Category Archives: indie

Fresh from the Pond

 

Matt Pond PA – The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand

Matt Pond has admittedly been around for a while. With a collective 16 records under his belt spanning a career of a decade and a half with his band Matt Pond PA, of which he is the only consistent member. Don’t let the age fool you though, he’s no classic, with his newest release proving to be just as hip and with it as anything you could find at your local hipster hang-out. The album, entitled The Lives Inside the Lines in your Hand, came out on February 5th of this year, and is not yet downloadable on Australian iTunes. That’s a problem I seem to continue to face with these bands that aren’t so big over here. Nevertheless I’ve managed to pinch a listen from various blogs and determined that this is an album a long time coming in this genre.

Liken to Aussie artist Josh Pyke, and possibly even City & Colour, with this kind of country style acoustic-pop, I haven’t heard something completely brilliant from start to finish in many years. Matt Pond PA are good at what they do and rightfully so after playing for that long. Their lead track from the album, Love to Get Used, is absolutely stunning. From the get go it hooks you in with a fluttering lick on the lead guitar to compliment the fast paced rhythm and bass alongside lyrics that come across as excitedly blue as weird as that description may sound.

Like I said, we can’t get the rest of the album yet, so I suggest you go and check out as much as you can on YouTube. For now, I present via the video below, Love To Get Used by Matt Pond PA.

Advertisements

Phoenix: Rising from the ashes

OK, so maybe this header applies more to the legendary mythical bird than the French-born band version of Phoenix. They’ve not come from the ashes so to speak, since riding high on the success of their last release, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix back in 2009. Regardless, they have been one of my favourite acts for a while, especially after seeing them live for the first time at one of the most stunning venues I’ve ever stepped foot inside, The Orpheum in Vancouver.

But they went missing for a while. You have noticed only about a month ago I posted 5 albums to look out for in early 2013 and this was one of them. At the time it was very hush hush about when the first single was to drop but finally it’s here and received a good flogging of enthusiasm on social media. Sadly, I’m a bit late to the punch. But nevertheless, I am a massive fan of Phoenix, so I absolutely have to plug their newest single, Entertainment. 

Entertainment is a weird mix of past Phoenix combined with an exciting musical avenue that they will hopefully be exploring in the wider album. The verse sounds like it could have easily fit in amongst the sterling track listing of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, yet comes with it a kind of fast-paced ruggedness that I have only noticed in a quiet few of their past tracks. The chorus, to be honest, takes a little getting used to. I read an article raving about this track that admitted it took 12 solid listens to fully appreciate it. I’m not up to 12 but I see where the guy is coming from. It’s not the catchiest thing you’ve ever heard. But it’s Phoenix,so you’ll of course give it a solid go and like most of their songs, end up loving it.

Can’t wait for the full album to drop. It’s going to be called Bankrupt! and if Phoenix are the same band I think they are, it should be an absolute machine. In the meantime, what does everyone else think of the new single, Entertainment?


Issue Fourteen

I hate the long wait for new albums. They always seem to announce all the good stuff months before they’re due to be released and make everyone just sit on their excitement, twiddling their ears (I don’t know if that makes sense but seems like the more likely body part to be affected in this instance). Gold Fields released Dark Again back in October with the album due to be released in March. Foals new record, Holy Fire still has two days before it pops. Don’t even get me started on Northeast Party House. They promised a full length album back in October sometime and I haven’t even seen a preview yet.

With that aside, all this waiting forced me to take a look back at some older stuff, pick peoples brains. Hell, I even attended a music festival on the weekend for some extra inspiration. Seriously but, fuck Laneway was good. Divine Fits, Japandroids and High High’s had to be amongst my favourites, but I admit I did get sucked into Alt-J and even The  Ruebens a little bit. Don’t blame me if today’s top ten is a little outdated, they’re still epic tunes.
10. Divine Fits – My Love Is Real

This, without a doubt, had to be one of the highlights of Laneway. I was a party to some risky business in ducking out on Bat For Lashes headlining set on the main stage to go see these guys and they did not disappoint. Got there just in time for their killer single Flaggin’ a Ride, but it was the songs like My Love Is Real that really stood out. I didn’t take to the song in the recorded form but after hearing it live I was well and truly hooked.
9. Alt-J – Taro

