4ZZZ Music Department Awesome Fortnightly Music Update

It's another list of our favourite things to hit the 4ZZZ Library. If you see anything you like you can request it: requests@4zzz.org.au
You can also SMS a request: 0416 281 220
Or call: 07 3252 1555
Thanks to Lonnie Gilroy, Krishan Meepe, Ian Powne & Nick Rodwell for their contributions to this list.

Australian Artists:

Various Artists: Feral Media Presents Seasons: Summer EP (Feral Media)
- The turn of the seasons continues over at Feral Media, although this one comes to us fairly late in the actual season of summer. Bon Chat Bon Rat covers INXS and comes off sounding like 90’s Depeche Mode, which, I don’t know, is that summery? Sounds pretty good though. The Townhouses lull their way through lazy, medicated pop, propelled by a puttering drum machine. Summer psychosis sets in on Friendships’ echoing jungle banger, it’s a scary memory of 1995! Tim Fitz ends the nightmare with gentle, psychedelic jangle-folk, given a few electronic flourishes to make it fit here. Strange but good. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Audreys: ‘Til My Tears Roll Away (ABC / Universal)
- On their latest record The Audreys are feeling ornery enough to grind out some sounds more like The Dead Weather than Loretta Lynn: wailing guitars and (very nearly) savage blues rock. There’s still plenty of time for Patsy Cline, however, lots of the pristine ol’ country pop and roots you know The Audreys for. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Blue Ruins: Bleed (Single) (Indie)
- They’re describing it as Adele meets Dire Straits. Sure, why not. This is thoroughly anthemic blues-rock. It’s quite straight-up, but when you’re this good at what you do, you don’t need to do anything else. (Chris Cobcroft)

Caitlin Park: Hold Your Gaze (Single) (Create/Control)
- Caitlin Park mixes up a lot of things here: most obviously there’s the tried and tested indie-folk; it’s swathed in dream-pop production, but there’s also that rootsy banjo and it is all swept up in overlaid harmonies. I get the feeling this will play quite well to the punters, and that critically, it treads right on the border of being safe/boring, but she still manages to pull it off. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ceres: I Don't Want To Be Anywhere But Here (Hobbledehoy / MGM)
- Ceres is ridiculously anthemic, it’s like the opposite of emo: manic depression on its upswing. It’s also melodic hardcore that goes easy on the hard. Everything is helped along by the fact that the band are actually very good at what they do and the production on this record is nothing less than finely nuanced. Smith Street Band fans, Gaslight Anthem tragics, get messily drunk and ready for a big sing-along. (Chris Cobcroft)

Chelsea Wilson: Through With Lovin’ You (Single) (House Of Valerie Joan)
- Soulful, jazzy, bluesy. Soft and slinky, but ready to fire up when she needs to, Chelsea Wilson wears the style like a comfortable glove. With the likes of The Bamboos, Saskwatch or Clairy Brown (just to name a few), Australia has quite the pedigree in soul, these days, and I see no reason Chelsea Wilson couldn’t easily start getting mentioned in the same breath as the rest. (Chris Cobcroft)

Colourwheel: Junkyard Resurrection (Dead Letter)
- A reissue of this mid-90’s EP by the Adelaide band. Somehow laidback but thrumming with energy at the same time, thanks to a mixture of early 90’s alt-pop and gentle shoegaze. Showing the bands of today how it’s done. (Chris Cobcroft)

Community Radio: Sick In The Car (Single) (Tenorio Cotobade)
- Jangly indie sounds from Sydney inexplicably released through a label in Madrid. There is an odd charm in the hushed monotony of the vocals here, singing about being sick almost everywhere. The single and the b-side aren't exactly musically adventurous but something about that spins me into existential musings on being ordinary, and I like it. (Krishan Meepe)

Courtney Barnett: The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas (Milk! / Remote Control / Inertia)
- Courtney Barnett might be one hell of self-deprecating slacker, but she’s also one of Australia’s funniest and finest lyricists, not to mention one of its more interesting musicians. As such, a reissue of Courtney’s last two EPs in a single package is most welcome. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Dark Ales: Everything (And Nothing) (Single) (Indie)
- Sounds like Something For Kate with slightly more rock and a hammond organ. That’s alright. (Chris Cobcroft)

