Monthly Archives: January 2013

Local Natives: Hummingbird [Album Stream]

Just the other day, Californian indie-rock lads Local Natives dropped sophomore record Hummingbird.

Helping the fellas out on the new record is The National‘s Aaron Dessner. He contributes to the album’s lyrics, production and even acting as the band’s seudo fifth member with a few recorded performances throughout.

For only two weeks, Local Natives are allowing fans to stream the album in full via SoundCloud. Track two ‘Heavy Feet’ flaunts Dessner’s influence. In fact, it’s reminiscent of High Violet‘s ‘Lemonworld’:

If you wanna own it, get it via iTunes.

High Highs: Open Season [Album Review]

Words by Monica McClure.

High Highs’ debut album Open Season is stunning. Fresh off the press on January 25, Open Season is a dreamy exploration in folk pop from Australian duo Jack Milas and Oli Chang. High Highs is currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, but is back home for the Laneway Festival tour and the launch of their album.

High Highs’ music is hard to classify, and I dig that it’s so elusive. It sits somewhere on the spectrum between folk and electronica, with wistful melodies overlaid by delicate, syrupy vocals. Each of the tracks is slightly heavier on some genre elements than others, creating undulating variation across the length of Open Season.

I usually like to talk about some favourite tracks but High Highs have got me stumped with this album. The changeable blend of sounds throughout the album gives me different reasons to appreciate each track individually. Opening tracks ‘Dey’ and ‘Milan’ are atmospheric and dreamy, while ‘Flowers Bloom’ and ‘Phone Call’ have more of an electronic focus, ‘Open Season’ is an upbeat folk pop track (do I hear handclaps or is it wishful thinking?), ‘Bridge’ is heavier on the folk, while ‘White Water’ and ‘Once Around The House’ are stripped back and starkly melodic. You get the idea.

The more I listen to High Highs the more I get out of their music. High Highs has harnessed the nostalgia of 70s folk with 80s electronica and current indie pop to create a debut album that feels innovative and fresh. I’ve always been a sucker for an enigma.

For more High Highs, check out acid stag’s interview with Oli Chang here, or get yourself along to see High Highs at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney tonight or one of the St. Jerome’s Laneway festivals over the next few weeks. |

The Strokes: One Way Trigger [New Single]

In two months, New York’s The Strokes will unleash fifth studio album Comedown Machine, the follow-up to 2011’s hit record Angles. Their first piece of new material to see the light of day is b-side track ‘One Way Trigger’:

Click here for a free download.

A Seattle-based radio station (107.7 The End) will unveil the first official single from the forth-comer incoming days,  titled  ‘All the Time.’

The Strokes’ Comedown Machine is scheduled for release on March 22 via RCA Records. Pre-order it here.

My First CD: Jarrah McCleary, Panama

Words by Hugh McClure.

Sydney five-piece Panama first warranted our attention mid last year with their ridiculously delightful single ‘Magic,’ before totally kidnapping our affections with the release of their debut EP in November. The record’s feature single ‘It’s Not Over’ rocketed to #1 on Hypem, and the band showed off their energetic live show alongside the likes of Van She, Mitzi and Dappled Cities.

Given the tropical, upbeat nature of their music, you’d automatically assume the band’s mastermind Jarrah McCleary was brought up on a diet of 80s pop music. You’d be very wrong. In fact, McCleary was partial to something quite different. Here’s what he had to say about his early musical memories.

“The first CD I ever bought was ‘Cherry Pie’ by Warrant. I was ten years old and was really vibing on hair metal. I mean, who could resist a film clip with cherry pie and hot, leggy blondes? Obviously, ‘Cherry Pie’ was my favourite track on the album – I probably wore the CD out playing that song on repeat. When I hear the song now, I still remember my neighbour yelling over the fence to tell me to “Stop playing that damn song!” He obviously didn’t share my enthusiasm. When I followed up that first purchase with a copy of Culture Beat’s classic ‘Mr. Vain,’ needless to say we didn’t have too many family BBQs after that.”