This song comes courtesy of another sterling Laneway moment. I never really bought into the hype around British Indie/Folk outfit Alt-J. Still don’t really. But I had to admit, sitting on a small grassy hill with friends on a bright day with a beer in one hand, a cider in the other, and Taro playing perfectly in the background. It was one for the memory bank.
8. The Jezabels – Rosebud

Rosebud is an absolutely beautiful track that is also quite a bit older than most the songs I post on this blog. It’s just been playing in the office on someone’s playlist for so long I couldn’t escape it and finally pulled out Shazam to grab this one for myself. When I say quite a bit old, I mean 2011. Listening to it you’d think it was something straight out of the nineties though. I don’t even like the nineties all that much but that’s only a tribute to how good The Jezabels really are.
7. Active Child – Hanging On

Another oldie that’s also on the work playlist. I’ve had it stuck in my head for a while now. It looks like this track was also released in 2011 and sports a similar kind of folky, indie feel to a lot of what’s in at the moment (according to the Hottest 100 results this year). Hearing this all the time at work is definitely not doing any favours for my productivity. Although it’s a wicked track, it does have the potential to hypnotize you to sleep.

6. High Highs – In A Dream

High Highs have to be my favourite live act from Laneway. I really wanted to see their set beforehand but wasn’t sure of time. A friend and I suddenly found ourselves wandering and drawn to a kind of “that’s a nice song coming from that stage, we should check it out”, situation. We read the set times wrong and only realised at the very end of the set when they played Open Season that it was actually High Highs. I would’ve posted that particular song but this one is their newbie and it still does them justice.
5. CYMBALS – The Natural World

I usually celebrate the first of every month with the release of a new BIRP! playlist. However, 2013 hasn’t been as spot on as it usually is, resulting in less notice worthy songs than I could count on one hand per issue. Keep in mind that the playlist is usually around a 120 song offering. That aside, I guess I can forgive them because one is better than none, and CYMBALS came along and saved the day. The Natural World can be a bit simple and haggard at times but that’s what I like about it. You can almost imagine writing this yourself on your Dad’s old synth and a computer in the garage even though you’ve never played synth or even have an elementary understanding of how it works. Not me…you.
4. The Royal Concept – Lost In You

I raved about the “faux Phoenix” Swedish outfit, The Royal Concept early on and included most of their EP in previous countdowns that I’ve done. So naturally, when I heard their new single World On Fire, I thought to myself…THIS…IS…LAME? Not expecting that? Me neither. Luckily for them, I found this doozy lying around iTunes and it roped me back in. They’re a talented band but that new single sounds like they’ve been chosen to represent for the EuroVision contest and not in a good way. This one is great though. The singer has a very cool and impressive voice and the band are terrific instrumentalists and they just nailed it with Lost In You, putting together a simple, likeable tune.
3. Gold Fields – Happy Boy

The only reason this is third is because I already kind of half blogged about it. I wrote a post in itself announcing Happy Boy as Gold Fields brilliant new track but wasn’t able to find the YouTube clip. Well, it’s up but I feel it would be rude to the others if I also made it number one. That aside, this is an absolutely unreal song and in my opinion, the worst track on the upcoming record. Not saying it’s bad. Just saying it’s the least awesome in what is a stunning mistress of a CD.
2. Japandroids – Fire’s Highway

It’s gritty, haggard, brusiy even. But that’s what’s amazing about Canadian duo Japandroids, I still feel a bit old or weird saying it in this day and age (even though the word’s ‘day’ and ‘age’ used in conjunction make me sound old anyway) but they are pure Rock N’ Roll. Like real, thrash about playing a shitty guitar, screaming down the mic with the crowd sweating and charging along. These guys actually made Laneway for me. They played at that point where you’re just the right type of drunk and the only word to describe every single track they write is anthemic. This song in recorded form just doesn’t do them justice.
1. POP ETC – Speak Up

I feel weird putting this at number one. But it’s such a fucking cool song. Yes, the band name sounds like they’re going to be a little cheesy. Yes, most of their songs are a little cheesy, not this one thankfully. And YES, this was released as part of the Twilight soundtrack. My sister maintains that Twilight, despite being an absolutely horrendously horrible series, release the best soundtracks. With tunes like this, I’m starting to believe her.
No I don’t proof-read my blog posts. You can figure it out if you’re that literarily obtuse. Also, add our instagram @theindierocksummit for music posts daily-ish.

