Review: This Melbourne-based outfit, notable for containing no fewer than three singer-songwriters in their ranks, are a tonic and a half for anyone who grew up on the Velvets-indebted indie-pop of the '80s - outfits like The Feelies and The Go-Betweens, or the Flying Nun stable - offering a similarly sprightly, sharply perceptive and richly melodic sound as well as a playful freshness of approach. This six-song collection sees them building on the promise of their earlier 'Talk Tight' with elan, and an almost objectionable amount of songwriting acumen. Few in the current indie milieu are quite so adept at making such a time-honoured sound hit so brand new.
Review: Following the release of Iggy Pop's last full length, Post Pop Depression, the much loved punk professional has teamed up with pioneering electronic dance musos Underworld (think "Born Slippy") via the request of Rick Smith. Album opener, "Bells & Circles", sees Iggy relive the days when you could smoke on an aeroplane, and in his case pick up an air hostess, while a rich and throaty yet somewhat forlorn 'hey' in "I'll See Big" offers a classic, almost narrated number of nostalgia, with a hint of reverb adding a sweetness to a not so bitter regalement of times gone by. Meanwhile, "Get Your Shirt" pitches the bliss of 80s new wave with mid-90s rave to create a glittering, electro pop jam fit for the stadium or Soho club. The glory years may be a memory for this formidable tripod however their sounds, combined, still hit the sweet spot.
Review: Mulvey's 2014 debut was quite deservingly widely acclaimed, and established him as a highly skilled solo artist. His work with Portico Quartet was cinematic and wide-eyed, and proved his ability to work with broad and enchanting atmospherics. This coupled with a wide range of musical textures brings us to his second album 'Wake Up Now' which is as playful as it is diverse. Just as you're settling into ideas, Mulvey's introduction of surprising elements pleasantly catches you off guard, and this album is all the better for it. Tracks such as 'Myela' - inspired by the current refugee crisis - and the touching 'Unconditional' are key moments in a confident follow-up by an undoubtedly graceful and intricate songwriter.
Review: Listening to the awaited full length of The National's Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver) Big Red Machine project and it's hard not to think they've invested themselves in discovering deeper strands of electronic music, or production... if the sporadic drum machine work of "Deep Green" is anything to go by. "I Won't Run From It" however sees the pair back in their full choral beauty, presenting a song for thousands to potentially wave their hands this summer. This Big Red Machine was produced over the past two years involving many-a collaboration from New York and its artistic community, with the band themself saying: "this feels like something new-the process felt different and the outcome felt different." Check it.