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 Adrian Cabezas, James Drury, Hayley Elliott-Maclure, Linda Finlay, Keri Newmarch, Rachel Ryan, Felix Sheahan, Rob Steel

The pick of the pick:

Australian Artists:
Black Cab: Games of the XXI Olympiad (Interstate 40 / Remote Control)
Peter Bibby: Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician (Spinning Top)
ScotDrakula: ScotDrakula (Indie)

Local Artists:
Gazar Strips: Daylight (Single) (Sonic Masala)
Ghost Notes: Moonlight State (Sonic Masala)
Giants of Science: What's Wrong With You and Why (Plus One / MGM)
The Gin Club: Dancing With The Ghost (Single) (Plus One / MGM)
Nonsemble: Go (Single) (Indie)
Sewers: Chain Of Command (Single) (Tenth Court)
Tailor Made: The String Theory (Rinsed Out)
Travis Lee: Reflections (Indie)

Overseas Artists:
Alex G: DSU (Lucky Number / Mushroom)
Ariel Pink: pom pom (4AD / Remote Control)
Big K.R.I.T.: Cadillactica (Def Jam)
Jon Hopkins: Asleep Versions (Domino / EMI)

All of the best:

Australian Artists:

Various Artists: 5 Years of Bedroom Suck Records (Bedroom Suck)
- If you'd forgotten how many influential Australian bands Bedroom Suck have fostered, this collection of choice cuts will remind you. From the considered art-pop of Blank Realm to the sludge-rock of Slug Guts, the outsider genius of Peter Escott to the scintillating soundscapes of Angel Eyes. There's nothing on here not worth lauding. Good on you, Bedroom Suck. (Chris Cobcroft)

Alyx Dennison: I Don't Love You Anymore (Felicity Yang Remix) (Single) (Indie)
- A glitchy, ambient remix of Alyx Dennison (formerly of Kyu) doing her twee-pop, tribal beats thing. Subtle and quiet, but lots to like in there.

The Basics: The Lucky Country (Indie)
- The Basics are taking their tilt at politics seriously (recent news reports notwithstanding) by channeling some of the greats of protest music. Starting with Midnight Oil, moving through Paul Simon with a bit of David Byrne mixed in. It gets a little harder to pick from there with a little Sex Pistols via Chumbawamba, maybe? You can really hear Gotye's touch on the disco-rock of Good Times, Sunshine. I don't know if they're still protesting by the end of the ep and the slithery southern rock of Beatrix Kiddo. Whatever, sounds good. Vote Basics, etc. (Chris Cobcroft)

Black Jesus Experience: Migration (Indie)
- The Melburnian ethio-jazz band who must be alright because they play as Mulatu Astatke's touring band when he's in Oz combine elements of afrobeat, hip hop and, of course ethio-jazz on their third record. Muscular funk, smooth jazz and plenty of complex rhythms in between. (Chris Cobcroft)

Blackbreaks: Need Machines (Indie)
- Hard-hitting political rawk from the Blue Mountains. For fans of muscle cars, beards and chunky riffs. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Black Cab: Games of the XXI Olympiad (Interstate 40 / Remote Control)
- The latest record from the understated Melbournites mixes up more krautrock, post-punk, edm and other electronics. With astute nods to the interweaving history of these sounds there's a heavier emphasis on dance than before. It's a risky progression but one that pays off big time. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ceres: Selfish Prick (Hobbledehoy)
- Melodic punk with an emo heart that'll surely prove uncontrollably infectious to fans of The Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady or, of course, The Smith Street Band.

Cherrywood: Every Other Birthday (Single) (Black Hat Rackets)
- Ever so slightly rootsy and country indie-rock. Tim Durkin's ruined voice gives the whole thing a dilapidated grandeur that a more fresh-faced singer wouldn't have the wherewithal to create.

Citizen Kay: Demokracy (Asphalt)
- There's no doubting CK's flow, it barrels along like nobody's business and squeezes every ounce of energy out of the fast-paced, funky beats and a lot of soulful feeling out of the slower soul tracks. If success can be based on skills alone, then Citizen Kay has a very bright future.

Collarbones: Only Water (Single) (Two Bright Lakes / Remote Control)
- On their latest, Collarbones team up with Melbourne based vocalist, Oscar Key Sung, to produce a track that, despite its often splintery synth backing, harks back to '90's r'n'b. Complete with a sexy crooning chorus. (Rob Steel)

Colourspacecolour: Colourspacecolour (Indie)
- Female-fronted, anthemic electro-pop which -appropriately, given their name- often has a cosmic sense of space.

David West: Drop Out Of Collage (Happy Endin)
- David West's industrial, postpunk, no-wave soundscapes representing work from as far back as 1998 were in danger of being reasonably accessible to folks so the digital version is served up in exactly the same way as the tape: two slabs of exactly fifteen minutes. Nonetheless this Mikey Young mastered project parallels the path of Jack Ladder and Total Control and has many of the things that make those so good. (Chris Cobcroft)

Day Ravies: Hickford Whizz (Single) (Beko Disques)
- Hicksford Whizz is the latest release from Sydney band Day Ravies on French label Beko Disques. Coming out on 7”, it’s a classic sounding indie-alternative, almost garagey track with plenty of interesting instrumentals. (Felix Sheahan)

Doc Holliday Takes The Shotgun: Odd / Even (Indie)
- That potent concoction of southern rock, rockabilly, surf and gothically inspired cabaret theatricality makes for a darkly humorous trek through drunken, moral degradation. Nothing that hasn't been done before, but it's good to hear it done with gusto.

Dro Carey / Tuff Sherm: Scope (Templar Sound)
- Sydney-based producer Eugene Ward presents a split release with another of his pseudonyms Dro Carey on Templar Sound. House? Techno? Rough sonic textures, crunching percussion, insidiously catchy loops. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Eliza Hull: Used to (feat. Texture Like The Sun) (Single) (GAGA)
- Melborne Based singer songwriter, delivers a haunting and emotive song studded with sharp, electronic beats. Completed by the duet with Texture Like The Sun who brings a vocal that's both raw and smooth at the same time. (Keri Newmarch & Rachel Ryan)

Freya Bennett: The Marvellous Reject (Indie)
- The other night I was sitting alone in a non-specific room somewhere in the deep recesses of my humble flat, and in my melancholy, I suddenly wondered aloud: "Where have all the piano-driven, singer-songwriter / indie-pop concept albums gone?" My -and your- prayers have been answered with this tender, accomplished debut from Melbourne based soloist, Freya Bennet. (Rob Steel)

Georgia Fair: Break (Single) (Little Big Man / Inertia)
- Georgia Fair's move out of indie-folk and into moody indie-rock might seem a little calculated, but it also doesn't sound too darn bad.

