From political statements to the wilder outskirts of the formative British dance scene, we cover five of the best new songs and videos from the week.
With their new track "At Sea", Adelaide trio Flamingo (pictured) provide what has been sorely absent from the refugee debate during the current Australian national election — empathy.
"Leaving your home and everything you have ever known to travel to the other side of the world in search of a life free from tyranny and devastation with nothing but your family and the clothes on your back - this is one of the hardest things a person can possibly go through and something most Australians couldn't possibly imagine", vocalist Kacee Heidt explains of the emotional track's underlying inspiration.
While the song's assessment is unambiguously blunt, it swerves away from firey protest or criticism of the two major parties' unwavering/inhumane position on the key election issue. Amongst the pop-leaning electro beat, pleas to "don't toe them back" are interwoven with the striking sing-a-long line "families at seas, what a lovely place to be", tragically providing a — albeit emphasised — statement of the nation's complacency towards the issue.
Flamingo hit the road in August in promotion of "At Sea", performing at the Jive in Adelaide on the 13th, Sydney's Plan B on the 20th and the Workers Club in Melbourne on the 27th.
From such a fuzzy, unfocused foundation, where do you go? How about into a swaggering confrontational mock of rap-level bragging ("I'm the real deal"); or blood battle of guitar axes; or an explosive hook that head-locks the listeners with the kind of unhinged, bratty chanting we've rarely seen since in this straight-laced modern age? Regardless on where this ends up, it remains a chaotically refreshing, face-aimed slab of spit, the ideal unmeasured balance of attitude and angst.
"Oscillate" — along with glam-psych predecessor "Cul-De-Sac Vision" — will feature on the Fremantle four-piece's debut LP, expected later this year. They also officially launch the new single tonight at the Rosemount in Perth.
Having already sparked interest from Blogspots and airwaves with their blend of glossy groove and casual nonchalance, Byron Bay dance duo, Nocturnal Tapes, have now revealed the video for their breakthrough track "Pattern".
Few further clues into their funk-psych world are offered in the clip, which features young ballet dancers cutting loose under the guidance of their new instructor. The band themselves say the video aims to "represent the 'pattern' of self expression", adding that the dancers "are breaking free of the pattern whilst letting it take over." A position akin to the slithers of music the pair have aired thus far — clearly taking pleasure in an existence just slightly outside of the expected.
Nocturnal Tapes continue their short promotion tour for the new video tonight at Small Ballroom in Newcastle, along with a follow-up show tomorrow (June 18th) at Sydney's Brighton Up Bar.
The cover of the debut 7" from self-described "Actual Melbourne" band Possible Humans displays familiar imagery — bent wires of an aged hills hoist, peeling paint of the windows of a mid-century terrace, the sprawling space of a quarter-acre block. Completely ordinary, yet displayed from an obfuscated view as clarity, shadowing and rule-of-thirds photography balance are all paid little consideration.
Possible Humans' music takes shape in a similar space. Undirected and nostalgically embracing, there are brief pauses of refuge — guitar solos and rhythm-constructed crescendos — yet elements are pasted together in such a manner it's doubtful anyone completely finds comfort here. Exactly as it should be.
The unexpected pairing of Jarrad Brown (Eagle & the Worm) and Ryan Grieve (Canyons) has given birth to a new production project entitled Venus II, introduced via "Inside Your Sun". An anthemic Madchester pop-raver, the track meets at the intersection between the charts and the dungeons, sparring frenetic synths against an endless procession of euphoric hooks, with more than a few side-line spins towards the acid-holes of that hedonistic U.K. dance era.
As expected, the song's video is a deep dive into this world, with blinding lights of optimism partnered alongside multi-screen kaleidoscopes and positive proclamations of juvenile graffiti. A head-spinning welcome to a project that will will undoubtedly take shape in the context of a full album, expected to follow later this year.