Archives for posts with tag: Bandcamp

On 24 February Russia invaded neighbouring independent country Ukraine, in violation of international law. Russia’s military aggression against an independent sovereign nation has included targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, in violation of international humanitarian law, causing death, and destruction, and turning life there upside down. Prior to the Russian invasion and war, Ukraine had thriving underground music scenes. Buying and sharing music from Ukraine artists and labels via Bandcamp is one small way to help the people involved in those scenes. Here’s a track from an album by Odessa/ Odesa ambient electronic artist Bryozone, called “Vavil”:

“Vavil” is from Bryozone’s “Acid Frog Day” album released in 2013. It’s experimental, ‘light industrial’, immersive ambient electronic music. This track in particular has a weirdly natural organic kind of feel, channeling maybe a little bit of the sprit of The Orb and also Can’s “Future Days”. There’s a more recent EP called “Ifrit” from 2016 on the Odessa/ Odesa ‘pluridisciplinary art project’ label system which is also well worth diving into.

Bryozone is Ganna Brizhata from the southern Ukraine coastal city of Odessa / Odesa on the Black Sea. Brizhata is also more recently the bassist in Chillera. The trio’s “Live from Odesa” recorded a year ago at a celebration for Kyiv label Muscut, is a thrilling journey through loose, trippy, dubby psychedelic surf instrumentals.

It’s that time of year. December. Christmas if you are that way inclined. A holiday for some, but not all. Bandcamp has been a musical and sanity saviour for years, especially these past two pandemic-blighted years. So I couldn’t help but do a quick search for “Bandcamp Christmas Single” just to see what what pop up. I clicked on the first song that looked likely and intriguing and here we are with Brighton, UK lo-fi troubadour Peter Hoggarth’s “Rail Replacement Service Christmas Party”. Enjoy.

“Rail Replacement Service Christmas Party” has a ramshackle charm, and gets extra points for the sleigh bells throughout. After enjoying this quirky festive tale please take the opportunity to journey back through the artist’s back catalogue.

Music formats have come and gone. Some have come back again. Bandcamp feels to me like it is now a format as much as it is an online record store. Over the past century music has been distributed on shellac 78s, polyvinyl phonographic long-players (10″ and 12″ LPs) and 7″ singles, 8-track cartridges, flexi discs, cassette tapes, DAT, mini discs, compact discs, USB sticks… now on Bandcamp.

“Bandcamp downloads” are a world-changing new format for me now. It’s different to MP3 filesharing, streaming, and corporate digital music stores like iTunes. It’s a direct medium between musicians and their audience, small labels and their audience and even some larger more established independent labels too. It’s a virtual record store, a place of discovery, and it’s instant.

Bandcamp is also a great way to send friends and families the gift of music. If you are looking for some last-minute inspiration here’s 5 PopLib favourites from 2021.

  1. XR” by XR

“XR” by XR is the album I have played most in 2021. It’s just low-key perfect and I’m not really sure why I like it so much. My Bandcamp downloads are transferred onto a USB stick which I play through a network CD player through a stereo system. “XR” was released as a digital download, with no physical release formats. I really craved “XR” in a physical format so burned a CD and made a sleeve for it. “XR” was written and recorded between Melbourne and Sydney between 2019 – 2021 by Raven Mahon and Xanthe Waite, and was released in June 2021.

2. “Lammas Fair” by Henry Parker

“Lammas Fair” is a self-released modern UK folk album which mixes a bit of tradition with some 70s electric folk influences and some more psychedelic guitar flourishes. David Kilgour (The Clean, Stephen, The Heavy Eights) posted the title track on Facebook a few months ago, liking the drop D tuning. I bought the CD through Henry Parker’s Bandcamp and have been enjoying it since. It would appeal to anyone who appreciates the best of the UK folk guitar legends (Jansch, Renbourn) and also more contemporary guitar explorers (Steve Gunn, Ben Chasny). It’s even made the UK Official Folk Albums Chart Top 40 this month, on the back of Bandcamp sales of downloads, CD and LP.

3. “Two of the Same” by Ludus

Pōneke/ Wellington electronic composer-producer Emma Bernard has been making music for 5 years under the name Ludus and with “Two of the Same”, released in March 2021, delivered one of the best NZ electronic albums of recent times, pulsing with lush, atmospheric music. The album blends more familiar minimal techno and electronic music styles with its creator’s own exploration of sounds, field recordings, tones, moods and subtle rhythms.

