I’ve been sitting on this one since nigh on 1943, when a young Japanese soldier insisted I listen to his latest mix that was premiering on Thump at the time. Problematically he’d front loaded the thing with the rawest EDM you’ve ever heard so I couldn’t make it past the first nine or ten tracks but this week I followed up. I listened to the back half of that mix and I discovered this wonderful new one from Melbourne deluxiate Braille Face.
You may remember Braille Face (real name Brad Faće) from when I wrote about his debut(ish) single Glow earlier this year, which was also a reintroduction to Tim Shiel’s Spirit Level label. Well, both label and artist (actual real name Jordan White) are back in tandem with ‘Backwards/Medicated’. The track sounds a whole lot more organic in its instrumentation than ‘Glow’, with percussion seemingly recorded live even if filtered later and piano lines that must surely be the result of fingers hitting levers which then trigger hammers which finally punch down upon strings. The vocal melody resolves itself very nicely and Mister Faće’s tone is pretty damn special. There are few moments where it feels as if a stray gust could blow his voice from the air and leave only silence where it hovered, such is the precariousness of his wavering notes. Worth a few listens at the outset and then see how it’s sitting with you. I’m confident with this one.
A three piece on record and a five piece live is my favourite band format with the obvious exception of Bon Iver’s ‘one man on record to small European nation on stage.’ So Saatsuma have started well before their first note hits Ableton, and better still when you listen to their debut single ‘Storm’, a dark little winner that dropped at the start of this year. Crisp vocals and moody guitar tones overlay a driving synthetic drum beat. However we’re here to listen to ‘Floating’, the newly minted second single from the three-piece. The song’s underlying concepts centre are nocturnal, centering around wakefulness, dreaming and insomnia but I’d suggest that there’s some sense of mortal subtext. ‘Night keeps growing darker’, ‘maybe I can finally let go’, ‘floating out to sea’, these are all rather doomed phrases that bid me think that sleep is being used his as a binary, in its literal sense but also as a metaphor for death. As Memphis Kelly’s vocals float over those gentle rythms, backing vocals flit in and out, a clever mixing decision that keeps you attentively following the lyrics as the dynamics shift constantly. There’re a few chances to see this bunch live, the first of which is tonight supporting Thelma Plum at the Northcote. Unfortunately, it’s sold out because #ThelmaIsLife but I believe there’s a single and video launch on July 09.
I don’t know all the references I need to know to discuss this Tangents song particularly well but I’m a man with a blog and some opinions so I’m as qualified as 95% of all other music writers. The outfit is a fivepiece centering around Ollie Bown, who is a British expat who relocated to Sydney in 2011, presumably for our delightful beaches and a political climate that still seems somehow more palatable than its English equivalent (however unbelievable that might feel this close to an election). There’s also a cellist, guitarist, keysguy and a percussionist though I don’t believe any of those have sought political asylum in the same way that Ollie has.
The band have recently finished working on their second LP Stateless, likely punching out their card with all the style that begets a record like the one you’re about to listen to. It’s something in the ilk of Floatings Points, a record that uses conversational percussion to engage in dialogue with the instrumental elements that my earlier discussed shortcomings leave me unable to identify. Sure, there’s a piano in there, there’s some synth but is there a cello? Or is he playing a loom? That’s an instrument right? An instrument of fashion! HIYO! This certainly isn’t the sort of electronic music that Australia is known for but I’m hoping it’s a direction that gets further explored by the band and their contemporaries. I expect that this is rather a difficult music to make due to it’s reliance on quite technical percussive sections and freeflowing arrangement but clearly worth the toil if ‘Jindabyne is indicative of the rest of the album. The title of ‘Jindabyne’ already tells you that there’s a connection between this music and its country of origin and there’s also a track on here called ‘Oberon’, a New South Wales reference that’s graced the Snod Doxon annals already via the almighty Snakeface.
Anywho, I’m dying to hear the rest of this record because so far it’s one big green tick out of uh… I guess one tick. Not a great metric but please just know that I absolutely stand by this track. Stateless is out July 8 via Temporary Residence.
Breaking news today on Sound Doctrine’s one and only insistently (creepily?) regular column: What’s Happening With All Those Guys Who Were in The Middle East? All has been quiet on the North-Eastern front (get it, cause they started in Townsville?- Stay with me here fellas, classic sound doctrine one liners coming thick) for quite a while now. Who better to break that silence than Bree Tranter? (Answer: Nobody, this is perfect).
Bree has spent the last year building up to a record – Another Night on Earth – which is due on June 24th. The latest cut from said record is a loping slow jam called Tuesday Fresh Cuts. The song starts heavy on a late 90s vibe underpinned by a repetitive hip-hop drum beat and a vocal take that captures longing and loss as much in melody as in lyric. It opens out towards the middle as sax and guitars break out into waves of premature crescendo that Bree’s vocal melody scythes into as “I’ve got the blues” turns from an introspective lament into the call to arms “you’ve got the blues”.
The accompanying video is a warped insight into the songs headspace. Shot on a head-mounted Go-Pro, it feels closer to stream of consciousness than premeditated marketing tool. The near-perfect intersection is reached here, where raw is matched with beautiful, and nothing feels hidden. We may never get the album of R.L. Jones birthday songs we thought we wanted, but it looks we’ll be getting along just fine with the Bree Tranter record we didn’t know we needed.
The running theory on the internet at the moment is that all sounds are actually small worms that fly through the air and into your brain. It has something to with Albert E’s (that’s Einstein to you) as yet unproven theory that all of the light from the sun is actually a bird yelling ancient greek at you across a lake. Anyway, we won’t want to bore you with the specifics, we want to talk about the well documented side effects of this theory of sound transmission. The Sound Doctors at Sound Doctrine have labelled this an ‘Ear Worm’ (patent pending).
Confused? Excited? Want to buy into our new pyramid scheme? Well, friends and enemies, let us show you how it works – the new single from OM Collective, ‘Psilies Kite’ is a great example of the phenomenon at work: the nice and the familiar combine with something new and strange and together they just crawl right on into your big ol’ dome and lodge themselves in there real firm using their ‘Worm Hooks’ (we’re not as confident that this one will stick)
‘Psilies Kite’ pulls in a broad range of influences with layers of psych, lots of mid noughts indie feels and Beatles references buried with the lyrics. All these elements are brought together with the vocals of former Sydney wonderkid James Blackwood. Blackwood brings some of his most elevated moments since Valar was a post-rock band. His soaring, interlocking melody wraps around the instrumental textures like a warm and familiar embrace. With the vocal as it’s backbone, the psychedelic and the ethereal warp together and glide around like an earthworm that’s just enjoying itself so much in your worm farm. Like a big, disgusting hedonistic son of a bitch that’s just gobbling up earth like it’s discount day at the earth store.
If you leave your full name, bank account details and your mother’s maiden name in the comments section we’ll send you a starter pack containing records such as ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ and Matt Corby’s most radio friendly singles. In the meantime, enjoy ‘Psilies Kite’ and get excited for OM Collectives’ debut record.