Born Joy Dead – Hey Blood

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This is exciting. A side project from someone from Hungry Kids Of Hungary. I got into them when I lived in Canada, so it brings back some fun memories of cruising around on a snowboard listening to Scattered Diamonds.

Born Joy Dead is the new project of former Hungry Kids Of Hungary bassist Ben Dalton. After making a great impression among tastemakers and picking up national radio play with their debut single, the band are setting out to do it all again with their latest offering Hey Blood. And it’s seriously sick.

Born Joy Dead will be announcing a national tour in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned guys.

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Parade Of Lights – The Island

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I know this is late. I mean Parade Of Lights released this EP about 7 months ago. But while the rest of the world rejoiced, Australia only received availability of the rest of the work yesterday! Previously, I’d posted about Golden and We’re The Kids, but after hearing the rest of the effort it’s clear that the standout track from the EP is this one, The Island.

Basically, it kills. Synth pulses throughout the traffic of the track, flowing brilliantly against the lead vocalists emotionally charged melodies. It’s a historically effective pop track with a cheeky nod to the indie side in us all.

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Penguin Prison – Calling Out

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The funk-master general, Christopher Glovera.k.a Penguin Prison is back at it again with the killer new single Calling Out. The new track is perfection in 3 minutes 58, displaying rise-and-fall synth and static keys bouncing around Glover’s hot and heavy vocals, complete with deep sass and falsetto goodness all the way through.

He became pretty big in some circles with his debut self-titled album, before featuring on RAC’s debut album with the first single Hollywood, which is also arguably the best tune on the album Strangers, released earlier this year. Calling Out is an exciting development towards some new stuff that has been a long time coming. Welcome back, guy.

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Coasts – A Rush Of Blood EP

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The second full release EP from UK based Coasts, sees them team up with producers Mike Spenser (Rudimental / Alex Clare) and James Rushent (Does It Offend You, Yeah?) on A Rush Of Blood. With that said, anything associated with Does It Offend You, Yeah? gets me tingly.

Their singles in the lead up have been unreal and it’s something we’ve very much been looking forward to. Although not yet available in Australia Their edgy style smashes around the pre-conceptions of traditional British indie music, proving a fresh and welcome take on the genre.

Released on the independant label Tidal Recordings, Coasts have recently signed to Capitol Records for the USA after being confirmed for both Coachella and Lollapalooza 2015. The debut album will be released summer 2015, so watch out.

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LIVE REVIEW: The Griswolds, Castlecomer & Sea Legs @ The Metro (11.10.14)

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This post first appeared on The AU Review

The Griswolds are home. These words seemed to be theme of the night as loyal locals packed The Metro on Saturday for the band;s first Sydney show since the release of their debut album Be Impressive. Coming off the back of a mammoth stint around the U.S, in their hometown of Sydney and on lead singer Chris Whitehall’s birthday no less, I’d say there wasn’t a soul in the popular Sydney haunt that could say they weren’t ready to party. As if you needed a band like The Griswolds to give you a reason.

Smooth, luscious pop tunes permeated the start of the night as the show opened with Central Coast rockers Sea Legs. Combining their well known Coastie charm with a slick sense of city living, they blasted through their set with a headliners confidence, showcasing familiar pop drives and sexy, melodramatic breakdowns. Half of this unit used to play with Pepa Knight (of Jinja Safari fame) back in the day, which is just a small hint at their ability to craft brilliant, likeable songs. Although a little more rock ’n roll than Jinja Safari, they lit up the fast building dance floor with the single “Christopher Strong”, catching the eyes of new fans-to-be by the cargo load.

