It’s so rewarding to see an unique Australian band with an unique sound taking off. D.D Dumbo is doing it, as is Gabriella Cohen, and I’m a firm believer that Methyl Ethel deserve to sit on this list. Although their debut LP, was acclaimed like hell in Aus and shot them across the world – it’s tastes like ‘L’Heure des Sorcières’ that for me are cementing their true place as a completely unique act. It was always going to be hard to back up the pulsating jam laden, ‘Ubu’, but here we are. The new single (which a title I can’t be effed retyping), may not hold the same ear worm tendencies of “Why you’d have to go and cut your hair?” – it makes up for it by demonstrating the same seductive lyrics, with the bonus of some utterly smooth and dark instrumentation. With synth lines and keywork that wouldn’t feel out of place in one of the darker moments for Metronomy and beats that are reminiscent of similar dance punk bands of the late 2000’s – it all works in juxtaposition with their higher pitched vocals and psychedelic elements. It’s an odd thought, but the result is a seriously brill take on pop. ‘Unique’ seems to be my word of the day now, and it’s all because of this intelligently created song.
Everything is Forgotten is out March 3 via Dot Dash/4AD
Don’t you love a song that truly packs a punch? This new one from Liverpool’s Her’s is punchy as hell and guaranteed to give you the pick me up you so desperately need. This is now the fourth track we’ve been gifted from this sublime two-piece, and whilst their previous works have been built as slower, lo-fi ballads (all freakin’ brilliant by the way) – ‘Speed Racer’ injects pace and upbeat rhythms from the get go. The instrumentation seems to be a modern-day take on swing, with bubbling bass and a clap-along stretch of percussion – all wrapped up in hazy guitars that would make Mac daddy DeMarco jealous. And whilst the lyrics still based in the love-struck world we know them for, they are shot out in a way that almost doesn’t give the story time to breath. They’re still so sultry that I’m sure the band would win over whoever it is they plead with to “let me love you tonight”. This is an act worth keeping an eye on in 2017.
Marika Hackman is back! Sorry that was really lame, but the English folk/post-punk artist has returned with a new single Boyfriend, and in typical Hackman fashion, it is enigmatic, sincere and unlike anything we have heard from her in the past. Having changed direction from her dark, introspective debut album to release a Christmas themed EP last year, Hackman has continued to explore uncharted territory with Boyfriend, touching on some deep-seated societal issues and personal experience.
Whilst the backing band, The Big Moon creates the perfect soundscape, it’s Hackman’s delivery that steals the spotlight. Riddled with sarcasm and masked with an angelic voice, Hackman takes aim at entitled male douche bags that think they’re top shit. Boyfriend is comforting in the sense that it marks the return of a dynamic artist, but perhaps what is more important is Hackman expressing her concerns with the way women are often treated in a social context. Big ups to Hackman for this track and let’s hope there is more to come soon.
Elise Higgins, better known in the music world as Fait, has once again teamed up with fellow Perth based artist/visual wizard/dream catcher Matsu, to create a film clip for Reverie. The result; a truly blissful audiovisual journey that will encourage you to drift into a light daydream of positive introspective thought. Reverie is a daring exploration of shoegaze and post rock as the Kevin Shieldesque guitar riffs serve as a nice backdrop to the hi-hat heavy drumbeat that pitter-patters throughout the instrumental.
It’s rare that a film clip perfectly captures the mood of a song but Matsu is bang on with this one. The video clip feels like a dream you have every once in a while that clears your mind and puts everything in your life into perspective. I think its safe to say we will hear some new Fait soon but in the meantime have a go at this.
Reverie features on Fait’s second EP Sonder that came out in August last year and is available on all streaming services.
Posted in Label News | Posted on: February 17th, 2017 | Posted by: Scott Armstrong
I OH YOU is thrilled to present ‘Dumb Terror’, the new single from Sydney based artist MOSSY. The track was premiered on Sunday by Matt Wilkinson on Beats1.The single is accompanied by a thought provoking visual clip from revered Perth director Matt Sav (Tame Impala, San Cisco), which premiered overnight via Clash (UK). The collaboration came about after MOSSY sent the first mix to Sav… “Matt Sav emailed me about this video saying I want to beat the shit out of you, wrap you from head to toe like a mummy in shiny, reflective fabric, shine a giant spotlight in your dumb face and unravel you slowly for everyone to see. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity!”
