Tag Archives: Beaches

Album of the Day: Various Artists, “Thirty Days of Yes”

Thirty Days of Yes was created in response to the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, which is being held in the country until November 7, in order to gauge support for same-sex marriage. The compilation serves two purposes: first, and more importantly, it raises money for the LGBTQI+ organizations Minus18 and Twenty10, as well as the campaign to support marriage equality; but a bonus feature is that it also serves as an introduction to the extremely healthy Australian independent music scene.

The bands featured mostly tend toward the rock end of the spectrum, but even within that broad umbrella there is a universe of gradation. “Sage,” by The Murlocs, is a gritty, bluesy stomper, squawking guitars and greasy, back-porch harmonica smashing into loose-limbed percussion. The roaring “Damaskus ||,” by DARTS, lands like a hybrid of Modest Mouse and The National, raw-throated vocals clawing their way up a steadily-expanding musical backdrop. And “Settle Down” by the Beaches offers ample indication of why the band’s profile is on the rise: the guitars arrive in thick, tight bullets, with layered vocal harmonies skating and sailing blissfully over top.

The tracks that veer away from straight-ahead rock are just as captivating: Xavier Dunn’s remix of Bec Sandridge’s “In the Fog, In the Flame” has the same hazy mystery as prime Kate Bush, Sandridge’s voice tripping upward over glassy synths before a big bass beat comes crashing up the center. Total Giovanni pull off a kind of pop-rock disco on the revved-up Sam Weston remix of “Your Light.” Everything is sugared-up and jittery, rubberband bassline stretching and snapping over a firecracker rhythm. On their own albums, The Jezabels tend toward expansive, anthemic pop; but Aaron Harris’s remix of “Come Alive” is a miracle in the miniature, every element toned down and refined, all instruments stripped out save for a heartbeat rhythm, cloudlike electronics, and the occasional curlicue of guitar. Thirty Days of Yes is a vital compilation for a crucial cause, artists from across the country banding together to fight for equality.

J. Edward Keyes

Discover the World of Australian Psych

Beaches

Beaches by Darren Sylvester.

While AC/DC, the Bee Gees, and INXS are probably Australia’s most famous musical exports, the country has long had an outstanding psychedelic rock scene. But even though bands like Tamam Shud, Tully, and Coloured Balls produced some exceptional psych jams back in the ‘70s, they didn’t make it very far beyond the Great Barrier Reef.

Recently, however, there’s been an explosion in modern psych rock across the country-continent. Tame Impala, whose first album channeled late ‘60s Beatles, broke out internationally. They aren’t the only ones. Melbourne has the most vibrant scene, but Brisbane and Perth aren’t far behind, and Sydney and Adelaide are currently ground zero for a number of edgier acts.

While these groups cover a wide variety of sounds—ranging from ‘60s homages to neo-shoegaze to heavy psych—they all have a spirit of adventurousness, unafraid to mix other genres into their songs as the mood strikes them. Here are some of the best new psych-rock acts rising from the land Down Under.

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Soul, Shoegaze, Australian Psych & More

7 essential

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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