Album of the Week
August 14, 2017
Drum is the bold second album from Gold Class, and the follow up to their 2015 career-defining debut It’s You. Produced by Gareth Liddiard of The Drones, Drum is a defiant album that sees Gold Class explore new territory in both songwriting and sonics. Emblematic of the album’s title, the immediacy of the bass drum is a stomp, spit and kick that tugs between submission, authority, heedless fun and heartbreak – distilling all the complexities and mess of life into a fateful, thumping pulse. With the crossfire of the personal and the political resting in his gaze, lead singer Adam Curley defiantly holds his torch out into the wind. His lyrics subvert queer histories of silence and evasion, negotiating the self in space and the soul in rage. Given Australia’s current political climate, this album couldn’t come at a more poignant time. Drum is a brash and incandescent Australian rock album, with a vulnerability and honesty that is worthy of deep admiration and repeated listens. It’s a love letter to anyone who not only can’t meet the standard, but doesn’t want to.
August 7, 2017
Melbourne DIY queen Jen Cloher has returned with her new self-titled album and the follow up to her critically acclaimed In Blood Memory. It’s an album of immense honesty, which weaves deeply personal tales that touch on everything from her relationship with a world-famous songwriter to same-sex marriage and the role of women in music. On the record, Cloher is joined by partner Courtney Barnett on guitar, drummer Jen Shloakis and bassist Bones Sloane, who all bring a sense of space, allowing Cloher’s poetic lyrics to breathe and transform. Recorded at Jeff Tweedy’s famous Loft Studios in Chicago, Jen Cloher is a classic rock album of tight, memorable songwriting that recalls the wry confidence and punk poetry of Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. As the title suggests, Jen Cloher is an intimate, world-weary affair that offers listeners an emotional glimpse into the life of one of Australia’s most celebrated songwriters.
Blast Off Through The Wicker
July 31, 2017
This week we’re taking you on a journey with Art Feynman’s psychedelic debut, Blast Off Through The Wicker. Art Feynman, the solo project of Here We Go Magic’s Luke Temple, has delivered an endearing collection of songs that capture the ear with warm cassette aesthetics and spot-on musicianship. With punctuations of lo-fi fuzz, krautrock haze and Nigerian Highlife groove, Feynman has crafted an album that is utterly psychedelic while avoiding clichéd 60s nostalgia. Not too concerned with getting any answers, Feynman’s soulful, though at times frenetic, falsetto reflects a subconscious enraptured with existential questions. Exploring the potential for life in the inanimate, and meditating on perfection as an illusion, Blast Off Through The Wicker is an intensely personal effort that seeks to find meaning in mundanity and celebrate the profound. Like a cool drink on a hot summer’s day, Blast Off Through The Wicker is exactly the album we need to see us through the last few weeks of winter. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
July 24, 2017
Legendary grime MC Dizzee Rascal is back with his first new album in four years, Raskit. Thematically speaking, Raskit could be thought of as a part two to his Mercury Prize winning and career making album, Boy In Da Corner. It’s taken a cool 14 years, but boy was it worth the wait. Gone are the awkward Robbie Williams collaborations and summer festival anthems. Raskit looks back on Dizzee’s youth from the other side and is a true reminder of his technical aptitude. At its core, it’s the same old Dizzee: angry, cheeky, lonely and confident. A spokesman, a teacher and an inspiration. The sonics are crisp and propulsive and the lyrics and poignant and timely. After more than a decade of being criticised, fetishised and written off, grime is more popular than at any point in its history. With a nod to the past and eyes set firmly on the future, Raskit sees Dizzee Rascal shoot past the competition to reclaim his rightful place at the top of grime’s pecking order.
Rest In Piss
July 17, 2017
Melbourne dirge-rockers Batpiss deliver some serious noise on their new record, Rest In Piss. On their third album, Batpiss teamed up with Gareth Liddiard of The Drones to help bring their ideas to life. The result is an album that rages against the deep, disconcerting apathy of modern Australia. Rest In Piss is an unrelenting sonic wasteland of raw, primal punk, tortured vocals, and lumbering noise-rock. Delivered with white-knuckled intensity and a pitch black sense of humour, Rest In Piss is a grimy slice of gritty, unapologetic Australian rock.
July 10, 2017
Prepare to be hypnotised by Auras, the lush and gloriously feedback-drenched album from Deafcult. On their debut album, the Brisbane-based shoegazers deliver a sonic kaleidoscope of swirling guitars, hazy synths and haunting vocals packed with moments of electronic introspection and majestic distortion. Evocative, moody and seductive, Auras is a triumphant debut that sees Deafcult set the bar very high for Australian shoegaze.
The Living Man
July 3, 2017
Dense, crushing, and utterly mesmerising, Party Dozen’s debut album ‘The Living Man’ is unlike anything you’ve heard before. The Sydney-based experimental drum and sax duo, made up drummer Jonathan Boulet and saxophonist Kirsty Tickle deliver an abrasive avalanche of sound that lays waste to everything in sight. Full of jazzy rhythms, skronky saxophones and pummelling, industrial drone passages, ‘The Living Man’ is a playfully savage sonic onslaught that throws the genre rule-book out the window and goes straight for the jugular.
Big Fish Theory
June 26, 2017
Big Fish Theory is the eagerly awaited second album from Californian rapper Vince Staples. Questions about the fragility of the spotlight and navigating the heartbreak of the world at large are ever present on Big Fish Theory but by declining to explain exactly what the album is about, Staples leaves it open for the listener to project their own views. He is here to write the songs, the rest is up to us. Teaming up with producers like SOPHIE, Jimmy Edgar, and Flume on a collection of sleek club tracks results in tempo being the driving force behind Big Fish Theory. But it’s his eye for detail and observational skills that remain the true winner of Staples’ work. With dense, politically charged lyrics and oddball beats, Big Fish Theory is one of the most dazzlingly progressive, innovative and unconventional hip-hop albums we’ve heard this year.
June 19, 2017
Big Skies is the highly accomplished new record from Sydney outfit Mere Women. The album explores the idea of being an outsider and the feelings of isolation and confinement felt by many women living in regional communities. This combined with their hauntingly familiar lyrics and impeccable composition sees Mere Women crafting the Great Australian Gothic of 2017. Adding a bass guitar to their line-up has resulted in the amplification of nearly every aspect of Mere Women’s distinctive brand of post-punk. The rhythmic pulse of Big Skies beats with greater urgency than with past albums resulting in their most visceral album to date. Big Skies is a living, breathing being that’s as spacious as it is claustrophobic.
Kirin J Callinan
June 13, 2017
Bravado is the long-awaited second album from Sydney’s very own pop auteur Kirin J Callinan. Admittedly, on first listen, Bravado is hard to wrap your head around. It’s off-kilter, over the top, and abrasive but on repeat listens, the album reveals itself to be a true work of art that only Kirin could make. The album also boasts a stunning roll call of guest vocalists like Mac DeMarco, Alex Cameron, Connan Mockasin, Neil and Liam Finn, Weyes Blood, Molly Lewis and yep, Jimmy Barnes. But despite the impressive list of guests, Kirin is still the king of his domain. Unlike his debut record Embracism, Bravado is daggy as hell, but that’s the point. Oscillating between heartfelt honesty and tongue-in-cheek humour, Bravado is record full of joyous electronica and sentimental ballads. It’s a wonderfully self-aware body of work that can either be interrogated or embraced. Either way, it’s a whole lotta fun. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that there ain’t nobody like Kirin J Callinan.