems a bit misplaced. I know that it was recorded in a practice space, and for that its actually pretty crisp, but there’s an underlying crackle and crunch that feels out of place for the sound that they’re going for. For all its DIY aspirations, this specific pocket of the punk canon never felt an affinity for low fidelity. If its a matter of budget, then so be it, but since they are nailing this kind of homage rather bitingly, its feels deserving of a clear bullhorn. There are plenty that are trying to take the run at post-punk authenticity and plenty more that will pick up the itch, but this is a pretty prime example of how to do it right.




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Allah-Las – “Famous Phone Figure”

Well gotta be summer now because there’s a new Allah-Las on the rise and that means good things for record players everywhere. Temperate days and clear skies just are just begging for a soundtrack from the L.A. stalwarts. The new track marks a bit of a departure from their usual jangle and jump sound that’s been rooted in the garage aesthetics and ushers in a move towards a more lush, and dreamy sound that plays off of swooning 60’s touchstones like Pet Sounds, JK & Co. or Tomorrow. Fittingly they’ve brought in a whole host of new instrumentation for the album – viola, harpsichord, Mellotron and theremin – proving this to be Allah-Las embracing their 60’s experimentation in full. They’ve been studying their 60’s trajectories well, so expect some paisley Nehru jackets on this tour, because things have gone full psych (not that I’m complaining). They’ve also made a move to Mex Summer for the record which pushes them away from their cozy home at Innovative Leisure. Definitely interested to hear more on this one and the moody black and white visuals give the track a nice stately background to luxuriate in. Summer just got a bit breezier.

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Throws – “Punch Drunk Sober”

Thrill Jockey signees Throws have been mining a similar pop vein to Yeasayer back in their more rhythmic days, full of world inflections and lush atmospherics. New single “Punch Drunk Sober” gets a heartstung video treatment from Joe Martinez, Jr. who has directed clips for Tortoise, Oozing Wound and The Body. The song features vocals from múm’s Sigurlaug Gísladóttir and, in fact, the whole album takes full advantage of its Reykjavik recording location, roping in Gísladóttir and string quartet Amiina for collaborations. Both Mike and Sam from the duo spent time in Tunng, another fave around here and there’s a bit of a hangover from Tunng’s psych-folk inclinations. The record ducks expectations at the fragile history of Icelandic pop and goes full in for an update on 80’s touches with a more well rounded production than many mainstays of the neon pop era.

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Timmy’s Organism – “Back In The Dungeon”

Ah bless Third Man for bankrolling the insanity of Timmy’s Organism. Those who have experienced the band in the live setting know that theatricality is so ingrained in Tim Lampinen’s DNA that giving him a budget can only lead to psychotic episodes and, in this case, a D&D breakdown fueled by cosmic VHS tapes. The track, from last year’s killer LP Heartless Heathen, is still a stomper, and its only given a gothic goose with the addition of the Organism’s Game-of-Thrones-on-a-Halloween-pop-up shop-budget visual accompaniment. You don’t own Heartless Heathen you say? Why the hell not? This should be reason enough.


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Steve Gunn – “Ancient Jules”

Steve Gunn’s made the amiable transition from his instrumental roots to road worn troubadour, and the video for his latest taste of Eyes on the Lines is steeped in that traveler’s ethos. The video sees him winding backroads and ending up in what looks to be quite a nice little night hanging with fellow guitar legend Michael Chapman. The song has a tarnished brass feel to it, driven by Gunn’s country flecked guitar sound and brought home with his weathered sigh of a croon. The album’s positioned to bring Gunn to a much bigger audience and frankly there aren’t more deserving. If this and that Kevin Morby album aren’t soundtracking your early summer nights, then you’re kinda missing the point.

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “People Vultures”

Nonagon Infinity is already upon us but that doesn’t mean that King Gizz doesn’t have more in store for the hungry masses. Following up on their cryptic Jodorwosky-tipped video for “Gamma Knife” the band go further into the crazed cavern for “People Vultures.” Hard not to get some psychedelic Power Rangers vibes off of the chyron heavy effects, towering costumes and martial arts weirdness that ensues here, but somehow that all fits in nicely with what the band are hooking in visually for this album. The song was already a killer, now its just got a powerful image to accompany it. If you haven’t given the album a proper listen, then its about damn time. Said it before, but this one’s leading the charge for album of the year around here.

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Ensemble Econimique – “On The Sand”

Brian Pyle’s dark soundscapes have played their way out around here plenty of times but its been too long since I’ve checked in and “On The Sand” has me feeling remiss. On his latest track from the upcoming Blossoms In Red, he’s stripped things back to the minimal nature of doom. A vibrational core of bass rumbles through with the kind of foreboding presence that’s felt in the sweat on the back of your neck, Pyle’s guitar enters slow and menacing heralding only dread and that’s all before Peter Broderick lends his hushed, coldly threatening vocal take to the mix. The track seems like a breaking point, the moment that resistance is pushed aside and ground into the dirt. The accompanying video is appropriately stark, just shots of a woman haloed by the sun interspersed with Pyle and Broderick playing. Its one of the most crushingly heavy tracks I’ve heard this year and up there with Pyle’s best for sure.

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