Category Archives: Great Good Fine OK

ALBUM REVIEW: Great Good Fine OK – 2M2H (2015 EP)

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Great Good Fine OK continue to prove over and over again that they are the most badass, smooth stylers in the world of dance and indie-pop. Following the release of their debut EP Body Diamond last year, I made a point to mention that there’s little room for mistakes in an EP like there is in full length albums, and they smashed it out of the park with a pretty-much-perfect collection showcasing a natural ear for catchy song-writing. In 2015, they’re up to their old tricks as they return with a killer new EP entitled 2M2H (an abbreviation of the title track “Too Much To Handle”), set to come out in Australia on March 16th.

Opening it up with the title track “Too Much To Handle” they lead with a massive middle finger to anyone who doubted they could put together another release as strong as the last. Creeping in with static club-thump style synth and those brilliant dreamlike vocals fluttering around the verses, it leads into the build up to a chorus that spews perfection. This one is a dance track with some proper indie creds. It’s like…if David Guetta was suddenly actually really good.

One tune on this EP that struck me particularly, was the funk infused “Without You”. We continue with the trademark whispering vocals of frontman Jon Sandler which sprint around the backing with the type of precision that leaves you unable to keep still. It’s a very unique vocal tone and one that will be a major factor on whether or not you like this band. But it’s like eating snails. A lot of people are turned off at the thought, but if you like them, you fucking crave them. Creeping guitar parts and deep, probing synth provide a thick backing for what is an epic dance track; one that manages to still portray a heartfelt story of disappointment in failed love while keeping you bouncing around the room with happiness. Particularly around the 3:30 minute mark where it hits the outro, the boys round it off with funky guitar parts like the seasoned professionals that they appear to be.

“Carried Away” is proper old school funk. Taking listeners back to the 70’s with clanging disco style guitars and mixed again with the vocals, it almost resembles a bit of a Bee Gee’s type vibe. Obviously it’s not completely old school, again the electronics dominate throughout, slowing the speed down a little and the output it so sure of itself, and it should be. It’s definitely a sweet “strutting” song, and if you think that’s a terrible way to describe anything, listen and tell me I’m wrong.

If you thought you were impressed with 2M2H so far, wait until you hear that tropical popsters St Lucia are involved. That’s right, they’re a featured artist on the final track “Something To Believe In”, and man this partnership works out. The ethereal, out-in-space synth of Great Good Fine OK when meshed with the tropical-pop stylings of their featured artist just feels right. The deeper vocals of St Lucia frontman Jean-Philip Grobler are a welcome addition. A seductive saxophone solo permeates the outdo of this track , sliding around the slick arrangement like a dodgy carnival game, leaving you sufficiently entertained but wanting more.

Great Good Fine OK’s took all the stuff that impressed us in the first release and went double or nothing, and it certainly worked out. 2M2H is a crazy good EP. Start to finish, it’s filled with happy dance vibes, heartfelt and honestly delivered lyrics and high level, naturally sexy songwriting. With not a single second on the record wasted, they spit hooks all over the place in an effort that will make them your new favourite band. A lot of the time when someone asks you what bands you’re listening to at the moment, it’s real fucking hard to come up with something solid because it’s always changing. But if anyone asks me for the rest of the year, I can solidly say; I’m listening to Great Good Fine OK.

*****

9.2 / 10

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Great Good Fine OK – Without You

Great-Good-Fine-Ok

Great Good Fine OK continue to prove over and over again that they are the most badass, smooth stylers in the world of dance and indie-pop. Following the release of their debut EP Body Diamond last year, I made a point to mention that there’s little room for mistakes in such a short release (as opposed to an LP), and they smashed it out of the park with a natural ear for catchy song-writing. They’ve continued with that trend since then with the release of some really fricken amazing tracks in the lead up to a new EP release entitled “Too Much To Handle”, set to come out in Australia tomorrow.

One that struck me particularly, was the funk infused “Without You”, continuing with the trademark whisper-like vocals of frontman Jon Sandler which sprint around the backing with the type of precision that leaves you unable to keep still. Creeping guitar parts and deep, probing synth provide a thick backing for what is a killer dance track; one that manages to still portray a heartfelt story of disappointment in failed love while keeping you bouncing around the room with happiness. Particularly around the 3:30 minute mark where it hits the outro, the boys round it off with funky guitar parts like the seasoned professionals that they appear to be.

The new EP arrives here in Australia tomorrow, so check it out on iTunes and Spotify ASAP.

