Sweet Valley - Total Carnage
Sweet Valley is the awesome side project of Nathan Williams (the front man of California band ‘Wavves’) and his brother Kynan. Dabbling with electronica and hip hop beats, they have sampled tunes from popular games such as ‘Zelda Ocarina of Time’, ‘Final Fantasy 7’ and various others. They’ve released 4 albums together, this song taken from their first ‘Stay Calm’.
Wavves recently had a song featured in GTA 5 and I think Nathan naturally has an inclination towards games so he’s blending them within his music career well. I would have actually posted a song taken from their latest album however its a 1 track album that goes for 27 minutes long. It’s called ‘So Serene’ and it dropped on the 10th of Feb and its fucking great. definitely check it out because it is free as fuck right now. Link below!
Cosmonauts - Sweet Talk
This song is super dark, if you pay attention to the lyrics its just about sweet talking girls into having sex but it not actually being consensual at all because then murder happens? ‘I buried her round the dark side of town where the pretty girls get raped and mauled.’ ‘My shadow looms above this town’ Ch’yeah, that’s not creepy. Oh well, its a pretty neat psychedelic tune, they can’t all be about tripping with magical creatures on a paradiso Island. These guys are from California and they just released their debut album called ‘Persona non Grata’ at the end of 2013 and it ain’t half bad. They also got a spot in the infamous Austin Psych fest lineup of 2014 which is always a good thing. Go Cosmonauts.
Dan Deacon - True Thrush
Dan Deacon is an American experimental electronic/post rocky musician who works tirelessly to make the coolest music with a plethora of wacky gadgets. He is constantly messing with all kinds of technology to create the weirdest sounding effects citing that technology is rapidly evolving on a daily basis, more so than himself as an artist, so he keeps himself busy. It’s true in a slightly curious but daunting way as an aspiring game designer myself, its hard to keep up with the latest trends and features technology is consistently building upon. But if Dan can keep in touch, I can too.
I love this song, it’s nice and happy with a quick upbeat rhythm, great music to mess about too. I personally like Dan’s great detail to percussion because it is often changing with breaking/mashing up beats to create diverse but smooth flow that still holds a general rock/pop sensibility to keep everyone dancing. This song is taken from Dan’s most recent album ‘America’ released in 2012, His albums actually reach all the way back to 2003 but like America most of these albums are short LP’s with 7 or so fantastic songs, so it’s definitely worth jumping into some of them to get started. YAY DAN D’z.
Warpaint - Beetles
Arguably the coolest chicks in music right now. Not only are they all cripplingly beautiful, they are super talented and I wanted to go back to their first EP ‘Exquisite Corpse’ to one of my favorite songs/performances of theirs. Their new S/T album was released on Jan 17th 2014 and it is also really great.
It was actually really nice to watch Warpaint perform last, they were a much needed come down from all the energy of Danny Brown, Jagwar Ma, Savages etc. Other than getting cut short 1 song which both the band and crowd we’re displeased about (motherflippin roadies), they had a stellar set. It is always nice to see bands perform songs differently and change the flow of songs in order to improvise a little. You can tell when they get together and start jamming its almost as if the audience isn’t there, and that they are pretty much lost in this hazey sonic melting pot. They are so god damn seductive too, I couldn’t take my eyes off them for the whole set, what with their crazy sexy groovy dancing moves.
What more could anyone ask for yo? They are at the pinnacle of girl band history right now and they aren’t slowing up, just like Savages. It is really refreshing to witness such a massive female presence at Laneway and in recent years in general. These hunnies be rippin shit up!
Here is a link to one of their very recent singles just so I don’t completely skip over how great the new album is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T2GGzZejqE
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - So Good At Being In Trouble
Excuse me but what the actual fuck UMO. I know this song seems harmless but live, UMO translate on a whole new level, with a fuller sound and a plethora or sonic soundscapes that will ABSOLUTELY transport you to another dimension. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that has seen these guys live before but holy shit, Nielson shreds like a part of Jimmy Hendrix is living inside of him, its not just Nielson either, credit is due to the drummer Riley Geare who drum solo’d like a demon for a solid 3 minutes INTO the next song like it ain’t no thing. Bassist Jake Portrait had an equally excellent time free forming along during whatever cacophony of solo was happening beside him. Each of them are phenomenal musicians.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little inebriated by this point of the day (8:55-9:40 PM) but that doesn’t even matter. I believe UMO only played about 6-7 songs because they were just jammed the fuck out through space and time for a bit, I swear they must have gotten lost on another planet on stage for a while because there were some seriously hypnotic, trancey states of mind floating around during this set, audience included. I’m pretty sure when they had finished everyone looked around shocked to find out they’d been slipped a couple tabs of acid over the last hour.
