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Updated: 2018-01-29T05:12:23.359+11:00


'Getting Wise' by Yves Klein Blue


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You might remember I introduced to the blog, Brisbane indie rock band Yves Klein Blue. Other than busy being played in car ads and touring everywhere, they've settled down to release their first full length album this June, called 'Ragged & Ecstatic'. The track 'Getting Wise' will be the first single released off the new record. And in their 50's reminiscent nature, neon signs and surge of lights and colours; 'Getting Wise' is a nifty swagger pop shamble (yeah I think I just made that up) number with plenty of nods, grooves and beats to tune into. One thing I'm not sure about is the slight religious connotation... I'm not going to go into that, as many have with Cold War Kids. But as the title track suggests, the young band are, musically, finding their feet, shifting between rockabilly and um... soul; but really, it does work. Yves Klein Blue are inventive without having to be orchestral or use a lot quirky instruments. Instead it's nothing more than basics of guitar, bass, drums, piano, voice and a whole lot of heart and enthusiasm.

Single launch shows:
  • Wed 27 May – The Toff In Town, Melbourne - tickets
  • Thur 28 May – Supper Club, Sydney - tickets

    And if you're interested in the band playing a gig at your next house party, you can sign this petition. Good luck!

    (MP3) Yves Klein Blue - Gettting Wise

    Futher Information:
    Myspace Site | Purchase Drawn To Themselves EP | More MP3's

  • Papa Vs Pretty



    Every little now and then a new band emerges with sounds of something fresh and promising. Slipping into that radar is a very young band and one of Sydney's own, Papa Vs Pretty. Catching on quickly is their described 'soaring, beat-afflicted post-gaze new-wave', but anything goes, really. Their music is a vast mixture of band's influences from Talking Heads, Radiohead, Beck, Joy Division to Grizzly Bear, blending sombre sounds of haunting synths, pulsating guitar build ups and the guileless vocals of frontman Thomas Rawle. Having reformed last year with their current line up, the band have graced the airplay of Sydney's FBi radio and played numerous shows throughout the country and at some big festivals like Laneway, Peats Ridge and Parklife alongside some like-minded Dappled Cities, Temper Trap, The Devoted Few and Seabellies. Papa Vs Pretty, however exert an extreme amount of talent and energy of their own, showcased through their live performances with such flair and exuberance; making an incredible impression of a definite band to watch. They've just released their second and latest EP comprised of some of tracks I'll let you have a taste test listen to below.

    Papa Vs Pretty Arrestem
    Papa Vs Pretty Sleep (Again)

    Purchase Papa Vs Pretty and watch Ballad
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    Moscow Olympics



    Named after an Orange Juice song and the 1980 summer games, is little known Fillipino indie pop quintet, Moscow Olympics, whose amazing debut 'Cut The World ' was one of my favourite albums of 2008 that I never got around to introducing because I either was procrastinating or consumed by books, or both. At first upon listening you could easily mistake this band of being of a shoegaze, post-punk British band from twenty or so years back. But Moscow Olympics wear their influences proud with Galaxie 500, Blueboy, New Order and Sarah Records favourites, yet sound entirely their own in this current moment in time. Much like contemporaries of The Radio Dept., their airy space soundscapes and subtle jangly melodies are gapingly entracing, at the same time painfully pretty. A very fine craft work of indie pop greatness at its best and even more so special from an emerging band from this part of the world. With bands like these it makes me excited about music from all broad of the spectrum, like the discovery of a rarity. Precious.

    Moscow Olympics No Winter, No Autumn
    Moscow Olympics Cut The World

    Purchase Cut The World

    Damn Arms


    Its pretty sweet how this band has gone from kinda cool "synth thrash" band to "totally amazing space disco epic". I heard a few months ago that they broke up but apparently my sources are wrong.

