4ZZZ Music Department's Weekly Music Updates

Local Artists:

Arpier: Ordinary Life EP (Indie)
- Brisbane 4-piece Arpier deliver 4 sun-soaked tracks, the illegitimate children of Mac Demarco and The Holidays. Ordinary Life is ready-made for the Brisbane spring, and its songs should be sung to the Jacarandah trees to make them bloom on time. Guitars drift from one ear to the other, as the tempo speeds and slows, and the lyrics swing from self-assured to self-deprecating, but the jangle and reverb ensure the mood remains buoyant and dreamy. (Harry Rival Lee)

Ayla: Like The Other Kids (EGO)
- New single from Sunshine-Coast singer/songwriter AYLA is definite proof that she is a strong player in the music field. A more mature sound than her previous work, this track has more advanced production values, and is incredibly catchy. Clever lyrics, a hook you'll be singing for days and a beautiful voice - what more could you want? (Olivia Shoesmith)

Dreamkillers: Now Look What Happened (Rare Collectable)
- For better or for worse, Dreamkillers are unarguably a Brisbane rock institution. On their latest record -the first one in ages- Les Jobson and co make a pretty convincing argument for how they became that way. Roughly energetic but tight and moving like a single rhythmic unit, I don't think Sabbath could make first wave metal sound as tight these days. (Chris Cobcroft)

Space Hørse: Glass House (Single) (Indie)
-There is no shortage of pscyhe-rock these days but local groove-explorers Space Horse incorporate a lil’ of that Funkadelic soul, bringing out touches of cosmic light to illuminate the fun. (Nick Rodwell)

The Keepaways: Eastwood (feat. Spacecowboy4005) (Single) (Indie)
- Local sonic fractals, The Keepaways, have teamed up with New Farm Record’s Spacecowboy4005 for a masticated offering of pop-culture and electronics. It’s a vital offering of alt-hip hop out of Brisbane, reminiscent of Def Jux’ experimentalism and flirting with the chaos of Death Grips. (Nick Rodwell)

The Lampreys: Sunshine At Nine (Single) (Indie)
- This outfit really make Kallangur seem like hillbilly country, the Appalachian fiddling is as fierce and wild as the track itself is sparse and lo fi. The debt owed to The Dirty Three is worn on their sleeve, but they make it a worthy comparison. (Chris Cobcroft)

Thigh Master: Canned Opening (Single) (Coolin' By Sound)
- Thigh Master have dropped another in the lead up to impending album Early TImes. Canned Opening, steps back from the rush of previous single Bad Company, and also from the messy melange of indie-rock that they have pumped out in the past. There is a sweetness to Canned Opening’s humility that makes them relatable and welcoming as ever. (Nick Rodwell)

Australian Artists:

Body Type: Ludlow (Single) (Indie)
- A mixture of lo-fi indie and a dollop of dream-pop reverb is otherworldly at the same time as maintaining an offhand charm. If the all-girl Sydney band can pull this off the 'deceptively messy but actually tight' live on stage then they've got a bright future. (Chris Cobcroft)

Chris Abrahams: Climb (Vegetable Records)
- Award winning musician Chris Abrahams is typically one to be known for his work in jazz, however his latest solo album Climb veers more towards the neo-classical side of the tracks. This album is a gorgeous collection of meticulously curated piano pieces written and performed by Abrahams over the past ten years of his career. Featuring tumbling crescendos and diminuendos, fluctuations between staccato and legato and an omnipresent sense of inexplaicable cool, Climb masterfully folds in a mood that is ambient to the point of being almost psychedelic. You can image Abrahams' fingers flowing like water over his piano keys with every track, his mastery over his instrument as clear as the notes he plays. (Clare Neal)

Darren Cross: _Xantastic (No Drums)
- Darren Cross has a lot of experience to draw on in the creation of his solo debut: from the electronic pop-rock of Gerling to his more recent folky efforts with Jep & Dep. There's a strange duality: Cross sounds as tired as Thom Yorke, but like Yorke too, _Xantastic is overflowing with stylistic experiments and interesting thoughts. I don't know how hard Cross has been hitting those titular xannies, but wasted or not, the synthetic troubadour has clearly seen a lot -including most of the US- if the lyrics of this world-weary record are to be believed. Only rarely sinking under the weight of its own melancholy, Darren Cross has created a record that's gently moving, full of the subtle depth that only a performer with his track record can imbue. (Chris Cobcroft)

Grinding Eyes: At Night (Single) (Indie)
- Leather-clad Sydney-siders Grinding Eyes originally released this single as half of a split 7" with Swervedriver. I dunno how good Swervedriver's contribution was, but this is alright. Fast, dark psych-rock, its lo fidelity production gives it a murk and mystery that works very much in its favour. (Chris Cobcroft)

Jack Grace: All Lost (Single) (Create/Control)
- Jack Grace, producer and artist in his own right, is a bit of a genre-hopper (Producers, right?). His latest creation, All Lost, is captivating in its simplicity. A piano, a drum break and Grace hold it down as his sense of balladry proves to add another string to his bow. (Nick Rodwell)

