playlists

On repeat lately (#2)

An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in NY) – Courtney Barnett

As much as I love it when Courtney irreverently hurls lyrics like a punk rocker, it was her inescapably honest depictions of insecurity and mundanity that won me over. Can’t get tired of this one.

 

Well Did You Evah? – Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra

Ahh that French champagne, so good for the brain. The sarcasm, the wit, the dancing…proof, if proof were needed, that Bing and Frank would have been the best drinking buddies.

 

Foolish – Alpine

Alt-pop that is sultry, groovy and ethereal all at the same time. Not suitable for the daggy-dancers among us…it’s suave gyrations only in this one.

 

Hitchcock – Finn Anderson

There’s something about this broody, noir ballad that awakens the musical theatre fan in me. The clinking piano chords, sliding strings and Anderson’s melancholic, yet stoic, vocals conspire to deliver this curiously haunting track.

 

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On repeat lately (#1)

The Trouble With Us – Marcus Marr & Chet Faker

Marcus Marr + Chet Faker = beautiful, crazy-cool pop. I’m a sucker for a groove and this is a good ‘un.

 

Skeleton – Gabrielle Aplin

Punchy pop-rock with a slick vibe, finds a ballsy mid-ground somewhere between venom and broken-hearted indignation.

 

Style – Taylor Swift

Send help, I’ve been possessed by the (darn good) mainstream.

 

All Night – Slum Sociable

Sensuous, dance-influenced indie-pop that was probably written at 2am. Listen when in languid mood (perhaps after a glass or two of red).

 

I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs For Christmas – Kate Miller-Heike ft. The Beards

Amongst the piles of mass-produced, soulless Christmas cheese (*coughsKylieMinoguecoughs*), this gem flips the bird to all the fakery of modern society. And it’s catchy as all get-out.

Friday wrap-up: Szymon, The Basics & At The Dakota

Szymon – Tigersapp

3.5/5 stars

It is a great shame that Tigersapp will always sit in the shadow of its creator’s death; a greater shame still that there will be no follow-up (or three). This collection of dreamy indie-pop electronica is as gentle as it is layered, as intricate as it is sensitive – gently unpolished and somewhat unfinished, but captivating all the same. Lovingly constructed from a plethora of beautiful timbres and finely intersecting rhythms, Tigersapp showcases a flourishing musical talent with burgeoning potential. The spine-tingling keyboard riff of Golden is a standout, as is the honey-toned saxophone solo on Polen; and while Szymon’s vocals aren’t as strong as his songwriting, they serve their dreamlike purpose well enough.

The Basics – The Age Of Entitlement

1.5/5 stars

Gotye et. al. return with an acerbic take on Australian politics that is biting, but ultimately empty. Thrashing around from pub rock to brooding ballad, to Afro-beat, the result is an unconvincing album of pastiche that fails to truly engage. The band succeed most in Time Poor, a ranty rock number that damns the Western world’s glorification of ‘busy’; Roundabout weirdly channels George Michael’s Faith but also works to get the album grooving. Given the prodigious talent of the musicians at work here, it it surprising that The Age Of Entitlement casts such a wide net yet fails to bring home the goods.

At The DakotaStories EP

2.5/5 stars

Maybe I’m still suffering withdrawals from the infectious summer pop of Hungry Kids Of Hungary, but the retro groove of opener Peach Hat had me hooked. As a general rule, Northern Territory musicians At The Dakota dish out upbeat indie groove-pop with guitar, bass, drums, and sweetly melodic piano lines. It quickly turns into something more gritty though, as fast-paced lyrics fire in all directions above the chilled guitar backing. It’s smile-inducing and warm, but to simply describe this EP as ‘sunny’ would be to miss the infinitely cooler soul/rock undercurrent that occasionally makes itself known.

Listen on Bandcamp.