    Damn Arms - Destination Part II

    James' Top 20 Albums of 2008


    Fuck Buttons | Street Horrrsing(ATP Recordings)I don't get why everyone made a big who-ha out of the whole "fuck" thing that some artists have chosen to place somewhere in their names. There's a naughty word in the name; big whoop, move on. This album was bound to get noticed, and for numerous other reasons than just the band's name. One reason being the production work done by Mogwai member John Cummings, another being it's odd name, and on top of that! The actual sound and end product Andrew Hung and Michael Pincott have managed to pull out from some mysterious place. It's unlike anything around today, or even anything in existence. It has this post-rock hypnotic feel about it that's helped favorously by it's build up's, it's climaxes and the constant repetition of drone music. Most definitely a major eye-opener for me.(MP3) Fuck Buttons - 'Okay, Let's Talk About Magic'(MP3) Fuck Buttons - 'Colours Move' Scarlett Johansson | Anywhere I Lay My Head(ATCO Records)From reading the promos prior to the album's release this looked like it was going to be a winner in just about everyone's eyes. With all songs being Tom Wait covers, David Bowie featuring on backing vocals, Tunde Adebimpe also featuring on backing vocals, Nick Zinner performing guitar work, and David Sitek doing production work! What went wrong? Why did people just not agree with this album? Most people believed that the album was just too "obscure", "impossible" or "drowned" but in my eyes I see it as this: "obscure" yes, definitely but in a way that's intriguing and engaging, "impossible" perhaps but the challenge Scarlett set for herself was something completely something she could pull off, and as for "drowned"! That's the whole effect. It's as if Cocteau Twins and Mercury Rev were picking a bar-fight with Sonic Youth. It just works. That's all there is to it.(MP3) Scarlett Johansson - 'Anywhere I Lay My Head'(MP3) Scarlett Johansson - 'Song For Jo' My Disco | Paradise(Stomp Records)My Disco's second effort, 'Paradise', was something of a complete turn-around to that of their debut, 'Cancer'. It's different in the fact that the album quite literally has nothing going on at all. It's not as hectic as some might have hoped but this album reveals so much more energy then that of it's predecessor. From listening you can tell it feels more comfortable. With Steve Albini behind the decks this time around the band I think were able to accomplish more then what they had originally set out to do. This is Albini's effect; he has this with everything he touches. It's incredibly hard to pigeon-hole a band like My Disco, and that's why it's best not too. But a band that manages to produce just simple beats and simple structures, and still manage to make a song that's more infectious then that of a dance-floor filler amazes me. They should forever remain a mystery.(MP3) My Disco - 'You Came To Me...'(MP3) My Disco - 'An Even Sun' Bon Iver | For Emma, Forever Ago(Jagjaguar Records)This album was so close to perfect it wasn't funny. It was simply irresistible and an absolutely astonishing debut album. From the moment 'Skinny Love' caught the attention of mainstream airwaves there was going to be success written all over the album. There's personal trouble, love, heartache, guilt and regret. It had the essential traits for an enjoyable and thought provoking listen and it was an album for all to take in, and feel in some way, a relation to the stories. 'For Emma, Forever Ago' was the only album this year to actually send chills down my spine and make my hair stand tall. It's both chilling and comforting, it makes you feel welcome but yet still haunts your ever move. It sticks with you for hours afterwards and just begs to be listened once again. Although this album was one of the most played albums on my stereo this year, it lacked only one thing; sustainability.(MP3) Bon Iver - 'Skinny Love'(MP3) Bon Iver - 're: Stacks' Brightblack Morning Light | Motion To Rejoin(M[...]

    'Skeleton' by Abe Vigoda


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    To this day I can honestly say that I have never really given much thought about Mimes. It's not that I have a distaste for them or don't appreciate what they do; their just people who have never crossed my mind or I've spared a moment to give a though too. That is until now because I can tell you that after just witnessing Abe Vigoda's video for Skeleton I'm officially spooked. The way the group portrays these Mimes - whilst still rocking out to the tune, might I add - is eerie to say the least. There's glimpses of freaky smiles, weird hair-do's and extreme close ups of the members faces just starring blankingly. It's enough to give a small child nightmares. On top of this though, the film-clip is actually really incredibly brilliant. I'm sort of lost for words in just how to describe it but the way the camera shakes with each members bopping, the way it chops from one side of the group performing to the other and just the cross fades really keeps the interest level at a high. You have no choice but to watch, it's hard to look away. Even if the band does look their thinking about killing you. This is a stunning track from a stunning album, and if I were to recommend a "tropical-punk" album to someone whose interested I would hands down go for Skeleton. I'm also well aware that Skeleton may be the only "tropical punk" album in existence but that doesn't mean it's not crap.

