From Bedroom Recording Project To A Cool Thing: Talking with Coach Bombay

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This article first appeared on The AU Review

For many Australian acts the age of the bedroom recording project is in full swing and Melbourne’s Terry Mann, aka Coach Bombay, is perhaps one of the best examples around at the moment. Dishing out chirpy electro-pop tunes since 2009 from within those four walls of his, the Coach has built a reputation on fun, all the while claiming an inspiring fan base before even playing his first live show. With the latest single Girls impressing everyone it comes in contact with, Coach Bombay has been trekking about the east coast for a few shows to support it, and Jesse Lewis chatted to the man behind it all about finally going live, what makes up a bedroom recording and of course, the Ducks.

How’d the show go in Melbourne last Friday?

Oh yeah, it was a bunch of fun. So great to play with Halcyon Drive and The Twoks, so it’s always really exciting to have a really fun line-up too. We haven’t had a live show since April, so it’s been a little while. It was so great to be playing again.

Yeah, wow. On that, you’ve been around since 2009…

Yes, so I’ve been kind of doing it – as a lot of them are – as a bedroom producer project since 2009. The first song that I had a go at in this kind of style got picked up out of the blue from the Triple J people and there was a bit of buzz around it. I’ve just been putting out heaps of music really and it was only the last year I finally got the live version up and running.

So you’ve only started playing live shows since 2013. How come it took so long to get that going?

Well I’d always imaged it kind of coming together a little bit sooner. It’s not that I hadn’t been thinking about making it live, it just turned out to be quite a long process really. I guess the process of finding the people to go ahead with it this time around, getting those people together, rehearsing it up and figuring out which songs are going to work the best probably took almost a year before we were around to the very first show. There was always a lot going on in my mind about how to how to get all the millions of layers in the songs translated to live. What to keep and what to get rid of. Whether to put extra live things like guitar in there. Because there is guitar in the live show, but there’s not in the recordings. So yeah, it took a lot longer than I ever expected to before it was a live project, but I’m really glad I’ve done it now.

Yeah nice. Well, the 2012 album Pops came out when you hadn’t yet played live shows. Have you found a difference in the reception from fans for the new tracks like Cool Thing and Girls since you’ve started playing live?

I guess the main difference is that you can see how it works in a room full of people – which is a completely different thing. You can see the response you get in a much more exciting way rather than hearing about people enjoying the recording. I always love hearing about what people think of the recording, because that’s where it all started. But seeing people’s response to a live show is just that extra level exciting.

You mentioned before that it began as a bedroom recording project, and I always wonder when people say that. How much of the actual process between writing to finished project is actually done in the bedroom?

I never thought about it that way actually, about just someone being in their bedroom getting it done. Almost sounds a bit sexy. I think it’s the production side of it that definitely happens in the bedroom, that’s where your computer is. But writing all the different melodies and lyrics and all the elements that go in can happen all over the place. If I’ve got a strong melody going and I wanna develop it into a song and get the lyrics down, a really good place to do that is riding a bike. You can have the melody floating around in your head and while you’re trying to figure out the lyrics you’re also getting all this oxygen into your brain. So, it’s definitely not all happening in the bedroom.

Ha, cool. Well I think what I’ve heard from you so far is about the happiest sounding tracks around. What inspires you day to day for you to make that kind of electro-pop music?

Something that clicked with me one day years ago is that I’d be looking through my iPod for an album that was just feel good happiness without being completely terrible, from start to finish. I realised that there wasn’t something, that I knew of and really liked, that I could go to for that. And I thought, I kind of wish there was. So I thought wouldn’t it be great to endeavour to make something like that. To see if its possible and see if it can be done well. So I guess that combined with the general feeling that I think positive thinking is the most undervalued resource in the world made me want to just do this and pursue it for a while.

Nice, well I think you’ve got it down pretty well. You’ve gone through a massive transition in the last year, finally playing live and releasing the new singles. What is Coach Bombay about now?