More local pop mayhem ensued with the next act Castlecomer, introducing the set with a pure brand of ethereal, synth laden pop. I wasn’t so familiar with these guys coming into the set, adding to the excitement of discovering such a tight and talented act as they drew and controlled the crowd. Many of their tracks had mixed country vibes peeking through, as vocals bounced deep and falsetto, while speedy guitars struck over the backing of fully formed pop tunes. Their cover of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” fucking ripped the roof off. Onlookers grinded and grooved from start to finish, peaking when two of the band members revealed a horn section breakdown to top it all off. If you need one definitive reason to check out Castlecomer, this it it.

At one point in the night I could have gone home happy with that. The support acts were strong, the beer was cold and the fun times were in strong supply. But The Griswolds have build a reputation on smashing expectations and I should have known tonight of all nights was not going to be the one to break that. Shadows of the four band members glistened on the stage before they opened with the catchy, carousel-like “Right On Track”. Fans immediately got into the spirit, jumping onto the shoulders of others, swaying with the heights of the track and screaming the lyrics back at the band. The album opener, “16 Years” followed, speeding up the tempo of the night with conviction. It’s the kind of song that could earn them rock-god status in retrospect. Between the shattering vocals of frontman Chris Whitehall, a smooth breakdown to bridge the feel and the versatile, perfectly placed percussion of Lachie West, it’s one of the standouts on the album and was replicated with precision on the night.

Old favourites like “The Courtship of Summer Preasley” and “Mississippi” were definite party favourites, showing that The Griswolds popularity is not newly found. They’ve been doing this since the get go. The album’s title track, “Be Impressive” broke up the set nicely, calming it down briefly with child chorus samples and backing up again with a sort of urban tropical bravado tanked with wily lead guitars and cheeky vocal melodies. Alongside all their unique brilliance, the crowd shimmered at the introduction of the recently recorded cover of Vance Joy’s “Riptide”, one that properly rivals the original.

Every set has it’s highlight. You know, that song that sticks with you for ages after. No matter how many drinks down, and in spite of set list favouritism, there’s always that one song that you come back to whenever you think of that night. When I say “If You Wanna Stay” was the highlight of the set, I wouldn’t even be doing it justice. The deep bass tones, tumbling percussion and crispy key drives leaked pure energy on the crowd before it, giving off that odd mix of wild passion and no-fucks-given that The Griswolds seriously nail every time.

The lead single, “Beware The Dog” closed the set as predicted, showcasing tropical sways and stop/start meatiness in spades. If you’ve listened to this single before, there’s really no description needed to understand why they’re getting so much hype behind them all over the states at the moment. Teaming up with the crowd, they yelled the lyrics “Now you’re fucking crazy”, like they really meant it. The crowd was absolutely elated and out of control, like they didn’t know what fun was before that song started. They walked off for a brief moment only to peek back out with “Down & Out” and “Heart Of A Lion” to wrap things up in turbo party-mode. It was a well placed track, climaxing perfectly as several band members participated in a booming percussion solo to solidify the true end of the set.

Sadly, the night had to end at some point, and Chris Whitehall had some serious birthday celebrations to carry on to. But the crowd surely gave him and the rest of the crew something to remember. They’ll be scoping the globe in support of Be Impressive, playing to bigger crowds by the minute. When a band of this quality packs a gigantic score of Sydney locals into The Metro for an occasion like this, one thing’s for sure: there’s no place like home.

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The Chain Gang Of 1974 – You

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The Chain Gang Of 1974 is the indie-electronic project of American musician and DJ, Kamtin Mohager. His debut album Daydream Forever was released in January of this year (a little late to the party, I know) and it’s absolutely phenomenal.

Standout track, You is filled with Naked & Famous vibes and hectic electronic sparks. Their overall sound is the perfect mix of indie rock and polished production that only a seasoned DJ would know how to spin. The album in its entirety is really solid so I suggest you check it out but for the moment, this shit should get you through the rainy night.

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Post #200: Our Top 5 Of All Time

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Wow. It’s been quite a while doing this here blog, and we’ve finally hit 200 posts! To mark this special occasion, instead of posting about something new or doing the same old, I thought we’d go back to our origins – a countdown.