    (MP3) Abe Vigoda - Skeleton

    Futher Information:
    Myspace Site | Purchase Skeleton | More MP3's

    Kim Salmon and The Surrealists @ Ding Dong Lounge


    (image) Photos taken by Mandy Hall and can be viewed here along with her other work.

    Opening up the night was Pistons Misfire, a ‘supergroup’ of sorts, containing members from various bands such as Kamikaze Trio, Group Seizure, Digger & the Pussycats and The Cheats. This band was loud and brash, with a clash of distorted guitar and deafening drums, as if the result if Jay Reatard collaborating with Wolf & Cub. It was punk, with psychedelic undertones but still maintaining a contemporary appeal. I admit that the Wolf & Cub comparison may appear to be somewhat lazy, as this band too had two drummers booming their way through an electric set.

    Second was one of my favourite bands Witch Hats, showcasing some new material. With hectic lyrics about everything and nothing at all, matched with static, manic guitar and crashing drums there is a genuine punk brutality in this band live performance, matching that of punk predecessors such as the Birthday Party. Placed amongst the newer songs were Summer of Pain, Jock The Untold and Hellhole, the live renderings of these dirty, sharp songs coming to life even more so, possessing a real viciousness, though hearing some of the new, unknown songs was a great indicator as to what is to come from this amazing band.

    Coming into this gig, I know very little of Kim Salmon. I knew of how influential his music in its various form (The Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon, The Surrealists) has been not only on Australian bands, but world-wide, but basically went into this blind, not knowing what to expect. The songs has a muddy distortion to them, with Salmons vocals traveling from barely-there whispers to deafening screeches and growls, with the music often doing the same, with moments of bass heavy riffs, to barley-there, almost silent spaces, strung together with piercing guitar. I was watching, and could see how this man and all of the musical catalogue he brings with him has influenced so many over the years, I could see how this band had influenced Witch Hats, who played just before them, though for some reason something about his performance just went straight over the top of me head. Whether it be that we’re just too many generations apart for me to be able to fully appreciate what he was doing, or maybe it was just a genuinely shrug-worthy performance, I am not sure. I feel somewhat disappointed in myself for not seeing what many people there obviously had seen in the past and continued to see this night, but something was just not happening for me.

    'The Bismarck' by Lost Valentinos


    The Lost Valentinos have finally returned after many many countless months in somewhat hiding, and what a surprising return it has been. The Bismarck is the name of the group's latest single. Their remix own under the Knife Machine moniker reminds me of New Order and how they always did their own extended remixes - which a lot of the times were actually better than the original. I guess maybe, its a personal thing but for some reason I really prefer it if there are less vocals and the track is 50 percent longer. Its good that I can still be a little excited about an "dance punk" band in late 2008 but the Lost Valentinos' new single just gets it right. Bismark is a pretty sweet glimpse into what the group could be producing next. It's been too long since the release of their last single 17 Death. Hopefully this time we wont have to wait as long for the album to arrive.

    (MP3) Lost Valentinos - The Bismarck
    (MP3) Lost Valentinos - The Bismarck (Knife Machine Remix)

    Futher Information:
    Myspace Site | Purchase The Bismarck | More MP3's

    5 Songs with Children Collide


    It's been a little since I've posted one of these (which I really should start doing a lot more frequently seeing as though there are so many more yet to be posted) but now that I'm trying to get things up and rolling on this website once again - and introducing some new features in the not-to-distant future - it's pretty much a perfect time to be doing this. So, all excuses aside, it's time to push forward. Children Collide is possibly one of the most talked about Melbourne bands at the moment. What with a debut album now released, a stellar live reputation, and some incredible music to go with it; it was only going to be a matter of time for these guys. The Long Now is the name of the album and starting tomorrow night the boys are set to tour around Australia promoting it. The tour dates and supports are available at this link but I also managed to steal some time from lead-vocalist Johnny Mackay for a quick interview and a '5 Songs with...' which he was only more then happy to take part in.(MP3) Children Collide - Skeleton Dance(MP3) Children Collide - Chosen Armies- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -JOHNNY MACKAY OF CHILDREN COLLIDE'S 5 CURRENT FAVORITES(MP3) NEU! - HallogalloI’m obsessed with this band at the moment. I love the use of the driving or “motorik” beat, something I really want to explore further in my own music. Hallo Gallo embodies what I love about the feel of NEU!(MP3) Peter And The Wolf - Safe TravelsCute sentimental folk from Austin, Texas. This guy writes songs that make me feel like being a character in a fairy tale. I really wanted him to look like a medieval lumberjack, but he looks more like a pro tennis player or something…anyway, check him out.(MP3) Bridezilla - Saint FrancineOne of the best new bands in Australia at the moment. I love this song, recently got passed their EP and listened to it a bunch of times in a row. This song especially sticks out to me. I hope they do well.(MP3) Spaceman 3 - Ecstacy In Slow MotionThis is basically the same sound repeating itself for about 9 minutes. It put me into another world the first time I heard it, so meditative and beautiful. It’s off a weird record called Dreamweapon that I had to order once I’d heard this song.(MP3) The E.L.F. - BillieAfter a tour with this brilliant man I couldn’t get this song out of my head for weeks. He knows how to write a tune, he also knows how to be a funny bastard and when he’s not dropping beats in Port Moresby he’s making videos of himself in his bedroom.Futher Information:Myspace Site | Purchase The Long Now | More MP3's | Watch Social Currency[...]