It’s definitely about the positive thinking and feelings. In our live show we try to channel that as well. If we’re just about to go on stage we don’t really say to each other, “Make sure you hit this note, or do this thing or remember the way we rehearsed it”. We just try to have heaps of fun out there. It’s a completely different situation to being in a rehearsal and hopefully that translates.

The film clip for Cool Thing is an epic collaboration of old connery-era James Bond films, and it just fits so well with the song. Did you have Bond in mind when you wrote it?

Unlike a lot of the other ones that could be about personal things, that one kind of was about a made up character really. I wanted to make a character that is kind of like that Bond, that charming guy who’s also a bit of a bastard that girls can’t resist. The Bond style of character was floating around in my mind when I was working on a song. So when I was thinking about what to do for a video that popped into my mind. I do really like editing video, that kind of archival stuff or whatever I can get my hands on. I had many hours trawling through the first four Bond movies to find the right shots to fit the lyrics.

Well it’s a top clip, you can’t really go wrong with Connery’s Bond. So yeah, for the remaining legs of the tour for “Girls”, you were at BIGSOUND in Brisbane as well as Sydney this weekend. Is there any you’re looking forward to playing particularly?

Well I’ve never played a Coach Bombay set in Sydney or Brisbane before, so I’m just looking forward to playing interstate for the first time. Wherever we would be playing I’d be excited about it, but it does sound pretty fun to be down at Bondi playing near the beach and hopefully it will be nice day and evening.

So now that we’ve got all the music related questions out of the way, I figured I should ask a question I’ve personally wondered about. What’s your favourite Mighty Ducks movie out of the three?

Ha, yeah, I don’t think anyone could say the third one, it’s pretty forgettable. It’s gotta be number one really. Except I’m always tempted to say number two just because of the implausibility of how far they’ve gotten and still being from pretty much the same neighbourhood and all of a sudden they’re deemed the best in the country. And for the scene where Coach Bombay is eating ice cream with the enemy, Iceland’s assistant coach and having a bit of a flirt. That was a pretty excellent scene.

******

The single Girls is available on iTunes and Spotify right now. Coach Bombay’s tour in support of the new track continues this weekend, Saturday, 13th September in Sydney at Beach Road Hotel, Bondi.

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NIEVES – Straight Line

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Straight Line is the third upload from Glasgow duo NIEVES. It’s Glasvegas and Biffy Clyro meets something like Coldplay. It seems that the current ‘rock n roll’ genre is embodied in the Scottish accent. However, NIEVES takes that edgy vibe and gives it a shit tonne of heart. Flowing emotional piano combined with a vocal that really means it. Can’t really go wrong with that.

Combining exceptional songwriting & all-round musicianship, Straight Line continues the unsigned band’s different take to writing pop music and will soon make its way onto their debut EP. I assure you, it will be getting in the face of ballads worldwide and telling them where the fuck to go.

The State of Sydney Dream-Pop – Panama & NOIRE

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When I think about the genre “Dream-Pop”, my mind doesn’t immediately hit to home-base. Let’s face it, Sydney and Australia in general is a bright, adventurous place. It’s filled with the type of good-times vibes and larrikin-ism that doesn’t really inspire the slow, cloudy sounding music. When I think of dream-pop, I think of Scandinavia or France with acts like Postiljonen and M83. Darkness for days on end, northern lights, nothing but land, mountain and skies.

But stereotypes aside, there are a few local acts looking poised to do quite well on this front. Recently, personal favourites Panama released their latest, Stay Forever, complete with wispy, dramatically draining vocals and huge “up in the sky” type instrumentals. Briefly put, it’s a tribute to what winter in Australia can sometimes do to a man and a tasty look into what a dream-pop scene could look like over here.

NOIRE are another brand new dream-pop act from Sydney. Their second single ‘Those Days‘ was recorded with multi-ARIA award-winning producer Wayne Connolly who produced bands that are nowhere near dream-poppy, The Vines, You Am I and Youth Group. As a lot of bands in this genre do, NOIRE poses that same pop sensibility that is dark as it is colourful and as emotional as it is uplifting.

