Next week will see the debut album release for one of 2016’s true revelations: Whitney. Former Smith Westerns bandmates Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich teamed up with Touching Voids member Ziyad Asra to create the band late last year and we’ve been digging each snippet of the forthcoming release thus far. ‘No Matter Where We Go’, the first single from the band, is a lovesick ode to the impending summer; a certain longing and contentedness underpin this one and there’s a spectacular interplay between the intricate guitars and Ehrlich’s immediately distinguishable vocal throughout. The official video takes things into a very literal but equally endearing territory. Cannot wait for the full length!
Light Upon The Lake, the debut LP by Whitney, is out June 3rd on Secretly Canadian.
Danish four-piece Liss have been on high rotation in the office since the release of their debut single ‘Try’ in August of last year. Having shown a knack for bringing left of centre pop hooks and driving r&b together with a remarkable sense of purpose, the band celebrate the release of their debut EP titled First and deliver a pulsing new single in ‘Miles Apart’. With recording already underway for EP number two, we’ve got no doubt that Liss are going to be a name we’ll all be hearing a lot more of in the coming year.
The early hours of Tuesday morning had the internet hype machine going into overdrive after South London artist Sampha posted a heartfelt thank you to his fans, reflecting on the past two years and announcing his plans to once again share his music with the world. It didn’t take long before those plans turned to reality and it was time to delve into his brand new single, ‘Timmy’s Prayer’. The first solo release since his incredible 2013 Dual EP, Timmy’s Prayer envelopes the listener, gradually building from a simple melody toward a more movement-minded concoction, laced with warm electronica and bubbling synthesizers throughout. It’s not too clever for its own good though – Timmy’s Prayer places Sampha’s heartbreaking vocal as the centrepiece of the track, unwaivering in its desire to tell a story of a suffocating relationship. More of this, please!
Metronomy step back into the sun today following the world premiere of their latest tune ‘Old Skool’. Their comeback single comes just two years after the release of their critically acclaimed 2014 LP Love Letters, and has been crafted in whole by the band’s lead singer Joseph Mount. Expect warm, fuzzy basslines and a healthy dash of disco-tinged funk throughout Old Skool – the decidedly more maximal approach to the production of the song, along with a guest spot from Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys, do more than enough to loudly and clearly announce: they’re back! Stream the premiere below.
Eugene Ward AKA Dro Carey continues to make waves ahead of the highly anticipated release of his Dark Zoo EP, dropping later on this month! Having enlisted Perth-based worldbeater Kučka for vocal duties on today’s featured tune, ‘Queensberry Rules’, Ward presents a refreshingly ambient take on UK garage that constantly evolves throughout. Whilst the majority of his prior releases have been instrumental, Queensberry Rules joins the ranks of Monomiles featuring Chocolate & Kid Cairo that exhibits a natural instinct for making the most of a killer topline vocal. Plenty more where this came from, we reckon.
Picking up right where first single ‘Gamma Knife’ left off both visually and sonically, King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard continue to crack open their latest LP Nonagon Infinity – exposing the weird and wonderful word of influences and themes running throughout on today’s featured tune ‘People Vultures’. The utterly bombastic tune has been given a Danny Cohen & Jason Galea created video (part of a movie coming later this year!) to match, too. The members of King Gizz assume formation inside a fully operational robot vulture as they fend off all enemies in sight.. ridiculous but amazing.
Amber Arcades is the stirring project of Dutch musician Annelotte de Graaf, and in just one month she’ll be releasing her debut LP into the world via Heavenly Recordings. ‘Fading Lines’ is lifted from said record and exhibits a brilliant contrast between de Graaf’s immaculate folk-tinged vocals alongside winding guitars that hum along into infinity. A heady mix of psychedelia, shoegaze and straight up pop moments. Speaking of the track, Annelotte added “It’s about the feeling of being in an overwhelmed state, like you’ve been propelled free-fall into something you don’t understand for the most part, lines between memories and moments fading until it all turns into a gloriously incandescent blur.”
Melbourne newcomer Christopher Port gave us our favourite track the day with his debut single ‘Bump’. It could be said that this is a rather unexpected turn for Port, who has long been a touring member for Pieater artists #1 Dads, Airling and Big Scary. The producer has reportedly been keeping things very low key over the years, fine tuning his work in between tours and away from the spotlight. ‘Bump’ hits the mark as a refreshingly unique take on UK garage, using a range of samples and percussive loops to tease and gradually build things into a full-blown frenzy. Oddly cinematic and wholly engaging; there’s plenty more where this came from.
Following on from their breakout single ‘Priestess’ last year, East London five-piece Pumarosa continue to impress with today’s sublime feature, ‘Cecile’. Without losing any of the underlying urgency from the storming intro, ‘Cecile’ delivers a blinding 4 minutes of expertly crafted and utterly transfixing dream guitar pop, and during which, lead vocalist Isabel Munoz-Newsome shines with an adventurous performance that elevates the song’s locked groove to another place entirely. The Rebecca Salvadori directed video is an excellent foray into the contrasting moods of the track, yet ultimately this is a band who has already done so well with the strength of the music rather than a backstory or overarching aesthetic. Ones to watch this year, undoubtedly.
Something a little different on the blog today. ABABCd is an expertly and independently filmed music show based out of Melbourne’s northern suburbs. The focus of the program is to shine a light on 4 different, rising artists through interviews and a live performance of one song from each in a short yet wildly entertaining format. In this episode, catch blinding performances from Pearls, Totally Mild, The Ocean Party and Ausmuteants. A pretty good snapshot of some hot young Melbourne bands right now if you ask us.
Keep an eye on Banalarama for the season finale online/IRL – it’s all going down on Saturday, May 28th on home turf at The Gasometer.