Panama will again be hitting the road during February in support of their debut release with a number of shows around the country.  The tour will include gigs with an incredible list of Australian talent including Midnight Juggernauts, Hermitude and Flight Facilities.

Thursday, 14 February | Workers Club, Melbourne (The Ripe 1st Birthday w/ City Calm Down, Collarbones + more)
Friday, 15 February | Cats @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide (w/ special guests)
Saturday, 16 February | Perth Festival (w/ Flight Facilities, Mitzi, Scenic + FCDJs)
Friday, 22 February | O-Fest @ UTS, Sydney (w/ Midnight Juggernauts, New Navy, Hermitude + more)

The Townhouses: Diaspora [Album Stream]

The Townhouses is the solo project of Melbourne-based muso Leigh Hannah. Freshly released sophomore LP Diaspora features collaborations with Italian maestro Giorgio Tuma, Sydney’s Guerre and Rainbow Chan, Melbourne’s Wintercoats as well as Felix Weatherbourne.

Leigh describes The Townhouses as a “kaleidoscopic adventure of worldly sounds, viewed through a contemporary lens.” Stream Diaspora below and tell us if you agree.

Click here for a pay-what-you-want download of The Townhouses’ Diaspora.

Cull: Good People Disappear [New Single]

Cull is the psychedelic offspring of Sydney guitarist Alex Watts (Chance Waters) and vocalist Chumpy Ly (Polar Knights). Debut single ‘Good People Disappear’ is best consumed whilst on acid. Likened to Tame Impala and Animal Collective, it flaunts melodic guitar progression and washed out harmonies.

Allow ‘Good People Disappear’ to transport you to an open field as the sun sets.

In the next few months, expect more tracks, more videos, and more good-times. |

Surf Dad: Unholy [New Single]

Introducing Surf Dad, AKA brothers George Sands (23) and Declan Sands (19). Residing on Melbourne’s south coast, they compose down-tempo electronica partnered with dreamy vocals.

Their cousin Camille Foley leant her voice to latest single ‘Unholy.’ She sports a sweet and innocent drawl reminiscent of Zooey Deschanel:

Follow that up with ‘I Would (If I Could)’:

The fact that they’ve been able to foster this amount of talent at such a young age makes me feel like shit. Show them some love over at their Triple J Unearthed page.

Groovin’ the Moo 2013: Line Up Announcement

Groovin’ the Moo returns to 2013 for its NINTH year running, bigger and better. This year’s line up sees LA rockers The Bronx taking to the stage alongside Brit-pop crew The Kooks and American electro-pop duo Yacht.

As usual, there is a strong Aussie component to their ever growing line up. This year it consists of Triple J Hottest 100 place-takers AlpineTame Impala and Flume just to name a few.

Here’s the entire bill for this year’s Groovin’ the Moo (in alphabetical order) sans some local acts:

Alison Wonderland
The Amity Affliction
The Bronx (USA)
DZ Deathrays (DJ Set)
Example (UK)
Frightened Rabbit (UK)
Hungry Kids Of Hungary
The Kooks (UK)
Last Dinosaurs
Matt And Kim (USA)
Midnight Juggernauts
Seth Sentry
Tame Impala
Tegan And Sara (Canada)
The Temper Trap
They Might Be Giants (USA)
Tuka with Ellesquire
DJ Woody’s Big Phat 90′S Mixtape (UK)
Yacht (USA)
Yolanda Be Cool

Festival tour dates:
Saturday, April 27 | Showgrounds, Maitland – Tickets on-sale Tuesday, February 5 @ 9AM
Sunday, April 28 | University, Canberra – Tickets on-sale Tuesday, February 5 @ 9AM
Saturday, May 4 | Prince of Wales Showground, Bendigo – Tickets on-sale Wednesday, February 6 @ 9AM
Sunday, May 5 | Murray Sports Complex – Cricket Grounds, Townsville – Tickets on-sale Wednesday, February 6 @ 9AM
Saturday, May 11 | Hay Park, Bunbury – Tickets on-sale Wednesday, February 6 @ 9AM

Chad Valley & Twin Shadow: I Owe You This [Music Video]

Last year, British producer Hugo Manuel released debut album Young Hunger under the alias of Chad Valley. This album worked its way under our skin, winning it the number two spot on acid stag’s Top 10 Albums of 2012.

