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Jun
13
posted by tommy

As a rule of thumb, I don’t write about anything signed to my baby label TEEF on Sound Doctrine. I guess you might say I’ve got too much integrity or that I’m too credible or maybe that I’m too smart or gorgeous. Frankly, it could be any or all of those things, but the upshot is that the artists that I work directly with, those that I obviously like more than most others releasing music in Australia, don’t get championed through my main championship medium. Which is sort of crazy, when you think on it.

Not today though chaps, we’ve found a loophole! One of those same special few signed to TEEF has gone and remixed himself a version of Bilby’s Stingray and before you hit me with your dumb old questions, here are the sparknotes. Arthur Wimble is an anonymous producer slash vocalist from Brisbane with a seraph’s throat. Bilby is quite honestly one of the most interesting rappers in the country and dropped one of the standout local records of 2016 in the form of Botanicals. Slam the two of them in an e-room together and you’ve got yourself a time. Outcome: Woozy synths jumping on and off key and vocals brought right to the top on a track full of lyrical keystones and remarkably flippant melodies that whip and change ad nauseam.

It’s the first dose from Strain of Origin VI, a compilation series that sees artists paired off and remixing each other. It’s part of the long term community building that label Feral Media has dedicated itself to for a bunch of years now and an inspiration to a character like me who’s only been a short term addition to the local label landscape. The full record will be out real soon and will feature Aphir, Bilby, Artie Wimble, Tangents, Pendant, Lovely Head, Aphir, Reuben Ingall, Hence Therefore and Rebel Yell all flipping each others’ tunes. That’s something worth getting excited for.

May
26
posted by tommy

I haven’t been as taken with a local EP this year as I have been with this Stella Donnelly EP (amazingly titled Thrush Metal). She’s fresh outta Perth, or more accurately fresh in Perth as she’s still there. She’s released Thrush Metal via one of my two favourite local record labels, the wonderful Healthy Tapes (the other is Spirit Level, FYI). Healthy Tapes is, true to its name, largely focused around cassette releases and Stella has bumped out no less than five pressings now as the damn things keep selling, a testament to the magic on those tape spools. Truly she channels the holy trinity of lyrics, voice and performance and I just don’t even know what to do anymore because I like it so much and maybe there’s a Stella Donnelly AA-like meeting where we can all talk about how we ended up here and make amends for the things we did to other people and look this is a tangent we don’t need to follow any further so come on let’s just have another listen just one more listen please I need this you don’t understand. There’s no production tropes tweaking your ears but rather very earnestly delivered ideas, sung wonderfully with just the slightest hint of vibrato and thoughtfully positioned acoustic guitar.

As the best artists always do, SD makes it tough to pick a favourite song from the record. ‘Grey’ has my favourite vocal melody that hugs the acoustic guitar line like a pair of teens cuddling their way down a grassy slope. Then there’s ‘Mean To Me’ which is sad and sweet in equal measure, playful but hurting all the while. And then dammmmmn, this has gotta be the one that drives you gut first into the zone of no return but ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is utterly ruinous. It’s a song about sexual assault and it’s societal perceptions (our collective penchant for victim blaming) and Stella’s voice will completely tear you apart. Somehow she manages to talk directly to survivor, perpetrator and perpetrators father while changing person occasionally to callous bystander. I can’t quite say how she coherently navigates these different voices but Donnelly, you’re a special sort of artist and we need you right now.

May
22
posted by tommy

Sound Doctrine embedding youtube instead of a soundcloud link? What chicanery is this? What else is a middle aged blogger to do when the video content so perfectly matches the audio though, I can’t very well keep it from you. Love Deluxe is a #brand #new Sydney producer making recordings in a way that’s proving itself incredibly hard to describe. A little disco? A (very) little house? Perhaps the best indicator of what you’re about to ingest is the song’s title. It’s the literal translation of Keanu Reeves’ name which is extremely meritorious in itself, but surely no song title has better paralleled its sonic makeup than ‘Cool Breeze Over The Mountains’. It’s a fresh burst of air, driven through the Summer alpines. It’s smooth and refreshing like an Aperol Spritz in a non-sponsored blog. So, in summary, this excellent song has an excellent video and an excellent title and wow the harmony of it all and I just don’t even know what to do about it anymore short of my summarily executed youtube repeat cycle.

May
01
posted by tommy


Sydney’s Georgia Mulligan quietly slid this one under the Internet’s bedroom door at roughly 11:19pm a few weeks ago so it’s no wonder we didn’t discover it until the next morning. Sorry for sleeping on this one G Mully. Let’s get the obvious out of the way – what a voice. What an absolute joy, those tones and that delivery, I need never hear another vocal again. This is the end of the line, shut it down fellas – no more choirs and certainly no more solo vocalists. But when applied to what is also an excellent song, recorded with just the right degree of lo-fi as to give the thing a little flavour without going full twee? Well that’s just about too much isn’t it. It flooded me a few times in a row before I could push pause and even now, I’m hitting repeat on the thing as I write this. It’s laced with some fairly caustic heartbreak so you’d best be advised not to participate in this one during any breakup zones.

Apr
27
posted by tommy

I’ve meant to write on this album for a few weeks now but don’t let my lateness affect how you receive this. It’s still a mere three weeks old and a compilation that takes an indirect route to its final destination. These songs are filtered through the lens of piano day, a moment in April set aside to celebrate all things keyed and thus what initially seemed to be just a bunch of excellent audio just got real thematic didn’t it. It’s compiled by wonderful Melbourne record label and Friend Of The Blog Spirit Level whose roster boasts the likes of Braille Face and Don, both of who appear on this collection. The recordings are warm and affection, particularly Leah Kardos’ Novice which you can hear below, gently humming with tape hiss beneath piano and the percussive sounds of its employment.

The Braille Face song is a standout because he only went and cheated entirely, allowing himself vocals where others didn’t (though there’s a hint of them ok Researcher’s track and we won’t speak of that lovely Verydeadly song that ends the album). If the rumors are true (these ones I’m starting here and now), then the next Braille Face album is going to be a highlight for Australian music from years to come.

Download the full Kindred Spirits record via the Spirit Level bandcamp or stream it wherever you like.

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