GL: Love Hexagon (Plastic World)
- Sythn-pop driven duo launch a thoroughly ‘80's inspired EP. Featuring sparse keyboard synths, drum pads and light-hearted pop lyrics. (Keri Newmarch & Rachel Ryan)

GL: What Happened To Us (Retiree Remix) (Single) (Plastic World)
- Sydneysiders Retiree splash tropical juices all over GL’s salacious funk track What Happened To Us. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Good Morning: Shawcross (Solitaire)
- Echoing and hypnotic, but easygoing in a happy stoner way, this psych pop duo out of Victoria are good for a slow moving groove or two.

Graze: Soft Gamma Repeater (New Kanada / Tailored)
- This Canadian/German duo return with a record that sways mysteriously between percussive techno and smooth, graceful house and a few other things besides via a shared, dark atmosphere. Fascinatingly multi-layered, it'll keep you both intellectually engaged and dancing too. (Chris Cobcroft)

Hand Of Mercy: Resolve (UNFD)
- Gosh, nice to hear a popular hardcore band that doesn't muck about! Very little that's metalcore or post-hardcore here. Brutally hardcore thunder that grips you by the head and rips your ears off. (Chris Cobcroft)

Hemina: Nebulae (Bird’s Robe)
- Prog-metal legends Hemina have released their newest album, Nebulae, on Bird’s Robe Records. A little less influenced by current trends in prog., instead tapping into a thunderous balladeering tradition that is as much a legacy of power-metal as prog. It’s an epic, nostalgic journey through time and space all familiar to fans of the band. (Felix Sheahan & Chris Cobcroft)

The High Learys: Clear My Mind (Single) (The A&R Department)
- Psych pop emphasising it's retro qualities with lashings of Hammond, flute and phased vocals. Somewhere between The Byrds and The Doors particularly those Manzarek organ licks. Not re-inventing the wheel, but a pretty good impression of said wheel.

Johan The Tourist And The Vacationists: Smile, You're in Kensington (Indie)
- This Sydney outfit load their alt-pop down with things like duetting male and female vocals and brass then soak it in just the right amount of distortion and reverb, giving it a colour-saturated, slightly shoegaze quality. Very pleasant. (Chris Cobcroft)

Jonny Faith: Zheng / Slumber (Tru Thoughts)
- An interesting thing to find on Tru Thoughts, Jonny Faith is a Melbourne based Scot who DJs a variety of jungle, d'n'b, reggae and hip hop. Here he gives us two colourfully wonky cuts with a light dusting of d'n'b. Given how played out the 'future' is sounding right now, it's nice to have a little trip through recent history. (Chris Cobcroft)

Josef Salvat: In Your Prime (Liberation / Mushroom)
- In Your Prime is a well crafted, catchy electro-pop release by Sydney artist Josef Salvat who has already gained quite an international reputation but is ready to have a crack in his own backyard. (Felix Sheahan)

Kell//ua: Secondary Dwellings (Fallopian Tunes)
- Formless, evolving, exquisite ambient from Melbourne-based visual artist and producer Simon Gardam, AKA Kell//ua. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Kit Convict & Thee Terrible Two: Watch Your Skull (Convicted)
- Rhythmically agile and furiously energetic but at the same time producing a sound that's emaciated, the aural equivalent of a grinning skull. Lots of actually good things about garage-punk and psychobilly can be found in here. (Chris Cobcroft)

Klo: Cusp (Dot Dash / Remote Control)
- This is the debut EP from the Melbourne based electro / r'n'b duo. The combination of the two musicians creates smooth soundscapes outlining the high level electronic sound production that is very well merged with the voices. (Adrian Cabezas)

Klo: Under Lie (Single) (Dot Dash / Remote Control)
- Sensual, smooth electro from Melbourne duo Klo. Simon Lam’s stylish synth sounds and percussion provide the perfect backdrop to Chloe Kaul’s stunning voice. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Late Night Hysterics: Limerick (Single) (Pilerats)
- A sparse track which builds to a tense climax. It's made all the more interesting because the percussive vocal and beats owe as much to hip hop as the electro-pop which this ostensibly is. Well smart enough to lift itself above the current crop of synth-clones. (Chris Cobcroft)

Love of Diagrams: Double Negative (Single) (Bedroom Suck)
- The Melbourne postpunk stalwarts serve up another dose of briskly paced fuzzy rock. Fourth full-length is forthcoming.

Low Fly Incline : Silver Cadillac (Single) (Freakshow Disco / Rubber / Remote Control)
- Archetypal stoner blues / desert-rock. If you like Kyuss and Tumbleweed and you want more of the same, please enjoy.

Lunatics on Pogosticks: Cappuccino (Single) (themusicconnection / MGM )
- A blend of 90's influences that, on this track, ends up sounding like Dinosaur Jr. on the guitars and They Might Be Giants doing the vocals.

Makee: Makee (Hidden Shoal)
- A smoothly flowing combination of prog. rock and electronics that is reminiscent of the zen-like creations of Tycho.

Mayfair Kytes: Seasonal Thaw (Indie)
- A delightful mixtures of Beatles psych, tricked out into chamber-pop and given proper polish with a blue-eyed soul bassline. Seasonal Thaw builds straight from something I was ready to write-off into one of the most versatile pop tracks I've heard in ages. (Chris Cobcroft)

Mesa Cosa: Ya Ya Brouhaha (Off The Hip)
- Self describing their sound as a delightful mess, Mesa Cosa have released their next album in noisy party pride. Ya Ya Brouhaha is equally good at crossing genres -from garage-punk through power-pop, through latin-tinged southern rock into psych and back again- and just doing them all at once for a smashingly maximalist experience. It's an adrenalin-fuelled collection of tracks designed to lift the mood and keep it there. (Felix Sheahan & Chris Cobcroft)

Mundaring Weird: Rush/Push (Happy Endin)
- A tape re-issue of stuff from 2012, featuring sparse, DIY synths and drum-machines, weird vocal loops, murky tribal vibes and tons of other atmosphere besides.