A nice sign of things to come.

ALBUM REVIEW: Kishi Bashi – Lighght

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This article first appeared on The AU Review

Life as a solo artist could get quite lonely, I’d imagine. It’s a message you could easily take from the cover of this album if you just looked closely. After running in packs with the likes of Of Montreal and Regina Spektor, Kishi Bashi’s latest LP Lighght (pronounced “Light”) is spritely with philosophy and self discovery – or whatever. Fact is, after covertly taking the blog-o-sphere by storm with his critical masterpiece 151a back in 2012, Kishi has taken to a life of musical solitary and produced an album that makes you feel, think and… appreciate shit.

Brimming with the unique style of loop based string-smithery that planted the man in top ten lists everywhere for his debut, the album really gets started with the eclectic single Philosophise In It! Chemicalise With It!. A track rampant with the very same indie folk musings he’s known for, but with a few distinct differences. Most importantly, I find myself lured back to the repeat button over and over. Something never achieved when listening to 151a.

The stark contrast between the first single and songs like The Ballad of Mr Steak and Once In A Lucid Dream (in Afrikaans) is noticeable. These tracks run with a pretty recognisable pop format, offering some familiarity to the listener and a much needed break from some of the more complicated work on the album. They could have featured on completely different albums to some of the other tracks, only adding to Kishi’s obvious versatility.

Lighght runs a curious (and at times confusing) line between the complex and the simplistic. It’s clear in the jumps between tracks like the romantic as all hell, Q & A, and the deep, perhaps even dark, Bittersweet Genesis for Him and Her. Every time you think you have this guy pegged he throws something different at you, track to track. It goes from folk to retro. There’s something resembling a rock-operatic in Carry On Phenomenon. Suddenly he’s narrating a track. There’s also some auto-tune in there amongst the sampling and what I guess could be considered ‘world music’. It’s just so beautifully diverse.

The fairy-tale like string samples used throughout Lighght ooze with honesty and heart, while the album itself maintains a catchiness to outshine the technical mastery behind it. Kishi Bashi grabs shades from acts like Death Cab For Cutie or Bright Eyes to create an album that rivals the debut, forming something that both likeable and impressive as a whole.

*****

8.4/10

Lights, Shapes and Wild Motion: Talking with Benjamin Plant (Miami Horror)

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This article first appeared on The AU Review

It’s been a while between releases for Miami Horror. Fans of the band will say it’s been an age, looking back on the 2010 hit Illumination with fond memories of a summer well spent, wondering where the time went. But with a new full length short on the horizon and the new single “Wild Motion (Set It Free)” already pegged to be yet another summer favourite, we had a chat with Benjamin Plant about where the time went, eighties love and the upcoming Australian tour.

It’s been roughly about three years since the release of Illumination, and from the sounds of it you guys have put a lot of yourselves into the upcoming release. You must be looking forward to finally having it out there?

Definitely. Heaps of things have changed and we’ve also done a lot of other things as well, so it’s kind of weird. We put an album out as Wunder Wunder. Josh has done his All The Colours album and now we’re finally getting to release this. So really, there’s no celebratory moment until that comes out.

Definitely, and what will you be doing to celebrate when it does finally hit?

Um, I made a joke that somebody better line up about seven boards for me to kick through. It’s like, I need a release, you know?

I’m sure that would do it. So you guys are living in LA at the moment. How did the relocation to California affect the songwriting process?

It’s played a huge role, I think. We wanted to go purely for inspirations sake and a change. You know, something to get us motivated and be more creative. That definitely happened. Although it wasn’t intentional, the fact that we were over there and not part of the Australian scene – it’s like we were able to try to find our own space and sound. Los Angeles, being so sunny and being so weird really kind of inspired us to just naturally embrace it. So I think it shows in a lot of the music that comes out of there like Classixx and Goldroom. Bag Raiders are living there now and their music definitely suits.

The new single “Wild Motion (Set It Free)” is the third to be released ahead of the album coming out later this year. Can you tell us a bit more about the single?