“I began writing ‘Dumb Terror’ on a flight to America. I was mucking around, recording the hum of the plane’s air conditioning through my laptop and then pitch-shifting it to make these strange sounding choral chords.
During this visit to New York I also recorded a conversation at a Black Lives Matter rally in Union Square between a police officer and a civilian, and ended up including it in the song as it seemed to fit in thematically.
For me, ‘Dumb Terror’ is about the never-ending conveyer belt of backwards politicians and our tendency to turn against each other instead of those with whom the power actually lies.”
My listening history that plays out in almost a beautiful cliche, emo to hardcore to indie to The National to Elliott Smith to Alex G – so to be talking right now about a song with the lyrics “Don’t try to love me, just fuck me, it’s fine” actually brings a tear to my eye. And on that note, welcome Oliver Wilde into your life.
‘Smothered’ is the track in question, the latest piece of brilliance from this UK based artist, and continues his theme of creating collages of sound. With a history of creating glitchy folk music (yep, actually sounds like that), and a beautiful knack of waxing lyrical in a dark and moving way – Wilde is no stranger to this game. ‘Smothered’ smashes together poetic, depressing lyrical content with warped vocal melodies, fuzzed instrumentation, some serious strange synth tones and an upbeat glitchy percussive element. It sounds messed up, and it totally is, but it’s also delicate and gorgeous and powerful – all at the same time.
Wilde’s new LP, Post-Frenz Container Buzz, drops 17 February via Howling Owl
Daniel Alexander is a London based multi-instrumentalist and producer. He’s one part of the brilliant industrial-dance-pop makers, Breton, and for the last 18 months has been cutting his teeth out on his own – crafting experimental beat heavy demos. ‘ATOM EYESD’ is the latest of only a handful of tracks Alexander has made public, and it continues down his path of haunting politically driven pieces of music. It all begins with a vocal sample that has been pitched down into oblivion, acting as a starting point for the producer to build a track out of skittering percussion and pounding bass beats. There is a lovely, muted guitar line that bubbles along – a warm moment amongst a sea of darkness and ghoul-like vocals from Alexander himself. This is probably the least vocals we’ve heard from him thus far, and I emplore you to listen to his small back catalogue, the guy has a true knack for bringing together beautifully simplistic guitar work and layered deep production. Daniel Alexander illustrates that there’s always beauty in darkness, and nothing could be a truer statement heading deeper into 2017.
Man I’m dying to see this guy live in concert. French Kiwi Juice, better known under the moniker of FKJ, has been busy honing his unique brand of glitchy electronic R & B as proved by his latest single Skyline. The French producer is one of those artists that kind of annoys you with how talented he is. Having seen him single handedly play and loop, bass, keys and electric guitar on an improvised session on Youtube back in 2014, it was pretty clear that FKJ would continue to push boundaries by experimenting with different sounds and styles.
If you’re like me and you’re over all this Valentine’s Day bullshit, Skyline is the perfect escape from the roses and chocolates. It’s a real soulful number laced with sharp muffled keyboard melodies that rest beneath the soothing vocals and those knocking sound effects that quiver throughout the track (not going to pretend I know what’s making that sound but it’s dope). I would recommend you close your eyes to enjoy this one but then you’d miss FKJ and his crew riding down a misty road on some pimped out bicycles in the wee hours of the morning.
FKJ is set to release his self-titled debut album ‘French Kiwi Juice’ March 3rd.
