Our wrap-up of the best new songs from local artists.
By Lucy Shanahan and Jonny Nail.
Pulsing strings and light syncopation open "Mary-Anne", a song that flourishes in its delicacy but is punctured with grit. Tasmania-based Emma Anglesey (pictured) — once more teaming up with producer Joshua Barber (Gotye, Archie Roach), who she worked with on breakout single "Bike" — playfully wafts over the tinkering keys and mallet percussion, with resonant riffs interspersed between the echoed lines. Lyrics seem to meander, in almost conscious manner. As Anglesey describes, "'Mary-Anne' is about how you don’t always know where the road is leading and stuff happens that’s totally out of your control [...] I wrote it to turn a feeling of struggle into a feeling of revelling in the fight".
Anglesey wraps her national single tour over the next few weeks, playing Open Studio in Melbourne on November 30th and Sydney's Gasoline Pony on December 7th. [L.S.]
Equally nodding the tape-warp hiss and bliss of chillwave (RIP) and the no-fi bedroom soul of How To Dress Well, the latest from Adelaide producer Lonelyspeck (aka Sione Teumohenga) is a swirling splash of summer-spiked alt-pop that shifts between minimalism and cluttered immersion. The latter powers the song's powerful passionate unload and, while often obfuscated murmured, Teumohenga explains that primary concept of "All My Skin On The Air" is an embracement of self-understanding. "I want to be exposed and not hide my feelings even if they're awkward or seemingly trivial", says Teumohenga. "Fuck worrying about that, fuck trying to justify things. I have feelings and I'm just talking about them."
"All My Skin On The Air" will feature on Lonelyspeck's second EP, due February via TEEF. [J.N.]
Kiwi indie-pop pioneers The Bats are set to release their ninth album, The Deep Set, on January 27th via Flying Nun. Lead single, "Antlers", is reflective and energetic, capturing their distinct sound as it effortlessly flows from Dunedin guitar jangle to catchy crooned hook.
The Bats will premiere The Deep Set in full at next year's Sydney Festival. [J.N.]
Written in the front yards of friends and neighbours in Bankstown, Youth Group singer Toby Martin pieces together the culture and stories of the south-west Sydney suburb's residents in "Spring Feeling", the first track off his forthcoming album, Songs From Northam Avenue, due early 2017. Bright guitar tones, simple hooks and Martin's crystal timbre lend space to the nuances of the community; the primary school choir, the backyard decor that anchors the video, and the gentle fusion of Arabic and Vietnamese music — the song features a Đàn tranh (a Vietnamese zither), as well as an oud and a ganun (Middle Eastern string instruments). "'Spring Feeling' is about stopping still for a moment and watching the traffic, and your life, go past," says Martin. That sense of stillness is present, captured most poignantly in the buoyancy and inclusive nature of the lyrics. [L.S.]
Following a few line-up shuffles and bit of post-debut touring burnout, Melbourne glam-disco trio Pearls return with pulsating new track "Superstar". Opening with anthemic line "life is a runway, baby", "Superstar" is a sneering, unashamed over-the-pop puncher, equally placed in the arenas of arms-raised euphoria as the bratty bathroom chatter of a drugged-up dive club.
"Superstar" features on Pearls' sophomore album, due early 2017. [J.N.]