Or maybe I was just that high. Either way, the above is how I describe UMO’s show. Yeah, you probably need to go check that out. If you haven’t heard this tune it is taken from ‘Unknown Mortal Orchestra II’ released in 2013 from our friendly neighbourhood New Zealanders!
Savages - Strife
'Silence Yourself' came out of London with a bang last year and it was easily one of my favourite releases. Savages are mean, dark and gritty. They are a serious bunch of girls making some killer hard rock/post-punk driven tunes. Jehnny Beth the lead singer has a beautiful but cold voice, she wails and murmurs fiercely on many tracks and is accompanied by a guitarist that from the beginning of this track sets the tone and atmosphere with violent guitar lashings. Then the drums settle in, and that supremely pulsating bass rolls through. They are incredibly tight live. Even that is an understatement.
Seeing them live is seriously an important experience for anyone into rock music right now, even in a general sense. They were one of the strongest performers at Laneway from sheer intensity and power. It was mesmerising to say the least and it doesn’t hurt that even though their music can be quite intimidating they are all total babes. They draw you in, beat the shit out of you and spit you right back out, it was a thrilling mind fuck from beginning to end.
The final track they played called ‘Fuckers’ was the most exciting song for me all day because it is yet to be released and it is the longest song they have - with a serious break down/jam session that was so danceable it became hypnotic. I’ve been ‘jonesing’ for this track and more Savages ever since and that is a feeling I can’t say I yearned for from other bands on the day (because I guess I know them all to well) but Savages truly surprised me in every respect, and I thought I knew what I was in for.
The Purist X Danny Brown - Jealousy
6:25PM on a Laneway day, things are about to get rowdy. I’ve posted Danny Brown a couple of times already so I thought I’d throw this track up that although is not his alone, is a fucking great song and in the same vein of Danny’s typical style. The Purist is also a really great producer so why not show him off, AND, ALSO, this video clip is a straight trip.
I highly, highly, highly reccommend going to a Danny Brown gig if you get the chance. Even though I only got a 50 minute set from the dude, every single song was completely off the chain. I didn’t really stop jumping and its probably the part of the day where i expended the most energy. It was just one big party that somehow spawned a death circle too? Which was kind of stupid really because I don’t consider Danny Brown music to go knocking people out to.
Danny’s performance was spectacular because of 3 things.
1. His flow has always been enticing, in a pop sense his rhymes kind of invite you to rap along and he pulls that off so well (I always say he’s the only rapper to get his audience to say the crudest shit). However when performing live he was able to shake that up and suddenly we we’re seeing verses being spit in a whole new way, ways that worked. It was interesting just to watch.
2. He didn’t have a massive back up crew to awkwardly yell filler between verses or bridges. He stood on stage alone, and fucking worked the crowd himself, that is awesome. Maybe its just me but I don’t wanna hear some shitty crew behind him rapping and shouting over the song/Danny because thats ‘party’, fuck that, Danny rips shit up himself.
3. Danny is hilarious, the dude is a mad chiller. He has tons of personality and asked for a bunch of drugs on stage (WHICH NOBODY GAVE HIM) which is always funny. He is a total crowd pleaser.
Pick up his albums, most recently ‘Old’ released in 2013, he’s bringing back Trap like nobodies business.
Kurt Vile - Airbud
Any excuse to fucking post the most played song of last year on my ipod. Oh man, this track is the height of cool for me. BUT, Kurt didn’t even play this, nor did he play ‘Never Run Away’, or ‘Snowflakes Are Dancing’ off last years album ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’. I went to his sideshow and his show during the festival and he played more or less the same set. Killer set for sure because I pretty much love everything he has done but like… give a little bro!. I was sure those were practically his most popular songs off the album. Maybe he already toured them to death and us poor fellas down under missed out. Who knows.
