Posts Tagged ‘Crepes’

Mixtape: This Is Aus

Ok please allow one more year-end indulgence here in the form of a recap mixtape. It should no longer be a surprise that I have a sweet spot for Aussie indie, and as the genre has made up so much of the site’s direction in the last year, I’ve decided to round up some of my favorites into a massive mixtape that should keep you busy for a few hours and serve as a primer to those looking to break the seal on their Aussie pop habit. Plenty of usual suspects arise in the label department here with representation from RSTB favorites Bedroom Suck, Anti-Fade, Lost and Lonesome, Poison City, Hobbies Galore, Milk! Records, Flightless, and Tenth Court alongside internationally friendly harbors like Trouble in Mind, Upset The Rhythm, Share It, Kanine, and Emotional Response. There were plenty of offerings to love this year from the South Hemi, so get cracking on that listen. Click below for tracklist and stream.

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RSTB Best of 2018

So, it seems that 2018 is finally coming to an end. It’s been a hell of a year by most standards, but musically its been damn entertaining. Perhaps its fair that there’s some bright spot in all the chaos. Not to diminish the chaos, but when the negativity is at an all-pervasive fever pitch, its feels good to have something to hold onto. I’ll choose to remember 2018 as a banner year for music and for the birth of my second daughter rather than the year that page refresh politics threatened to give me an ulcer any day. Below are my favorite albums of the year, taking care to highlight some that might otherwise get forgotten. They’re in (quasi) alphabetical order with no other particular weight on the list. Keep your eyes out for a few more year-end features this week before I reset for the new year. As always, thanks for sticking with RSTB for these 12-odd years or so.

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Crepes

When Crepes’ debut LP hit the speakers last year, it was a sparkling collection of indie pop that leaned towards a matured early ‘70s hangover of breezy touchstones – from George Harrison solo jaunts to Todd Rundgren’s more reigned in Runt years. Just below the breeze, though, was a dark current, a chill that occasionally braced against their otherwise sunny strums. The ripple reared its head on standout “Tough” and the bittersweet gem “In A Dream,” giving the album a nice bit of shading that kept it from ever skewing saccharine. The band seems to have enjoyed those moments as well, because on their follow-up, In Cahoots, they seize on the darker driven pulses wholesale. The album is tinged with a kind of slinking funk, a spaced-jazz sizzle, and a propulsive pop instinct that infects the listener with an urge to move. They then cool the whole thing down on the b-side with a sunset scratch of country cool to ease the simmer out of the stylus.

The band padded out their sound for the sophomore LP, adding an additional guitar and perhaps most vitally, keys, to the mix. The keyboard shading picks up where the debut left off, perching on the edge of ‘70s pomp, but sidling down easily into puddles of power pop and nascent New Wave. In Cahoots is a subtler record than its predecessor, and as such the songs need to sit in the headphones a few more rotations to really embed themselves. It also proves to be a richer collection, though, and Crepes fuses their influences in ways that don’t always paint by the recommended numbers. It doesn’t hurt that the songwriting from Tim Karmouche (The Murlocs) is as biting as ever, burrowing hooks under the skin with a sly wink and a subtle tip of his cap. His songs endear themselves, but stop just short of showy touches, giving them a lived-in comfort that doesn’t wear out on repeat visits.

The band’s last record didn’t really anchor itself too well Stateside, and I fear that this record may suffer the same fate, due to little physical distribution in these parts. It’s a damn shame though, because In Cahoots is yet another Aussie export putting domestic competition to shame. The record latches onto just enough nostalgia and classicism to feel familiar, but this time around the band are pushing the brick forward a few wide strides. Their pop stew is damn enjoyable, not to mention a perfect accompaniment to the crisper days ahead. Do yourself a favor and skip out of the US zip code for one of 2018’s hidden pop gems.



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Crepes – “As You Go”

It’s a nice surprise this morning to see that Aussie pop wranglers Crepes are back at it, with a new album scheduled for October 26th. Following on the low-key single “Bicycle Man,” which will appear on the album as well, the band releases the slinking, “As You Go.” The song retains the band’s attention to glossy pop, but this time they’re keeping things much closer to the vest. The track builds slow, not rushing too hard into the sunshine hooks that splattered their previous album, instead flashing a quick bite of pop on the chorus before releasing the song’s tension with a flurry of jazz-flecked guitar. The song, like “Bicycle Man” seems to be slicing some post-disco bass into their repertoire and it falls far from the current crop of Aussie indies that have taken root in the ‘90s. The first single had me pleasantly perplexed, but with “As You Go,” I’m properly excited for this new Crepes album.


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RSTB Best of 2017

So this year is drawing to a close, or almost, we’re still a few weeks away from pushing the broken pieces of 2017 into the trash. There’s no real solace from a lot of the events that took place this year, but, independent of any current events, music has been kind to us all this year. These are the records that spent the most time on the turntable over here. Yeah, I know its kind of a lot, but there were far too many good ones that haven’t been getting the shouts they need elsewhere. Lets say this serves as both a best of and a most overlooked in one go. If you enjoy ’em, buy ’em if you can. Don’t do them the disservice of just bumping up the streaming numbers.

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Crepes

The visual reference on Crepes debut LP is pretty straight forward, these guys err on the side of The Beatles in any debate over ’60s rock heroes, and they indulge in the lushest sides of the band’s emotional wake. Channel Four is rooted in the pop tradition, swirling through eddies of icy cool and exhaling steam rings laced with hooks all over a hot n’ bothered 2017. They’ve wedged themselves into a lounged detachment that pushes their sheened and shined pop into a territory that’s a notch above similarly minded smooth indie-poppers, finding purchase in honing the perfect sound that haunts their memories.

Led by the cream-swirled vocals and songwriting of Tim Karmouche (The Murlocs, Dreamin’ Wild), the record is lodged into an early ’70s hangover that re-purposes the pop traditions of the prior decade into a loftier arc, writing works for albums that were meant to be exhibited wholesale rather than split piecemeal into radio rotation. They have updated it, naturally, with a sensibility that employs modern takes, but it’s really the spirit that moves Channel Four. Lovelorn and windswept, the album breezes through the speakers with a draped melancholy that’s admirable in its commitment to tonality.

Sure, breezy pop is rife on both sides of the globe these days, there’s always going to be bands vying to knock Real Estate off of their pedestal of accessible indie wallpaper rock dominance. That’s what makes this one such a joy. It’s equally as accessible to your most clueless friends, catchy and unassuming in it’s digestion of the past. However, few of the other contenders glow with the kind of lost classic quality that crowns Channel Four. This feels like the heir apparent to the reissue kings of current vogue. Dig in now before it’s rediscovered 20 years down.




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Crepes – “Sexyland”

Somehow missed this as Crepes worked their way from solid Aussie indie, Deaf Ambitions, to the big time over at Spunk, but the band finally have an upcoming album on the books. Deaf Amb will still handle the LP, which is good news for the the stalwart label. The first track is a powerfully sweet stab at indie-pop, full of end of summer breezes that should waft you nicely into the cool down that’s to come as we finally ease on down the Autumn road. The track is twanged slightly and brushed ever so sweetly with the kind of vocal harmonies that can’t help but melt all the stress out of a moment. If the rest of this LP is half as good as the first taste, then its primed to be a contender on year end lists.




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