I Am A Happy Boy

My excitement grows as Gold Fields debut album Black Sun approaches, due to be released in Australia on March 8th. They’ve literally just released previews of their second single “Happy Boy”, only at selected links. It’s reportedly the bands favourite track off the record and those of you who were excited enough to check out the trailer for Black Sun that I included in my 5 Albums To Look For in 2013″ post, may have heard it jiving away in the background.

Personally, although I love the song, I feel it’s a strange choice for the second single considering the pace they were growing at in the US with their enjoyable take on frenzied dance-pop. With that in mind, “Happy Boy” brings to them a dark side, and from hearing previews from the new album like “Ice”, they seem to take a leaf out of the revolutionary mixture of sombre and ultra-pop that The Cure did in the 80’s, without even remotely sounding like a rip-off 80’s revival. Gold Fields are legendary in their own right, and Black Sun, for me, is the single most highly anticipated album of 2013.

Issue Thirteen

As predicted, 2013 has begun with a furious bull-rush of top new tunes as the anticipation for the Triple J Hottest 100 grows leading up to Australia Day. If it wasn’t for that pesky, social-media-curious Warmest 100 guy giving all the surprises, most people would’ve been completely clueless as to which songs were set to top the year (apart from Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”…that was a shoe-in from the beginning apparently). Not to worry. If you were hoping to hear a whole bunch of surprise punches in the countdown this year, only to let your curiosity get the better of you and spoil it all at that darned site; you’ve always got this good old top ten to count on. I guarantee none of the songs on my radar right now will ruin the one time of year that Triple J is still relevant to the rest of the Australia.

10. Clubfeet – Heirs & Graces (Fucking everything on it)

OK so I realise that this first little number is not exactly a song. It’s a trailer for Clubfeet’s album, with previews for some of the songs on it. Released last Friday, the 18th of January, Heirs & Graces prove that they are not destined to be a Triple-J-only-sort-of-one-hit-wonder. The whole thing absolutely kills it with tracks like the opening My Shadows to the tropically vibing Acapulco & LA and the follow up to Heartbreak, Everything You Wanted. I’d liken them to fellow Aussie’s The Temper Trap (on My Shadows) but probably closer to Cut Copy and Van She. The only reason they don’t receive higher status is that it’s unfair to pit an entire amazing album against puny one song shiners, and there’s no YouTube ready clips. So grab it off iTunes now!

9. Lucy Rose – Middle of the Bed
Lucy Rose is pretty cool. End-o story. I’m gonna say it outright. I have a massive thing for red-heads. Ever since Ginger Spice, I swear the whole bunch can do nothing wrong in my eyes. Anyhow, Lucy Rose has a great voice and has a bum-load of talent to go with it. Middle of the Bed is the single off her debut album and it’s a major silver bullet that will force you go out and buy the album.

8.  Daughter – Smother

I recently heard Daughter has a new album coming out soon. Very exciting news. She is as laid back as they come. Built for rainy days. It’s the type of song I don’t usually go nuts for only because it’s so chilled out it’s just there for pure enjoyment. That’s what Smother is; just a real impressive and enjoyable track.
7. The Book Club – The Irony Tower

For fans of Two Door Cinema Club or probably closer to We Are Scientists. Both great bands, much like The Book Club is. This track is yet another great dancey, brit-pop staple and to be honest I don’t care how much bands pop up with this style, they will never get old as long as they keep it fun and easy on the ears. Enter exhibit A, The Irony Tower. 


