Archive for February, 2012
Behold the anthemic first track from Jonathan Boulet’s incoming We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart. The jungle drums that were present on his well-received, self-titled debut are still there. If anything they’re even closer to fore. Some folks have declared his output to be in line with the jungle drummed, harmony obsessed chant bands of Unearthed, but it’s important to remember that he dropped that record before that sound was polluted by an absence of song-writing and an over indulgence in novelty instruments. One would have to think that this would be the record opener and if so, I sure as hell can’t wait to hear what track two sounds like. Those crunchy guitars hint at something a touch heavier than the first record, potentially influenced by his time in Snakeface.This is just enough of a teaser to get me thoroughly interested, without wasting a big single early in the piece. Really, really excited to see what comes next. Self-mixed, self-produced, self-recorded, self-played and self-sung (it’s not heaps making sense anymore), the forthcoming album follows the same process of the first. The last thing he put his hand to was a new track from Sleepyhands which was pretty top dollar, and worth a listen if you haven’t already. Long live the garage champ.
“I don’t even know what I said, I’m a meathead born and bred”
Jonathan Boulet – ‘Trounce’
You can cop a download of the newie at the cost of a week’s subscription to his mailing list, because let’s be real here, you’re going to unsubscribe (though you shouldn’t) at the first chance you get.
Oliver Tank is basically a household name these days, at least in Sydney, in my house. I often make the mistake of assuming that just because I’ve been exposed, over and over, to an artist, that means that everyone has. Sometimes it’s the case, but othertimes an artist is known amongst the company I keep, but not necessarily to those who read this here webblog. So here are the facts about Oliver Tank. He has one really good song and an EP of decent tracks, but they’re all free so you don’t even care, you’ll just download the whole thing anyway. He’s got cascading torrents of raven locks, but any goodwill garnered because of this is immediately negated by the fact that he tweets like a private school boy who just discovered Dre for the first time. But all this aside, he’s actually doing really well right now. It was unsteady footing during the early days as a good few folk thought he may have been cutting a little too close to James Blake stylistically but he seems to have found his feet as a legitimate artist unto himself. The first time I saw him live it was almost without merit but his support slot at the Youth Lagoon was much, much more captivating. Just quietly as well, Youth Lagoon were the best thing I’ve seen this year to date.
In the second half of 2011 FBi held a competition wherein two winners were deported to Iceland, forced to play shows with local artists and contractually bound to produce an EP for FBi Radio. Our boy Oliver was one of those two winners. Oliver and fellow competition winner Rainbow Chan were shipped over in a 6x6x6 foot crate and began their forced labour immediately upon arrival at Reykjavik. They produced a pair of tracks with the aid of local acts Pétur Ben and Just Another Snake Cult. Below you can listen to the fruits of the Scandinavian exploits and you can also download them (gratis) packaged with 6 remixes and a bonus track from Oliver Tank (also streaming below).
Oliver Tank & Rainbow Chan – Golden
Oliver Tank & Rainbow Chan – To Love Again
Oliver Tank – Help You Breathe
The name’s not much I know – a combination of obscure male name and my sixth favourite animal (after fox lion owl bear and giraffe) – but this is easily better than the sixth best Austrayan band I’ve heard this week. It’s probably the first best. In fact I’m enjoying the select few tracks Wilfred Jackal are currently offering, and I’m willing to forgive them for saying ‘hook-laden’ twice in their info section. To my mind, their tinny guitars and all-round gentleness (to the point of jazz) is vaguely reminiscent of Cloud Control, but minus the obvious hooks – go figure. They’re vocally bold, borderline unintelligible on the lyrics front, and they know when to bring in some brass.
The band’s publicist and I may disagree on several points, like “big guitars and pulsating keys”, but they’re doing good things and it all bodes well for the not-too-distant future, when we’ll hopefully see a more extended release. Don’t mistake my disagreement for disapproval however, I genuinely think Cayle Stephens’ powerful voice will be something you’ll be hearing more and more of from here on out. Their first single ‘Dead Eye’ is likely the stronger of the two that you’ll stream below but ‘Rooms’ isn’t without merit and makes me think they’ve listened to more that a little Radiohead in their time. Both tracks are freely available courtesy of Unearthed.
Wilfred Jackal – ‘Dead Eye’
Wilfred Jackal – ‘Rooms’
Heard this gentleman on a video that friend of mine posted on facebook and couldn’t not pass it onward. Can I say something about his voice though? Here’s the elephant in the room, it sounds a whole lot like Damien Rice. Luckily I never stipulated ‘Does not sound like Damien Rice’ in my list of style prerequisites and have been able to see past it and appreciate the emotive, passionate nature of Ben’s songs which have been a stalward of my Spotify experience these past two days. Seriously though, Spotify is off the chain. When this thing becomes publicly available to the common man then you should waste no time. And yes, I did just elevate myself above the common man but if you’ve ever seen my Marvel Universe Collectable Card collection then you’ll know this as a fair distinction. Ben has a record called Every Kingdom that you can get ahold of via itunes in standard or deluxe format, or on through sanity online. Sanity are charging $26.99 per copy, which seems reasonable and explains why they are still a viable contended in the physical music marketplace.
Ben Howard – ‘Old Pine’
Ben Howard – ‘Keep Your Head Up’
This one’s been in the dome for a few weeks now as it’s been a long process establishing whether or not I really do dig what I’m hearing. The album is a work release which means I’ve heard it time after time during business hours and I’ve had a level of exposure that plenty of sterling artists will never benefit from. So, I’ve had to see if it’s been a case of “We’re releasing an artist that isn’t Jason Derulo” or “This is a genuinely strong record” and thankfully it’s the latter (but thankfully it’s also the former)
The London based quartet have spent four years on this record, something I’d normally call out as bio hype, but they released a double A-Side single of ‘Storm’/'Love’s Dart’ (both on the new record) back in ’09 which proves a minimum of three years, and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on the fourth. I have a healthy regard for artists that don’t easily discard their earlier recordings in favour of their newest body of work. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Sufjan’s ‘I-only-play-my-current-album’ attitude or Valar’s ‘Everything-we-have-written-before-this-current-EP-is-awful’ thing, but it takes cojones to retain accountability for your early art. Truly Django Django sound unlike any other current, emerging artist. The soundscape they create must surely be the amalgamation of multiple places, things and artists, the most readily identifiable of these being the Beach Boys and I don’t know if I’m going talking nonsense here, but the Western as a film genre. Tribal drums and repeated chants may sound old hat but you’ll have to trust me when I say it’s been worked into something noteworthy. There are moments where the beat will appeal to your dance sensibilities and other times where sound lends itself more to border-expanding psychedelia.
Django Django – ‘Default’
Even if you don’t buy into artists’ wordsy descriptions of their own music, this one is pretty rad: ” “rollicking sing-alongs, galloping into disco sunsets like whisky-addled and leather-saddled bandits on the stolen backs of prairie wild mustangs.” Stream their first single ‘Default’ and keep your ear out for the self-titled record releasing 23rd of March.