4. “What’s Growing” by Wurld Series

Wurld Series combine enchanting melodic song-writing, brilliant lead guitar lines, pastoral mellotron folk psychedelia, and Luke Towart’s bemused delivery of skewed elliptical philosophical lyrics for this charming homespun album of wonky Ōtautahi/ Chrsitchurch guitar pop weirdness.

5. “Dream #12” by Mess Esque, Mick Hunter, McKisko

A nocturnal album of transcendentally sparse and beautifully fractured lullabies combining the music and instruments of Mick Turner (The Dirty Three) with the lyrics and voice of Helen Franzmann (McKisko), Beautiful and strange, low-key and sleepy (mostly), while also experimental, euphoric, heavenly and moving. Perfect for these unsettled and unsettling times. Easier to listen to than describe.

Sui Zhen

Sui Zhen (pronounced Sue-ee Chen) is an experimental pop and performance artist based in Melbourne, Australia.  Becky Sui Zhen Freeman’s music, videos, and performance art explores the intersections between human life and technology – how to exist in the digital age, and the ways in which we risk losing true sight of ourselves in the process. “Another Life” is the opening track of the album “Losing, Linda” released in September last year.

“Another Life” is a soulful slice of experimental electronic music full of subtle dub effects, setting out aspects of the sense of dislocation of human experience in a digital world. During the COVID19 pandemic lockdown people experience the world and connections with other humans remotely through digital devices via the internet, so this ‘new normal’, makes the story told throughout the uneasy futuristic emotional and musical landscape of “Losing, Linda” even more relevant.


Bailter Space

Bailterspace is back in 2020. Mysterious emissions via a Bandcamp account. Old songs. New Songs. Live stuff. The latest offering is Delta. “Is this new as well? What could it all possibly mean?” they ask. Well, if they don’t know, how are we meant to know…?

“Delta”, like the other new tunes, is kind of minimal, but everything feels dangerously coiled, as if it could explode at any time. Possibly demo-ish, unfinished, work-in-progress, or maybe fully-formed. Who knows? *

It has all the component parts of Bailterspace songs though. Clanging mechanical guitar chop, pneumatic drums, ominous earth-moving bass chords, a searing blast of distorted, saturated guitar noise, and sweetly melodic, drifting, sleepy, enigmatic vocals.“It’s like a turquiose dream, that’s just what it seems”. Post-industrial dream-pop psychedelia?

A reminder, if required, that for all the crushing sonic intensity of the Bailterspace sound, it’s the melodies that are the heart and soul of their songs.

[* Turns out “Delta” was a track from a new album called “Concret”… the original track this post initially linked to was removed by the band so the link about now goes to “Delta” on the album now. It’s a great collection of typically crunchy noise, but also a bit more of a post-punk edge. Enjoy.]

Bailterspace 1997


Sachet 2019

Sydney-siders Sachet have finally released their long-awaited (by me) second album “Nets”.  Here’s “Arncliffe Babylon” from the album:

The album is an utterly glorious collection of off-kilter pop with melodic twists from the vocals and guitars spinning off in all directions.  It’s quite different from the standard Australian strum’n’jangle (which I like a lot) and has it’s roots more in a kind of medium fidelity re-imagining of melodic power pop and also Wire-y post-punk.

Sachet feature two members from now defunct Sydney shoegaze band Day Ravies – Lani Crooks (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar) and Sam Wilkinson (bass) – along with Nick Webb (Guitar) and Chris Anstis (drums). Sachet’s ultra-melodic guitar-based post-punk pop is a more choppy, angular, direct and concise form of pop-craft than Day Ravies.

If you like this new album “Nets” then please do check out that first album “Portion Control” over at the Strange Pursuits Bandcamp.

Also, for anyone wondering: “Arncliffe is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Arncliffe is located 11 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Bayside Council. Arncliffe is south of the Cooks River and Wolli Creek, close to Sydney Airport.” (thanks Wikipedia).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot a ‘best of’. Just a quick round up of 10 favourite songs released in 2018 by artists featured here on PopLib, all brought together in one post for your ease of end-of-year discovery in case you missed them during the year.