Well it’s one of the oldest songs on the album. The original intention was it to play more into an LCD Soundsystem kind of world, but we of course wanted to keep it upbeat. Probably the biggest influence on that was the early 80’s kind of post-disco. Bands like Talking Heads, INXS and Split Enz, who were incorporating disco elements. We were trying to explore that world where it was more of a band version of disco and 80’s.

You mentioned Talking Heads, and I might be reading into it a bit too much; but is that a cheeky nod to “This Must Be The Place” in the second verse [of "Wild Motion"]?

It definitely is.

Brilliant. I also noticed the film clip had what I thought was a bit of a David Byrne influence on it too?

Yeah, well I feel like that kind of visual – hand drawn, fun, colourful – somehow ties into that era even though if you look at all the Talking Heads artwork they don’t quite have that. It was more of a perception of what seems to suit that music. In some ways it’s a bit 90’s as well, like you see in Ken Done or Keith Harring kind of paintings. So we tried to incorporate that and merge it with the Talking Heads world a bit. A lot of people don’t see the reference purely because the song isn’t ‘out there’ Talking Heads.

Yeah, there’s definitely elements of it in there. Although I think Miami Horror feat. David Byrne would be a top collaboration.

It would be, I’d imagine he’s pretty hard to get a hold of.

For sure. I guess we should get in to the exciting news as well. You guys are back in Australia now with a tour kicking off September 16th in Brisbane. Are you keen to get the shows started?

Yeah, I almost wish we had a little bit more time. I just went and saw Client Liaison at Billboard on 170 Russell St [Melbourne]. That’s a venue we’re playing. It’s a pretty good venue, in terms of live music and they pulled off a really great show. So yeah, we really want to make sure we step it up this time to kind of suit the venue. We’re pretty excited, we’ve done a lot of new things to get everything working really well and sounding tighter.

It’s the second headlining tour in Australia this year – and since 2011. So what are you bringing to the shows these days that you didn’t have back then, besides the new tracks?

I’m not sure if it will be ready, but we’re trying to build a really interesting live show with some projection mapping and that kind of thing. Using a lot of lines and visuals like hand drawn images, shapes and primary colours, and then using projectors to map it onto simple objects and shapes as well as the lighting show. Nothing too over the top, but something to bring that visual scene back to tie in with all the artwork we’re doing at the moment.

Outside of the originals, I know you’ve released some pretty iconic remixes in the past under the moniker of Miami Horror. Are there any tracks from 2014 you’ve had your eye on to give the treatment?

That’s something I really am going to get on top of as soon as the album is 100% locked away, because we haven’t done that for so long. I think that’s a good way of showing everybody where we’re at currently, because remixes can show a lot more than originals. Originals have to be classic and lasting and I’ve really tried to avoid trends with the originals, but with the remixes you can make something that can be played for now in a club or that kind of thing. So hopefully, in the next few months.

Cool, alright well can’t wait to have you guys back. Is there anything you want to give the Australian audiences a heads up about ahead of the tour; have you got any black tie dress codes planned or BYO beach ball parties planned for any of the shows?

Ha, well it’s funny, because we always did have those kind of things, almost. Yeah we’re trying to come up with a new vision or look overall really. Still haven’t decided yet, so it’s gonna be a surprise.

*****

Miami Horror’s tour in support of “Wild Motion (Set It Free)” kicks off in mid September. Tickets are on sale now for the following dates:

Tuesday, 16 September: Brisbane – Spiegeltent, Brisbane Festival
Thursday, 18 September: Canberra – Zierholz
Friday, 19 September: Sydney – Oxford Art Factory
Saturday, 20 September: Coffs Harbour – Plantation Hotel
Thursday, 25 September: Adelaide – Fowlers
Friday, 26 September: Melbourne – 170 Russell
Saturday, 27 September: Karratha – Red Earth Arts Festival
Sunday, 28 September: Fremantle – Newport Hotel

The Indie Rock Summit Has Been Nominated For A “Blogster”

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…Or whatever that is. I had no idea it existed until that fateful email almost a week ago. Apparently, people read this washed up rag. I know nothing has been won but just knowing that somebody is reading this bad boy makes me gush.