New Zealand are hiding some serious musical gems, I swear it. It’s my fault for not looking hard enough, but lately every time someone recommends an act from NZ, I end up swooning. This was 110% the case for Fazerdaze. Of course, she’s been making waves for the last year, but she is another prime example of the above. Anyway, Fazer (aka Amelia Murray) is back with ‘Lucky Girl’, a punchy, sunny, pop number that for some reason makes me think of people dancing in kitchens erratically (I may have done this). It’s reminiscent of the hazy vibes and reverb heavy instrumentation of early 2010’s lo-fi pop, Wild Nothing, Craft Spells and the like. Murray has some dark moments in her lyricism, and the track runs out as a personal self-reflective, inquisitive narrative for whomever the protagonist is – but she’s hidden it well beneath the beautiful guitar lines that streak through like afternoon light through your kitchen window (what is with these housing references I keep ripping out?). And it’s this kind of light to dark songwriting is that is setting Fazerdaze apart right now.
Fazerdaze’s new LP,Morningside, is out May 5th via Flying Nun.
Posted in Things We Froth | Posted on: February 10th, 2017 | Posted by: Scott Armstrong
We’ve had a few incredible pairings for these interviews in the past, but none more so than having our friend Tkay Madiza taking to the other side of the microphone for a 20 minute chat with Sampha! As one of the UK’s most enigmatic young artists, Sampha previously lent his vocal, production and songwriting talents to a whole range of standout releases, from homegrown UK contemporaries such as SBTRKT, FKA twigs, Lil Silva and Jessie Ware to world-renowned superstars like Drake, Beyonce, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and most recently on Solange’s A Seat At The Table album. Now, on Process – which also features previous singles ‘Timmy’s Prayer’ and ‘Blood On Me’ – it’s time for Sampha to tell his own story. A big shout out to Tkay for taking the time and for getting out of bed at 2am in her Paris hotel room for the cause! An incredibly prolific artist in her own right, we were thrilled to get Tkay onboard and to gain a new perspective on the creative process behind one of 2017’s most talked about artists. Enjoy!
Tkay- Hey Sampha, How are you!?
Sampha- Yea I’m not bad how are you doing?
T- I’m good! Hopefully you’re enjoying your time here so far..
S- Yeah, yes, I’m in Melbourne. It’s been really nice, I was in Sydney before which was very brief and sweet and now in the weather has been its perfect. There’s something about this place which I really like.
T- OK awesome! So I have some questions to ask you. I’ve actually never done an interview before because this is an artist on artist type thing so please bear with me!
S- Not a problem at all! I had some warning! Fire away *laughs*.
T- So were you born in South London or did you move over?
S- Yeah I was born in Leighton in South London but I’ve been back (to Sierra Leone) about four or five times which has been quite important I think.
T- Oh OK well I’m actually from Zimbabwe, so I just found that pretty cool. I’ve always really loved your collaboration with Jessie Ware on Valentine. It was the first song I heard of yours, and I heard it again the other day on my phone and remembered how amazing it was! That came out back in 2011. How would you describe your journey since then?
S- Yeah Its been really cool I. I have really just gone with the flow, maybe a little to much at first.. Now I’m trying to assert myself and a little bit more and be more confident. It feels good to be in the driving seat in my career but yeah I’ve definitely done a lot of growing. On my musical journey there has definitely been a lot of action and I didn’t think anything would really develop the way it has. I thought everything would just kind of pan out after a while, and then everything started happening with me being a full fledged vocalist or solo artist so yeah has been kind of cool to kind of see that transpire.
T- You know when sometimes something happens quicker than you expect and you feel like you’re just reacting to it? Is that how you’re solo career really kicked off, or were you quite prepared at the time?
S- I think its incredible how some people see their plans come to fruition, like some people are just so confident and can create a plan to follow and that works for them. But with me it has to feel right at the time. I have like a musical moral code that I try and follow. I’m not pursuing something it if I’m not feeling it, which is what I’m trying to stay true to…. Not compromising for me is hard but important, so yeah I guess my approach is kind of reactionary.
T- Growing up who did you listen to? What did you listen to that is still surprisingly relevant to you?