We’ve posted about a lot of different bands, both Australian and international and some well known while others not so much. Looking into the back end of the site at all the stats I was actually quite surprised to see which posts had performed the best, including one Aussie wonder sneaking in fourth.

So here it is, for my 200th post – the top 5 performing posts of all time on The Indie Rock Summit. Thanks for reading!

5. Great Good Fine OK – By My Side

4. Northeast Party House – The Haunted

3. NIEVES – Straight Line

2. DWNTWN – See My Eyes

1. Sombear – Incredibly Still

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PROM – Switch On

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The label child of Ghost Beach are back with another killer single ahead of their October 10 release; the debut EP Keeping Company. In the first couple of bars, the new single Switch On already exceeds the impressive nature of the first Flickers. This is a serious pop tune with legs for days.

The artist behind it, PROM are phenomenal up and comers that were hand plucked for the debut of Crazy Heart records, and this new track is a perfect example of why they were chosen.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Great Good Fine OK – Body Diamond

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This article first appeared on The AU Review

Great Good Fine OK are a relatively fresh face in the electro-pop playground and even more so to the sunny shores of Australia. They’ve slowly but surely built up a grass roots fan base in the US that has them hyped by some of the biggest names in the blog-o-sphere. But their anonymity is really the most exciting part about this all. Their debut EP Body Diamond kicked into digital stores last Friday, showcasing four tracks that combine to make one of the most emotionally charged dance releases of the year.

You’re The One For Me opens the mix as you’d expect. It doesn’t excite too quickly, building slowly with perfect additions of speedier electronics as it goes and climaxing in the chorus with lyrics that follow its title. Although not exactly the highlight of the record, it lays a solid foundation for the three pop tunes with serious bravado to follow it.

If you had to choose one to give a good wrap of the vibe of this EP, Not Going Home is the clear single in this release. Released earlier in the year as the lead up to Body Diamond continued, it’s a glittery jungle beat ripe with infectious ups and downs, contrasting a booming electronic bass backdrop against the vulnerable vocals melodies of frontman John Sandler. It’s the best case on here to say that Great Good Fine OK are real contenders when it comes to crafting electronic dance tracks with real, honest heart. Something that is increasingly rare in this genre.

By My Side is where this one really grabs you by the ears like an angry Grandmother, with an air of importance and authority that makes you stand up and pay attention in the first few seconds. More funky falsetto vocal drives pollute this track, showcasing a new age rendition of 80s pop, backed by horns, tribal drums and quirky synth selections. In terms of the running order, the finisher Say It All wraps things up quite nicely. It’s a slower, more repetitive number that bleeds a little dream-pop. Despite the general fun-times vibe of Great Good Fine OK, they finish on their most vulnerable track to date, making a last plea to grab listeners worldwide with the lyrics, “I’ve given you everything”.

On an album, you can afford a few misses among the hits. On an EP however, there is little room for mistakes. That’s where the impressive nature of Body Diamond really hits home. In my opinion, Great Good Fine OK’s debut is most likely the sharpest collection of indie-pop songs in EP form to be released this year. It’s one of those albums where everything seems to be in its place. Every synth, every guitar, every vocal melody. Each track has a proper purpose, contributing to make the exciting debut of (hands down) the best new electro-pop act of the year. Basically, it rules.

9.1 / 10

*****

Body Diamond is available for streaming on Spotify, and available on iTunes.

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Karl Kling – I Will Wait

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The little known Karl Kling has made the first moves since his epic collaboration with producer / artist RAC earlier in the year on the track Repeating Motion. The first solo single to be released from the Portland based artist ahead of his debut full length is called I Will Wait and while it’s an impressive solo effort, I can’t help thinking back to his feature work and feeling like this track stinks of RAC. If that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what is!

It’s a fun, energetic and slithery number that slinks along with a lot of confidence. All the while digital pop hooks will keep your finger firmly set on that repeat button.

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