    Bodies Of Water


    It probably seems that with every post I put together and publish I'm always speaking about bands that I absolutely love to death and couldn't live without. Well, in some cases, this is true and this one today most definitely fits under that category of "if they didn't exist, I might just die". I have to admit, I'm a late bloomer to this prog-rocking gospel-folk group but as cliched as it always sounds, it's always better late then never. It wasn't until this year's release of A Certain Feeling that Bodies Of Water grabbed my attention, and every bit of it. They quite literally just blew me away, I was stunned by the creativity and the brilliance that this band is just smothered with. Gold, Tan, Peach, and Grey is this majestic churchy Arcade Fire-esque killer of an opening track that just simply sets the mood for the rest of the album, and has this flow about it that makes you want to take in what's being put in front of you, do some kind of tribal dancing, or just simply sit there in awe. And with proceeding tracks Under The Pines, Only You and Water Here the album just keeps on transcending through different emotions. It's really hard to pin-point just the kind of effect this album has on you. I don't know, I think for once I could just be completely lost for words and unable to describe how unbelievable A Certain Feeling really is. (MP3) Bodies Of Water - Under The Pines(MP3) Bodies Of Water - Darling Be Here(MP3) Bodies Of Water - If I Were A BellThere's influences coming from everywhere with this group; from 80's classics, theatre-esque bands such as Queen, and of course, some straight up traditional prop-rock. With this album winning me over from the first listen I had to investigate their previous release Ears Will Pop And Eyes Will Blink. It's now obvious to see how A Certain Feeling got it's sound but what I like about this first release from the group is that it was actually a little bit more different and they are group who have/are progressing with their sound. This comes across as almost something The Polyphonic Spree could've whipped up.The song-writing for this album really takes the limelight away from everything else, it's incredibly distinctive and written so exceptionally well. They incorporated all these whimsical lyricism into a blend of songs ranging once again folk to prog-rock but what really entertained me with a couple of songs is the occasional Spaghetti-Western opening's and even bridges. Bodies of Water are perfect, that's all I can say about them now. They just have everything down pat and perform it so pleasantly. Only a handful of artists can put a huge grin on my face, and I can happily add this band to the list.(MP3) Bodies Of Water - These Are The Eyes(MP3) Bodies Of Water - I Guess I'll Forget The Sound, I Guess, I Guess(MP3) Bodies Of Water - It Is FamiliarFuther Information:Myspace Site | Album Catalogue | More MP3's | I Heard It Sound Video[...]

    'Into The Chaos' by Howling Bells



    I don't know if I could be anymore excited at the moment. Not only have I managed to find some motivation to try and get Off The Record back up and running again in much a better way (did you notice the "single review" stamp on the above picture? a sign of things to come people) but in doing this, and searching around for something new and pretty damn good to post about, I happened to just visit the Howling Bells website at just the right moment as their new single Into The Choas has just been let out into the world for people to enjoy and love. In the midst of all these "follow-up" albums that have been coming in flourishes this year, somewhere in the minds of people the question of when the Howling Bells would release a new album surely would have been floating about, somewhere. I know for me it certainly has been, and although there is no official date for the release of the next album all I can say is let the countdown begin.

