Category Archives: foals

5 Albums To Look For In 2013

Gold Fields – Black Sun (March)

My favourite new Australian band are set to release their debut album “Black Sun” this coming March and I couldn’t be more excited. They’ve been very slow to release any information or early tracks which is only helping to build the excitement world wide. The first single off the album “Dark Again (Lights Out)” is already on the Triple J hit list as well as getting smashed out daily on Channel V and has previously received a number one spot on this blog.

Black Sun is the product of a journey that began in the summer of 2011, when the band decamped to Los Angeles to spend six weeks working with producer Mickey Petralia (Ladytron, Peaches) and then retreated to a remote Australian farm manor to continue writing songs, which they later recorded with Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Sleepy Jackson, Silverchair) as co-producer/engineer. After learning a lot from both Horscroft and Petralia, Gold Fields decided to re-record and produce the whole album themselves in leader singer Mark Fuller’s parents garage in Ballarat.

Phoenix – TBA (April)

Word on the street is that Phoenix have done some recordings for the new album, presumably titled TPC, and describe it as very experimental. In an interview with Pedestrian.tv at Sydney’s Good Vibrations Festival, Thomas Mars and Deck D’Arcy revealed that the new recordings might be a departure from the ‘hooky pop’ of their last album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

In the interview they mentioned a lot of drum machines and percussions will be influencing the new tracks as well as some orchestral parts but an interesting comment was made about recording with percussionists in Byron Bay. Although I do dig experimental Phoenix, I’m really hoping the album isn’t traditional Byron Bay style a.k.a bongo’s over a homeless guy that can barely play two chords on a rusty guitar. I’m actually anticipating something more to the degree of their effort two albums ago in United. This band seems to skip styles every two albums, with It’s Never Been Like That sounding closer to 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and United being reminiscent of Alphabetical. 

Foals – Holy Fire (February)

Foals have taken nearly three years to deliver the sequel to Total Life Forever and let’s be honest, it had to be a good one. February in 2013 marks their third studio album, which is highly anticipated after the guys went quiet for quite some time.

Speaking to NME about the new album, frontman Yannis Philippakis recently said, “There are some heavier moments and some dirtier moments. It’s swampy, some of the grooves are quite stinky. There’s a track called ‘My Number’ that had a Curtis Mayfield groove which was pretty unashamedly funk, for want of a better word”.

I’m also heavily jealous of friends who are travelling the UK in the next few months as they also plan to tour pretty fiendishly following the release of this record, and with tracks like My Number and Inhaler already showcased it’s safe to say their shows will have gotten a shit tonne more enjoyable than the cargo loads of fun it already was.

Fenech-Soler – TBA (March-May)

Cult-status electronic rockers Fenech-Soler premiered the video for their single “All I know” back in October, 2012. As it was their first new original material in 2 years I was understandably excited for what is to come while the band finishes up their second album, slated for a Spring 2013 release. While no other songs have yet been heard, the first single has all the same anthemic quality that Demons had from their first album with big massive buildups carried by singer Ben Duffy’s voice crashing into pulsating four-to-the-floor drops. 

If this upcoming release is anything at all like their first studio album, fans and soon-to-be fans are going to be in for an absolute treat. These guys remind me of a UK version of something like The Presets. Not as specific as sounding like them, but in the way that they have that uncanny ability to take electro-rock music into the most unbelievably catchy domain it could ever possibly go into. Between Duffy’s amazing voice and form and the beat of tracks like Golden Sun and Stone Bridge, it only takes a few listens to start kicking yourself and wondering why you didn’t hear this stuff years ago.

Future Screens – TBA (January)

Never heard of Future Screens? Not many people have. It’s hard to understand the logistics behind a band of this calibre only obtaining a measly 1,000 likes on Facebook once you’ve heard their releases so far. Songs like Don’t Stop (which was heavily favoured on the sterling BIRP! July playlist) and Sidewalk Chalk were two of my favourite releases from 2012 and it was not even a difficult decision to sideline my hate for junk mail from random pointless websites and sign up for Future Screens band camp newsletters.

It was only the other day I received an email informing me of this future release and although nothing has yet appeared on the internet, iTunes or even Band Camp (I’m assuming due to the bands humble status and lack of music label), I can only assume based on every single thing they’ve done so far that when this new album is ejected unto the world it will be one of the best things to grace your ears in 2013.

