Each Friday the Music Feeds team pick their favourite newish tunes from the past couple of weeks, wrap them up in a bunch of words, and present it you. It’s Music Feeds Faves.
Black Vanilla – Slug
Electronic Sydney trio Black Vanilla are back… vanilla… with a brand-new single called Slug. The sparse and tight new track comes as the group — that’s Marcus Whale (Collarbones, Scissor Lock), Lavurn Lee (Cassius Select, Guerre) and Jarred Beeler (DJ Plead) — continue work on the follow-up to 2013’s debut album, Black On Black.
Black Vanilla will launch Slug at Fitzroy’s Evelyn Hotel on 17th July, after performing at Sydney’s Goodgod Small Club on the 10th. Stream or download Slug, below. / Tom Williams, Staff Writer
Petite Noir – Down
Nothing like a bit of South African funk to kickstart the weekend. Petite Noir, known to his rents as Yannick Illunga, is a half-Angolan, half-Congolese artist who’s gearing up to release his debut album via Domino which is also the label-home to Blood Orange, Hot Chip and Panda Bear.
This track, Down, is the first single and is just so full of rhythm. It’s effortlessly soulful and so danceable without channelling the usual cliche tropical vibes. Illunga himself describes the genre as “noirwave” which apparently is a “new African aesthetic.” That description might just fly over everyone’s heads but there’s a new dimension to this which I feel makes it different enough to warrant a new genre.
His album is called La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful, so judging by that title we’re in for plenty of good vibes. It’s due to drop in September. / Sam Murphy, Staff Writer
Lupa J – Quiet Here
Let’s set the scene: On the brink of completing a Uni assignment, my beloved laptop (the thing that I essentially regard as my mechanical child) had a complete meltdown and ceased to function. In a true Generation-Y whinge: my life is over (for this week at least). Enter: Lupa J.
This Sydney girl has created the perfect head-clearing song for this current chaos. Whispering vocals with brooding tones, this track carries such a sense of minimalism yet it manages to sound intricate and detailed to the very end. The space is immeasurable, and those surprise strings sections at the end are the most exquisite addition. It’s just another fantastic layer that flows beautifully, soothes the soul and makes it the perfect follow up to her previously released track Waiting For Her.
And she’s still in High School. The future is anything but quiet. / Chelsea Deeley, Contributer
Fractures – Reactor
Mark Zito’s self-titled EP under his Fractures pseudonym from last year was easily one of my favourite releases of 2014, and stood apart from anything else with its genre-defying mix of atmospheric staccato soundscapes which swell and bloom around Zito’s almost pleading, emotion-laden vocals before most often detonating in a sublime, electrifying indie conglomerate wonderland.
Just in time for the depths of winter, Fractures is back with new tune Reactor to warm our bones and once again it’s a unique and refreshing exploration of low-key electronica injected with frenetic guitar work and percussion which crackles like a supernaturally well-timed fireplace. Best listened to with a glass of red, good company and an absence of pants. / Mitch Feltscheer, Creative Content Director
Banff – All Again
Brisbane based muso Banff, aka Benjamin Forbes, released his debut EP Future Self, this past week and the whole thing’s pretty fantastic actually. But we have limited space and it’s Friday so let’s just take a minute to talk about standout track All Again.
Every time I listen to this song, I get this vivid time-lapse visual in my head of one of those pink hibiscus flowers gradually opening up, petal by petal. I have no idea if this song was horticulturally inspired, (probably not), but the song builds in such a patient and intricately layered way that it invokes that kind of “life evolving over time” sentiment.
Tom Iansek (Big Scary / #1 Dads) was on board for production duties and you can hear that influence throughout. The two of them together have managed to very patiently and gradually build the song, ever so lightly, so that it evolves into a joyful, atmospheric indie-pop dream.
Anyway, I’m a fan. Keep an eye and and ear out for this guy. / Nastassia Baroni, Editor
Thy Art Is Murder – Holy War
Sliced off Thy Art’s fresh slab of metal Holy War, the disc’s title track brings new meaning to the word ‘heavy’. Not just in terms of its pulverising riffage and voicebox-crushing vocals, but also its subject matter, which isn’t so much weighty as it is absolutely fucking convulsive. Blacktown’s deathcore brigade tackle the kind of religious and political themes that could literally get them killed in some parts of the world with Holy War, which has been brought to life via what just might be the most graphically violent music video ever made by an Australian band.
The controversial clip, which has already attracted more than 120,000 sets of eyeballs on YouTube, is the stuff of real world nightmares, portraying child soldiers, torture of prisoners by American soldiers and an Islamic State beheading. It’s already offended tonnes of people and generated fierce debate online, which is exactly what music, at its finest, should do. / Emmy Mack, Staff Writer
Tom Stephens – What Lies In The Difference
In 2014, Tom Stephens released Embers, a countrified and folk-infused EP. This time around, 1 year later, Stephens has changed his tune, rejecting the rarefied sounds of his bumpkin, guitar-toting self. Instead, he has fostered the city slicker in himself and focused on reflecting Sydney’s messy sprawl in his music. The change is nice; rather than light guitar melodies we have rich multi-instrumental soundscapes. They are heavy, in the same way that George Street with pedestrians and vehicles is heavy. It’s a living heaviness.
In What Lies In The Difference a down tempo rhythm is danced upon by this echoing guitar-melody. Stephens resonant voice drawls out much needed morality (given the horrifying immorality of our current political debacle), telling us that “so much good lies in the difference”. At points, his lyrics ricochet rhythmically, giving energy and movement to the song. At the end, all the instruments combine in this clanky crescendo that is both violent and gentle. So, when you find yourself railing against the despicable hypocrisy of our pseudo-fascist government, make sure you listen to this song and realise “what lies in the difference” between us and them.
Following the release of What Lies in the Difference, Tom Stephens will hit the road with his four piece band, travelling throughout the ACT, VIC and NSW. / Luke Bodley, Presenter
U.S. Girls – Woman’s Work
Meg Remy, the Toronto-based artist behind U.S. Girls, is one of the most memorable musicians I’ve been introduced to this year, probably because her vocals become instantly recognisable after only a few listens.
The latest U.S. Girls track, Woman’s Work, juxtaposes beauty and neurosis, backed by electronic rhythms, noisy synths and thick layers of vocals. Remy directed, filmed and edited the music video, which mirrors the track’s downtempo but ever-so-slightly-scary vibes.
Woman’s Work follows Remy’s earlier track Damn That Valley, which was the first song to be shared from her new album Half Free. The record arrives on 25th September. / Tom Williams, Staff Writer