Dianas: E.P. No 2 (Hot Violet)
- An unusual blend of dream-pop with garage and 60’s girl-group stylings, by this all-girl Perth trio. Not only that, they work in psych, surf and post-punk as well. Amazingly this genre-cyclopedia approach doesn’t sound highly pretentious, but rather informs some pretty great song-writing with (unsurprisingly) lots of unexpected twists and turns. Ambitious and often impressive. (Chris Cobcroft)

Dru Chen: Turnaround (Single) (Indie)
- A cut of slinky, electro-funk’n’soul from the smooth Melbourne dude. There’s just the right amount of messiness to the synth-pop qualities. Bringing a little Fishbone nastiness to the soaring ELO falsetto. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ernest Ellis: Cold Desire (Spunk)
- The always genre-jumping singer-songwriter very firmly adds synth and lounge to his repertoire of indie / country / folk oddity. A deliberately sleazy and strange record, if you can get your head around it, you’ll find it embodies moments of greatness reminiscent of the likes of Geoffrey O’Connor, Nick Cave and especially that synth-cowboy Beck. Bizarre, but finally compelling. (Chris Cobcroft)

Hello Satellites: Hollering Saints (Single) (Two Bright Lakes / Remote Control / Inertia)
- Some thoroughly twee jive, very loungey (thankyou bass sax). Reminds me of the cheesy movie version of the song Brazil, for some reason, and that can hardly be bad. If the single sounds like this, can’t wait to hear the album. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ilias: Fire Away (Single) (Indie)
- Another enigmatic construction from Ilias. Lashings of prog-rock, including a freak-out guitar solo, fixed to skittering, electronic, triphop beats and finished with a ghostly vocal. Ilias has had a surprising knack for turning heads, so far, and I think this will continue. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ivy St: Courting (Indie)
- Despite Ivy St relocating to the mainland they reek of something inescapably Tasmanian. It's the sort of thing you also hear in Tom Lyngcoln's (Harmony/The Nation Blue) gravelly voice. There's a frustration, a violence that lies under the surface. It's a film shot with a blue grade. That's what is so appealing about this album, even from the first listen. You know it's an album that you'll need to take the time to listen to properly. (Ian Powne)

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Oddments (Flightless / Remote Control)
- King Gizzard continue to follow their strange muse, prolifically littering their path through life with strange stylistic left-turns, epics and fragments, throw-away nonsense and psychedelic masterpieces. Oddments is a very appropriate name. There are moments, even whole songs that will delight those open to the experience and there are plenty of others that will befuddle and even enrage fans and newcomers alike. (Chris Cobcroft)

Marta Pacek: Voodoo Dolls & False Alarms (Indie)
- It’s hard to go up against the greatness of Dolly Parton, but Marta Pacek sounds like she’s on her way. Her voice has the same bright, pop twang. Also, she and her extensive band know how to make country music. In a way, it’s brilliant that this blurs the line between alt. country and more chart-focussed sounds, because so much music that falls into the latter category is just awful, and Marta, much like Dolly, shows that it doesn’t have to be. (Chris Cobcroft)

Mata & Must, Flu & One Sixth: The Showdown (Single) (Crate Cartel / Pang Productions)
- Mata & Must, Flu & One Sixth have banded together to form an underground super-group. Their debut single, The Showdown, is based on a shadowy, GZA-esque groove - Kung Fu overtones in name and atmosphere. The stand out on the track is the hook, produced by a Chilean, Eduaz, offering a refreshing flavour to the cascading cherry blossom beat. (Nick Rodwell)

Mia Dyson: When We're Older (Single) (MGM)
- Another classic rocker from Ms. Dyson. Brassy, bold and heartwarming, kind of makes you glad she didn’t go electro (especially since everyone else seems to be right now). Bodes well for another storming album on the way. (Chris Cobcroft)

N’fa Jones: Black + White Noise (The Ayems / Sony)
- N’fa Jones London accent and his conscious lyrics always make me think of a rapper like Ty. Despite his relative anonymity after stepping down from the front of 1200 Techniques, this is better than Ty and most hip hop that comes out of Britain at the moment. Knowing what Aussie hip hop audiences like, (rubbish mostly, wanna make something of it?) I don’t imagine this record will be an easy ask, which is sad, because every aspect of Black + White Noise is super solid. Have a listen and see what you’ve been missing. (Chris Cobcroft)

