Political pop with a good dose of Peter Garrett, slinky Aussie electro, and psych-rock done right. We go there and everythere and on this instalment of our five favourite new ones from local artists.
Created by the Cat Empire's Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill for Marliya, of Gondwana Choirs, Spinifex Gum the album features guest vocalists Briggs, Peter Garrett and Emma Donovan in a song cycle reflecting the dramatic contrasts of the Pilbara region of northern WA.
The haunting new single "Malungungu" features Peter Garrett and Marliya and is named after a creepy spirit in Yindjibarndi culture – which frightens black fellas but is itself scared by white people. It imagines the inner voice of a FIFO worker, performed by Peter Garrett, driving at night and heading into that darkness.
Spinifex Gum is out now. There will be a special live performance of Spinifex Gum at the Adelaide Festival in 2018, at Her Majesty's Theatre for one night only. Blending the lush choral vocals of Marilya – together with performances by Felix Riebl and guest artists Ollie McGill, Briggs and Emma Donovan. Dates and details here.
Produced by the band and mixed by Eric J (Flume, Nick Murphy) "Astronaut (Something About Your Love)" is a genre-splitting shot from the soul; as playful as it is a sincere exploration of loneliness and distant affections. Producer and guitarist Lachlan Bostock describes the creation of the beginning suite of otherworldly harmonics: "We shoved a microphone deep inside a piano and recorded all the atmospheric noises that came out. Like what I imagined an astronaut felt as if he was looking back at Earth."
The story of "Million Man" begins at 2013's Laneway Music Festival where The Rubens befriended NYC rapper EL-P and his band including his Run The Jewels producers/collaborators, brothers Wilder Zoby and Lil' Shalimar (aka Torbitt Schwartz). After a few nights spent drinking in New York at a bar that Torbitt and Wilder co-owned, it seemed their effortless friendship could lead to a pretty interesting musical collaboration. Fast forward to 2017 and those musings have become a reality when both producers flew out from the bustling streets of New York City to the band's newly created recording studio; a World War II communications bunker in the outskirts of Camden in Sydney's deep South West.
Of the collaboration keyboard, vocalist and songwriter Elliott Margin says: “When it came time to look for a producer for this new record, we realised that they'd be the perfect guys to work with. "Million Man" was the first track we worked on in the studio with the boys. It was genuinely just a fun time building the song and being creative together.”
Neon Tetra have had a busy 2017, releasing singles "Telescopes" and "Reflections" to great response. Now the Adelaide psych-rockers have a new banger releasing on November 3. "Run From The Ruins" is all a fuzz-rocker, with celestial synths, big drums, catchy guitar hooks and an undeniably summery groove. Think T-Rex partying with Tame Impala and King Crimson and you'll be in the right ball-park.
Neon Tetra's "Run From The Ruins" tour kicks off on Dec 23, dates and tickets can be found here.
Sydney based singer-songwriter Tom Stephens began writing and recording music under his own name in 2012, releasing his debut full-length album What Lies in the Difference in late 2016. Citing Neil Young, Wilco, Sun Kil Moonand Fleetwood Mac as influences, "I'll Tell You In The Morning" is a brooding alt-folk track with a distinctive Australian sound(if you're not familiar with Tom Stephens you may recognise him from Phantastic Ferniture with Julia Jacklin or from his star turn in the video for her "Pool Party" single). "I'll Tell You In the Morning" is the first single off Tesse's forthcoming album How It All Unfolds, out in Dec this year.
Tesse have single launches in Sydney on Tues November 28 at Leadbelly and in Melbourne on Sat December 2 at The Grace Darling