Kav Temperley: Dancin' (feat. Lucy Peach) (Single) (Inertia)
- Once of Eskimo Joe, Kav’s arrival as a solo artist is curious one. It’s this understatedly groovy pop-rock song that has this cutesy shtick not that dissimilar from Bob Evans but I suppose its saving grace is that it has some of that light-hearted whimsy that you’ll find in Devendra Banhart. It’s quite endearing. (Nick Rodwell)

dMu: Synaptic Self (Iluso)
- Drawing their name from an evil Tibetan earth demon, dMu's album Synaptic Self is certainly nothing if not otherworldly. Composed by Australia's very own Mike Caratti, who performs on drums along with the Spaniard Álvaro Domene on guitar and American Josh Sinton on bass clarinet and baritone sax, each track is as eclectic as the band members themselves, bridging the gaps between avant-garde jazz, heavy metal, grunge and tribal sounds. Throbbing electric guitars, erratic brass and unpredictable drums really do make for the imagery of an ancient demon wreaking havoc. An album like nothing you have heard before; yes I'm even talking to you, Mr. Bungle Fans. (Clare Neal)

Jordie Lane: Glassellland (Blood Thinner Records)
- Jordie Lane’s maturation as an alt-country raconteur overflows on his latest album Glassellland. The strength of songwriting takes the best parts from all of your folk / country-rock / americana icons of the past 60 years. And yet, it’s depth never has you dismissing his songs as derivative, this is a true embodiment of a rich cultural lineage. (Nick Rodwell)

Mick Harvey: Baby Teeth Wolfy Teeth (Single) (Mute / Mushroom)
- Mick Harvey (once of The Bad Seeds) has been translating the works of French artist (read: Master of most trades) Serge Gainsbourg, on his recent full-length. Baby Teeth Wolfy Teeth is a jiving, dark rock number that sounds like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins with the vocal polyps removed. (Nick Rodwell)

Prequel: Freedom Jazz Dance (Rhythm Section)
- This is cool. Built for dark corners. Affirming your nonchalance towards… whatever. This is ice-cold. Recognize the spirit of jazz, feel the comfort of house grooves as Melbournian DJ Prequel mixes his eclectic sense of music into some hazy arthouse pulse. (Nick Rodwell)

Rainbow Chan: Spacings (Silo Arts & Records)
-There was a time when i struggled with Rainbow Chan, the sonics never lived up to the concepts. Until now. With the release of Spacings you’re able to be fully encompassed by her grand alt-pop confidence - think FKA Twigs or Jessy Lanza. Now is the time to embrace Rainbow Chan and all her sweeping melodies, turbulent textures and allusive rhythms. (Nick Rodwell)

Remi: Lose Sleep (Feat. Jordan Rakei) (Single)
- Melbourne based rapper Remi and his beats-making yokemate drop their latest single, a racially charged affair that nonetheless disseminates the universal theme of not letting society's misguided preconceptions of a person dictate their existence. The rhythm understatedly pulsates to laid-back grooves such that Lose Sleep embodies both a call to arms, and a "relax brah, it's all good" chill pill. I once bumped into Remi at a McDonalds in Sydney, he's a nice guy. Paid for my meal. He actually didn't do that. Not even a golden boy of new Aussie hip hop can afford the price of my meal after a night out. (Harry Rival Lee)

Tigerilla: TULIPS ft. Gill Bates (Single) (EMI)
-The combination of Tigerilla’s wavyness and Gill Bates growing confidence is something to indulge in - vibin’ like a Neptunes-produced pop-charter. Neither have sounded stronger than they do together on this track with it’s infectious bounce. (Nick Rodwell)

Tkay Maidza: Carry On feat. Killer Mike (Single) (Dew Process / Universal)
- Continuing to cement her ultimate #qween status as one of Australia's hottest alt-pop-slash-rap-slash-electroic acts to date is Tkay Maidza, who is back with her newest single Carry On. The track is all about sticking it to the haters and being yourself, and features rapper Killer Mike, who spits his own fire with lyrics like "Baby keep it cool, it's the first day of school, knowing you a rebel and about to break the rules". With Tkay's signiature sing-song rapping and neo-siren-foghorn themed production punctuated with some surefire F-U drums, Carry On is a powerful track that will undoubtedly be spinning through your ears and brains on the regular. (Clare Neal)

Overseas Artists:

Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar / Inertia)
- It's not really like Angel Olsen needed to up her game. The roots and country tinged rocker long ago shrugged off the shadow of famous musical friends like Will Oldham and impressed everyone just fine. That may be harder from now on because My Woman raises the bar pretty goddamn high. Her perennial themes of love, loneliness and longing are presented more lushly and poignantly than ever before as she and her band just go to town on the formula. An easy pick for end of year best lists. (Nathan Kearney & Chris Cobcroft)