    With tours coming in every direction for the band, from headliners to supporting big acts (The Killers, Placebo and currently Mercury Rev) the four-piece has seen nothing but positive feedback. I pretty much fell in love with the Howling Bells from first listen of their 2006 - and breaking - single Low Happening, and the self-titled album that proceeded. But with a couple of years passed by and now this hot new single in everybody's hands, this are only going to take off dramatically once again.

    The single is probably what most have come to love about the band as it takes a similar path to that of the previously mentioned song Low Happening and even Wishing Stone with it's flamboyant but structurely (yes, I made up a word) perfect drumming and guitar work. Juanita Stein's vocals are once again the stealer. There are not a lot of female vocalists around today that can really pull off the sexy rock 'n roll voice but by god Stein has got this so far down pat it's not funny. I can honestly see this single taking off, and it most certainly remind people once again that although the group has been hibernating for some time, they are still together and most definitely back with that certain something to get the senseless tingling again.

    (MP3) Howling Bells - Into The Chaos

    Futher Information:
    Myspace Site | Pre-Order Into The Chaos | More MP3's | Watch Live Recording | 5 Songs with...

    'Ritual' by Tic Toc Tokyo


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    (image) This video came as a bit of a surprise, a good surprise at that. The boys in Tic Toc Tokyo have once again shown that they are the hottest unknown thing going round Melbourne, and this video only encapsulates that even more. With news of an album coming early next year, it looks like the group could be in for some exciting times ahead. For now though, we have to make do with their single, 'Ritual', which isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. Try not to enjoy this.

    Tic Toc Tokyo Ritual

    Portugal. The Man



    If you look up at the above picture you'll see a band who look like they have a bit of fun. That band, in case you hadn't picked by the post-title, is Portugal. The Man. And that photo is probably the only time you'll see the band being anything but serious. They are just one of a handful of artists that I have been following ever since their beginning and have witnessed, this one in-particular, only continue to rise up and up with each release and secure a spot safely as one of my favorite bands. Their now three albums into their career, and with their latest (and most definitely their most creative) album, Censored Colors, we (well, I) have noticed a band that has matured from their roots and have taken on exploring directions that people probably wouldn't have expected the band to look down at all. It's worked out superbly for them, and I think with the album being released through their own label (but also having that extra support from Equal Vision) has given them that freedom they were most likely after all along. Censored Colors is a huge step-up from last year's release, Church Mouth, and sees the group taking in influences from just about everywhere from 70's rock (they most definitely found/rediscovered the Led Zep records), vintage folk, and just about every other genre out there worth messing around with. I've spent the last couple of days just trying to think of a way to describe the sound of which Portugal. The Man have found themselves doing, and this is what I could come up with (poorly, might I add); A piano/acoustic-based less-experimental Mars Volta with shorter songs sort of. The vocals sound nothing like The Mars Volta, but I made that comparison due to the fact that the group have incorporated a wide-range of instrumentation and new structuring of their songs that has that familiarity (just listen to the fade between 'New Orleans' and 'Never Pleased' and you'll see). Censored Colors is probably one of only a handful of albums released this year that I have not gotten sick of at any stage of the album's progression, and definitely one I'm not shy of putting on repeat. I was by no-means disappointed with Church Mouth last year, but I did see some struggles and worrying signs and it pleases me to say that this is a band that has truly found themselves now. Their confident, their rousing, their everything I want at this current moment, and produced a 15-track album worth more then just one listen. Album of the Year contender? You better believe it.

    Portugal. The Man Lay Me Back Down
    Portugal. The Man New Orleans / Never Pleased
    Portugal. The Man 1989

    Purchase Censored Colors.

    Voltaire Twins



    Voltaire Twins are from Perth and are a sister/brother duo. They make pretty catchy rudimentary pop music. They have recently supported Ladytron and played Parklife. Their early demos consist of two tracks, 'Disco Inteligence Light' and 'London. 'Disco Intelligence Light' will probably get most people's attention with its charming Glass Candy meets Crystal Castles aesthetic. Personally I'm beginning to despise the whole "8-bit" glitchy sound but I think I'm part of a minority, so I'm sure people are going to love this. Where they really shine is 'London', with its brooding synth patterns interceding delicate boy/girl vocals. It has a real vulnerability and honesty to it that is rare.