Nick Hill: Know This (Single) (Yes Please)
- Sparse, low-key r'n'b that creeps along with a jumble of beats that sounds like a bag of bones being shaken with quiet vigour.

Nirvana: Marines (Happy Endin)
- They're calling it footwork but this, with its atmospheric background is really more medicated vaporwave, which is...white man's footwork? Whatever, if you're keen for a fifteen minute tape transfer of something vaguely cutting edge in dance right now, this is it.

Obscura Hail: Thrown Into The Sea (No Safe Place)
- In the sea of indie-folk it might be easy to miss something just a little bit different. Obscura Hail's Sean Conran takes his inspiration from a little further away than most of the current crop of folk artists, touching on the likes of Nick Drake and Simon & Garfunkel, with maybe the tiniest amount of Elliott Smith's lingering sadness. Conran's acoustic guitar-work outstrips the skill of the majority of contemporary indie strummers: an impressive EP. (Chris Cobcroft)

Outside The Academy: Outside The Academy (Indie)
-This release from indie artist Outside The Academy is a great sample of tracks clearly showcasing a number of talents this guy has. Blending acoustics and electronics whilst utilising an array of drum patterns and speeds, gives his vocals a strong platform to stand up on. This collection of sounds gathers around a moody artrock core, without abandoning a raw, DIY edge, this is the kind of introspective contemplation that's easy to associate with Radiohead. (Felix Sheahan & Chris Cobcroft)

Pearls: Big Shot (Single) (Dot Dash / Remote Control)
- Precise and sultry pop from Melbourne three-piece Pearls. The call and response vocal lines of the chorus are what won me over. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Peter Bibby: Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician (Spinning Top)
- Peter Bibby's brand of Australiana is full of a particular kind of slacker depravity, downtrodden balladeering and the bizarre stuff we do because we’re young. If you're looking for a point of reference you could do worse than thinking of a wet-behind-the-ears, but equally maladroit and even less polite Gareth Liddiard. Some folks reckon he's touched with the same kind of brutally unforgiving lyrical genius too. (Chris Cobcroft)

Pluto Jonze: Sucker (Indie)
- Chock full of flamboyant, sunny melodies, jumping at you from every nook and cranny, Sucker is Pluto Jonze's latest in a long line of indie pop masterpieces. Sucker delivers the quirk and majesty that has come to be expected from this Ball Park Music protege. (Rob Steel)

Psycroptic: Echoes To Come (Single) (Prosthetic)
- One of Australia's most durable and successful metal bands, or just bands in general, and on this advance for their fifth full-length you'll hear why. Technical death-metal that is fast, agile and very tight; great vocals too. This is the sound of a band at the height of their powers. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Rider: Eye Of The Beholder (Single) (Indie)
- The Rider often bring country-tinged roots-rock alive, with a broad skill that recalls The Band and a breathtaking vocal harmony that recalls The Eagles. Band Of Horses went wrong, somewhere along the way, they should've tried to sound more like this. (Chris Cobcroft)

Riptides: Tombs Of Gold (Indie)
- You may well know Mark Callaghan better from his band GANGgajang, but he had a band up in Brizzie once, called The Riptides. Way back in the early '80s they never managed to get their full-length out, the recordings left to languish in obscurity. Thanks to some happy developments that expansive collection of alt-rock-pop has finally been released as Tombs Of Gold.

ScotDrakula: ScotDrakula (Indie)
- It's a big ask to bring fresh life to garage-pop right now. ScotDrakula manage with pure, ballsy 'tude and enthusiasm, rather than a desire to half-heartedly clone every other garage band.

The Shorts: The Shorts (Redgum)
- Three guys in trainers and flatcaps, it's late-'90's punk revisited with Ballarat natives The Shorts. The melodic, trashy, fast-paced essence of all that is good about a by-gone era of Aussie punk is revived by this curious looking trio. (Rob Steel)

Sincerely, Grizzly: Halves (Black Night Crash / MGM)
- Interesting dynamic along the whole album, smooth transitions from the soft instrumental tunes to the energetic explosive post­hardcore / mathcore sounds. Screamo voices are overused sometimes but keep the listener amused and awake, overall. (Adrian Cabezas)

Slumberjack: Body Cry Feat. Father Dude (Single) (Onelove / Universal)
- Despite hitting all the obvious electrofunk / r'n'b / trap buttons, Slumberjack and Father Dude give them all the over-the-top pizazz this sound really needs -especially at this point- to turn heads.

Sophie Hutchings: White Light (Indie)
- Australian pianist Sophie Hutchings releases another elegant EP of instrumental, piano pieces that remind you of the better work of Tori Amos or Regina Spektor. Simple and sweetly moving, Sophie Hutchings is a much under-appreciated Australian artist. (Chris Cobcroft)

Speed Orange: The Order of The Brave Young Souls (Yarraville)
- Spanning the genre spectrum with elements of folk, country rock and lounge-pop, this album has a collection of songs that have an emotional edge. Channeling Dylan, Lee Hazelwood and, more recently, moments of Wagons and Ernest Ellis. Interesting to say the least. (Keri Newmarch, Rachel Ryan & Chris Cobcroft)

Split Seconds: Neil Young and Dumb (Quelle Barbe)
- These Melbourne stalwarts are back for more, with their third release for the year. Catchy, bright, and lush, it's the perfect lead-in to summer all across Oz. Kind of makes me wish I was at the beach already. (Rob Steel)

Stray Dog Strut: Dance For Science (Indie)
- Funk-metal is one fragment of the '90's that's been really hard to bring back, but this Adelaide three-piece may have what it takes. Injecting an authentically rabid spray of punk it smears the muscular, funky beats just right and puts this in the same sort of place as Pangaea or The Hard-Ons. (Chris Cobcroft)

Sunbeam Sound Machine: Wonderer (Dot Dash / Remote Control)
- Slow, almost hip hop beats, tie dyed colours of stoned psych-pop that wash all over each other in the sea of reverb. That’s SSM in a nutshell and it’s pretty hard not to grin along to.

