You can thank UK music blog Did Not Chart for this post. The music was not discovered via Did Not Chart, but located as a result of that blog’s 2021 round up, and the comments: “First year ever without a new Australian band. I must have missed something.” That set PopLib off on a search of all the reliable sources of new Australian DIY pop, leading soon to Tenth Court on Bandcamp, and the discovery of the Shrapnel album “Alasitas”, released June 2021 and slipping under PopLib’s radar at the time. Here’s “Flatter Than Your Earth” to re-programme your synapses:

Flatter Than Your Earth” is from a remarkable DIY garage/psych/prog/ folk album by an expanded Shrapnel, presenting an ear-popping further expansion of the kind of angular melodic fuzzy guitar pop brought to us over the past decade by Sydney bands Day Ravies, Sachet, and Baker’s Pace. The common denominator of all those bands is hyper-active over-achieving melodic guitar pop maverick Sam Wilkinson, and the line-up of Shrapnel an “Alasitas” includes all Wilkinson’s former Day Ravies colleagues – Lani Crooks (also in Sachet, and who likely shares the vocals on this track), Caroline de Dear, and Matt Neville.

The music on “Alasitas” is hard to describe. There’s a 60s garage rock thing, with a heavy psychedelic influence, and a mix of prog-rock and psychedelic folk tangents. The inclusion of flute (Crooks), clarinet (de Dear) and synth takes this psychedelic garage rock to some very strange and beautifully wonky places.

Shrapnel may not be the new Australian band Did Not Chart was hoping for, but this album is one I’m happy to buy from Bandcamp. Something to consider adding to your wishlist for Bandcamp Friday, resuming this Friday 4 February 2022.