6. Chloe Howl – No Strings

Pretty sure there’s an umlaut (European style O with the two dots above it) in Chloe Howl. Regardless, here’s another one of those Lily Allen/Kate Nash “fuck-you-ex-boyfriend” type UK singers. She’s only 17, which makes it a little weird that she’s already fucking up her relationships so royally that she’s getting damn good songs out of it. Although I guess 17 is the age where you’re most likely to be a dick and make mistakes. Yep, if it weren’t for prolonging the effects of puberty into young adulthood I’d say we’d lose half the classic songs of our time.
5. The Heartbreaks – Delay, Delay

This playlist seems to be full of easy, enjoyable songs. The Heartbreaks are apparently quite big. News to me. That fact aside, I’m stoked I eventually got around to finding them. Delay, Delay is the obvious stand-out on what is one of my favourite albums this year Funtimes. Side Note: That title appropriately paints you a little pre-cursor for what to expect in the rest of the album.
4. MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds (SAC Remix)

Might I say that this is one of the finest remixes around at the moment. I once foolishly announced that this reminded me a little of Jamiroquai, but then quickly realised I hate Jamiroquai and absolutely fucking love this song and remix. It really hits its peak around the second verse and when the chorus has a little more content to it but the whole think is bouncy. Feed Me Diamonds is a definite heel-tapper. As in it will even get those too-cool-for-school types at a gig secretly tapping their heels, even when they think they’re so mysterious because no-one can tell if they’re vibing the band or not. MNDR: Certified jerk catchers.
3. Glasvegas – Whatever Hurts You Through The Night

Shut up. I know this is quite old. As in, one or two years. Not sure. Don’t care. Glasvegas is great and always will be. Their consistently anthemic tracks can sometimes get a bit repetitive but there’s always one or two killer classics in there somewhere. This is one of them, the other one being the sort-of title track Euphoria, Take My Hand. I would even go as far as saying that it rivals Geraldine for their best song ever.
2. Everything Everything – Duet

Everything Everything almost backed it up two weeks in a row with tracks off their second album Arc. I raved about this song in my round up of the new album but it wasn’t available on YouTube to view on the blog so I left it out. Lucky for them, now that it’s up they get a top spot in my playlist. Duet is probably the most straight forward song off the album but is absolutely stunning both lyrically and melodically from beginning to end. 
1. The Crookes – Afterglow

Hell yeah. Best find of the week. These guys have been trucking for quite some time and they have so far been outside of my radar until the beauty that is iTunes suggestions showed up. I was purchasing Everything Everything’s new album and there were The Crookes, sitting in the “If you liked this band…” section. They looked decent so I tried it out and damn are they good. The album Hold Fast is a winner in its entirety. Other awesome tracks include Maybe in the Dark, Hold Fast & Collecting Skies. It more than earned its spot on the summit of this weeks top ten.
So that’s it for the unlucky 13th issue of The Indie Rock Summit. I’ll be heading to St. Jerome’s Laneway festival in Sydney soon so stay tuned for an “I-was-drunk-and-not-paying-sufficient-attention-so-watch-me-try-to-piece-the-event-together” type reporting on how that goes. It might end up just a post with the words “fuck yes” in size 78 bold, who knows. 
Also, to anybody in Australia: Clubfeet are touring next month, so if you like what you heard and want to check it out live, tickets are only $15 and you can buy them by clicking here.

TIRS Snapshot

Inspired by my complete lack of energy and the fact that I in all honesty shouldn’t have the time to post regularly on this blog, I noticed an absolutely great outlet on Instagram by the name of @goodindiemusic (also on facebook here). This guy (or guys/girls) posts one or two songs a day from just whatever they are listening to or think is sounding tops at that particular point in time.

Got me thinking that this phenomenon takes all the effort out of writing about music and songs. It’s perfect for this blog given that all I do anyway is post YouTube clips about which songs I like at the moment. So if you read my posts and like getting some new tunes to check out for breakfast, lunch and dinner…

Add me on Instagram @theindierocksummit

Issue Twelve

Back for the first Issue of the new year with some pretty unreal stuff. The next few Issues are sure to be crazy exciting with albums coming out all over the place (including Everything Everything’s newbie coming out this month that I forgot to put into the 5 Albums to Look for). It turns out that I’m so keen to chuck out the first top ten of the year that I coincidentally haven’t got much to say about it. I’m sure it speaks for itself.