Either way, his relaxing air of nonchalance is cool as hell. Every single song has this carefree, easy feeling to it but also underlying sensitivities too. I feel like with repeated listening you get to know Kurt’s attitude pretty well, there is truly a lot of expression in his music, you just need let yourself be absorbed by it. (That deyeyeyeyeah bit sends shivers up my spine each time I hear it.) I find Kurt’s music both present and distant at the same time and that’s what i like about it, it’s loaded with lots of spacious moments and then rolls itself into something more engaging to the ear. Its like hes just messing with your ears and mind for a bit but not doing anything too drastic. A nice example is at the end of this track the keys and drums just go for heaps long, they don’t need to be but he just keeps you hanging there for a while longer, its awesome because its an infectious beat and he knows it.
Even if he didn’t play my favorite songs, he reminded me of my other favorites at his shows by performing like a total boss. Here’s to the coolest cat.
Dick Diver - Water Damage
Another strayan band graces our festival scene. So aussie. You couldn’t tell from bands like Tame Impala that they were true blue bloody aussies (for those outside of Aus), but this song is a dead give away. That accent is golden as they say, a true beaut. Struth mate. Dick Diver, coming right for your dick.
These guys are from Melbourne, and as you could pick up from this track that have a pretty nice, summery, layabout kind of vibe to them. They were pretty humorous on stage too, promising the crowd a sneak peak cameo appearance from Lorde, that she’d sing along with the band (SHE FUCKING DIDN’T THOUGHlol). They also switched instruments for certain songs to keep things fresh which is pretty cool, they even had some mates come up (possibly just hanging in the audience?) to toot their trumpets/sax/horns to create a frankly surprising jazz fusion. By the time Dick Diver came on I was taking a break at the back but it was really great listening whilst recuperating.
This track comes from their 2nd album ‘Calendar Days’ released in 2013 and its a hidden gem. I hope they get bigger, mostly because they are so endearingly Australian.
Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels
I fucking LOVE Run The Jewels. El-P has always been a king of underground electronic hip hop and Killer Mike’s ‘R.A.P Music’ album is stupidly good. These 2 have just made the best combo in hip hop. Together on stage they are hilarious too, I caught the whole set and between each song they bounced off each others jokes like mad bros. There was even a heartfelt bro hug.
This track is the first off of this S/T album, it is my favorite track because they both rip their verses to shreds, showcasing some spitfire speed and accuracy AS USUAL. The beat is a little dirty, a little loopy and it rides really well. I was going to post the music video for ‘36” Chain’ but it just isn’t that great a video clip and this song is too good for people to miss. It’s a brilliant introduction to an album that sounds and feels just as good as this opener. It has been produced extremely well with some seriously great scratching and some experimental electronic effects that to be honest don’t expand a great deal over the record but are diversified and splayed out perfectly that each song is unique and pumping enough. I think this album is just about perfect and if you like either MC I have no doubt there are tracks here for you to rage to.
You know, I like this song so much I may have already posted it but whatever. For the love of Laneway Festival.
King Krule - A Lizard State
I couldn’t catch all of King Krule but what I got was this song luckily. KK was a massive surprise to me last year, I’d heard Easy Easy and thought it was fine but didn’t really look any further but man does 6 Feet Beneath The Moon have so much more to offer. This album is a well crafted blend of jazzy, lo-fi indie rock and hip hop. It is sometimes gentle and swinging then big and boisterous but well paced and really well executed from some young talents, lead singer Archibald Marshall only being 19. He’s actually named under a bunch of different monikers such as Zoo Kid or Edgar the Beatmaker due to his out reaching musical talent, he dabbles in electronica beats, more ‘rap’ oriented hip hop and so on.
KK’s style of singing warrants a mention here too, he brings a very bluesy, low, earthy tone of voice to this jazz punk sound they hold oh so tightly as a band. It is distinctive and characteristic of his flexible woes and ohs as he often elongates and plays around with the lower notes of his voice. He has a messy voice that can sound rapturous at times too as he wails but its all so refreshingly raw. KK is very cool and pretty strange to watch considering you just don’t imagine a voice like that coming out of his body. I’m not surprised KK’s following is growing in popularity, this song is especially fucking rad.