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving: Downbeat (Bird's Robe)
- Perth progmeisters Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving go long form with just two twenty minute slabs of enormous, instrumental rock. It really is enormous, the band also work in loudier, doomier, noise rock and drone than ever before, while still finding space for the prog and post-rock. It's ambitious but it really works, this is what TToL were meant to sound like. (Chris Cobcroft)

Thom Lion & The Tamers: Fruition (Single) (Indie)
- A foot-tapping tune that presents a pleasant blend of progressive vocals and layered melodies. The banjo, bass-line and modest percussion are joint contributors to a vigorous yet laid-back catchy rhythm. Somewhat reminiscent of Vance Joy. (James Drury)

Thrupence: Lessons (Future Classic)
- You don't hear instrumental hip hop / downtempo beats very often on Future Classic, but you can hear why they took a chance on Thrupence. The young Sydney producer creates light and airy beat structures that could be sparse. Instead they feel breezy and welcoming as he guides you through all sorts of styles: wonky to italo-disco, oldschool boom-bap to dancehall, you'll even hear folktronica. There's some quite innovative stuff, like the trap-hop/house hybrid of Fish Fingers and there's a whole lot more besides: you're unlikely to bored here. Lessons -as a title- sounds like a young man bragging, but he does have a whole lot of knowledge for his age. It will be interesting to see what sort of dividends he can turn from it. (Chris Cobcroft)

Tiny Little House: Every man knows his plague; and you are mine. (Single) (Indie)
- Lo-fi indie folk from brand new Melbourne outfit. Think Neutral Milk Hotel. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Together Apart: Together Apart (Indie)
- Lush, reverb-laced synthpop with elements of dream-pop and synthgaze. Like a more subtropical echo of Single Gun Theory.

Troldhaugen: Obzkure Anekdotez for Maniakal Massez (Bird’s Robe)
- The strength and precision of Troldhaugen's technical edge balances out the epic cheese of their gypsy-prog-metal silliness. Like their better known mates Korpiklaani or Alestorm, Troldhaugen back their sense of humour and jazz breaks up with ****ing steel. It's a combo that is difficult to dispute. (Chris Cobcroft)

Trophy Eyes: Mend, Move On (Hopeless / UNFD / Warner)
- Newcastle punk outfit, Trophy Eye’s have released their latest album ‘Mend, Move On’ to fans locally and globally. The tracks are punchy and hard hitting and the vocals are aggressive and consistent throughout. Melodic punk should always sound this ballsy. (Felix Sheahan)

The Veebees: Outta Ammo (Ocker)
- You reckon it's pub rock? What clued you in? Nice warm and messy production makes it feel like the late '70s. Proper Aussie punk with much of the same grit as The Cosmic Psychos or The Hard-Ons.

Vices: We'll Make It Through This (Resist)
- Short, sharp and brutally on-point, conscious hardcore out of Sydney.

Vohkinne: AS003 (Atrophic Society)
- A minimal but nonetheless whirling techno assault from Melbourne producer Craig McKinney. The track comes backed with Tripeo's remix which supercharges the bass beat and sandblasts everything else to near nothing before building it back up to a unnerving alarm of siren synths. Final cut, Be Like The Sun, quenches the fire, saturating everything in a dark drone. This EP is sleek and dark with elegant contours and a machine-like efficiency. (Chris Cobcroft)

Local Artists:

Bandito Folk: The Perimeter Fence (Valve / MGM)
- The melancholy musings of Brisbane’s epic-folk-rockers have been given an attitude adjustment on this latest EP. It might be a little confronting for some fans, but, really, just gives them an extra string to their bow, which will be most useful when it comes to trying to cobble together a whole full-length.

Brad Butcher: Believer (Single) (Indie)
- Echoing country licks that swathe Butcher's warm baritone. The electric fiddle is a very nice touch. He effectively channels his influences like Jason Isbell.

cln: Satisfy Feat. Lou Millar (Single) (Indie)
- Funky but downtempo with a big dose of synth and, on his latest single a seductive vocal from Lou Millar. Callan Alexander may make you think his millions of soundcloud plays are more than just smoke and mirrors. (Chris Cobcroft)

CVIRO X GXNXVS: Benjamins (Single) (October)
- It's kinda weird how overweeningly American their focus is: it's all about the Benjamins. Having said that, this breezy and agile r'n'b is good enough that they can sing about what they like and probably land a stack of what they like best. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Delicates: Farewell My Love (Single) (Indie)
- Gold Coast band deliver an old school soft rock track with strong, female, vocal drawl, telling a sad story. The faintest echoes of jangle-pop and even chanson work their way in. All up, even if there is only one Nico, this still sounds quite a lot like The Velvet Underground. It makes you realise how few bands do right now, and it might make you wonder why. (Keri Newmarch, Rachel Ryan & Chris Cobcroft)

Electric Zebra: Modern Living EP (Indie)
- Gold Coast band drops their first EP which is pretty damn groovy alt-rock. With cool rhythm guitar and bass pins, this EP is a great, messy start and is a sign of good things to come. (Keri Newmarch & Rachel Ryan)

Fairchild: Sadako (OK! Good/ Canvas)
- Fairchild have stuck at it long enough that their urgent, anthemic synth-pop-rock has become the exception again, rather than the rule. Who knows what that means vis. their future, but they've certainly polished their craft to a fine gleam.

Fancy Face: The Mirror (Single) (Indie)
- Off his debut EP Dead C*** this is DIY, glitchy industrial, mixing up mechanical, vocoded verses with soulful choruses. Nice if just because the world needs more industrial.

The Feather Collector: Erishkigal (Indie)
- Russian and English vocals and an often folky sensibility share space over the top of speeding electronic beats and many experimental gestures. The duo of Hannaka and Nataesh Koham share qualities with Russian electronic dance-pop outfit Origa and the experimental Russian synth-folk of Olga Bell. Unusual and very interesting. (Chris Cobcroft)

Gazar Strips: Daylight (Single) (Sonic Masala)
- More echoing and murky atmosphere from the lush, gothic rockers. Still moar plz.

