It's been almost a year since I last posted about Panther and since then his done some amazing changes. Having toured around America non-stop with artists such as Glass Candy and Melbourne-proud Architecture In Helsinki, officially adding a second member to the band (Joe Kelly on drums), and has still manage to find time to record a new album. '14kt God' is the name of the new album and much like the debut 'Secret Lawns', it's daunting but consisting of these sudden urges of feeling incompatible and letting loose. There's something about Panther's music that makes you come back for more, there's nothing really unique happening but I think it's Charlie's presence that brings that extra little bit. Second time round, Panther's put together a well structured album that's only going to succeed further than his debut.
If there's one band I know all of us here at Off The Record are keen to follow, it's most definitely The Bird And The Bee. I think if you make a visit to our last.fm pages, you'll know doubt find this collective sitting somewhere pretty amongst out charts. I think they have an obsession with recording, it seems their releasing something every six months, which is great (I'm not complaining). As of last Thursday (Valentine's Day, for those playing at home), The Bird And The Bee secretly dropped a special EP amongst the cyber world. Titled 'One Too Many Hearts', this EP packs some real gems and, fitting in with the occasion, some soothing straight-up love songs. I honestly can't see this band putting a foot wrong, sure there's only so much a band can do in their genre, but Greg and Inara aren't afraid with exploring just that little bit more to get exactly what the want. Hopefully album #2 is on the cards in the near future.
Arrah and the Ferns forming is a happy accident. Their debut album, Evan is a Vegan, is a candy store full of Wurlitzer organs, banjos and sunshine filled guitars. While the whimsical, sweet melodies and convivial moments remind me of Play School, the lyrics spew vitriol about emo kids and ways to kill someone. Apart from the amusingly malevolent words, I also love the Arcadian atmosphere imbued within each song.
Constantly changing homeroots even up to the point when she graduated from Berklee School of Music in Boston in 2003, Caroline Lufkin is more than just your normal musician. She’s a wondrous duet of pleasures, composer of romantic and starry eyed minimal arrangements and a master at finesse. Lufkin, who was recently in Australia as part of Mice Parade’s band, has the most illuminatingly sweet voice ever.
Bring on the bubblegum! Hey Willpower, the brainchild of Will Schwartz (part of pop group Imperial Teen) with the addition of Tomo Yasuda and a rotation of collaborators inject their helping of slick sunshine and candies of synth pop, queercore, and contemporary R&B. The addition of choreographed dances and matching outfits at live shows make this rightly unabashed pop troupe even sweeter.
The Kills’ new one is a softer record, to say the least. They’ve chosen to take a refined route with their new record but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve abandoned anything great. While I do proclaim my love for their No Wow regularly, Midnight Boom is pleasantly surprising. There are catchy hooks littered everywhere. My particular favourite, Cheap and Cheerful, is at the same time a fervent and serenely calm track, complete with drum rolls and comical samples. Midnight Boom is out in March.
Crystal Skulls is a collection of bookmarked pages of a history book. They flourish with warm, intelligent pop and read pages from jazz and soft rock, as well. There’s a proclivity on all their records to appeal to everyone on the sound spectrum. The compositions are intricate, yet very romantic. The words out of Christian Wargo’s mouth are eloquent and ready to incite zealous discourse between listeners but inversely, have diaphanous and even quixotic tendencies. And, best of all, it’s excellent music for the lazy lounge.
Lykke Li came to me as a recommendation for from a friend of mine last year. Two things struck me at first; 1. Why hadn't I heard of this artist before my friend and 2. Lykke Li packs an amazing voice with the most soulful and balanced tunes created in a long time. There are slight familiarities upon listens (ie. El Perro Del Mar, Taken By Trees, etc.), but it's easily ignorable when stumbling across tracks as 'Little Bit', 'Breaking It Up' and 'This Trumpet In My Head'. Her tracks are as unique as they get, blending the likes of jazz, folk and a sort of Ennio Morricone-esque instrumentation. Put quite simply and plainly, I can see this lady taking off quite fast and making an impressionable effect amongst critics. She made a quick jump on the scene last year with her brilliant song (and video, might I add) for 'Little Bit' and now with her debut album 'Youth Novels' and her next single 'I'm Good, I'm Gone' around the corner, we wont be waiting long for this sudden take over.
The Bag Raiders are Gus da Hoodrat, Jack Sabbath and Chris Brave. Sydney buddies who make dance music. They have remixed the likes of The Valentinos and Midnight Juggernauts. This remix of their latest single by knightlife is pretty impressive. It alters an initial blatant rip off of Justice, though super catchy, nil by mouth into a shimmering italo disco inspired masterpiece.
"The bands, when you think honestly about it, are the ones that ever really mattered. It may not be Depeche Mode, but the bands the bands you loved in high school you will love forever" and convincing the girls to fall for him over their lyrics, Matthew Baringer of Asaurus Records (formerly home to a favourite here, Pants Yell!), has created a little project to rekindle the love of old favourites (previously done with The Smashing Pumpkins, titled "The Hiss That We Have Missed: Lo-Fi Vs. Smashing Pumpkins"), with the latest instalment on Depeche Mode, taking little over 3 years to put together. With lo-fi bands and artists taking Depeche Mode lyrics and recreating the songs, it's more of a teaser than a tribute compilation. The record contains these little in between epigraphs of past time reminiscence. Depeche Mode fan or not, I find this record really surprisingly intriguing and warming. Plus, who here doesn't enjoy some indie pop (covering 80's classics)?! The handmade and little neat packaged compilation is out now through Asaurus Records.
Purchase Letting You Down Again: Lo-Fi vs Depeche Mode and watch People Are People by Depeche Mode
I'd also like to note that we have a new domain. If you could update your links, it'd be very much appreciative, otherwise the old link still remains active as the new link redirects to it. I figured the new one would be much easier to remember. Thank you!
It seems every provincial capital city in Australia has its post punk inspired band. They have a fanatic local following and seems to support every other indie band that visits the lonely outpost.
I don't live in Perth, but I suspect that The Dirty Secrets are that city's "band". Lighthouse is a great track that sounds like what most of the tracks from Bloc Party's latest album should have been.
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