    Voltaire Twins - Disco Intelligence Light
    Voltaire Twins - London (highly recommended)




    Winston's post yesterday has reminded me that I needed to post this Ladytron one I wrote up months ago, better late then never, hey? It's been three years now since Ladytron's last (and arguably their most definitive) release, Witching Hour. The foursome return with their new album Velocifero, which has taken just under a year to structure, produce and officially release. The group haven't expanded too much on their sound, still sticking with the echoing electronic-noir sound, but also having delved deeper and thrown in a few noticeable gimmicks here and there. It works off a treat; it leaves an impact with each synth angsty beat that comes with each track and leaves us just as curious for the next song to follow. The albums opening tracks Ghosts and I'm Not Scared both reek of single material, and could both do the same wonders as what 'Seventeen' did for the band back in their hey-day. Helen Marnie's vocals are eerie and ghastly but at the same time have this softness and rocky attitude within it. Helen provides that extra edge for the group and in the final outcome blends in the flow and stir of the album. Overall, the album wont stir already fans but will welcome new fans quite persuasively. Catch Ladytron as they head around the Australia in the next week, and also taking in Adelaide's Parklife Festival as co-headliners with Peaches.

    Ladytron Ghosts
    Ladytron I'm Not Scared

    Purchase Velocifero and watch the video for Ghosts.
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    The fact that I wasn't aware of Fluorescent until this morning is really a testament to the diversity and strength of the Australia music scene. Their style is somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and New Order. This is most obvious in their track Unfamiliar with begins with a primitive synthetic drum sequence which slowly begins to segue into a dense drowning wall of guitar. Really endearing stuff.

    They have been on the scene for a few years and have played with Midnight Juggernauts, PNAU and Cut Copy. You can catch them on the 4th of October supporting Ladytron at their third and final Show in Melbourne at the Esplanade Hotel (I know I will be there).

    Fluorescent - Sleeping
    Fluorescent - Collapse
    Fluorescent - Unfamiliar

    Their Album Winter is available for free from their website

    Pepi Ginsberg



    There's just something about Pepi Ginsberg that has me infatuated. With every listen of this singer/song-writer's album, Red, I find myself only going back for another listen, and then another listen on top of that. The album was produced by Dr. Dog's Scott McMicken and with his expertise behind the desk he was able to expand Ginsberg's vintage feel and make it a compelling album. Her vocals are invigorating and layered with emotion that only further encapsulates whoever listens. Pepi's influences range from everywhere, most notably being that of Bob Dylan, but also the likes of Jolie Holland (perhaps a little more upbeat) and vocal influence (most notably through In My Bones) has got to be from Patti Smith. She creates the sort of music that's nostalgic, covered with this analog feel and would even fit nicely into the soundtrack for a Gondry film.

    Pepi Ginsberg The Waterline
    Pepi Ginsberg In My Bones
    Pepi Ginsberg Ghosts Of Perdition

    Purchase Red and watch the video for The Waterline.
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    5 Songs with Whitley



    Whitley is one of those indescribable artists that only comes around very rarely. It's astonishing to believe how much he (Lawrence Greenwood) has achieved in such a short span, and at a young age (and it's even sweeter that his Victorian). His won fans world-wide, and sold out shows at just about every pub and venue to fit a decent sized crowd around Australia. It is with this that it is no surprise that Whitley he soon to pack up the bags and head off to America for a monthly stint with everybody's favorite pop-folk dream boy, Ben Kweller. Whitley plays one more show (and it's sold out, who would have thought?) before heading off but prior to this taking place I manage to grab some time and convince Whitley to compile a '5 Songs with' for everybody. Enjoy.

    Whitley I Remember
    Whitley Lost In Time

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Arcade Fire Intervention
    I love the way that it lulls you into it's tune. Then there is this rise and a KEY CHANGE! I'd never go there. Key changes can sound so dubious, unless you're in a cool jazz lounge, and really jazz is not cool. So, the chances of good key changes are pretty minimal these days.

    The National Fake Empire
    The timing, I'm not sure what it is, is cool. It's like the three into four vibe. It's been recorded by Peter Katis so well. The vocals are beautiful. The lyrics are nice too. I want to see a one man band perform it.

    Rufus Wainwright The Art Teacher
    A great song of forbidden love and admiration. I feel like a schoolgirl when I listen to this song. A very manly, very straight schoolgirl.

