Tag Archives: coach bombay

ALBUM REVIEW: Coach Bombay – Sunshine (2015)

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This article first appeared on The AU Review.

Melbourne’s Coach Bombay AKA Terry Mann has been busy over the past few years transitioning from a bedroom recording project to a fully fledged pop monster. His previous full length Pops kicked serious A, but with no live CV and a humble social push it was received lightly (albeit impressively) by the small group that were paying attention. Since then, he’s formed a tight live act, toured the East Coast and even hit viral fame this past Australia Day with a mock-take on Outkast’s “Hey Ya”, entitled “Straya”. This week his new album Sunshine was released in Australia, giving the local scene something to seriously pay attention to.

Sunshine is the musical equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Not simply because it’s awash with bubblegum pop licks, but also because of the sheer imagination Coach Bombay has brought to the record. It’s a fucking ride. It’s no easy feat to bring to life a sound like this with tasty electronic fillings and hooks to inspire ever-lasting happiness. This vibe is staple-gunned to you when you hear the second track “Sunshine”, a tune that just bursts with immediacy from the first second. A dreamy chime sequence turns into a formulaic rise and fall procession of synth as the vocalist enters, spitting positivity imbued into some of the most memorable melodies of the year.

I half expect somebody may have discovered the wonderment of love this year. Tracks like “Silly Sweethearts” and “(So Fucking) Beautiful” drop clues throughout the record. The coach has always been a happy guy, but this is something different. It’s focused, and whether or not that statement is true, it’s something that contributes greatly to the output you get from the listen. The latter mentioned track is scattered and brooding but in a hopeful way. It’s a sweet listen and a necessary break from the insanely chirpy set you have before that point.

The cheekily named “Funtitled” could be liken to something like Architecture In Helsinki’s work, running through that kind of bright colours and bounce-dancing feeling. “Party Kitchen” is a god damn rager. Taking notes from eighties staples like Talking Heads The Coach spins a good yarn with the story of a crazy party heading all the way to the kitchen. Out of all the tracks on the record this has the biggest bravado of all. It’s got all the makings of a good party anthem, with crunchy electronics, vocals masked with attitude and a sweet post-chorus synth breakdown. It’s even got beer samples in it! My word, it is good.

The singles leading up to Sunshine, “Cool Thing” and “Girls” are old favourites, and although they’ve been out for a little while, I’ve been listening to them on and off and loved them every step of the way. Absolutely nothing bad to say there. But for those who haven’t heard them, they’re classic pop tunes. “Girls” is another formulaic procedure, streaking with a day-dreamer’s chorus and the kind of instrumentals that could potentially drive you crazy when they eventually get stuck in your head for months.

The big take-away from Coach Bombay‘s Sunshine is happiness times infinite. At its core is a likeable procession of pop tunes that don’t get old. But on deeper inspection, it’s a masterful collection of well-written, instrumental genius complemented by vocals that are purposefully morphed to fit the vibe. I sincerely hope 2015 is huge for this guy; Sunshineis the best album of the year (so far).

8.9 / 10

*****

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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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From Bedroom Recording Project To A Cool Thing: Talking with Coach Bombay

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This article first appeared on The AU Review

For many Australian acts the age of the bedroom recording project is in full swing and Melbourne’s Terry Mann, aka Coach Bombay, is perhaps one of the best examples around at the moment. Dishing out chirpy electro-pop tunes since 2009 from within those four walls of his, the Coach has built a reputation on fun, all the while claiming an inspiring fan base before even playing his first live show. With the latest single Girls impressing everyone it comes in contact with, Coach Bombay has been trekking about the east coast for a few shows to support it, and Jesse Lewis chatted to the man behind it all about finally going live, what makes up a bedroom recording and of course, the Ducks.

How’d the show go in Melbourne last Friday?

Oh yeah, it was a bunch of fun. So great to play with Halcyon Drive and The Twoks, so it’s always really exciting to have a really fun line-up too. We haven’t had a live show since April, so it’s been a little while. It was so great to be playing again.

Yeah, wow. On that, you’ve been around since 2009…

Yes, so I’ve been kind of doing it – as a lot of them are – as a bedroom producer project since 2009. The first song that I had a go at in this kind of style got picked up out of the blue from the Triple J people and there was a bit of buzz around it. I’ve just been putting out heaps of music really and it was only the last year I finally got the live version up and running.

So you’ve only started playing live shows since 2013. How come it took so long to get that going?