Oisima: Goddess Remix Album (Pilot / Hand Games)
- Adelaide producer Oisima gets a whole bunch of talent together to have a go at remixing 2012’s Goddess EP. That EP wasn’t half bad, but, in the nicest possible way, this may be one of those few cases where a remix album turns out to be even better. Much like the original the remixes focus, almost obsess on jazzy, wonky stylings, but with some great variations, dancehall, techno, dub and more. The diversity of inspiration, literally from around the globe, is breathtaking. The same track can be remixed several times in a row and is barely recognisable from one play to the next. This record is a credit to all involved. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Night Terrors: Spiral Vortex (Homeless)
- The latest record from the ‘horror synth heavyweights’. Massive, theremin and synth driven prog rock. It doesn’t come together all the time, but when it does, on tracks like The Devil Played Backwards, you get epic synth-power-pop masterpieces that will floor you. (Chris Cobcroft)

Passerine: Free Again (Single) (P3)
- The Melbourne disco-kids do another slice of infectious dance. Honestly, how can anything which sounds so much like M-People be so good? Well, it is. (Chris Cobcroft)

Pyramidfx: Control (Single) (Indie)
- The huge number of triphop revivalists coming out of the woodwork right now might make you want to lump Pyramidfx in with the rest, but this is really Electroclash and it’s alright. The male/female duo make great use of squelchy synth and breathy vocals for a very stylish cut. Really, Miss Kittin and The Hacker should have sounded as good is this more of the time. (Chris Cobcroft)

Scalphunter: Scalphunter EP (Indie)
- Perth’s Scalphunter bring together a melodic punk sensibility with hardcore power. That heaviness completely obliterates all the softcock namby-pamby qualities of melodic punk and leaves only sweet choons that will set fire to your head. Remember rockers, you don’t get to be a heavy band without ACTUALLY BEING HEAVY! (Chris Cobcroft)

Sunnyboys: Sunnyboys (Expanded Edition) (Warner)
- A re-release of the cultish post-punk / power-pop band’s 1981 debut to coincide with their tour. It includes an extra album’s worth of old studio demos. Given what folks are digging on right now, this is a timely re-release of a bit of a classic. (Chris Cobcroft)

Teeth & Tongue: Grids (Dot Dash / Remote Control)
- Jess Cornelius returns with Grids, an album of percussive synthpop and cold, brilliant, lacerating production. It fits the themes of growing up and trading your soul for security. Still sounds like PJ Harvey and the increased electro emphasis really brings out a Bat For Lashes quality. It has the sweetness of a pop sensibility but this is a very grown-up record. It’s really very good indeed. (Chris Cobcroft)

Tjintu Desert Band: Tjamuku Ngurra (CAAMA)
- Very classic and competently executed desert roots-reggae by this Central Australian indigenous band. Everybody who plays in this band is skillful, but I particularly like the synth work. Impressive stuff. (Chris Cobcroft)

Twin Caverns: Twin Caverns EP (Indie)
- Very xx, and I find xx a bit boring, but this is actually slightly better put together than that. Slow, echoing, indie-electronic / triphop moodiness. There’s a little bit of blues in there too, nice. Finished with production that sparkles just the right amount. (Chris Cobcroft)

Local Artists:

Airling: Ouroboros (Single) (Indie)
- A blissfully ambient chorus uplifts what was already pretty accomplished triphop. With so much downbeat-tronics going around right now you gotta work to set yourself apart. A full album of this quality would be a sock-knocking proposition. (Chris Cobcroft)

CactusDemonDoom: FlowerJesusHoon (Indie)
- Brisbane's recent penchant for swampy alt-rock continues with CactusDemonDoom's full length release FlowerJesusHoon. There's plenty of fuzz, dissonance and a general contempt for precision, to interest anyone with a predilection for The Pixies or The Cramps circa 1990s. (Nick Rodwell)