Ghost Notes: Moonlight State (Sonic Masala)
- A tightly focused third full-length from Ghost Notes, swinging with fierce intent between sparseness and an instrumental assault of trumpet, guitar and drums. Saying something dark and unsettling about Queensland has produced their best work yet. (Chris Cobcroft)

Giants of Science: What's Wrong With You and Why (Plus One / MGM)
­- Brisbane rock legends Giants Of Science have made me very happy! Their first release since 2005, it's great to see these guys have certainly not lost their touch. Pumping out riffs left, right and centre will keep you rocking from beginning to end. (Linda Finlay)

The Gin Club: Dancing With The Ghost (Single) (PLus One)
- The Gin Club return with a more sweetly melodic take on indie and alt-country. Taking advantage of their large number of alumni to fill out the sound with hammond, brass and vocal harmonies. Sounding something like The Jayhawks but perhaps more like The New Pornographers, it's weird to hear a sound like this coming out of Brisbane, but it's pretty great. (Chris Cobcroft)

Hannaka: The Colour of War (Indie)
- Politically inspired neo-folk with elements of tribal and world music. Led by Hannaka's emotive vocals singing songs of oppression in far-away places, this is possibly a bit earnest for some people to enjoy, but if you're in a West End kind of mood, you may well find Hannaka's music very inspiring.

The Jensens: Fears (Single) (Recon / Remote Control)
- Have you ever felt trapped, stuck in one place, like you're never going to make anything of your life? Well so have Brisbane's garage-pop quintet, The Jensens. But unlike you, they've gotten off the couch and recorded an upbeat number guaranteed to shake off the meloncholy and boredom, and throw you on to the dancefloor. (Rob Steel)

JNGL: Limitless Ft. Grand Pavillion / Summer Ft. Resin Moon (Single) (Indie)
- The local producer finds the meeting point between synthpop and deep house in a sunburst of euphoria and does it with an undeniable class.

Family Jordan: Sparkling Corn (Single) (Indie)
- Two competent cuts of roots-rock and country and the b-side has a chill gothic air as well. A band that's likely to make a significant impact on alt-country in Brisbane.

Nonsemble: Go (Single) (Indie)
- A slice of the epic new work of process music that aims to evoke the complexities of the game of Go. Nonsemble again manages to take the clinical edge off its mathematical inspiration with a swelling, jazzy, post-rock sound, full of rich string arrangements, that is also probably the best played and produced of their work so far. (Chris Cobcroft)

Lutra Lutra: Jawbreaker (Single) (Indie)
- Female fronted rockers launch a twee-pop single given legs by an edgy garage vibe. (Keri Newmarch & Rachel Ryan)

Motion Picture Actress: Hiders Waltz (Single) (Mammal)
- A fine example of local electro-pop / bass music / edm, with Tom Brydon combining ethereal vocals with hectic percussion and sharp lead synth lines. (Hayley Elliott-Maclure)

Oscarno: Hesperus (Indie)
- Oscarno mixes up 8-bit with ambient. At its most threadbare it sounds like a very home job, but at its most accomplished some inspired production makes tracts of this EP sound like glorious '80's TV sci-fi soundtracks. (Chris Cobcroft)

Regular Band 91: Nightmare (Single) (Indie)
- Chris Wenner from The Stained Angels has released the first single from his alt-rock side project Regular Band 91. If you want a broken neck, Nightmare might just get you there with its raw, distorted instrumentals and gritty vocals pounding their way across the two and a half minutes of grunge-rock bliss. (Felix Sheahan)

Rob Christie: Dumper (Indie)
- Four tracks of lo-fi acoustic from the Sunny Coast guitar-slinger. The lyrics are thoughtful and the moody, slacker-rock affectations are stylish: this is well worth listening to.

Rolls Bayce: Rolls Bayce EP (Indie)
- By the powers of Hungry Kids Of Hungary and Millions combined, Rolls Bayce produces a surprisingly uncluttered sound. The rhythm section has a stripped-back, slow but powerful and funky drive (something even more evident when they play live). By contrast the lead guitar and vocals are dripping with psych harmonies and colour. They make odd but not unpleasant bedfellows. (Chris Cobcroft)

Sewers: Chain Of Command (Single) (Tenth Court)
- More rock'n'roll that sounds like it's been processed through an emphysema patient and heard through the grate of a storm drain. Brisbane should be less known for yet another summery indie-pop band and much better known for keeping the legacy of The Saints very much alive. (Chris Cobcroft)

Tailor Made: The String Theory (Rinsed Out)
- Remarkably strong hip hop out of Brisbane. Enggy, Synergy and Able2 are well-oiled machine. Enggy and Able2 provide bombastic, mostly ‘90's style boom bap - and they're super-strong beats. Enggy and Synergy take care of the rapping and really go to town. It's like the Aussie hip hop formula from ten years ago but achieved with a skill that almost nobody ever possessed. (Chris Cobcroft)

Travis Lee: Reflections (Indie)
- Travis Lee is an astute crooner and producer who is interested in much of the history of soul and r'n'b as well as the sounds of today. This broad-based approach produces four extremely solid neo-soul cuts that consolidate the head of hype he's already built. (Chris Cobcroft)

Velociraptor: Leeches (Single) (Dot Dash / Remote Control)
- Velociraptor take a turn for the darker, producing an old-school, gothically growling, '80's alt-rock. Sounds good.