10. A B & The Sea – In The Sunshine

A B & The Sea. Even just by the name you can tell that these guys could be the poster boys of pop and that they are. In The Sunshine is just your typical catchy pop song that has the possibility of becoming annoying if heard one too many times. That being said, it has had it’s moment in the sun for a long while on my iPod and this spot in the top ten is well deserved, although there is much more pressing matters to attend to. For lovers of HAL (anyone remember them?), or I guess even people that liked fun. before they got terribly repetitive and boring.

9. Twin Shadow – The One

It has taken me a very long time to have any opinion at all on Twin Shadows critically acclaimed album Confess. Eventually I gave it a second listen and got this half decent track out of it. It’s definitely an acquired taste, unless you really enjoy music from 80’s buddy cop movies…then you’ve probably already heard this before. 
8. Foxes – Clarity

I honestly think I could love Foxes forever in an emotional capacity based solely on her voice. It’s encapsulating and transcends anything that Richard Mercer could even dream about. *insert cheesy 80’s late night sex line vocabulary while dressed in a maroon silk robe and a tumbler glass of scotch etc. That’s not even based on looks. But Foxes, whilst having an absolutely amazing voice, actually writes some kick ass music. This being one of the aforementioned songs that has a hand in the kicking of said ass.
7. Matt Pond PA – Specks

I found out about these guys whilst researching Christmas Songs for the last Issue but they’re actually really good. They’re a tad old I believe and I can’t believe I’d never heard of them as apparently they have a weird connection to Bryan Adams. Maybe they used to play in bands together or something of the sort. All I can say is they’re awesome at writing acoustic gems and will easily make your playlist if you also dig artists like Josh Pyke or to a lesser extent City & Colour.

6. Art Of Sleeping – Above The Water

I just heard this song today on Triple J so it well and truly snuck up on me. Can’t say much about Art of Sleeping. They’ve been around for a while I know that but I never really took to them. Have a bit of a feeling this is a one off pick too but it’s quite a good song and deserved a little more respect then a late spot.
5. Tan Vampires – Digital Rot

I found out about Tan Vampires from the good folks at Good Indie Music (@goodindiemusic on instagram) simply because I loved their album art work. Turns out the songs aren’t half bad either. This is the stand out track of the album although I Found A Body rivals it hard. It’s very folksy, but lately I seem to be liking that. Make sure to drop by their facebook page and give them a like if you dig because they have a measly 1,000 fans and deserve way more with beauties like this.
4. CHVRCHES – We Sink

CHVRCHES are back in the top ten! I knew they’d make it as soon as they released something else. I had a feeling about these guys. I actually found this live studio version of one of their other songs and it was so perfect live that I felt it could go right into the top ten even though they haven’t released it properly on iTunes or anything official. Watch out for CHVRCHES in 2013 though, they’re going to cause a big fuss.
3. The Cast Of Cheers – Human Elevator

The Cast Of Cheers, Family. What a classic album. It was super hard to pick this as one of the tracks I would put into this Issue but here we are. I think you can tell I’m hinting at a recommendation to go out and sample the rest of the album. Seriously, do yourself a favour. If you like Foals or Late of the Pier you’ll love these guys after a few listens. I actually found out about them through one of those “If you bought Foals, you’ll like…” on iTunes. Apparently they’re in the top 50 most played songs on Triple J of 2012…good for them.
2. Tigertown – Morning Has Finally Come

This is a massive stretch at number two. I gave it a chance and it came good. Another song that I’ve only heard recently courtesy of Triple J and I decided I liked it well enough to put it here. May feel like in a few weeks time that it was a bit premature but it’s a real quality song and plods through the whole track with that whole racing vibe given off by a very vibrant percussion and symphony of vocal harmonics. Effervescent in it’s delivery. In pretentious speak…that means it fizzes. What I mean by that I have no idea.
1. Everything Everything – Kemosabe