Cadenza: People ft. Jorja Smith & Dre Island (Single) (Mad Decent / Sony)
- This beat maker out of london is doing cool things with the revival of Jungle. There’s plenty of modern bass music blending and bending but here there’s something for everyone. Straight sampling, chopped up breaks, all kinds of bass and and a popped melody for those that need to emote. (Nick Rodwell)

Cristian Vogel: The Assistenz (Shitkatapult / EPM)
- European producer Cristian Vogel (who gets about a lot: is he based in Berlin, London, Copenhagen - who can say?) has had a long career in beats, sitting somewhere just below the kind of hype levels achieved by the likes of Jon Hopkins or Dan Snaith. I can't imagine that The Assistenz stands a great chance of shooting him to new stardom, but it is a very high calibre piece of work. Lovingly hand-crafted beats and thoroughly atmospheric soundscapes take in elements of techno, dub, ambient, electro and a whole lot more, but mostly a madly syncopated bass music that is as dark and dystopic as you can imagine and spits in the face of the cheesy crap that's taken over the genre in recent years. In that sense it's a bit of a throwback, not really breaking new ground; instead it's a clarion call to return to the source, calling on other producers to up their game. (Chris Cobcroft)

Cristian Vogel / The Assistenz from Brett Evans Biedscheid on Vimeo.

Danny Brown: Pneumonia (Single) (Warp / Inertia)
- Danny Brown’s move to Warp has seen the return to the off-kilter weirdness of his album XXX that helped him break. Pneumonia has his signature yappin’ over ominous dissonance and some clangin’ to touch it off. It’s sufficiently Danny Brown, and that’s a good thing. (Nick Rodwell)

LVL UP: Hidden Driver (Single) (Sub Pop / Inertia)
- Do not lament the death of indie-rock, Sub Pop have you covered. I don’t think an acoustic guitar has ever sounded so vital in its destruction. Such over-saturation coupled with such simple major melodies smacks of the tastefully shambolic alt-'90s . (Nick Rodwell)

MNDSGN: Cosmic Perspective (Single) (Stones Throw / Inertia)
- Stones Throw continue to be purveyors of the haziest of electro funk with the release of MNDSGN’s Cosmic Perpective. So sloppy in the pocket so the groove slaps back, It’s the stickiest of stanks. Give thanks. It’s all about persepctive. (Nick Rodwell)

NOVAA: Hands (Single) (Lekker Collective)
- German producer / writer NOVAA is putting out some seriously good music. Reminiscent of creative geniuses such as Bjork or Grimes, Hands is ecclectic and dreamy, yet gets your pulse racing. Dreamy production, pared with excellent lyrical writing and a voice to match makes me antsy for more. With a track this good I can't wait to get my hands on the full EP. (Olivia Shoesmith)

Saving Grace: Recidivist (Single) (Facedown)
- There are many redundant adjectives pertaining to Metal, but believe me, this is all of them. Take them all, guttural, brutal, heavy AF etc. These established New Zealanders lay it down here (Drummer, Shaun Anderson is astounding) and this is one hell of a track. (Nick Rodwell)

The Seshen: Distant Heart (Single) (Tru Thoughts)
- Neo-soul group The Seshen make me wanna sway and groove to their new single Distant Heart. A smooth vocal, and funky beats are only amplified by the sick synth sounds, tight harmonies and groovy slap bass that underlie the entire track. Worth a listen (or a dance). (Olivia Shoesmith)

Steve Buscemi & Elliott Sharp: Rub Out The World (Infrequent Seams / Redeye)
- If anyone was going to be a better William Burroughs than Peter Weller -or indeed Burroughs himself- you gotta think the cynical, sarcastic Steve Buscemi would be a fair bet for the gig. Buscemi actually does a really fine job of capturing Burrough's well-known drawl on these readings of well-known excerpts of his work. Buscemi is accompanied by the menacing guitar experimentations and synthetic soundscapes of Elliott Sharp, which for the most part is as deliciously unsettling as Burrough's work itself. Given that this is a live performance some of the fine-tuning of the music to the words which could have been achieved in a studio is, perhaps, lost. That said it also makes the accomplishment of the two performers stand out that much more impressively. (Chris Cobcroft)

Vince Staples: Prima Donna (Blacksmith / Artium / Def Jam)
-this Long Beach rapper probably has the one of freshest perspectives amongst his peers. Cutting it something close to street-conscious, Staples talks real with a sharp wit over production that I’m sure will stand the test of time. (Nick Rodwell)

Wilco: Schmilco (Anti- / Warner)
- Wilco are at that stage where they're not aiming to broaden their appeal or win new fans. They're just revelling in the country-tinged indie band they are, not to mention everything they've become over the years. As such, Schmilco won't win you over if you still need to be convinced, but the band's many existing fans will be more than satisfied with a confident and diverse collection of songs that are, quintessentially, Wilco. (Cameron Smith & Chris Cobcroft)


Album Details

Album Title: Best New Arrivals For The First Week Of September
Artist: 4ZZZ Music Dept.
Record Label: