From the gritty edges of garage rock to hip-hop, soul-pop, top floor optimism and basement level anguish, here's our mixed bag of the best new local music of the week.
Littered with paradoxes — both texturally loud/quiet shifts and lyrical partnerships of blunt seriousness with tongue-in-cheek shrugs — The Pretty Littles' 2015 mini-album Gospel was a gritty display of pop-leaning garage rock, equally fun and filthy. "Pride", the Melbourne quartet's latest offering, again is empowered primarily on the impact earned from contrast. This time, however, the band (pictured) leverage the listener's own disposition, transferring between euphoric celebratory rise and brilliantly punchy poetic lines of self-depreciation ("too ashamed to admit, that I don't want to live like this").
A thumping Jazzmatazz beat makes way for Remi Kolawole's multi-character flow, flipping through the opening stanza in a dual-perspective conversation with himself. Ad-lib interjections from MC/vocalist Sampa The Great compliment the park bench freestyle format, yet it's her later guest bars — hushed, with double-time franticness — that best serves as the rebuttal to REMI's laid-back style, slicing through the improvised composition with dagger-like precision.
"For Good" is set to feature on REMI's new album, due later this year. Before which, he'll head out on tour with production partner Sensible J and labelmate Man Made Mountain, dates and details here.
While previous singles "Coming Back To You" and "Loose People" found Brisbane's Sans Parents flirted with the edges of '70s power-pop, re-purposing selected stylistic similarities, "Can't Stop Moving" is a head-over-heels embracement of nostalgia. Blindingly polished, the razor sharp composition neatly folds into the honey-dipped harmonies, completing the tight-as-a-Tuesday pop package. Such unfiltered clarity invites the purposefully ambiguous lyrics to step straight into the spotlight. Their haste shift between scenes of resentment, calls of joyous rapture and hints of biting bitterness adding layered weight to the song's immediately addictive dominance.
"Can't Stop Moving" is set to feature on Sans Parents' debut EP, due in May.
Gravity dispelling, lead-foot vocals immediately set the scene: down, deep in the doldrums. A despairing locale Machine Age then proceeds to dig us out from, attempting to convince us, himself and everyone that the scenario is hardly a lost cause. This powerful new song from the Brisbane multi-instrumentalist is an engaging unravel, inched along by a clutched state of optimism. Yet, just as a resolution of whimpered retreat seems inevitable, the producer drops us in a dance-break clearing of exaggerated elation, with his own clone choir suddenly shifting the diary-like confessional to a larger stage projection.
"Don't Look" is set to feature on the producer's debut EP, due later this year.
"Wine Dark Sea" is the lead single from Night Rises, the debut album of Canberra duo PAINT on PAINT. The song lands mid-stride, a slab of stream-of-consciousness soul-pop swiftly setting the course. Hannah Beasley's commanding tones guide us, as plodding pianos circle the song's wandering lyrics, eventually leading to a complete off-course diversion with prog-lite synths encouraging an eruptious reaction from the previously servient keys. A magnificent display of free-form production wrestled towards pop conformity.
Night Rises is available now via Bandcamp.