S- Growing up I listened to a bunch of people. Things that hit me the hardest, well there were certain things that I listened to when I was younger that I didn’t really know was that good at the time. Like there is music from back in the VHS days Jack and the Beanstalk. I was watching that and there’s like psychedelic ambient music I remember from when I was like five and I tripping out *laughs*. There is also Tracey Chapman, Stevie Wonder, a lot of grime music, K’naan, Newari, Skepta, Jamie (T) and also poppy songs like Semisonic’s Secret Smile, so yeah heaps of different kind of stuff. I think it’s important to have a bit of a range!
T- Yea cool! I’m a huge fan of your production, I really like the rhythms, the drum programing and the sound selection that you have, what influences the your choices and the sounds that you choose?
S- I definitely need something with a rhythm. Like I love a bit of funk….. but yeah when it comes to sound I just love playing around and listening. Also just being experimental and just try and find something that really moves me and that will hopefully move my fans as well.
T- Yea that’s cool I’m totally like that as well. It’s good to experiment and find something you haven’t heard before.
T- So your album has just come out as of last Friday! Does it feel like it’s been a long time coming for you?
S- Yeah it feels somewhat right for me just because I wouldn’t like too much commotion when releasing an album…. For me it’s what I’m able to deal with, if I can deal with I then it will be somewhat great on a personal level if that makes sense *laughs*.
T- It really sounds like you’ve learned to develop and feel comfortable with your surroundings. Did working with Jessie Ware and Drake, SBTRKT and Solange change or influence the way you approach your album? It would have been really cool to have those people behind you or even just having the notion that they really believe in what you do.
S- Um yes I think somewhat, I mean not like consciously. I reckon like all of that life experience seep in to the environment you’re working in… I mean I think naturally when people are encouraging it kind of helps plays into the way you write. On the flip-side it just builds your confidence so you can relax into your work.
I saw in an interview you said that your album was about growing pains… when you finished writing it did you feel you had a weight lifted off your shoulders?
S- Um not necessarily I have definitely had my moments, like I love like playing but I actually don’t have time to go back and just relax. I want to keep working, and the album in a way is a kind of like a documentation of who I am, so yes I guess it does feel good to finish! I’m still piecing it all together..
Yea nice. Were there any messages you were trying to tell your listeners? Or was it mainly a documentation of what you have been up to?
Umm not necessarily lyrically, I guess a lot of the lyrics kind of came out in a freestyle but I spent a while making sure what came out felt right. There is more to it when it comes to production. I wanted to make sure that I conveyed everything in the music that I mixed. It’s important to me that I make the point I’m trying to make in regards to production.
When you were finalising Process, I saw that you had a lot of songs that were contenders for the final track listing. What were you looking for in those 10 songs that made you chose the ones you did?
Um yeah that was difficult. The album was quite emotionally intense, for me anyway. For other people it might be pain or just really intense but for me it’s just a lot of trial and error and testing things out and trying to ensure I have the right songs and that everything flows… I get a little worried that its too over powering…. Not even too overpowering, I want people to feel bad *laughs* or to feel the emotions that I’m trying to express.
T – Yeah well you can definitely feel all the emotions and. Some of the songs are really intense and you have moments that are really delicate. It’s a really great album. My friends watched you play in Melbourne the other night and they were sending me live feeds. It sounded really great, even just on the piano in solo mode. For anyone who wasn’t there, what can they expect from your live show?
S- It’s like a 5-piece. You can expect a lot of peaks and valleys… sometimes its quite smooth and intense and electric, yea its just me trying to relate it to the album and music. I’ve got a really great band and we try and make it sound like a real live experience without compromising on the electronic side of the show.
T- That sounds amazing. I think that’s everything I have for you. Thank you for the interview. Have fun in Australia!
24 . 05 – Auckland, New Zealand – Studio
25 . 05 – Brisbane, Australia – The Triffid SELLING FAST
27 . 05 – Sydney, Australia – Sydney Opera House SOLD OUT
28 . 05 – Sydney, Australia – Sydney Opera House SOLD OUT
29 . 05 – Melbourne, Australia – The Croxton Bandroom SOLD OUT
30. 05 – Melbourne, Australia – The Croxton Bandroom ON SALE NOW