The Cathars: My Dad And Suzi Quatro (Single) (Indie)
- Warm and heavily textured psych rock. The Dirty Projectors meets Tame Impala comparisons aren’t too far off. This is a lot straighter than DP, though, and where it really succeeds is in complex guitar work realised with impressive skill and that warm haze of psych production. (Chris Cobcroft)

Dirty Hearts: Dirty Hearts (Indie)
- Dirty Hearts do blues rock, fast and hard, with elements of alt, even grunge and a glam flare. Most importantly they’re bloody tight. This EP is an impressive unit. I get the feeling that something like this could go all the way and would really deserve it. (Chris Cobcroft)

La Trav: Little Lady Blues (Single) (Indie)
- Anyone who took a fancy to Astrid & her Asteroids will almost certainly like La Trav’s Bethan Ellsmore. A very similarly quirky sense of humour plays through Little Lady Blues and its b-side, Fuck Up. You’ll also hear swing, Bacharach-esque pop and lots of music-theatre touches. (Chris Cobcroft)

Monster Zoku Onsomb!: The New Cocksucker Blues Hardcore '92 Remix (Single) (Indie)
- One of Brisbane’s most unique and persistent outfits return with their good mate Snog, and a cut that’ll take your eye out if you’re not careful. UK garage rave provides the cheesy energy for a song on a very Snog theme of corporate er, emissions. The video is fricking magic, too. Tremendously silly, dirty and just plain tremendous. (Chris Cobcroft)

Morning Harvey: Girl Euphoria (Single) (Indie)
- Sounds like Ride or Slowdive maybe and...good! Shoegaze indie-rock-pop of an easy-going, embracing warmth. Morning Harvey are really a very accomplished band. (Chris Cobcroft)

Nonsemble: Go Seigen vs. Fujisawa Kuranosuke Part 1C (Single) (Indie)
- The first cut from the huge new work by local post-rocking, classical crossovers Nonsemble. Mathematically precise but far from cold, this rockets along, presumably taking its inspiration from only the most furious moments of the game of Go on which the music is based. (Chris Cobcroft)

Sparkle Gang: Bring You Back (Single) (Zzaapp)
- Everything about this is good. Mel Stringer, better known as an illustrator for Frankie, penned a dreamy bit of goth-folk about re-animating the dead. That by itself is pretty good. Then she teamed up with Darwin producer Kris Keogh who added a snapping hip hop beat, oldschool glitch and a squelchy, bassy synth solo that’s just insane. Throw in another glitchy, bassy, spacey remix by Squash Cops and you got a fu**in’ record. (Chris Cobcroft)

StormChasers: Hey Girl Remixed (Pricewar / MGM)
- I was already well into the StormChasers debut EP of (relatively) big band soul’n’funk. Very accomplished for a bunch of pasty white kids. All five tracks are remixed and thrown on the back for a deluxe edition (we’ve added it to our library as a new EP) and the result is another good one. Highly diverse: from synthy neo-soul to trap to electro-funk and dub, there’s a lot to like here. (Chris Cobcroft)

Violent Soho Saramona Said (Single) (I Oh You / Mushroom)
- ANOTHER single from Hungry Ghost!? Hungry Ghost’s success with the punters has outstripped even its critical reception, and that was not to be sneezed at. Astonishing, no band has so successfully benefited from or, really, embodied the grunge revival. (Chris Cobcroft)

New Zealand Artists:

Various Artists: Wolf Party (Stink Magnetic / Voodoo Rhythm)
- Stink Magnetic is a label that’s spent decades collecting the music of New Zealand’s misbegotten, inbred, swamp-blues-psychobilly-roots-noise musicians. This retrospective is fantastic: murky, lo-fi, seriously distorted, gothic and fierce. It makes the blues seem dangerous again. (Chris Cobcroft)

T54: Life Is Swell (Single) (Flying Nun / Remote Control)
- Another sweet cut from T54’s debut album, which came out last year. Sweet Flying Nun Pop and shoegaze thunder. What’s not to like? (Chris Cobcroft)

Overseas Artists:

Can Can Head: Butter Life (Karkia Mistika)
- Psychotic no-wave out of Finland. Mostly instrumental snatches of thoroughly energetic, lo-fi and minute long madness. Fans of Mr. Bungle will find plenty to like. (Chris Cobcroft)

