Monthly Archives: October 2013

Polarsets – Distance

Polarsets are an ambient three-piece, coincidentally from Newcastle-upon-tyne, England; a similar birthplace to one of my favourite acts of 2012, Little Comets. Must be something about that place that breeds originality, because these guys (and Little Comets, for that matter) have it in spades. Not just that, but add a big-arse shovel load of talent and exotic sounding synth and you’ve got a very enjoyable act indeed.

Over the last two years of being around, they’ve supported huge acts like the UK indie princes, Two Door Cinema Club and alongside many others at the launchpad of everything cool these days, the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.

The Exotica EP, released in 2012, contains a ton of gems like Tropics and the track I’ve highlighted here, Distance. Sporting a tropical sound that is increasingly becoming more popular among many inner-city bands (go figure) like Sydney’s Panama and Jinja Safari, Polarsets are fun in some ways, but mostly just incredibly chilled.

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The Pass – Halo

I first came across The Pass when the song Cross Walk Stereo was included on a BIRP! playlist early last year and they didn’t strike me as the sort to dabble with the electronic. After seeing a YouTube clip of the track, they gave an instant impression of a post pop-punk type group that had this one awesome track. You can imagine my surprise when I’m scrolling through Spotify and find them again accompanied by the caption “You liked History Of Panic, you’ll like The Pass”. Pfft, I thought. Spotify has gone mad, surely!

I’m glad I decided to see what they’ve been up to. Released in 2012, the latest album, Melt, features possibly one of the best songs I’ve heard all month. Halo is a colourful track and not just because I was looking at the pwetty album cover whilst listening to it. I love songs like this. The vocals are energetic and it’s got this bouncy rhythm that acts almost like a musical red bull in the morning or before a night out. The guitar riff at the start and in the middle is an absolutely brilliant use of effects and plays a massive part in making this an all-round blinder of a track.

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Chloe Howl: Paper Heart Breaker

This is a pretty poppy song but I had to give a shout out to it. The song itself is just cool as hell and Chloe Howl is phenomenal. Poor guy in the film clip (or even more so, if it’s about a real guy…he’d be kicking himself!).

It’s catchy as hell and if it doesn’t sky rocket her to where she deserves to be then I’ll be giving someone the frowning of a lifetime!

Can’t find the embed yet so you’ll have to make do with a link to the Vevo clip. Follow it though, it’s pretty damn worth it.

http://www.vevo.com/watch/chloe-howl-1/paper-heart/GB1101300686

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Thank Hansel It’s Friday Mixtape: October 18th

Courtesy of another one of my sisters artworks. Loving the hipster/indie representation of Hansel (from Hansel and Gretel) and the reality of eating all of those god damned lollies. This is perhaps the best mixtape I’ve put onto the blog so far. Gasp. No way! Yes, way. I am pretty much obsessed with pretty much every single song on this playlist.

It’s poppy, indie, dreamy and full of all of my new favourite bands for this month. It’s also my birthday this weekend so these tunes feel like a fun collection. No need for presents, just listen to the bloody mix will you.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – War Zone

Sometimes these things just take time. I wasn’t too fussed with their first album, but after If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor)I put Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. on the biggest pedestal in preparation of the latest album, The Speed Of Things. Well it was released on October 8th, and that pedestal seemed to come crashing down.

Highlights, for me, was the single already out, possibly Hiding and maybe one or two that sparked interest before I grew tired towards the one-minute mark. But if musical life lessons have taught me anything, you can’t just dismiss an album after the first couple of listens. I’ve heard many a song that did absolutely nothing upon first listen, in much worse ways than this. Some I genuinely thought were rubbish, only to rescind on my word a week later and be declaring that, “I don’t understand why the band doesn’t make this their next single, they would get sooo famous.”

This is what’s happening with the Detroit natives, as the track War Zone is currently on repeat and although I’m writing a post on it, I can barely put how good this song is into words. I was really hoping that their second album would be steering more towards the funk/electro side of their talents rather than the quiet indie/folk stuff they did on the first album. War Zone hits the proverbial nail on the head.

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Stop What You’re Doing & Listen: RAC – Tourist (Ft. Toyko Police Club)

Alright, who’s fault is it? Certainly couldn’t be mine. How in the hell did RAC release their debut EP over two weeks ago and I haven’t heard about it until now! Containing unreleased tracks and featuring a whole lot of wicked guests, Don’t Talk To is a brilliant montage of funky simplicity.

It’s hard to believe that underneath all that pop brilliance, the music is actually quite simple. Not to say it’s not impressive. It is actually so intensely kind to your listening buds it’s almost like going to a musical day spa. Bloody life affirming. When you’re finished with Don’t Talk To, you’ll be shitting rainbows.

From the fresher tracks, I couldn’t contain my excitement when I noticed there was a guest appearance from Tokyo Police Club in there. Since Champion, I’ve been pining for something from those Canadian darlings…anything! Although Let Go Hollywood are as catchy as you could possibly get, Tourist is a highlight, plodding forward with hopeful bass and brilliantly despairing vocals from one of my favourite frontmen and lyricists from 2010/2011.

Head over to iTunes and grab the EP by following the link.

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Always Loving PANAMA

So local Sydney boys PANAMA have recently released their sophomore EP Always. To paint this picture as simple as possible, these guys brew a kind of happiness that doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of a halt with this new release.

It’s evidently cleaner than the previous release, still harboring those rapid beats and hollow vocals that made their stuff such an absolute foot tapper, but there’s definitely something different about it. Maybe it’s the hint of purity hog-tied to each track, or the ethereal and earth-like tones they’ve developed from older tracks like It’s Not Over.

The whole three track is a great listen, and available now for free by clicking your mousey device over the end of this sentence.

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Cruiser – Kidnap Me

I haven’t heard from Cruiser before so this one is as fresh as they come for me. Their latest release, Kidnap Me, is right on schedule, feeling summery and fun, bouncing along with naive enthusiasm and connotations of “lets-run-away-together” from young lovers. The guys have been around since 2012 apparently but well under the radar, I think it’s about time sometime took notice and all I can say is thank god for BIRP.FM.

The track isn’t up on Spotify but you can download the track from Bandcamp for a nifty $1. Check it out.

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A Real Hero

So this one is a truly amazing cover by a somewhat hit and miss sort of band. High Highs released their debut effort, Open Season earlier this year and it wasn’t actually half bad. I saw them live at Laneway Festival 2013 earlier in the year and they absolutely blew me away live with a sound that didn’t really seem to transpose as well off stage.

That being said, there were a lot of hits such as the title track Open Season and Pines and it’s definitely worth a good listen or two before writing it off. Their latest track, which is a cover of a College/Electric Youth track courts the band solidly to the direction they should be hitting; dream-pop.

That was the problem with the live performance/album adaption. As a live band, they were full of dream-pop classics and airy synth that pulled the entire crowd to some sort of happy place whenever they played. Yet on the album it was all acoustically driven, which isn’t bad but this shit is build for beautiful synth!

A Real Hero is High Highs exactly where they should be. Stop faffing about and do more of this shit!

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Leaving On Top

I bumped into LULS today. According to Spotify they’re new to the game with only a couple of tracks out both in 2012 and 2013.

Upon first listen you can’t help but ask if Interpol and The Joy Formidable had an incredible one night stand and spawned this as their bastard child, bitter at the world yet ready to toss aside the past and take it on head first. There’s something inspiring about this style of music that feels very welcoming on a Monday.

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