The panic pulse of punk-electro-pop done right, lyrical gymnasts and dry-ice on stand-by, we go there and everythere and on this installment of our five favourite new ones from local artists.
Canberra multi-instrumentalist Shoeb Ahmad (pictured) today shares "Romance", exclusively premiering as part of this week's Five For Friday selections. The track, the second selected from forthcoming LP, Quiver, follows up minimalist "Mask-ed", with the starkness of that lead swapped out for sweeping synths that smother the jangling, mostly-unidentifable intricacies, all above a brilliant panicked pulse that recalls the punk-undercoat of NZ soloist Shocking Pinks.
Quiver is due early 2018, before which Ahmad performs a selection of shows next month in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne; dates and details here.
On latest track "Royal Park", rough-edged Melbourne suburban balladers, Backyard, document bittersweet scenes of "a new couple in a local motel and a man struggling to communicate in a foreign hospital", as they explain. Storylines as cloaked as their magnificently adaptable lyrical ambiguity ("I guess a lot has changed"), that delicately splits the difference between exhausted sighs and pop-facing optimism.
Backyard support Fountaineer on a run of shows next month: Fitzroy's the Workers Club on the 8th, Castlemaine's the Bridge Hotel on the 9th and in Sydney on the 18th at Oxford Art Factory, ahead of their own hometown headline show at The Pinnacle Hotel on November 25th.
Despite carrying the pressures of a resume that now includes Kendrick support slots, Okay Player praise and Hype Machine chart success, Melbourne-based Sampa the Great continues to boldly blur the boundaries on hip-hop's new frontier. On latest track "Rhymes to the East" she fuses her rewindable double-time, tongue-tided flow — here closer to spoken-word poetry than her former NY boom-bap bravado ("high pretty, blind city, sigh pity") — with a crooning call-and-response, while Remi Kolawole on keys and Sensible J on the boards compliment with an ever-changing (and aptly stark) palette for her to playfully zig and zag around. The song — reportedly recorded in a single take — further cements Sampa as not only one of the most instantly ear-grabbing MCs out there right now, but also one of the most excitingly versatile.
Self-described "queer pop dreamboats", Sports Bra (featuring members of Hannahband, Dog Dirt, Pinkbatts), today release their debut, self-titled LP, with opener "Present Tension" best showcasing the Sydney quartet's masterful blend of gritted teeth frustration, striking poetic jabs ("I built a home inside of my body, and I'm never gonna leave it") and power-pop flow.
Following the lo-fuzz grit of debut "Ludlow", Body Type's follow-up "Silver" is significantly shinier, as swooning steps in for brooding and the garage-rock jangle of their intro is shifted to a far denser, darker composition. Similarly, the dry-iced-assisted smoke 'n' mirrors clip — despite once more being crafted in a limited time frame — compliments this fidelity development, while still remaining in-step with their tongue-cheeked approach.