    Washington Lightwell
    She wrote this song about a homeless musician who lived in a lightwell in a house in Carlton. I don't think her album is out yet but from the tracks I've heard, it's going to be a cracker.

    The Panics Get Us Home
    When I toured with these guys, I would hang out for this song every night. Great arrangements, great strings, awesome lyrics. They are so powerful when they play this live. Myles looks like he's going to snap his arms, he hits the drums so hard. Myles is also like a schoolgirl, he has very soft skin, like a princess.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Previous '5 Songs with'.
    Click Me Click Me Click Me
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    Fan Death



    I'd like to introduce everyone to a group that will be the most talked about in 2009. They go by the name of Fan Death, and these past couple of weeks have been popping up on just about all of the well-known blogs around the world. There's always an artist that comes along out of nowhere and just creates this massive hype around them, and become one of the most talked about items (take MGMT for example). I'm getting some real Kate Bush cross Goblin vibes about this duo, which actually is really refreshing to hear. They do a nice little take on that weird sort of 80's pop, and just to further creep you out, include some eerily spooky vocals that are unbelievably deep and invigorating. There's not much music around to judge the group by, but from the looks of it Erol Alkan has snapped the duo up and is releasing a 7' inch through his label in the not to distant future.

    Fan Death The Constellations
    Fan Death The Son Will Rise
    Fan Death Veronica's Veil

    Jeremy Jay



    Jeremy Jay's music is one of a story-telling nature, much in the same vein as Jonathan Richman's solo work. His songs are short and sweet and, as described by himself, "influenced by dreams and the more fantastic surrealist sensibility linked with the French New Wave". His intriguing to say the least, for there's obvious influences ranging from Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, to even the likes of Francois Hardy and David Bowie (Hunky Dory days) but this textural blend of slow dance ballads and over the top fuzzed-out guitar work is something worthy of an applause. Jeremy is backed by a three piece band containing none-other then the extraordinary Yasmine Smith (ex-Lost Kids), Ilya Malinsky (well known rock-critic) and Nick Pahl who all come from diverse backgrounds. A Place Where We Could Go is filled with teenage fantasies, childish lyrics, and moody pop. He is America's answer to Jens Lekman, and tracks such as 'Hold Me In Your Arms Tonight', 'The Living Dolls', and 'Oh, Bright Young Things' are perfect examples. This album is for the lonely, the together and everything in-between. It's a trip down nostalgic lane and an album of unprecedented instrumentation. Most definitely one to hold on to.

    Jeremy Jay Hold Me In Your Arms Tonight
    Jeremy Jay The Living Dolls
    Jeremy Jay Oh, Bright Young Things

    Purchase A Place Where We Could Go.

    5 Songs with Mew


    Mew is probably one of the most interesting bands I have come across, and to be honest if it weren't for Jacq (a previous Off The Record contributor, and a Mew fanatic) I might not have even come to know the band at all. Their a band focussed deeply in the music they create, and aren't happy unless it's 100% up to their standards. Their prog-rock at it's finest and most experimental with instrumentation that sends readers into a sense of loss. With all the love and worship for their music aside, it is with great pleasure I post one of my favorite '5 Songs with...'. Jonas Bjerre, lead singer of the band, was very kind enough to take some time out from the band's heavily induced studio recording time to talk a bit about what's happening at the moment in the Mew camp and of course, put together this 5 song playlist for everyone. There's not a lot more I can say, so without more writing space wasted, let's get on with it.Mew ApocalypsoMew Special- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -JONAS BJERRE OF MEW'S TOP 5 SONGS.Scott Walker It's Raining TodayI really admire him for taking what was essentially popular music to a much darker place. This song is a beautiful one in itself - but what really makes it interesting are the discordant strings in the right speaker (or is it the left one?). And of course, his voice is mesmerizing.Stina Nordenstam Little StarThis is a perfect pop song if pop music was actually allowed to be this perfect.Her voice is so haunting and unique and her lyrics conjure up nightmares and difficult situations. That whole album is tremendous. It's hard to pick just one song. Somehow the Scandinavian moody jazz tone in the production of this album works wonders. Any other artist and I probably would not like it. She also made albums with much wilder, more raw production, but this is my fave.Pixies No.13 BabyWho can choose one Pixies song? It's impossible. What a band they were, their blend of incredible pop tunes mixed with that strange aggression and surreal, violent (and often funny) lyrics which all unite into what only they can do. I chose this track because there is a magic moment in which a Mexican-sounding fairly aggressive song about a girl with a tattooed tit suddenly and unexpectedly changes into a hauntingly beautiful and sad guitar theme, the kind you want to go on forever.The Swirlies San Cristobal de las CasasThey are one of our biggest influences. This rather progressive and noisy, yet strangely melodic song is one of the best tracks off their second album.Laurie Anderson O Superman (For Massenet)"So hold me mom, in your long arms"- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Previous '5 Songs with".Click Me Click Me Click Me [...]

