New week, eight must-hear tracks. The Rolling Blackouts are back and following them up Camp Cope is continuing a hot streak with the title single from the forthcoming How To Socialise & Make Friends. In the company of The Voidz, Julian Casablancas has put across a willfully weird yet ambitious extension of rock called 'QYURRYUS'. Holding this all together are the latest tracks from Mint Field, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Anna Meredith, Spike Vincent and Gold Coast locals Blaire.
THE VOIDZ – QYURRYUS (RCA)
One of, if not the greatest benefit of being a rock star is the licence to do just about anything you darn well please. But It’s a double-edged sword, as often a path to hubris as it is success. For every Sgt. Peppers there’s a Chinese Democracy. But bat the retro flash of ‘QYURRYUS’ aside for one moment and there’s an impression that Julian Casablancas is again ambitiously toying with rock convention.
ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER – MAINLAND (SUB POP/IVY LEAGUE)
The Blackouts are back. After the much-feted debut EP it seems like ‘Mainlaind’ is looking to consolidate the melody and momentum of its jangly predecessor. It may not be revolutionary or even evolutionary but if their motive is bringing the sound and spirit of The French Press to a broader audience we’re happy to concede.
CAMP COPE – HOW TO SOCIALISE & MAKE FRIENDS (POISON CITY)
After the anthemic ferocity of ‘The Opener’ ‘How to Socialise’ levels the intensity with gloomy despair. It’s less combative, shifting towards grim introspection and humanising resignation. With Cope-mania hitting fever pitch post-Falls, ‘Socialise’ gives an impression that even if its same-titled album doesn’t reveal itself to be a year-defining record it’ll be one hell of a great one.
MINT FIELD – QUIERO OTONO DE NUEVO (INNOVATIVE LEISURE)
Mein gott! Krautrock! We had this Tijuana duo pegged as shoegazers but with ‘Quiero’ we’re not so sure.
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA – AMERICAN GUILT (JAGJAGUWAR)
‘American Guilt’ seems like a left-of-centre turn for a group better known for spacey psychedelia. This uncommon grit and aggression hits a rawer chord. A tougher strain of music for the turbulent times.
ANNA MEREDITH - CALION (MOSHI MOSHI)
Anna Meredith pulls listeners into twilight worlds classical and electronic pop. Caught in eternal ascension, ‘Calion’ works together modestly minimal arpeggios, shimmering layers of sound and subtle rhythmic complexity. Slowly these elements twist into the loose bliss of an all-enveloping tide of sound.
SPIKE VINCENT – LIE IN THE DUST (BURGER RECORDS)
Sydney’s Spike Vincent nudges a little towards the Rolling Blackouts and little towards The War on Drugs. Latest "Lie In The Dust' seeps with melancholy. Guitar lines meld with liberal washes of a fuzzed synth as lyrics carry a bittersweet feeling of devotion. For those feeling a hunger for more, Spike’s full-length LP will be dropping this Feb via Dinosaur City/Burger Records.
BLAIRE – YOUTH (GD FRNDS)
Spurred by the artistic visions of ‘60s rock and the defiant spirit of punk, Creation Records was the fuel which gave fire to both My Bloody Valentine and the peaks of the shoegaze movement. Australian music has never had a shortage when it comes to its pedal worshiping acolytes, but it’s interesting to see Gold Coast outfit Blaire circling back to the genre’s punkier roots. Granted ‘Youth’ is firmly rooted in a gargantuan mass of guitar noise, but frontman Ben Stagg’s vocals anchor this track with an honest pathos.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald