Power, pills and new perspectives provided for powerful pop anthems. We've got alliteration, but (more importantly) we've got a fresh batch of new local music. See below.
Presented in a similar style to "Come On Back This Way", his previous partnership with Brooklyn-based Sharon Van Etten, the video for the latest Playmates single, "To Keep & To Be Kept", places Jack Ladder (pictured above) as the somewhat reluctant centrepiece in an awkward lounge bar setting. Here, he's half-interested or half-cut, while cheeky glances and choreographed moves from his all-star band (turned back-up dancers) The Dreamlanders attempt to steal the show. But, despite the half tub of vaseline smeared over the lens for the majority of the shots, the straight-to-camera gaze of the 12-foot tall frontman remains unwavering in its hypnotic, seductive pursuit.
The accompanying press release describes the latest single from Sydney-based group Pills as "an ode to the fine art of fisting". But, while that kind of introduction might suggest a smutty level of simplicity, "Sluggers" is anything but. Centred around grimey bass-heavy minimalism, the Bristol-via-Shaolin basement darkness is only offered occasional tense-free safety via the angelic flickers found in Ces Hotbake's transfixing vocals. Empowered by a mess of '90s influences — the aforementioned presser throws forward names like Fiona Apple, Tricky and Butthole Surfers — Pills are as exciting as they are unclassifiable. "Slugger" will be officially launched at a pair of shows in Sydney and Melbourne over the next few weeks, ahead of the group's debut EP early next year.
No space for subtly here. Yet, although the title for the latest single from Melbourne's Tiny Little Houses gives an impression of brutally blunt dissection, the track itself is far for more forgiving, echoing an Elliot Smith embodiment of sorrow, welcomed as a therapeutic requirement rather than a destructive endpoint. "You Tore Out My Heart" is the title track from the band's new EP, out today and available to stream here.
It's rare for a band to successfully capture a bygone sound without swaying into exploitation or, worse yet, pub-cover-band territory. Sure, there's the fairly obvious Coloured Balls reference amidst this raw rock ride from Melbourne trio, Power. But all that pub-rock confidence and unrequested big guitar blowouts is pointless without the conviction. And here, all sense of nostalgia is cleared by Power's own snarled, ale-spat attitude that strikes like a schooner (schmiddy or pot or imperial pint) to the face. "Electric Glitter Boogie" is the title track from their new LP, out now via Cool Death Records.
18-year old bedroom producer Filous rises to the overwhelming challenge of re-working the latest introspective pop-piece from Troye Sivan, arguably the biggest breakthrough Australian artist for some time. With a few politely understated tweaks, Filous flips the focus of the origin to a fresh point of optimism, not only creating a more summer-dance-party-aimed alternative, but also altering the entire script — without letting it become a cartooned mockery. A gifted display of restraint, as much as a wonderfully fresh perspective of a powerful pop song.