    'Walking On A Dream' by Empire Of The Sun


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    (image) Could this video, collaboration, the idea in general be possibly the coolest thing to happen this year? I think so. When you think about it, Empire Of The Sun made up of Luke Steele (The Sleepy Jackson fame, and idol of mine) and Nick Littlemore (Pnau fame, well known Australian producer) is possible the best match-up. Just everything about it works, and with that all in mind, it makes their debut album 'Walking On A dream' such a huge anticipation. The video for the single of the same name has been floating around for a little while now, and there has not been one negative review yet. This is all positive, and what could make it sweeter? A totally awesome album artwork that's what (which can be found here). Enjoy, lather it up, don't feel guilty about loving this more then you should. I don't.

    Empire Of The Sun Walking On A Dream

    Also, how many blogs can say they have been mentioned on Gorilla Vs Bear? You can now add Off The Record to that least for it seems I got Chris pretty excited about the artwork as well. You can read that post here.

    Tilly And The Wall



    I remember two years back when listening to Tilly And The Wall was something so innocent and nostalgic. It's amazing what two years can do to a band, and their music, it's not so clean and fun now; this band is serious. With their third album (O), they have so much more attitude and angst it's really hard to believe your actually listening to them. There's still the sing-a-longs, the fun loving, and dance-crazed toe-taps but there's just so much more layers now. It's phenomenal to listen too. They've transformed their energy of declarative exuberance in another direction. I mean come on! There's saxophones now? And an actual drum-kit (only in a few songs)? And this whole Americana-Western feel? There's even swear words!? What's going on here? Okay, this really does need to be listened too to fully understand. Tilly And The Wall's hard working lifestyle has completely paid off for them, it's a given. I'm just gobsmacked at how much this group has changed. I need to sit down, this is too much.

    Tilly And The Wall Pot Kettle Black
    Tilly And The Wall I Found You
    Tilly And The Wall Dust Me Off

    Purchase (O) and watch the video for Pot Kettle Black.
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    Scary Mansion



    Scary Mansion is a recent discover I made by accident. You know when your checking out music on Myspace (the cool and hip way) and you just find bands through bands that just extend into other bands? Well, that's how it happened. Don't ask me the direct path I took to find Leah Hayes solo project but it's turned out to be one of those small miracles. Hayes is also a novelist, so it's with any wonder why her music is so complex and each song told to such a great detail which makes her debut album, Every Joke Is Half The Truth, a new and in-focus listen. It's intriguing, it draws you in from the very beginning, and above all it's just flat out weird and gloomy. It's not depressing though, which just adds more confusement, but go with me on this. Hayes fits nicely into the anti-folk genre, that as of late seems to be making quite the comeback. If your a fan of Cat Power, or even My Brightest Diamond, and don't mind a bit of story-telling you really should go past this girl.

    Scary Mansion Sharkish Sea
    Scary Mansion Scum Inside

    Purchase Every Joke Is Half The Truth.

    'Keeping It Clean' by Songs


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    (image) For those of you who are completely unaware of who Songs are, and what they are all about; firstly I say for shame and secondly I say it's never too late. With just an EP under their name, and split EP on the horizon with Love Of Diagrams, this Sydney four-piece are making waves and huge impressions. Their a band that knows what they are really doing and doing it incredibly well, and it shows so much in their recordings. 'Keeping It Clean' is the lead single off the self-titled EP (which was released through Pop Frenzy a few months back), and it is exactly that. It's nothing to bewildering but it has just as much of an effect as something out of this world. For some reason I'm getting vibes of mellow Sonic Youth and Go-Betweens. Each to their own I guess.

    Songs Keeping It Clean
    Songs KC's In Trouble

    Purchase the self-titled EP.