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Issue Ten

It’s almost Christmas. The year is almost out and The Whamtam Ten is hitting double digits with this here being Issue numero ten. Looking back on the music I’ve posted so far I realise how absolutely awesome 2012 has been for music and it’s just gotta make you excited about the future prospects. So many singles released late this year with albums yet to come in the first quarter of 2013 (Gold Fields, Fenech-Soler, Strange Talk & Foals to name a few). All I can say is thank god we live in this time. Bolly.

Apart from that, let’s talk changes. When I started this blog I figured I would (like most blogs I do) get bored quickly and start another one. But to be honest, I really enjoy writing this and have been stoked with the amount of people viewing the posts so far. The original idea for the name of this blog came from a few friends of mine who had an idea about a satirical alternative to lame rap crews like Wu-Tang Clan. As we’ve made it to Issue Ten, I feel like it’s time to shake off the shackles of teenage tom-foolery and begin anew with a fresh name for the blog. These changes will be made towards the new year so keep an eye out; ’cause if it looks like I’ve started yet another blog, it’s most likely not the case; and you’ll miss out on more and more epic tracks as the posts flow. Alright. Enough stalling, here we go with Issue Ten.

10. Hungry Kids of Hungary – Twin Cities

Sneaking back into the top ten again, Hungry Kids of Hungary have released this fun little number that has been gathering a lot of momentum lately and it’s no wonder why. It’s exactly why these guys are one of my favourite Aussie acts. Sporting one of those thunderously catchy riffs they’re quite well known for, if you don’t tap at least one cheeky limb while it chuggs along you are most probably not human.

9. Divine Fits – Flaggin’ A Ride

Most people checking out this blog from Australia would most likely be sick of this song by now. They’ve absolutely abused it on Triple J. Despite this, I’m a pretty tough critic so for at least the first few weeks they smashed it out on the airwaves I really didn’t like this song at all. In fact, I thought it was too simple and unnecessarily dirty without the added plus of being catchy. Alas, the media wins again as the more it was shoved in my face the more it grew on me and now it’s one of my favourite songs; replacing “simple” with genius, “unnecessarily dirty” with deliciously gritty and “boring” with luminous. Poetic really…
8. Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love

Some would say Ra Ra Riot are a tad cheesy. I personally this is what makes them great. If you haven’t heard of them before, just think semi effeminate vocals, electro pop synth and a violinist (who doesn’t feature as prominently in this song but trust me, she’s there). Sometimes I’m a little embarrassed to declare I listen to songs like this, but who am I kidding, I love it.
7. Architecture In Helsinki – Contact High

Yet another brilliant Aussie act that has been in the spotlight for quite some time now, Contact High features on BIRP.fm’s stellar “Best of 2012″ playlist. Not unlike the rest of this album, it is so infectiously fun throughout the entirety of the song and an awesome driving companion. The film clip is a little weird but meh, with a song like this backing it up they can do whatever they damn well want.

6. Mikky Ekko – Pull Me Down (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)

Pull Me Down could definitely go for one of the years best Remix’s. If you listen to the original there’s no way it even comes close to matching up to this fine bit of musical ass. You can tell there’s some sort of R n’ B thing going on in the original but Hemsworth figures out how to mask it with all the best indie and electro vibes in town.

5. ON AN ON – The Hunter

Pulled this one (once again) from the December BIRP! playlist. There were quite a few awesome tracks in the playlist this month and this one stood out as great amongst the good. Nothing particularly stands out about these guys in terms of doing things different, it’s just a really cool song and easy to get addicted. Simple yet brilliant.
4. HAIM – Don’t Save Me

What!? An all girl band making it into this playlist!? I thought the Donna’s had completely ruined it for girl band reputations before they even got a chance to intrigue me. But no, the might that is HAIM stormed it’s way into my peripherals before I got stuck on this song basically all friggen week. They’re all sisters too which is pretty cool. They have been described as heavily influenced by 90’s pop and I agree when they say they would have been instantly famous had they released these songs maybe two decades earlier. That being said, old is new these days and retro, for a while now, has been the on trend thing, sky rocketing new bands doing old things to fame. Does that make sense?