Kirin J Callinan - Landslide
Man Kirin J up next. I’d seen this video clip but then forgotten about it. It’s pretty damn weird and so is Kirin J all together, I wish i had gotten some good snaps of him on stage. There he stood, guitar in hand, his beautifully shaped mullet, his tight light blue cycling spandex with a rainbow pattern on the front, black spandex pants with a fresh to death leathery, vest fitted crew behind him on drums and keys. All very camp, all very 80’s, body movements all tremendously weird. I also distinctly remember consistently creepy references to ‘boys’ in just about every song, boys being the manly version don’t worry.
Honestly he’s hilariously weird but hugely talented, his lyrics often baffle me, but his seemingly drug addled stream of consciousness word vomit has a charm to it. I’d say hes a little bit of an urban shaman poet? Maybe it’s the thick Aussie accent. Or maybe its his ability to be singing in a low hum and the suddenly change to an angelic roar so surprisingly every time. I don’t know, if god is in the water, I just don’t know anything. Irregardless of that, thank you Kirin J for making really great music like Landslide. This track was released in 2013 off of ‘Embracism’, a fantastic album.
Support Aussie music! We are getting better and better at it!
Drenge - Face Like A Skull
The next 10 or so posts will be in tribute of Laneway Festival in which I just recently went to in Sydney. So Drenge is actually how I started my day! The following posts after this will be in the order of each band I saw on the day. Get it in ya!
I had actually never heard of Drenge before the festival but I figured the name sounds grungey enough, they should be cool if they are at Laneway. Sure enough they fucking rule. This English duo were no doubt the heaviest band there and who can pass up some 2 piece powerhouse grungey goodness at 12:20 in sweltering Australian dayheat? Not me, I love that shit, only 8 more festival hours until the cool of the night.
Duo?! 2 piece!? Yeah that is something that I should highlight because I think its awesome when bands like The White Stripes, Death from Above, The Mess Hall etc create chunked out sounds so great that you’d think there were more musicians in the mix but there just AREN’T. It’s impressive and it’s a total testament to their will of making shit work. I think it is a little hard to keep the charade of bad-assery going for more than a couple of albums for most 2 pieces because eventually people will catch on and wonder is there really any more diversity to jam out with one guitar and one drum kit? Well Drenge is fresh enough so they will figure it out. ‘Face Like A Skull’ was released on their S/T debut album in 2013 and it’s hectic. GO DRENGE!
Minotaur Shock - The Broads
Minotaur Shock A.K.A David Edwards is a british electronica musician from Bristol (Of course!) and hes really really god damn good. I can’t really believe he has released 5 stellar albums over the last 10 years and I’ve only just heard about him. (wtfahsogoo)
A lot of his tunes span over a few genres that mostly dance around his more chilled out electronica vibe. There are hints of jazz, post rock, folk, shoegaze, beat driven techno - he creates all together superb sampling, with layers upon layers of instrumental depth that keep you listening closely but at the same time it is so easy and pleasurable on the ears. His music is mostly instrumental and there is seriously so much to like if you are fairly open to most types of rock/electronica/folk and all the sub genres that fall in between. There is certainly a mini library to catch up on if you dig this tune.
'The Broads' is taken from Maritime released in 2005. I started with Orchards released in 2012 and have been working my way backwards. 2012 though! Still kickin' it strong. Let's hope he doesn't stop it there.
Vince Staples and Larry Fisherman - Stuck In My Ways
I’m really diggin this song at the moment and to be honest I never gave Vince much of a listen. I wouldn’t say I cared much for what he had done with Odd Future but this release called ‘Stolen Youth’ (2013) is really good and really shines through for him. It showcases his lyrical ability well and the fact he holds good flow on some pretty different and straight up bumpin beats through out this album thanks to Mac Miller (AKA Larry).
It’s got some features of Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q and Joey Fatts too, all of whom are welcome. This album was also released as a free mixtape on the internet, which is awesome/strange considering it’s underground yet well produced kind of status. In any case this song reminds me a little of Nujabes jazz/wind pipey kind of soul tracks, so it’s very cool. The whole album is excellent and everyone should check it out.