Weekend Wind Down

It’s weird election time again. I say weird because I live in Australia’s capital, Canberra, and work in the public service. When an election is announced we enter a ‘caretaker’ period which basically means no big decisions can be made (don’t want to make a decision under one government, only to potentially have a new government change it all straight away… that never normally happens, right?).
So I’ve entered a personal caretaker mode too. Taking a bit more time off, exercising, spending a bit more time alone, looking into learning piano… Well, this is what I tell myself anyway. I’m really still socialising ad nausea and throwing back the wine. Back to the drawing board, Pete!
I saw Frances Ha last week and maybe I need to take a bit more away from that flick than I originally have. I mean, sure, it’s a bit sad and in the end we felt more like throwing back glasses/bottles of wine than allowing our lives to settle and not obsessively while the days away dreaming and avoiding. Didn’t someone once famously say ‘life is not a black and white movie’? Hang on a second… I’ve doubled back from my point. My POINT is that I need to take more away from that movie… Any ideas on this, guys?

Firstly, I have to cover some really impressive Aussie music. There are some really strong talents lately, some of whom are already doing incredibly well but who I wish to cover here again.

Dustin Tebbutt’s style is ‘borrowed heavily’ from Justin Vernon/Bon Iver but it’s not a sound necessarily CREATED by Bon Iver and I can’t get enough. It’s good song writing, simple but not boring, heartfelt but not overbearingly emotional. Thanks to my finger-on-the-pulse friend Jess for putting me onto this.

Dustin Tebbutt – The Breach

I’ve never paid enough attention to Cloud Control but for some reason this time their new music caught me by surprise. The album, Dream Cave, is a well rounded feat! I’m excited to see them next Wednesday in Canberra at ANU Bar. You should come and check them out too… When you listen to The Smoke, the Feeling and then Scar the proof is in the pudding.

Cloud Control – The Smoke, The Feeling

A sweet ditty, Little May remind me of Julia Stone minus the pretentiousness (though I still like Julia Stone!). There’s also a nice shift in melody midway through the song, breaking away from the simple guitar and vocals, a little piano added in, then a quicker pace. What initially feels melancholic brings you out the other side with a feeling of resolve and an elevated mood.

People compare Danny Harley (The Kite String Tangle) to Active Child, Fever Ray and James Blake, which suits well. But this song shows a lot of promise, operating on quite a few levels and reminding me more of Moby and Nitin Sawhney. We all know that the more comparisons people draw, the more unique your music probably is.

I guess this Aussie group are comparable The xx but I feel lately, between Snakadaktal and The xx, it’s the former who is bringing a bit more of a diverse and less depressing and dense range of music. Emerging though Triple J Unearthed some time ago this band are already doing extremely well and have recently released their debut album. Fall Underneath is the first track from the album and brings up warm and fuzzy feelings.

Snakadaktal – Fall Underneath

It took me some time for me to get into Zola Jesus. It wasn’t until I saw the promo for season 6 of Skins, scored with Zola Jesus’s ‘Seekir’ and listened to her work with M83 that I realised the power in her music. On her new release, Versions, a lot of the strength has been drawn out instrumentally. The electronic rock style has been negotiated with softer ‘versions’.

I’m not sure I’m sold on this next song, but I appreciate that it’s not just a soda pop style song, eager to become a sing-along. A slightly different vibe from two of my favourite artists, Young Wonder and Black Light Dinner Party.

Well hello, trip-hop! I remember you! Tricky, Portishead… Other… trip-hop people… have really kind of disappeared. Ghostpoet fills the void, with his recent album release a bit of a sad slog but which hits the spot when the mood strikes. There’s as much soul here as Gil Scott Heron too.
This Londoner really gets it perfect with Meltdown. Great film clip too!

Haha, oh Little River Band… A band whose albums with bland covers seemed to throw themselves at me when browsing through music in ‘record’ stores. It was either this band or Earth, Wind, Fire who I almost always deviously moved from their own catalogue behind something abstract like 10 000 Maniacs. Then Royksopp recently release a Late Night Tales compilation, and I’m listening and thinking ‘wow, this song is pretty sexy, disco and relaxed but I could almost dance to it too!’ And you know what? It’s bloody Little River Band! My hat off to you, boys! But I still don’t like all the shit on your ‘best ofs’.

Little River Band – Light of Day

I’ll be honest, I literally just threw the next song in at the last minute because I didn’t want to end on a dickhead note. I really need to listen to more Keep Shelly in Athens. There’s often something generic about them I don’t like but when they’re remixed (as here) it’s pretty great. So I feel like I’m missing something.

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