The Vultures: EPII (Indie)
- Young, keen, and clean alt-rockers. The Vultures deliver up their second helping, the aptly titled, EPII, with crisp production and enough hungry energy to make you consider dancing. Depending who's around, that is. (Rob Steel)

New Zealand Artists:

Kaitlin Riegel: System (Single) (Indie)
- Kaitlin's electro-pop r'n'b with punchy hip hop beats and her white-girl vocal actually makes more sense if you think of it as a product of New Zealand, where they've been working at these kind of progressive r'n'b and soul sounds for years. System is a very effective go at it and explains why Riegel is now laying down urban vibes in Portland rather than Auckland. (Chris Cobcroft)

Kimbra: Love In High Places (Single) (Warner)
- Another single from Kimbra's recent album. Elements of Prince-style funk and Mary J. Blige r'n'b groove together with a synth-spiced chorus building to a huge freakout, powered by Thundercat's insane bass skills. (Chris Cobcroft)

Trust Punks: Discipline (Spunk)
- A mixture of indie-rock, post-punk and downright artiness comes together in a thickly textured and melodious concoction that could makes fans of people who listen to Weezer or Parquet Courts. (Chris Cobcroft)

Overseas Artists:

Alex G: DSU (Lucky Number / Mushroom)
- Elements of Pavement, Sonic Youth, Ariel Pink and Elliott Smith come together in surprising ways in this dreamy, arty, indie concoction. More importantly the strange, drifting arrangements often resonate with intense beauty. Like a kaleidoscope of your indie / slacker past, some strangely excellent vision comes through every other second. (Chris Cobcroft)

Alex G: Hollow (Single) (Lucky Number / Mushroom)
- From the album ‘DSU’, ‘Hollows’ is a genuine indie tune that moves in and out of despair. Strong lyrics delivered whisper quiet and driven guitar pieces show a lot of promise for this young US artist. (Felix Sheahan)

Arca: Xen (Mute / Create/Control)
- The stocks of this Venezuelan producer are pretty high right now. Having a big hand in FKA Twigs’ storming LP1 and a forthcoming record with Bjork is a pretty good place to be. By himself he’s substantially more freakish than when he’s hanging out with Twigs; well, musically at least. An utterly uncompromising collection of fragmented beats, so much so that it’s difficult to call this IDM, although it’s definitely in that tradition. Sits happily in amongst this year’s dark and driving output from Clark or Aphex Twin and is at the same time stranger and more human than both. That last quality may be its biggest selling point: echoes of humanity that embrace you with comforting hands in even the most alienating moments of this record. (Chris Cobcroft)

Ariel Pink: pom pom (4AD / Remote Control)
- Kooky, colourful, twisted. Ariel Pink returns with with a new double album, boasting an unfiltered look into the technicolour mind of its exuberant creator. His eccentric genius reaches as far back into the pop sounds of yesterday as ever, but with a new embrace of synthesiser sound also takes in the '80s and elements of the '90s. Sometimes this parallels the work of another odd pop genius: Stephen Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. Nothing wrong with that in the slightest. (Chris Cobcroft & Rob Steel)

Azealia Banks: Broke With Expensive Taste (Prospect Park / Caroline / Universal)
- Despite having a deal of trouble even getting her debut full-length released, dance-rap powerhouse Azealia Banks’ record is certainly stronger than the other mega-hyped releases this year by female, urban superstars (whatever the sales figures say). A riskily diverse record that turns up way late to the party, but rather than being DOA, it reminds everyone why the liked Azealia Banks in the first place. (Chris Cobcroft)

Big K.R.I.T.: Cadillactica (Def Jam)
- The new, self-styled king of the South has never been short on artistic ambition. His second full-length for Def Jam is a complex concept album. The largely self-produced record has a smooth sound, only featuring a few samples and backing some of the best rapping of KRIT's career. In fact this is almost certainly the finest work he's ever done. Whether it moves units proportional to the flood of critical love it's getting is unknown, but it's a blinder of a rap record. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Birthday Massacre: Superstition (Metropolis)
- Typical gothic synth-pop and industrial rock from the Canadian outfit. They do know how to write a synth-pop anthem though.

Bob Dylan & The Band: The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 (Columbia / Sony)
- It's hard to think of a stronger double-team in Americana than Dylan & The Band. This restoration of their 1967 sessions aims to prove that definitively. Though not thoroughly embraced by listeners at the time, the present-day response to this expansive, six-volume curation has been almost embarrassing in its enthusiasm. If you have even a passing interest in roots music, or if, conversely, you're a diehard fan, there's probably something in here for you. (Chris Cobcroft)

Bog Oak: A Treatise on Resurrection and The Afterlife (LABELS)
- Doom, sludge, blues and the occasional angelic female vocal jostle for place in the huge but groovy sound of these Cali metallers.

Brassica: Man is Deaf (Civil / Tailored)
- From house to new wave, italo disco and many more things besides, London's Brassica produces a diverse but universally, minimally smooth collection of dance tunes. Impressively stylish. (Chris Cobcroft)

Carlos Cipa: All Your Life You Walk (Denovali)
- Simple but often beautiful piano compositions from the German-based composer and performer. The palette and inspiration may, at times, be the tiniest bit too limited, but there is ample compensation in the most passionate and evocative moments of this record.

Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones | Witxes: Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones + Witxes ­ Split (Denovali)
- French outfit the Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones team up with another French outfit, Witxes for a split comprising two formidable twenty minute compositions. Witxes bring something surprisingly accessible to ambient and drone music something with thundering climaxes underwritten by danceable beats and erupting, post-rock surges. DCQ&D, by contrast, bring jazz noodling to midnight soundscapes, still indulging in that noirishly delightful micro-genre, murder-jazz. Music for a dinner-party gone horribly wrong. (Chris Cobcroft)

David Bowie: Tis A Pity She Was A Whore (Single) (Parlophone / Warner)
- A propulsive synth-art-rocker, almost krautrock, really Over it the spindly white spaceman lays an ethereal vocal. Could still ruin it with an overwrought concept album, but it seems unlikely.

Dean Blunt: Black Metal (Rough Trade)
- The ever-mysterious Dean Blunt returns like a specter, peering out of the ether and perhaps coming closer to humankind than ever before, but only by his own standards. Simple strumming, drum machine and synth-loops back his deadpan delivery, all rolled up in obfuscating reverb. From out of that outsider sound slink moments of brutal honesty and many others of complete duplicity. As always, it's a strange brew that'll be vile to some, but utterly intoxicating to others. (Chris Cobcroft)

The Delines: Colfax Avenue (Single) (Decor / El Cortez / Warner)
- The Delines are proving themselves to be a huge force in alt-country. The (sort-of) title-track to their recent record is a classic ballad of working-class struggle given a heart-wrenching update that focuses on a woman trying to cope with her brother's PTSD. Strongly moving. (Chris Cobcroft)

Die Antwoord: Ugly Boy (Single) (Zef)
- The South African shock-rappers release one of their most restrained efforts ever. Smooth and relaxed, not exactly tasteful, maybe, but proving that Die Antwoord have more approaches than just assaulting every sense at once.