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The Very Best Of 2014

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It’s almost the last day of the working year at my day to day; and as you can imagine, as things wind down, cranking out some decent tunes in the office becomes a big part of the vibe leading up to Christmas. Looking through the 2014 playlists, it’s very clear that this year has been one of the best years in a long while for music, in particular Australian music. We’ve had some sure-to-be historic debuts, some impressive first time interstate players, and the expectations put on many emerging artists for their scheduled releases this year shattered with an unprecedented amount of consistently high quality records.

Now, this is down to pure personal taste, and if you would also like to input, you can either email suggestions next year or start up your own blog. But I’d like to take a silent minute to just respect the year that’s been, and deliberate on the very best of the year that was 2014.

Acoustic Cover of the Year: Bad Suns (Calif.) – Cardiac Arrest

Among the slew of emerging artists this year, Bad Suns stood out for their unreal ability to craft a pure pop song with all that raw rock vibe imbued inside of it. Cardiac Arrest was perhaps the best example of this, the single off their debut Language & Perspective, because of the sinister lead guitar hooks and impressively spot-on vocals. That was made entirely clear when they played it acoustic, knocking it out of the park vocally, while the band plays nice and tight.

Live Show of the Year: The Griswolds @ The Metro, October

Sydney was treated to some sweet as live acts passing through this year. Among the slew was St. Lucia, CHVRCHES, Kishi Bashi, Circa Waves, Bombay Bicycle Club and a huge amount of increasingly noteworthy locals. But by far the most incredibly performance was when Sydney natives The Griswolds returned home from their huge touring schedule in the US in October for one of the best live performances I’ve seen yet. Their latest single If You Wanna Stay absolutely brought the house down.

Emerging Artist of the Year: Coach Bombay (Melb.)

When I say “emerging” artist, you might not think Melbourne’s Coach Bombay fits the profile. They’ve been around for quite a while. But it’s surprising to note that this year in September was the first time they ever played live outside of the state of Victoria. We interviewed the man and reviewed his Sydney performance at the time and you wouldn’t believe they only started touring as a live act in the last year or so. They were so tight, so huge, dancey but humble. His unique brand of happy times electro-pop deserves a tip of the cap and we hope to see them doing big things in 2015.

Australian Artists of the Year: Northeast Party House (Melb.)

2014 was a really awesome year for a lot of Australian bands. I’ve followed Northeast Party House closely for over two years now and anticipated their debut Any Given Weekend for a long time. Well this year it was released in line with a stretch of hectic tours up the east coast of Australia. The album and their shows were true to the consistently and beautifully shambolic nature of the boys themselves, solidifying their spot in my party playlists for years to come.

International Artist of the Year: Ghost Beach (New York)

Ghost Beach have been busy little Brooklynites this year, with the launch of their record label “Crazy Heart Records” and the debut release from their signing PROM. Alongside this, they used billboard space in Times Square to open a discussion on music privacy. In between all this, they released in Australia their kick ass album BLONDE complete with some of the most original songwriting I’ve heard in a long time together with killer iconic vocals. Ghost Beach were easily the band that made the most profound impact of 2014 to anyone that was into them.

EP of the Year: Great Good Fine OK (New York) – Body Diamond

Great Good Fine OK got their break through the blog-o-sphere with one of our favourites, “The Wild Honey Pie”, who further pushed them in 2014. The release of further singles after last years You’re The One For Me, got me ridiculously excited for the EP, and they delivered with epics like By My Side and Not Coming Home. In an EP there is little room for mistakes, and this one was as flawless as they come.

Single of the Year: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (Detroit) – Run

I’ll be honest, I didn’t take quite as much notice of this song when I first heard it, and although I deeply regret it at least I came around and that’s the main thing. Joke was on me, because Run is a stellar single, released in January of this year from the 2013 album The Speed Of Things, it involves a very unique style of songwriting and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. in the best form they can be. When their mellow, wacky lyrics join hands with their strangely elusive yet fun electro-pop style, amazing things happen.

Album of the Year: RAC (Portland) – Strangers

Anyone who reads this blog knows I froth over RAC. So it’s no surprise that his debut full length of originals brought me to my knees this year. Strangers was a collaboration with many of my favourite vocalists, Speak, Tokyo Police Club, Kele, St Lucia and Alex Ebert to name a few. But it was those I had never heard of that really broke the roof of this album. Tracks like Ello Ello (Ft. Body Language) and Cheap Sunglasses (Feat. Matthew Koma) made this an album that I will never forget, and will most likely still be pumping on some futuristic sound device 40 years from now.

Merry Christmas and look forward for more tunes in 2015!

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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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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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