3. Wild Cub – Thunder Clatter

Where the hell did Wild Cub come from? They have a whole album out and everything and I’ve only recently heard this song. It’s one of the coolest, jim jam jivenest tracks I’ve heard all year long (it’s still hip to be square right?). Expect to hear them all around you soon, if only in your own earphones. Thunder Clatter is one of those composition that has taken full advantage of the over the top percussion phase that our beloved music industry seems to be going through and I for one hope it never ends. It’s catchy, fast paced and pumps a wicked tempo that gives it top place on my list of best songs to wake up to.
2. Kate Boy – Northern Lights

Why can’t Scani-Pop just migrate to Australia? Joining the likes of Miike Snow, Urban Cone, Lykke Li and Robyn (and probably closer to the latter two in terms of sound), Kate Boy is without a doubt sure to be the next big breaker into the world mainstream. Northern Lights is her first release ever and has already been nominated for a Swedish Grammy. It melts the essence of a really dark, brooding, haggard verse with a confident stuck-in-your-head-for-days type pop chorus to make what is proving to be an unfathomably amazing debut single. 
1. Foals – My Number

Here is the Foals I know and love! Back with a bloody vengeance, sort of releasing this new  track off their upcoming album Holy Fire. I say sort of because it’s not yet available on iTunes in Australia yet so technically I can’t really say its “been released”. I’ve been killing my data for a few days now just listening to this song over and over. It’s that static guitar and funk-like symphony, together with the almost hollow sounding vocals of front man Yannis Philippakis that made me obsessed with Foals in the first place and have now reeled me back in and given My Number top spot without a second thought needed.
With Ten Issue’s under our belt now, make sure to look out for some small changes and a very special festively seasoned Christmas/New Years edition of The Whamtam Ten to be posted in a couple of days.

Issue Nine

It’s almost the end of Movember. I’m upset about it. I know you’re all upset about it. But don’t wallow on the end of this great month. Let us reflect on the tremendous times that we’ve had. Let us remeber the hair that has sprouted aloft on our upper lips. For you ladies it might be the playful tickle you got when kissing that guy you’ve had a crush on for months, just waiting for November when he of course looked his best. For the men it could be the 16 year old Whiskey that aged that little bit more whilst encaged in your face jungle, becoming a delicious blend of malt liquor and unwashed hair, perhaps mixed with day old toothpaste and toast crumbs and released during a shower for maximum taste. Ahh the good times.

But alas, these glorious days are behind us and what better way to reminisce than with a good old fashioned “high-school leavers” style slideshow of all your greatest moustache moments. Hell, while you’re at it, why not chuck in a soundtrack to back it up and really jerk those tears from your sockets. Here are some suggestions I prepared earlier.

10. Hunting Grounds – Star Shards

This weeks top ten starts with a couple of haggard rock tunes. This particular one comes from Aussie outfit Hunting Grounds off their debut album “In Hindsight”. It’s becoming very hard to get noticed in the current Australian indie scene with all the amazing talent that has been seemingly popping out of nowhere as of late but these guys have gotten a lot of airplay on Triple J (and a cheeky shazam from myself) and rightfully so. I have to say their sound does stick out a little from the plethora of hyper trendy general pants employees that have sprouted into the scene; at least Hunting Grounds brought talent along for the ride.

9. The Cribs – Come On, Be A No-One

Worst music related blog ever. This has been out for so long and I actually really love The Cribs. Got all their past records and all that stuff but still failed to catch the news of this release on it’s way out. But who cares. The blog isn’t about what’s new and cool, it’s about me and what I’m listening to. It’s like the super sweet 16th of the music blogosphere and everybody knows you only tune in to that show to watch the spoilt princess have a tantrum. Speaking of which, sounds kind of like the lead singer of The Cribs and how he comes across in recordings; just a wailing rocker having a massive whacked out tantrum but in a cool way. Doesn’t make sense I know, so just listen to the song and hear the brilliantly crazy mess that is this band.