Chicks On Speed: Beat Is Happening (Single) (Chicks On Speed)
- It’s easy to describe the sound of Chicks On Speed these days: It’s Portlandia the musical, hur hur. As pithily experimental and electro-clashy as ever, I’m pretty sure this track is off the new record which should be dropping around the country as they tour. (Chris Cobcroft)

De Lux: Better At Making Time (single) (Create / Control)
- I won't deny that his David Byrne impression, the dissonant bassline, the notorious cow-bell and tape-warbled synth pads make this unashamedly-bad, dissonant white-boy disco danceable and therefore fun. (Nick Rodwell)

EMA: Satellites (Single) (Matador / Remote Control)
- After Grimes and Pharmakon, EMA no longer seems quite so scary, but more of her semi-industrial goth-pop is still most welcome. Synth bass death-rattles, bombastic, distorted drums, even a string section and shrieky sweet vocals; thanks! (Chris Cobcroft)

Francois & The Atlas Mountains: Piano Ombre (Domino / EMI)
- Francois & The Atlas Mountains should be the sort of band I hate, but, maybe it’s the psychedelic intensity of their indie-pop, maybe it’s the stylishness of their chanson, maybe it’s because they do African rhythms like it wasn’t just some hipster affectation or maybe it’s just ‘cause they sing in French so much...I like ‘em alright. (Chris Cobcroft)

FTSE: Nite Life (Single) (Lucky Numbers / Pias / Mushroom)
- Crushing bass, tribal beats, tense triphop / r’n’b vox. This has all the claustrophobia and restless energy that edgy urban music is supposed to have. (Chris Cobcroft)

Future Islands: Singles (4AD / Remote Control)
- Baltimore synth-pop band Future Islands are very distinctive. Their wistful new-wave love songs are one thing, and they’re quite good, but it’s their vocalist, Samuel T Herring that really marks them as something different. It might just be a failure of my imagination, I can’t think of exactly the singer that he reminds me of, but it’s someone like Meatloaf or Tom Jones. Again, call me silly, but I can’t recall someone like that out the front of a new wave band. So, it’s a cheese-fest, but a delicious one, four albums in and not getting any less so. (Chris Cobcroft)

Glass Animals: Gooey (Single) (Wolf Tone / Caroline / Universal)
- Hard not to feel this infectious mix of bass-music, r’n’b whispering and sweet synths. Slow, smooth and undeniably stylish. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Growlers: Dogheart II (Single) (Smack Face)
- More psych / garage with strong roots overtones - Brookes Nielsen sounds a bit like Blitzen Trapper’s Eric Earley, or some holy (and extremely nasal) amalgam of Dylan and Young. Slightly creepy chorus about ‘little girls’ can’t dent the clear and chiming roots-pop. (Chris Cobcroft)

Illum Sphere: Ghosts Of Then And Now (Ninja Tune / Inertia)
- Manchester DJ / producer Illum Sphere’s debut full-length comprises many things: bass music, Carpenter-esque synths, minimal techno, brutally sliced up samples, downbeat, electro-soul, idm - the list goes on. More importantly, he fuses this disparate array into one moody piece, almost like a (largely wordless) concept record. It’s the same sort of hypnotic, interstellar journey Flylo took us on with his last record and that can hardly be bad. (Chris Cobcroft)

Johnny Cash: She Used To Love Me A Lot (Elvis Costello Remix) (Single) (Legacy / Columbia / Sony)
- This turned out a lot better than I expected. Costello takes the 1986 original and updates it to sound like something that would belong amongst The American Recordings. As an appetiser for the ‘lost’ 1986 album it certainly serves its purpose. (Chris Cobcroft)

Jungle: Busy Earnin' (Single) (XL / Remote Control)
- Electro-funk & nu-disco that’s driving the good folks of Blighty wild. A pretty anthemic ode about remembering to take time away from the man to just dance and feel your soul. Video is sensational, too. (Chris Cobcroft)

KPT: Salt Ft. ACTN (Single) (Indie)
- A mixture of EDM and industrial power. Trappy snares ride over squelching synths before a booming bass chorus that builds to a brilliant shriek. It’s the restrained the vocals that, in some ways, make this seem like the spiritual offspring of NIN. (Chris Cobcroft)