Today we have the music video for the album’s opening track, ‘I Owe You This,’ featuring the incredibly talented Twin Shadow. This song could very well have been the best song to come out of 2012:

Young Hunger boasts an impressive list of contributors such as GlasserEl Perro Del MarActive ChildT.E.E.D and of course Twin Shadow.

If you haven’t heard this album yet, then do yourself a favour and check it out. |

Youth Lagoon: Dropla [New Single]

American muso Trevor Powers, AKA Youth Lagoon has a brand new single at the ready. ‘Dropla’ is the first sample to come from forthcoming sophomore LP Wondrous Bughouse.

Youth Lagoon is charming incarnate. Debut album The Year of Hibernation won Powers a legion of dream pop enthusiasts from around the globe. The latest single oozes his trademark qualities.

Grab a free download of the track on the link above.

Wondrous Bughouse is due out on March 5 through Fat Possum Records. Get your pre-orders in now.

Gig of the Week: St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Sydney

Words by Hugh McClure.

I cannot believe there are still tickets available for this year’s St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Already having completed the Singapore and Auckland legs of the tour, Sydney’s turn is coming up this weekend.

Laneway always turns out an incredible line-up, but this year might be the best yet. The diverse group of artists includes internationals like Alt-J, Bat for Lashes and Of Monsters and Men, as well as a great crop of local talent.

Housed at the gorgeous Sydney College of the Arts in Rozelle, the venue itself almost makes the day worth the entrance fee. Combined with so many interesting performers, this is one festival that cannot be missed.

WHAT: St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
WHEN: Saturday, February 2
WHERE: Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle
HOW MUCH$135+bf

High Highs: Interview

Last week, we caught up with Oli Chang – one-half of Brooklyn-based dream-pop duo High Highs. They’re currently in the country for the 2013 St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival circuit and are hoping to squeeze in some spearfishing while Down Under.

Where are you and what are you wearing? I am currently at a café in Surry Hills, I think. I’m wearing some black Marsu Homme shoes, some peach coloured socks, grey jeans, an Antipodium shirt with a High Highs pendant and some trendy sun-glasses. Sounds like you’re fitting right into the Sydney hipster scene quite well. Thanks (laughs).

Are you getting pumped for the St. Jerome’s Laneway festivals? Yeah, we are really pumped. Super pumped! The weather is really nice too. It’s so balmy here (laughs).

Are there any acts that you may find yourself stalking backstage? Yeah, for sure. I love Holy Other and Shlohmo a lot. I really want to meet them, somehow (laughs). I just love Holy Other’s album. It’s just so good; I listen to it all the time. So yeah, they are my two favourites for sure.

Will you guys actually get any time to look around, go for a swim at the beach, lay in the sun and work on a tan? Yeah man, I hope so. So far we’ve just been running around doing press. We quickly ran down to the harbour yesterday though (laughs). We’ll be hanging around a bit on the weekend, so I’ll hopefully get down to the beach to work on my tan a bit. Then after the shows, we’ll hopefully have some time to do a bit of spear fishing and go for a surf, and stuff like that. That’ll be a lot of fun.

Are there many punch-ups between you while on the road? (Laughs) Yeah, maybe a lot of metaphorical punch-ups. I mean, we have been working quite closely together and we do spend a lot of time together (laughs). I think problems come in a band when people are passive aggressive and don’t actually bring up issues as they arise. If you keep pushing them down, it is eventually going to erupt into a gunfight or something. People can get killed, you know? In short, we have a few quarrels, but it’s all in the name of communication (laughs).

