From lonesome late-night contemplation to the cheeky, larrikin glances, via (of course) outer space, dark forests and the inviting warmth of a disco basement, here's five of our favourite songs from the week.
Right from the haunting acapella intro, Leanne Tennant's commandingly haunting vocals latch on. "Gentle Annue" — the first track lifted from her forthcoming second album, Red Wine, Late Nights — teasingly edges towards complete collapse or euphoric explosion (dependent on your own perspective), as Tennant (pictured above) slowly succumbs to the soulful darkness of her late-night world, with her indirect, dissipating pleas perfectly matched by the clip's personal imagery of flickering recollections and fading memories.
Following a scattering of seven-inches and cassette releases over the past few years, Brisbane power-punks Thigh Master will release their anticipated debut LP, Early Times, this October. "Company" is the first taste, a sub-two-minute frenzy of lo-fi pop-timism wrestled down from its perch by the signature snarlingly bratty drawl of frontman Matthew Ford. While the song itself is squarely aimed at self-esteem, the video views things further afield, launching Ford (and a few clones) off into the far reaches of space — where nobody can hear your complaints.
Building off a pulsating math-rock-esque spine, "Better Off", the latest track from Melbourne metalcorists, Incentives, is an enthralling wrestle for control that — aside from the melodic, mid-session pause for breathe — shifts sharply throughout, with the initial unsettlingly anxiety eventually overthrown by the commanding closing arguments of angst-empowered frontman Kyle Adams.
Drama that extends beyond the song itself as, while shooting the sacrificial, Blair Witch-esque "Better Off" video late at night on a rural, private property, the band were almost arrested. "We'd gotten half way through shooting, so all the narrative stuff was done but no live shots", they explain. "We were about to set up for live shots when we saw the police lights in the distance. They came over and told us they'd received some calls and that we needed to move along."
"Better Off" features on Incentive's new EP, Dusk, due June 30th, which they'll also be touring from late-July.
It's the age-old predicament: every generation finds justification in being the highest. Of course, being of modern apocalyptic times where currency collapses, worldwide inhumanity and Donald Trump are actual things, there's justification in this stance. Enter: escapism. Here, deep in an Anytown basement — displayed as both a rehearsal and performance space — Melbourne producer Cleopold gently rocks us into a place of personal displacement with lofty, love-struck humility and nostalgic disco simplicity.
This steadfast stance of staying high forever is further aided by the jittery stop-motion, memory haze of the clip which, alongside the karaoke compliments, utilises imagery immediately associated with a detachment of all ails of the outside world.
"Not Coming Down" features on Cleopold's new EP, Altitude & Oxygen, available now.
Clearly focused on retaining their reputation for prolificacy, The Ocean Party will follow-up their brilliant late-2015 album, Light Weight, with a new LP (their sixth!) in a few months time. The as-yet-untitled Spunk release is introduced via "Back Bar", which continues the band's contrasting balance of cool breeze compositions and lyrically compact punchlines. The accompanying video is similarly disinterested in the straight-forward, merging high-grade cinematography with smirking awkwardness and juvenile high-jinks.