Oh my frigging good lord almighty. This is basically the reason I decided I wanted to do another post tonight. I heard this and went absolutely bonkers. I love Everything Everything. Have been a massive fan ever since I heard their first single in my van in Canada from an English mate. But Kemosabe has to be without a doubt the best song they’ve released to date. I really hope to see them create a stir this year. I love their out on control frenzied sound that always comes off melodically perfect through it all behind the most unique and well used vocals I’ve heard in a very long time. The new album, entitled Arc, comes out in 5 freaking days! Now I’m not sure if that’s UK release date or the Australian release date but it’s sure to be soon and I am more excited than ever. It’s going to be raining epic albums for the next four months!

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.

Album Of The Month: October

I know I’m a bit late. We’re almost due for an Album of the Month: November (which I assure you will be a lot quicker to develop then this one). It’s strange too, because this here album is quite possibly the easiest pick I’ve ever had to make. I mean, it’s shockingly brilliant. I literally can’t believe how much I am stoked over this record.
I prematurely announced that this record would be released on the 30th of September. However, due to the unforeseen circumstance of one of the band members breaking a bone or being sick or something reasonable, the release date was pushed back to the 15th of October. Not released on Australian iTunes, I was understandably furious that I could only listen to this glorious collection over YouTube, having to ride out the train and only listen to this new stuff on my computer when I got home. Furthermore, about four of the tracks on the album have been previously released, including two (Worry and Waiting in the Shadows in the Dead of Night) that were released back in February/March! Nevertheless, it is clear that in the short time Little Comets have been ticking along in the spotlight, their sound has matured at an incredible rate. Their debut record, In Search of Elusive Little Comets, was a collection of your standard British pop tunes with vibes taken straight off the likes of The Wombats, The Kooks or even perhaps to a lesser extent We Are Scientists.The vibrant three part harmonies and stop/start clanging of guitars rivalling the drummer for control of driving the beat of the songs, alongside Robert Coles unreal ability to make a crafted, polished voice sound gritty and cool. It was one to be reckoned with and justifiably gave them notoriety in the UK.
Little Comets Live accompanied by hanging percussion

Enough said about their old stuff. We’re hear to give praise to the new and mature version of Little Comets. Life Is Elsewhere is a polished number that doesn’t pit their old stuff against their new stuff, but rather effectively showcases their growth as a band the way the fans would want it to happen. There’s no “oh they’ve sold out” or “they tried too hard to be proper musicians and ended up making some wanky experimental record”. They just got better, more interesting and fresh. It’s still the same Little Comets vibe that all the fans (well assuming I speak on behalf of all the fans) loved, but not the same old shit. Tracks like The Western Boy resonated the most with me, highlighting the carefully crafted musicianship of the band in the alternating time signatures layed out in the drums, the jumpy falsetto over the scurrying lead guitar all culminating in the simple words “One day I’ll wake up and I won’t need you”pitching to the crowd a straight forward catchy chorus that shows the people that although their musicianship is getting much more wicked, the essence is still that of a fun, enjoyable British pop band. Older singles like Worry and Jennifer are easy tunes guaranteed to get stuck in the old noggin for days whilst having tines of originality that can only be identifiable in conjunction with this one particular band.

The stand out tracks for me would probably be Bayonne (featured on this months BIRP! Playlist and an earlier Whamtam Ten issue), Semaphores on the Lawn and W-O-E. Maybe this is because I am usually opposed to the first single after hearing awesome stuff on the rest of the record, I may have immediately dodged the singles. But these are just great tracks that include a whole mix of everything that is good about Little Comets. The first single of the record prior to the release is also the first track, titled A Little Opus and is actually a great song in its own right but for some reason was a little plain for me in comparison to all the other great stuff. All in all, save for maybe one crusier tune I think they didn’t spend much time on, it’s an almost flawless album.
So there’s my album of the month for…almost two months ago…better late than never! Do yourself a favour and go pick it up if you somehow can! We need to get them popular in Australia so they will tour over here!! Do it now.