Drahla – Twelve Divisions of The Day

Hairband – Flying

Thought Creature – Paradise

Negative Nancies – Candy Milk

Earth To Zena – Celestial Skins

The Ocean Party – Rain on Tin

Emily Fairlight – Body Below

Blades of Joy – Be Kind

Wurld Series – Slow Going

Synth Sisters – She Sang


But wait! There’s more!! As an extra bonus here’s another 5 songs, all from Dunedin releases in 2018.

Negative Nancies – I Wish

Koizilla – Take me to the Shop?

Bad Sav – Hen’s Teeth

Death And The Maiden – Hourglass

Stef Animal – Dragon Swirl


mum_Iceland“My Claws (Live in Berlin)” by Icelandic experimental sound crafters múm is from a recent album Menschen am Sonntag – Live in Berlin , music from a live-score performance to accompany silent film classic “Menschen am Sonntag” (1930). It’s on German label Morr Music. The Morr Music Bandcamp page is well worth exploring for more music like this.

“My Claws” is instrumental music rather than their usual odd and often whimsical songs, but it continues their strengths of merging acoustic instruments with electronics and creating other-worldly atmospheres in sound.

Formed by Gunnar Örn Tynes, Örvar Smárason, and classically trained twin sisters Gyda and Kristín Anna Valtysdóttir in 1997múm may have be a less-heralded Icelandic export than Bjork and Sigur Ros, but are important innovators in the areas where electronic music and acoustic music overlap. 

I came across them in 2002 via their 4th album “Finally We Are No One” which seemed to be assembled from toy instruments and various obscure acoustic instruments and sounded like nothing else on earth, as did much of the music emanating from Iceland at the time. If you want another more song-based album of their unique mixture of child-like wonder with sophisticated experimental song-craft to explore try their 2009 album “Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know”

jane-weaver-modern-cosmology.jpgIt’s December! There’s a day towards the end of the month when some of us give gifts to significant others. This annual consumerist frenzy causes all sorts of stresses… so this month PopLib will be guiding you to give the gift of music.

It’s easy to gift music using Bandcamp. You can save the planet and a musician at the same time by sending a download gift. Or you can even send a physical release (Cassette, Compact Disc, or LP).

First suggestion is one of my favourite albums this year – Jane Weaver’s ambitious, eclectic and spectacular “Modern Kosmology”.

“Did you see butterflies?” is a good example of the album’s mix of motorik beats, synths, and reverb-heavy dream-pop vocal s. But the album offers way more than this… from futuristic electronic pop to psychedelic astral folk and all (space) stations in between. It’s a modern classic.

Recommended for adventurous space cadets of all ages. Perfect for that annoying relative or friend who likes Neu! Can and Stereolab but insists that no great albums have been made since [insert date of said person losing their sense of excitement and wonder at new music and/ or giving up actively looking for it].

Jane Weaver_Modern Kosmology

AuvaAüva hail from Boston, Massachusetts, in the US of A and “Glitter & Weed” is from a recently released 3 track EP available for free download. It’s wonderful, so go forth and discover it and the rest of their back-catalogue too:

It’s one of many great indie pop songs (mostly available via the artists’ Bandcamp pages) discovered via this an excellent playlist “How Did We Make It This Far?” from The Shadow of the Wall music blog.

Aüva’s “Glitter & Weed” reminds me of Canadian band Alvvays. The music is chiming synth-backed guitar pop, packed with sing-along melodic hooks and wonderful lyrics like “Glitter and weed and LSD / All of my friends moved in with me.”

The combination of the dolorous voice of Jack Markwordt (I’m assuming he’s the male lead voice on these) and the brighter, lighter voice of keyboard player Miette Hope also gives the song (and the rest of the EP) a nice kind of human contrast, particularly combined with the wry, articulate lyrics in these “sweet and sad songs about friends and lovers” (according to their Facebook page bio). It’s the kind of literate pop that fans of Anthonie Tonnon, Jens Lekman, and the above-mentioned Alvvays should instantly appreciate.

pop-lib-best-of-2016In case you missed them during 2016, here’s PopLib’s 5 Essential Songs and Albums of 2016. These are limited to Bandcamp discoveries.

5 Essential Songs


5 Essential Albums




  1. 1.

    absolutely necessary; extremely important