Well I’d always imaged it kind of coming together a little bit sooner. It’s not that I hadn’t been thinking about making it live, it just turned out to be quite a long process really. I guess the process of finding the people to go ahead with it this time around, getting those people together, rehearsing it up and figuring out which songs are going to work the best probably took almost a year before we were around to the very first show. There was always a lot going on in my mind about how to how to get all the millions of layers in the songs translated to live. What to keep and what to get rid of. Whether to put extra live things like guitar in there. Because there is guitar in the live show, but there’s not in the recordings. So yeah, it took a lot longer than I ever expected to before it was a live project, but I’m really glad I’ve done it now.

Yeah nice. Well, the 2012 album Pops came out when you hadn’t yet played live shows. Have you found a difference in the reception from fans for the new tracks like Cool Thing and Girls since you’ve started playing live?

I guess the main difference is that you can see how it works in a room full of people – which is a completely different thing. You can see the response you get in a much more exciting way rather than hearing about people enjoying the recording. I always love hearing about what people think of the recording, because that’s where it all started. But seeing people’s response to a live show is just that extra level exciting.

You mentioned before that it began as a bedroom recording project, and I always wonder when people say that. How much of the actual process between writing to finished project is actually done in the bedroom?

I never thought about it that way actually, about just someone being in their bedroom getting it done. Almost sounds a bit sexy. I think it’s the production side of it that definitely happens in the bedroom, that’s where your computer is. But writing all the different melodies and lyrics and all the elements that go in can happen all over the place. If I’ve got a strong melody going and I wanna develop it into a song and get the lyrics down, a really good place to do that is riding a bike. You can have the melody floating around in your head and while you’re trying to figure out the lyrics you’re also getting all this oxygen into your brain. So, it’s definitely not all happening in the bedroom.

Ha, cool. Well I think what I’ve heard from you so far is about the happiest sounding tracks around. What inspires you day to day for you to make that kind of electro-pop music?

Something that clicked with me one day years ago is that I’d be looking through my iPod for an album that was just feel good happiness without being completely terrible, from start to finish. I realised that there wasn’t something, that I knew of and really liked, that I could go to for that. And I thought, I kind of wish there was. So I thought wouldn’t it be great to endeavour to make something like that. To see if its possible and see if it can be done well. So I guess that combined with the general feeling that I think positive thinking is the most undervalued resource in the world made me want to just do this and pursue it for a while.

Nice, well I think you’ve got it down pretty well. You’ve gone through a massive transition in the last year, finally playing live and releasing the new singles. What is Coach Bombay about now?

It’s definitely about the positive thinking and feelings. In our live show we try to channel that as well. If we’re just about to go on stage we don’t really say to each other, “Make sure you hit this note, or do this thing or remember the way we rehearsed it”. We just try to have heaps of fun out there. It’s a completely different situation to being in a rehearsal and hopefully that translates.

The film clip for Cool Thing is an epic collaboration of old connery-era James Bond films, and it just fits so well with the song. Did you have Bond in mind when you wrote it?

Unlike a lot of the other ones that could be about personal things, that one kind of was about a made up character really. I wanted to make a character that is kind of like that Bond, that charming guy who’s also a bit of a bastard that girls can’t resist. The Bond style of character was floating around in my mind when I was working on a song. So when I was thinking about what to do for a video that popped into my mind. I do really like editing video, that kind of archival stuff or whatever I can get my hands on. I had many hours trawling through the first four Bond movies to find the right shots to fit the lyrics.

Well it’s a top clip, you can’t really go wrong with Connery’s Bond. So yeah, for the remaining legs of the tour for “Girls”, you were at BIGSOUND in Brisbane as well as Sydney this weekend. Is there any you’re looking forward to playing particularly?

Well I’ve never played a Coach Bombay set in Sydney or Brisbane before, so I’m just looking forward to playing interstate for the first time. Wherever we would be playing I’d be excited about it, but it does sound pretty fun to be down at Bondi playing near the beach and hopefully it will be nice day and evening.

So now that we’ve got all the music related questions out of the way, I figured I should ask a question I’ve personally wondered about. What’s your favourite Mighty Ducks movie out of the three?

Ha, yeah, I don’t think anyone could say the third one, it’s pretty forgettable. It’s gotta be number one really. Except I’m always tempted to say number two just because of the implausibility of how far they’ve gotten and still being from pretty much the same neighbourhood and all of a sudden they’re deemed the best in the country. And for the scene where Coach Bombay is eating ice cream with the enemy, Iceland’s assistant coach and having a bit of a flirt. That was a pretty excellent scene.

******

The single Girls is available on iTunes and Spotify right now. Coach Bombay’s tour in support of the new track continues this weekend, Saturday, 13th September in Sydney at Beach Road Hotel, Bondi.

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