So cheers to you guys. Much appreciated. Keep reading, and PLEASE VOTE FOR THE INDIE ROCK SUMMIT THROUGH THE LINK BELOW

http://www.pedestrian.tv/blogster-awards/music/2014

 

Golden Coast – Dream & An MPC

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Golden Coast are the brand spank-inest new band to hail from the bright reaches of sunny California, bringing with their birth the brilliant single Break My Fall back in August and impressing indie fans worldwide. The latest single, entitled Dream And An MPC, leaks with all the same likeable pop drives of L.A. compatriots Foster The People.

The new track sounds huge. Streaked with positive vibes, chant-able vocals and cyclic melodies that come together to showcase a brilliant window into the consistency of a band that is pretty fresh at the moment. Keep an eye on these guys.

The Knocks – Classic (RAC Remix)

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We may be putting a close on the winter season over here in Australia (although in Sydney it feels like we’re in the thick of it!), across the water, UK’s The Knocks have put together the best summer anthem since XXXX Summer Bright teamed up with Gold Fields to produce a remake of Summer In The City. Classic, featuring Powers plays like a fireplace, warming the room at the coldest of times with it’s slick, strutting beat and pelting funk-styled guitar. As if the single cover wasn’t a dead giveaway.

You just know a track has to be good if RAC decided it was worth a remix. So as we put an end to this horrible, horrible week here in Sydney, enjoy the smooth stylings of The Knocks, both the original, and as interpreted by the man himself, RAC.

The Griswolds – If You Wanna Stay

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This Friday cannot come any sooner. I’ve posted so many times in anticipation of their debut album Be Impressive that I need to use a stock image of the band rather than the album cover, mainly due to the fact that it’s been done so many times in recent memory. Sydney rockers The Griswolds leaked the latest tune from the album this morning for Neon Gold Records and it’s another solid indicator that Be Impressive may just be the best Australian – nay, world – release this year.

If You Wanna Stay is so much fun. I saw this one live in Sydney when they supported St Lucia and it killed. People were tapping and spazzing inside their own heads, unaware of anyone around, and that’s exactly what The Griswolds do to you with their live shows and their music in general. This music is the type that make you think, “You know what? Fuck it if people are watching, fuck whatever mood I’m in and fuck what’s going on outside of the radius of my body – I’m going to dance and thrash so hard that people are going to shit themselves at how awesome I am”. That’s right…If You Wanna Stay is “shit yourself” good.

For the millionth time, Be Impressive is out this Friday, August 22nd, you can pre-order here on iTunes.

Racing Glaciers – Animal

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Racing Glaciers are a group of guys that know how to fly under the radar. It was only when I received a press release this morning announcing their latest single Animal that I realised I had been listening to them for a few months without knowing, loving on their earlier single First Light. Turns out I had received the notification of that release too and quickly dismissed it. But not this time, I won’t make those mistakes again. Never again.
 
Animal plays like a cooler version of anything from The Fray, Coldplay or any of those brilliant ballad type bands that built fame on the back of beautiful soundscapes and sophistication. The track has this kind of sad, vindicating sound to it, and it’s noticeable that there was something broken about the writing process. If you read Lead singer Tim Monaghan’s comments about the process behind Animal and the new EP Don’t Wait For Me, you can feel it’s got this rustic vibe about it.
 
“I was back home for a few days and we have this old beat up piano. It’s never sounded very good but there’s something I love about it. I wrote Animal one evening and then we developed the sound as a band,” said Monaghan. “Don’t Wait For Me was a natural process, we spent a week in this little studio out in the woods run by the EP’s producer Jolyon Thomas and his dad Ken and they both have a great ear for creating big, spacious sounding recordings.”
 
Don’t Wait For Me is out now and available for download on iTunes or stream on Spotify.
 
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