Dorval & Devereaux: Dorval & Devereaux (Moon Glyph)
­- Ambient, experimental, psychedelic, electronic! It's as if someone threw musical genres into a bag and shook it about, but instead of the horrible mess that you would expect, a perfectly. formed nugget of album gold was produced. (Linda Finlay)

Dronelock: Theia (Sphere Gear / EPM)
- The UK duo again bring together techno and dark ambient that sounds, stylishly like it should be synced with TV spots advertising powerful European automobiles constructed from shadows.

Duct Tape: Start The Show (Single) (BBE)
- There's plenty of ethereal r'n'b out there these days, but Berlin's Duct Tape, as you might get from the name, is more genuinely spooky than any ten other urban artists. Pretty damn smooth neo-soul, too.

Ex Cops: Daggers (Create/Control / Downtown / Sony)
- A nomadic duo brings a hook-heavy album featuring an electronic pop pulse underwriting the indie-alt-pop songwriting. The eyeshadow laden dark pop is a neat match for the band they're currently on tour with, The Dum Dum Girls. (Keri Newmarch & Rachel Ryan)

Fold: Oil-Powered Machine / Detroit Red (Indie)
- Fold further innovate on the idea of music built as a background for long-form samples. Previously they started out sounding something like the beat-driven work of Coldcut, though on this double a-side the music is something more like the thrumming, muscular and instrumental rock of Trans Am. The samples themselves are political parables on diminishing resources and race: one from Michael Ruppert and the other from Malcolm X; both possess a subtle cleverness and power. Similarly, in both cases the music and spoken-word samples reinforce each other delivering twin cuts of impressive energy and zeal. (Chris Cobcroft)

Grant Nicholas: Joan Of Arc (Single) (Popping Candy / Echo / EMI)
- Feeder frontman releases a solo track which showcases his powerful and raw voice. This guitar driven track compliments the storytelling nature of the lyrics. (Keri Newmarch & Rachel Ryan)

How To Dress Well: Very Best Friend (Single) (Domino / EMI)
- A new single off the very well-received album. Soulful R’n’B vocals on top of some pulsing percussion will have you moving like you’re in the club, dancing to the white reincarnation of MJ. (Felix Sheahan)

iamamiwhoami: Blue (To Whom It May Concern)
- Much of the experimentation that served to balance out the sweet electro-pop of Swedish duo iamamiwhoami is missing from their latest release, Blue. It is still an undeniably stylish collection of cold, Scandi electro-pop.

Jenn Grant: Compostela (Outside)
- The Canadian songstress combines classic and innovative elements of the singer-songwriter craft: borrowing from folk, country, jazz and adding baroque pop elements whenever it suits her. You can hear lots of things in there: Joni Mitchell, Joanna Newsom, Carol King, Alela Diane or Patsy Cline and it’s all pretty good. The title, which sounds a bit unfortunate to English speaking ears, actually translates to the rather evocative Field Of Stars. (Chris Cobcroft)

Jennifer Castle: Pink City (No Quarter / IDEE FIXE)
- A deceptively deep and subversive record from the Canadian singer-songwriter. Finely constructed and adorned with experimental flourishes that lead you into the complexities of Castle's clever song structures.

Jimmy Chambers: You Can't Fight It (Single) (Fly By Night / Tailored)
- A moderately insane fragment of the past getting a timely re-release. A song written by John Carpenter for Assault On Precinct 13, but only used in the film's Italian release. The soulful vocal comes from Jimmy Chambers (later to rise to fame as part of London Beat). Carpenter's quasi-industrial synth jam paired with Chambers ends up sounding something like a dystopian re-imagining of Italo-disco. There’s even a long-form techno remix and it’s really pretty good. (Chris Cobcroft)

John Grant: Strongroom EP (Bella Union)
- Songs from John Grant's strange, savage, depressed but often powerful and beautiful electro-pop record, Pale Green Ghosts, are reworked for solo piano on this EP. Given the emotional strength of the originals it's not surprising just how effective this is: delivering a stripped-back and devastatingly moving record. (Chris Cobcroft)

Jon Hopkins: Asleep Versions (Domino / EMI)
- There's been a lot of additional material coming off the back of Jon Hopkins' astonishing album, Immunity. Some of the new creations have been strong and some not so strong, but the four cuts on Asleep Versions are excellent. Quiet, often nearly vanishing reimaginings of tracks from Immunity as ambient soundscapes, they still embody all of the textural and timbral complexity that made Immunity so exciting. Vocals from King Creosote and Raphaelle Standell push the sound further into neo-folk and haunting downbeat. Jon Hopkins continues to tower over the world of electronic music. (Chris Cobcroft)

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis: Baby Bye Bye (Single) (Shock)
- The friend-zoning lyrics of lost love contrast against the overall upbeat, sing-along, rootsy vibe about the song (especially with the honky-tonk piano intro and breezy drum rhythm), which is quite irresistable. (James Drury)

Klozapin: Klozapin (Conquest Of Sound)
- In less than a year this exciting psyche-noise trio have risen from the unknown basements of New York and into semi-obscurity. Perfectly messy, and delightfully un-delightful, Klozapin's that great band that none of your friends know about yet. (Rob Steel)

Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars: Uptown Funk (Single) (Sony)
- Another incendiary electro-funk jam is, well, rapidly becoming a bit ho-hum. Not Mark Ronson though, it may well be the case that he can never do any wrong. This sounds like the love-child of James Brown, Prince and Fishbone with the best genes from all three. (Chris Cobcroft)

Mouse On Mars: 21 Again (Monkeytown)
- A two-disc celebration of twenty-one years in the biz for the german electronic musos. They've also gathered a bunch of their veteran mates: everyone from Funkstorung to Mark E. Smith to Tortoise for a large number of collaborations and recorded birthday greetings. It's somewhere between sentimental shenanigans and a pretty good album. If you've enjoyed Mouse On Mars at all during their expansive career you'll find something to like here.

