Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO, the fourth album from Montreal’s the Besnard Lakes, mixes the slick and sluggish shoegaze of Slowdive with the orchestral dream pop of the mid-60s. It’s a logical match, in many respects — the full, reverb-laden recordings of Phil Spector and the Beach Boys were an important precursor to the escapist noise that came out of Thatcherite Britain. The result, however, can be a little derivative.
For a country musician, Tenielle Neda Muslin’s backstory is ideal. Born and raised on a banana plantation in Carnarvon, WA, she moved to Karratha in her teens and got a job driving 30,000 tonne trains with their cargo of iron ore through the Pilbara. After a stint on Australian Idol, where she made it to the top 20 — despite having her vocal talents dissed by Delta Goodrem — she went on to win ‘Best Performance’ at Tamworth in 2010 and was flown to Nashville for writing and recording sessions with local greats.
By now, no one would bother questioning Eric Clapton’s place in rock history (and all going well, much more of its future). Old Sock, his 21st album, will do that legacy no harm at all, particularly among fans of his softer-rock leanings. Neither however, is it likely to send quivers of excitement through too many lovers of Clapton’s darker, rockier side.
Will and the Indians are a young rock band from Sydney, with the key word there being ‘young’. Although I’m not exactly sure how young they are, their debut album Wrong End Of Town is possibly more an example of how much potential lies within this band as opposed to being a contender for album [...]
Familiar Stranger marks a significant point in the Bob Evans story so far: one that sees the ‘end’ of the acoustic folk troubadour and replaces him with an artist intent on opening new doors in his musically creative mindscape. However, the whole scenario isn’t really that dramatic or surprising, given that Mitchell stated early on that he had a desire to fully develop a suburban trilogy concept, hinting that at its conclusion there would most likely be shift away from this formula.
Calendar Days, the second full-length release by Melbourne four-piece Dick Diver, is laconic, self-assured and effortlessly lovely. A collaborative album, it sounds like the work of a band that’s more or less of one mind about what they’re doing. The whole thing is underpinned by intertwining guitars, well-spaced harmonies and lyrics both personal and local, witty and slightly sad; a lived document of Australian suburbia and country towns.
Sticky Fingers are a relatively new entity for myself, and as such I think I’m still in the process of ‘working them out’. But even considering my general lack of excitement with modern reggae interpretation, Caress Your Soul avoids falling into the trap of blandness with its subtle detail and willingness to connect disparate sounds.
After the lingering success of their debut LP Escapades in 2010, Brisbane’s Hungry Kids Of Hungary have emerged with a fresh pallet of summery, highly-detailed and intelligent rock in You’re A Shadow. There are no signs here of a struggle to live up to any expectations from the sheer likability of Escapades and its chorus [...]
Recorded in the wake of a loss and a trauma — a painful split with bassist and friend Andy Hamm, and the death of keyboardist Kelcey Ayer’s mother — Local Natives’ second record, Hummingbird, is pensive and stripped back; a much heavier collection of songs than their energetic debut, Gorilla Manor.
After a brief fascination with Jamie Lidell’s Multiply album, I essentially lost interest soon after when I realised that reinterpreting James Brown with a modern contemporary flavour wasn’t his whole thing. He kind of became less about white boy funk with suits and horns, and more about, well, strange noises and other such things.
A whole lot wasn’t really known about Unknown Mortal Orchestra at the release of their first self-titled album, which I suppose does make sense given their name. It was suggested that UMO laboured under a ‘one-off’ type operation; a coming together of ideas and concepts. And the resultant success of this mish-mash of eclectic influences [...]
Opening with a flutter of synths and a carefully programmed beat, Christopher, the fourth album by New Zealand outfit The Ruby Suns, continues songwriter Ryan McPhun’s departure from his more analogue-sounding earlier work.