Who takes the longest showers? Interesting question (laughs). Yeah, I don’t know actually, I think we are both fairly quick. Although, maybe I’m in there longer, when I’m exfoliating (laughs).

What can Australia expect from a live High Highs performance? Compared to the album, it is a lot more synthy and raw. There’s far more scale of dynamics to the live shows. The album kind of has dreamy atmosphere throughout it, which we still maintain in the live setting, but it just hits a bit harder in the big bits, and can then become really intimate in the smaller areas. We’ve been tweaking our set quite a bit leading up to this as to try and make it more exciting and fun. It is going to be a lot of fun. We do quite a bit of improvising on stage too, just to keep it fresh and interesting.

You can catch the High Highs at one of the St. Jerome’s Laneway festivals happening around the country over the next few weeks. Tickets are still available to a few of them, so get in there ASAP.

Alternatively, you can check them out at one of the below sideshows that are going down this week:

Wednesday, January 30 | The Toff In Town, Melbourne Tickets
Thursday, January 31 | Oxford Art Factory, Sydney – Tickets

High Highs’ debut album Open Season hit the shelves at the end of the week. Until then, get yourself acquainted/reacquainted with the High Highs and their self-titled debut EP from 2012: |

Nerves Junior: Goodnight Nobody [New Single]

Louisvillian indie-rock crew Nerves Junior return next month with brand new three-track EP Craters.

Premiered at CoS was the EP’s first single and closing track, ‘Goodnight Nobody.’ The band’s drummer Zachary O’Renick had this to say about the single:

“‘Goodnight Nobody’ is about wanting to tell my daughter about that transition every child must eventually face when growing up and dealing with the darkness of life. The idea came about when reading her Goodnight Moon and I wanted to tell her about some of the realities. Instead, I put it into song.”

Craters lands on February 12 via SonaBlast! Records.

Before you go, revisit 2011’s amazing debut record As Bright As Your Night Light:

Fyfe: Solace [New Single]

Introducing 23 year old London-based newcomer Fyfe and his utterly infectious debut single ‘Solace.’

Essentially a pop tune, the combination of Fyfe’s subtle, illuminating vocals laid upon faint acoustic guitars and a minimal electro beat allows ‘Solace’ to be on constant repeat.

It heavily vibes fellow English-bred folk-pop act Turin Brakes. What do you reckon?

Fyfe has a debut EP scheduled for a March 2013 release. | |

Friday MixTape #128

Get some disco up ya on this Straya Day long weekend, orright?


1. Robots Don’t Sleep – So Bad (Synkro Remix)
2. To Kill A King – Cold Skin (Tyde Remix)
 Hungry Kids Of Hungary – Sharp Shooter (The Kite String Tangle Remix)
 LB (James Ford of SMD vs Little Boots) – Superstitious Heart
 Yale – Lost In The Crowd (Jordan F Remix)
 Du Tonc – Darkness
 Poolside – Do You Believe (Goldroom Remix)
 Jordan F – Under The Sun (ft. Le Cassette)
 Viceroy – Dream Of Bombay (ft. Chela)
 Kamp! – Melt
 Grizzly Bear – Gun-Shy (Lindstrøm Remix)
 Two Door Cinema Club – Handshake (Ryan Riot Remix)
13. Snowden – Keep Quiet (Niva Remix)
14. Kool Bandits – Gliding Over The CIty (Dublin Aunts Rework)
15. Penguin Prison – Fair Warning (Silent Gloves Remix)
16. Bastille – Pompeii (Monsieur Adi Remix)
17. Marvin Gaye vs. Oliver – Ain’t No Memories of the Past (Jimmy Q Remix)
18. Disclosure – White Noise (ft. AlunaGeorge)
19. Joy Orbison – BRTHDTT (Louis La Roche Remix)
20. Estate – Write To Make (Gigamesh Remix)
21. MAWASHI – Guitar Boy (The Blisters Boyz Remix)
22. notic nastic – hypnokiss