Mac DeMarco: Passing Out Pieces (Single) (Captured Tracks / Spunk)
- More weird jangly fun with Mac DeMarco. There's less guitar and more synths on this latest release but that slacker charm still drips off every lyric and before you know it, you'll be putting it on repeat the next time you're high. (Krishan Meepe)

Manchester Orchestra: Top Notch (Single) (Favourite Gentlemen / Loma Vista / Caroline / Universal)
- Thoroughly anthemic alt-rock, but with enough fuzzy thunder to keep it from becoming too stadium. The guitar glisses in the chorus are spine-chilling. I am guiltily enjoying this an awful lot. (Chris Cobcroft)

Mickey Gloss: Astral Projections For The Kinetically Deranged (Indie)
- This album is a musical explosion that should never work but Mickey Gloss make it work and it's f***ing awesome. Presumably conceived in the wee hours of the morning when friends say things like "We should start a bar" or "you should start a psychedelic punk party experimental band and name it after yourself," these songs don't take themselves seriously and are super fun because of it. If the album title makes you cock your head to the side in bewilderment and you've always wanted to "let your freak flag fly," check this out. (Krishan Meepe)

Patten: Estoile Naiant (Warp / Inertia)
- This is a magnificent record. Endless layers of sounds that seem not to belong together, but sooner or later merge into a slowly grooving sound collage, full of rhythm, energy and life. There’s a parallel to be drawn between the London producer and the head-tripping electronic enormousness of Blanck Mass, but Patten works his monsters into slow, dancefloor bangers with a consumate skill. (Chris Cobcroft)

Robert Cray Band: In My Soul (Provogue / Mascot Label group)
R'n'B traditonalist Robert Cray has teamed up with groove connoisseur Steve Jordan and released an album of originals and covers. They cover and draw inspiration from the Chess/Staxx era of R'n'B and they do it well. It won't convert any newcomers but it will satisfy those who've exhausted their back catalogue of this genre. (Nick Rodwell)

Solids: Blame Confusion (Fat Possum / Inertia)
- There’s a Ramones-esque, monomaniacal obsession with very simple tunes played at high-speed and it infects everything Solids do. They don’t lack for shoegaze intensity, either, so, every song is like thundering into a wall of lukewarm molasses. That ain’t too bad; it may be a bit repetitive, but whatever. (Chris Cobcroft)

Sun Kil Moon: Ben’s My Friend (Single) (Caldo Verde / Spunk)
- This song delivers a wonderful juxtaposition of the stress and sadness of everyday life against lounge sax and flamenco guitar - both cheesily absurd and surprisingly beautiful at the same time - with a soulful chorus and, of course, the lovely acoustic work that is Sun Kil Moon’s trademark. For everybody who thinks they might stab themselves if they hear another carbon-copy lovesong, this is grown-up emotion. (Chris Cobcroft)

Trust: Joyland (Arts & Crafts / Create/Control)
- There’s a lot more darkwave / coldwave about than when the darkly romantic Canadian outfit put out their last record. Fortunately, Robert Alfons (now running solo), has risen to the challenge and produced a varied album, full of the stuff we’ve loved in the past, but also a bunch more edm in the form of acid house and trance, which - not to cash in or anything - sounds very timely. Most enjoyable. (Chris Cobcroft)

The War On Drugs: Lost In The Dream (Secretly Canadian / Inertia)
- Adam Granduciel returns for his third record of tripped out Americana rock. It still sounds like a really loopy version of Dire Straits, but it is also his most maturely realised record to date. Everything comes together and coalesces into one of the most accomplished rock records you’ll hear this year. (Chris Cobcroft)

We Are Catchers: Tap Tap Tap (Single) (Domino / EMI)
- It must be tough for any rock/pop band from Liverpool after the 1960s. There's a huge Beatle shaped shadow over the city, which is surely equal parts inspiring and off-putting. Not that We Are Catchers are Beatles wannabees; the single evokes more of a 60’s style surf pop with a little piano dream pop thrown in. More John than Paul, which is usually a good thing. (Lonnie Gilroy)

Album Details

Album Title: Awesome Fortnightly Music Update
Artist: 4ZZZ Music Department
Record Label: