Archive for October, 2013
This week was spent careening through bizness lyfe trying to get that Oscar Key Sung that digital traction it deserves and it’s been largely at the expense of any further musical exploration. I haven’t had the chance to lend my ears to anything new and my feedly has backed up to the point where I may just ‘mark all as read’. Dangerous territory. The Silver lining though, is that I did hear this number from Silver Hills which provided the woozy soundscape to some quiet alone time. ‘Just a dream’ is the phrase that comes back again and again across this jam and it’s that floating, problem free attitude that’s served me so well. The guitar sharper guitar of the verses is lowered as the chorus hits and group BVs cushion you into the opened armed peace of it all. Make sure you follow that hyperlink though, it’s important.
Performers and poets spilling out their emotions is one of our oldest and most reliable forms of entertainment. The modern-day equivalent of a crowd gathering on a street corner: 101 likes on Facebook. Who is ‘Brother Witch’? Let’s find out. These songs are thematically based around feelings of insecurity in ‘the world’, social and existential anxiety, the desire to be loved (‘I just want you to feel like I’m your biggest deal’): the usual litany of what one might expect to be the concerns of a sensitive soul in a materially affluent/spiritually impotent wasteland that is this great nation of ours. The songs are very relational, and I guess if you were in the exact state of mind as Brother Witch, relatable. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not having a dig. I think there is real merit in the specificity of his expression of ideas; in an artist resisting the temptation to homogenise content until it is ‘widely relatable’ for that ‘wide audience’ which is sure to come ‘when I get played on Triple J’.
We can thank the miracle of modern home-recording software for the tight production on these tracks. Disembodied voices start the opener ‘I Fear’, sampled and cut-up. This pitch-shifted computer choir merges into a simple guitar part that sits underneath the opening line- “I fear that the whole world is crashing down on me.” The tune meanders in a charming, unresolved way that complements the message of the lyrics well. Some of the tracks remind me of ‘The XX’ (girl/boy duets, single-note guitar melodies, mixture of organic sounds and electronic beats), or perhaps Atlas Sound. There was a moment in ‘Slow Motion’ when a repetitive reverberating beep sound made me think I was Sean Connery in ‘Hunt For Red October’, shooting off sonar and defecting from the USSR. Great memories.
“This sounds like something I’ve already heard.” is a common critique currently, as we are bombarded with audiovisual stimulation day in and day out. Is it valid to use as a criticism? It probably says more about our unrealistic expectations as listeners than the intentions of the artist. So I’ll just say this EP is a solid release: well realised in production and vision. Many people will like it, more than 101. Check it out, see if you’ll add to that number.
I’ve listened to this song so many times now that it feels like a word repeated and repeated to the point where it’s lost its meaning, sitting weirdly in your mouth like a mint leaf. Seriously mint leaves, how can you be so furry and also a food? Sort it out. The word is now just a sound and the sound seems foreign because all one can here are the individual phonemes, syllables and all those other pretty words that represents units of sound and so on. And so it is with this song. I’ve listened to it so many times now so as to drain it of its unifying liquids. It’s not just a song now, it’s a collection of stems layered over each other and I can’t help but hear them all individually. This is on me though, let no blame land on this here tune which you’ll soon note is one of the finest things released in recent (and not so recent) memory. Every one of said stems is meticulously crafted and aligned and so it seems, at least so far, that you can’t actually listen to this song too many times.
That voice though… That voice is what’s going to elevate Oscar Key Sung from tastemaker’s
wetdream producer to international pitch-hitter. It’s a voice that’s surprisingly malleable too as demonstrated on Charles Murdoch’s Dekire where his usual heat is replaced by cold ice.
The track itself is more upbeat than anything he’s done under the Key Sung moniker and even his work in Oscar + Martin. For those of who have had the joy to see the live set in action you’ll know that this number is the heart of the performances by virtue of the four on the floor beat, resurgent dance section at the death and what’s likely the closest thing to a drop that you’ll ever hear on an Oscar Key Sung production. The future is nigh and it lives in Melbourne.
Six months back ADKOB dropped a jam called Lung Capacity. If you’re expecting me to follow that up with something like ‘now they’re back with…’ then NOPE. Just here to talk about that one song still. They’ve not released anything since so the way I see it, this could mean one of the following three things:
1) They’ve achieved their goals. They were shooting at 165 plays on soundcloud and 152 facebook followers and now they’ve arrived. Hit the showers, fellas, job well done.
2) They’ve failed to achieve their goals. They were shooting at 350,000 plays on soundcloud and 60,000 facebook followers and they didn’t even get close. They’ve immediately given up and are on indefinite hiatus.
3) They’ve let the sun set on their music career and are now pursuing another noble post-music career such as love, professional gaming, heroine, sports etc
To my mind those are surely the only credible outcomes. Six months people, SIX MONTHS. The song itself reminds me of a low-key Local Natives and it’s driven by a heavily affected vocal phrase in the chorus that’s been run so heavily through the filters that it’s barely recognisable as voice. At this point I’m still not even sure and am offering a bounty to anyone who’ll step forward with information. As things stand we’ll just have to wait and see what else the Sydneysiders have in store. Good start/end though.
The dirty, unkempt cynic that lives in the black meat sack just above my stomach has popped his head out momentarily to provide you with these opening thoughts. What’s the deal with a ‘summer single’? Why are they so much more sought after than a winter single? Some fool notion of romanticism and increased sales I imagine. And while we’re here, isn’t it strange the lengths people will go to in an effort to connect a track with “surf vibes” to summer.
Mid summer? “The perfect time for this jam!”
End of summer- “Clawing for the last scraps of summer!”
Beginning of summer- “Perfect to get you ready for the summer!”
Mid winter- “Winter warmer to remind you of summer!”
Seriously, this guy with Summer, forget about it. Anyway, this brings me to the Gunns track which is perfect to get you ready for the summer! Heavy reverb and a resounding guitar chorus and whoops, yes sir that’s my wallet, no I don’t need it back, take everything and leave me this song.
I don’t ask for much and Gunns haven’t overthought things and to their merit it sounds pretty whiz bang dynamite in that free rolling live large way that Sures seem to do things. My only objection is the tone on that drum machine but I’ll look past it because on the whole it takes me to an easy place.
Actual useful info: Perth band, 7 inch single, pre-order on bandcamp.