Menace Beach:Come On Give Up (Memphis Industries / Shock)
- They're British, they're bored, and they want to you to give up, how lovely. Leeds based quintet, Menace Beach, recall a ditinctly surf-fuzz aesthetic that you would expect from a Californian band like Wavves, but with a little more bad weather induced moodiness. (Rob Steel)

Old Testament: Old Testament (Cardinal Fuzz / Evil Hoodoo)
- This Dead Meadow side-project features all the the things that just didn't seem fuzzily maladjusted enough on a DM record. There's still a load of gothic mood weighing down this tricked out alt-country and Americana.

Parkay Quartz: Content Nausea (Rough Trade / Remote Control)
- Parquet Courts or Parkay Quartz or whatever, despite their endless irreverence take a pretty serious jab at the stuff they don’t like about where they’re from and it really brings out the truth in the title of this record. For that reason it may be a little less enjoyable to some than previous releases, but at the same it may be truer to the mission of any band identifying as an art-punk outfit. In any case, they’re so it right now, they could probably do just about what they liked. (Chris Cobcroft)

Poppy Ackroyd: Feathers (Denovali)
- The British composer continues to orchestrate scintillating combinations of piano, strings and percussion that sound like post-rock if post-rock were made out of brittle glass.

Powerdress: Torture (Single) (New State)
- Penny Foster has long dwelled in the shadows of pop megastars, penning tracks for the likes of Lana Del Rey and Rui Da Silva. Now she's bravely going solo, releasing a fresh dance number guaranteed to fill dance floors the world over. (Rob Steel)

Praezisa Rapid 3000: Miami/Mumbai (Doumen / Tailored)
- Taking a stupendous array of samples from the Indian subcontinent, running them through a woodchipper and spraying the result on to an alarmingly off kilter Miami bass. Sort of like a more specifically dance focused version of those world-fetishizing illbient types from a few years back. (Chris Cobcroft)

Rise Of The Northstar: Dressed All in Black (Single) (Nuclear Blast / Bullet Proof)
- Classic New York Hardcore style, the typical riffs and break­downs are refreshed with Japanese accent and lyrics that phonetically result in a particular, more aggressive style. (Paul Cabezas)

Röyksopp: The Inevitable End (POD / Inertia)
- The Norwegian duo have declared this their final release and invested the expansive edm / synth-pop elegy with an often crushing, bitter sadness. More than that, an emotional deadness drifts out of The Inevitable End and can be a confronting experience for the listener. Among those listeners it has evoked a wide range of reactions, some embracing its bleak vision and others rejecting it nearly entirely. It's a melancholy note to finish on, especially after the strength of Röyksopp's team-up with Robyn on Do It Again, earlier this year. Still, amongst the shattered fragments of this final record, those who go looking may well find something to remember Röyksopp by. (Chris Cobcroft)

She & Him: Stay Awhile (Single) (Columbia / Sony)
- Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward continue to polish their retro-country-pop licks. As always Deschanel's big, warm, alto voice is one of the best reasons for listening to She & Him.

Sick/Tired: Dissolution (A389)
- Thrash, grindcore and punk wildness. The Chicago band on their third full-length are refreshingly old school, in a number of different ways. You also get a single incredibly shattered collaboration with Merzbow on the title-track. Done deal. (Chris Cobcroft)

Slug: Cockeyed Rabbit Wrapped In Plastic (Single) (Memphis/Shock)
- Gary Numan meets Freddie Mercury on this strange falsetto filled electronica rave. From the mind-tank of Field Music's Ian Black, proudly British, SLUG are set to release their debut album soon. (Rob Steel)

Summon The Octopi: Nonversations (Sober Up)
- Germans are stereotypically known for their precision and efficiency. This, the debut release from Berlin based post-rock purveyors Summon The Octopi does nothing to refute such cliches. The musicianship is precise, working in elements of mathrock, and the enjoyment is efficiently achieved. Danke. (Rob Steel)

TCTS: Games (MTS / Etcetc / Universal)
- Elegant house beats make an airy framework for the r'n'b tinged deep house vox, the simple arrangement of instruments and sounds makes it clear­cut and easy to enjoy. (Paul Cabezas)

Temples: Sun Restructured (Heavenly)
-Temples have re-imagined their previous album, Sun Structures, with incredible results. Branching out from their indie rock foundation and going into a more experimental, instrumental realm blowing their sound out into psych and space rock. A new, very promising side to this already highly regarded band. (Felix Sheahan)

TV On The Radio: Seeds (Harvest)
- An unexpectedly strong record from the Brooklyn indie-rockers. Quietly powerful, synth-driven indie-rock offers something to fans new and old, connecting to the band's own process of starting again after the death of their bassist, Gerard Smith.

Vladislav Delay: Visa (Ripatti)
- Sasu Ripatti returns to ambient sounds, which you can hear swallowing up all sorts of repetitive rhythms crashing over and crawling under each other. It’s like some automated foundry still operating in the post-apocalyptic miasma after all life has perished. Ripatti himself may have felt similarly listless, writing Visa when his own entry to the US was denied, leaving him at a frustrated loose end. For the listener it's a reaffirmation of the Vladislav Delay of old and, whatever the mood of it's creator, a not unwelcome one. (Chris Cobcroft)

Volunteer: goner (Triple Eye Industries)
- Everything about Volunteer is warmly, crushingly distorted, especially the bass and what bass! These 4 tracks by the Milwaukee band are exactly how stoner / sludge is supposed to be. Great.

Wiley: Snakes & Ladders (Big Dada / A-List)
- Wiley's calling it a day with record number ten and it seems to have given him exactly the impetus he needed. Focusing on beats of a solidly grime vintage rather than messing round with any US fads that are rapidly playing themselves out, Wiley raps like a man possessed: fast and on-point. Can this really be the last record, for a man so on top of his game? That seems unlikely. (Chris Cobcroft)

Wu Tang Clan: Ruckus In B Monor (Single) (Warner)
- Another single from the forthcoming, very long-awaited record from RZA and co.. If bragging it up were punishable by producing a truly terrible record then A Better Tomorrow will be utterly abysmal, but amidst the self-promo, this actually sounds alright.

Young & Sick: Ghost Of A Chance (Single) (EMI)
- Ghost Of A Chance combines sweeping synths with the heavenly voice of singer/artist Young & Sick to create a groovy electro pop number with hints of The Bee Gees and nu-disco. Fin de Siecle style. (Felix Sheahan)

Album Details

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