8. Strange Talk – Falling In Love

Once again I’m on the fence about Strange Talk’s latest release. It’s got a lot less of those edgy, indie vibes we heard in the first EP and has broken out in a frenzy of corny pop lyrics and pockets of electro dance rubbish. Still, it’s better than that first single Cast Away they dropped the ball on about a month ago and I still believe in the band so much that I am hopeful the album will reveal a whole bunch of shining white knights to swoop in and take us away from the evil musical dungeon that has been these last few releases. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it?

7. The Preatures – Take A Card

Sorry is this an actual film clip? I didn’t realise. For a second I was suddenly inside a daydream or montage and this was the backing track for the first time I ever saw the keyboardist/singer from The Preatures. You have to admit, she is gorgeous and it makes the song that much more enjoyable to listen to. It’s just a chilled out fun song with everything your traditional mus-o could love; attitude, grit, talent, fun, that “Who gives a fuck” vibe and of cause there’s the sauce. Side note, I feel like the male lead singer reminds me a lot of my Dad in his old band in the 80’s which is absolute gold.

6. Architecture In Helsinki – Escapee

Funnily enough I’ve seen these guys live before. They’ve been around for a while, much like this song has apparently been around for a while. But I’ve never taken to them. Until now. My word this is a fun song. Kind of reminds me of Passion Pits stuff from Manners. It’s an epic tune built for those drunk, don’t-care-how-I-look-I-just-need-to-move moments, most frequently seen at festivals. I cringe at how being messy at a festival became cool yet habitually makes people look like tipped cows just flailing about with their udders exposed, half having the time of their life, half scared out of their wits; but if they’re doing it to this song, I’ll allow it.

5. Little Comets – The Western Boy

I wrote about this song being the stand out track on October’s Album of the Month and I stand by my decision. It’s coming in 5th only because it’s a little late in the season now and much more pressing matters have arisen. Anything you need to know about this song I wrote about in that post so check it out if you want a second opinion (given by the same person so I don’t know if you’d call it a second opinion really). Just enjoy.

4. Ben Folds Five – Drawing A Card

I haven’t always been the biggest Ben Folds fan. I know he’s huge and widely liked so it’s hardly new or unheard of tunes in this slot, but it’s a great song. The only other thing I’ve really liked was “You Don’t Know Me” with Regina Spektor. That was fantastic but every other thing really fell flat with me. Regardless I don’t have much personal insight or criticism into his music. He’s so well known, you either like him or you don’t. The song’s pretty good though.

3. Foals – Inhaler

Foals are FINALLY back with a new single and the album is to be released soon. I love these guys as do most people I know and it’s been a long time coming. It’s no surprise this track has been demolishing the Triple J hitlist for the past week or so. I once heard that these guys played backyard house parties even after they were already big enough to play University arena tours in the UK. Man, that would’ve been some killer party and it just makes them seem like absolute champs. Inhaler starts off very reminiscent of their better tracks from Total Life Forever but then suddenly busts out into a beautifully angry chorus. Terrific stress relief.

2. Buchanan – Run Faster

Great indie tune. I like to crank this one when I’m on the train home from the city just thinking about things and stuff. Don’t know much about the band but I’d liken it a lot to Gypsy & The Cat’s ‘Bloom’ that was on Issue Seven I believe. I think Buchanan are just at the beginning of what looks to be an amazing career and this track is the right way to start things off. For fans of High High’s or maybe Grizzly Bear, I recommend breaking this out on a Sunday.

1. Fenech-Soler – All I Know

Yes. Yes. Yes! I’ve been waiting and waiting since my time in Canada (which ended up July, 2011) for a new track to come out from Fenech-Soler. Not so well known in many places, I was shown this by a good friend of mine when we were driving around in a Van in the BC Rockies and loved them ever since. Kind of like the British version of The Presets, not so much in sound but in the way there’s two dudes rocking electro, dance sounds and managing to find that perfect mash between enjoyable, catchy pop and sweaty underground club anthems. When I play them, EVERYBODY asks who it is and immediately downloads it, so make sure to do the same. Thank me later.

I’m in the process of making this here site more use-able so make sure to check it out in the next couple of months to see the changes. Currently it’s pretty confusing to follow without having to sign up for twitter or a Google account but you can follow me on instagram @jessesmonster as I’ll be posting my favourite tunes throughout the week as well as many of the stupid-ish things I think are funny or interesting.