Archives for posts with tag: Bedroom Suck Records

Cyanide ThorntonAnother new Melbourne musical offering, this time from Cyanide Thornton via a self-titled album just out on Bedroom Suck Records. Here’s the opening track “Weight”:

“Weight” is a magical 6 minute journey, starting with the mesmerising snaking lead guitar part which is sustained in pools of reverb. At first gently, unpredictably  unwinding for the first few minutes of the song, before exploding before the vocals begin. That process of uneasy calm, building tension, exploding and release/ relief continues throughout the song.

Cyanide Thornton is Sienna Thornton (guitar, piano, organ and lead vocals) with Ellah Blake (drums, violin, vocals) and David Pesavento (bass, guitar). While the album is loosely “alternative rock”, the music on Cyanide Thornton’s self-titled debut has the kind of sparseness and drama of a peculiarly Australian kind of post-rock folk music. The sometimes minimal hypnotic starkness of the music, garnished with ornate reverb guitar parts, and the dark immersion of Sienna Thornton’s arresting voice and melancholic words build to crescendos of noise and emotion before falling back to reclaim the uneasy calm.

Free Time US

Free Time (NYC line-up)

More magic from favourite Australian label Bedroom Suck Records, now relocated from Brisbane to Brunswick, Melbourne, surely the hot-bed of Aussie independent music right now.

This time it’s a band called Free Time, operating between Melbourne and New York with a different line-up for each country. Anyway, here’s the bouncing guitar pop of “Among the Reeds” to set you on the path of discovery.

Free Time is/are the band/s of Dion Nania. The self-titled first album by Free Time was recorded in New York in 2013 with Free Time’s US line-up. Now the second album “In Search of Free Time” has been recorded by the Australian line-up in Melbourne. Fair enough.

Joining Nania as Free Time in Australia, and on this album, is Martin Frawley (Twerps), Zachary Schneider (Totally Mild) and Joe Alexander (Terrible Truths).

As you can tell from this first song from the album, it contains a familiar Australian gallop, evoking memories of classic Aussie guitar pop through the ages while also offering a giddy combination of some element of the sound of all the bands above, even down to Joe Alexander’s restless rhythmic tumbling drumming.

The album is varied and repays repeated listening. There’s a bit of everything, from rambunctious loose-limbed eager strums to the reflective and delicate weaving of lead guitar and rhythm guitar. Worthwhile seeking out the LP version.

Free Time Australia

Free Time (Melbourne version)

Terrible Truths Uptight video stillAfter a month of NZ music it’s time to venture across the Tasman Sea to Australia where Terrible Truths are “Uptight”.

Terrible Truths are a favourite from the well-stocked cupboard of brilliant leftfield Australian music known as Bedroom Suck Records.

Their self-titled debut album is an absolute blinder of fidgety and melodic post-punk built entirely around the interplay between lead guitar, bass and drums, plus call-and-response vocals.

There’s something gloriously wild and ebullient about it all. These qualities are illustrated perfectly on “Uptight” which now has a video for added excellence.

Terrible Truths’ debut has just been repressed in a special 2nd pressing limited edition on gold vinyl with a limited edition bonus 7″ EP. Go on… you know you want to.

Terrible TruthsNo idea how I missed hearing Terrible Truths‘ wonderful self-titled album released late last year. Here’s “See Straight” from it.

This song – and the rest of the album – is excellent. Taut, brisk, angular post-punk, propelled by muscular bass and busy drums, with the guitar darting around spraying lead melodies and lashings of chorus effects and/or reverb around the place.

Their post-punk is generally played more straight rock than the brutalist neo-funk of the likes of Bush Tetras, Delta 5 and Mo-Dettes but there’s something of the angular rhythmic precision and spikiness of those bands in Terrible Truths’ sound and in the vocal interplay.

But forget the distant past, there’s also a more recent parallel in Australian music, with the phenomenal Bushwalking distant cousins to this sound (their album “No Enter” another release to check if you like what Terrible Truths have to offer).

Terrible Truths are now based in Melbourne, drawn there from South Australia mostly. Guitarist Rani Rose and bassist Stacey Wilson share vocals and  Joe is the drummer – originally from Brisbane, and, I’m guessing, possibly one of the people behind the phenomenal Bedroom Suck Records (recently relocated the Melbourne from suburban Brisbane) who released Terrible Truths’ debut on LP/ CD.

Here’s the video for “See Straight” –


Moeraki Skyline

‘Tis the season for gratuitous, infuriating, pointless, reductive “Best of the Year” lists. So here’s PopLib’s list contribution.

It’s not a “best of…” but just a most-played/ favourites list. Mostly stuff you may not have heard (unless you check this blog regularly) but worth a few minutes of your time to check out over the “festive” season. “PopLib Recommends…” might be a better description.

  1. Day Ravies – “Liminal Zones” (Strange Pursuits/ Sonic Masala)

“Liminal Zones” has been thrashed around here this year; at home and in the car for months on end. I know every song intimately and still get a thrill when it’s playing. Keyboards and synths duel with swooping, restless guitar lines on this wondrous mix of honest, gritty self-recorded contemporary Australian post-punk/ New Wave.

2. Leaf Library – “Daylight Versions” (WIAIWYA)

Just bloody beautiful: an album of melodic, meditative anthems to the sea and natural world from a London band using hypnotic repetition, a few chords and drones to remarkable effect through the ebb and flow of song dynamics and instrumental and noise arrangements. I hear echoes of Broadcast, Stereolab and Tortoise in their sound and unconventional approach but the end result is a distinctive Leaf Library soundworld.

3. Death And The Maiden – “Death And The Maiden”  (Fishrider)

I’ve broken my own golden rule of not posting stuff here I release on the label I run, but I can’t ignore this album because it has been one of my 3 most-played albums in 2015. It’s part electronica – slow dance/ trance arpeggio synth lines and clattering percussion – and part futuristic post-punk guitars and bass. But it’s the human heart of the voices which bind it all together into something special and unique. It helped me through a dark time in the first half of the year and I’m eternally grateful to the songs and the people involved for creating a world in which it is possible to lose yourself for 40 minutes in music that is dark and melancholy but also mysterious, coolly beautiful and, ultimately, positive and uplifting.

4. Sam Hunt with David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights – “The 9th” 

“The 9th” is legendary New Zealand poet Sam Hunt orating his – and others – poetry, set to a backing of atmospheric psychedelic guitar music. The album gives David Kilgour (The Clean) and his band The Heavy Eights freedom to explore free of song structure, although some songs do have a chorus of sorts. The atmosphere of the music is a perfect combination for Sam’s words and voice, providing more than just background.

5. Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus – “beauty will save the world” (Occultation Recordings)

An extraordinary album of lush, sometimes unsettling and ghostly “apocalyptic folk” mixed with arcane religious/ spiritual laments and incantations, some industrial electronic sounds, and spoken word samples. It’s a haunting, misty and compellingly beautiful album listened to in its entirety, a soundtrack to an imaginary European art film.  This Liverpool collective have been creating occasional intriguing multi-media performances and a handful of album since the 1980s. This is their best yet.

6. Knife Pleats – “Hat Bark Beach” (WIAIWYA)

There’s an easy familiarity about the frantic-paced pop on “Hat Bark Beach” – all 12 songs are in the 2 minute to 2 & 1/2 minute range. Sometimes Knife Pleats channel the kind of primal 80s indie-pop frenzy of The Shop Assistants, other times perhaps the pulsing sophistication of early Stereoloab. The upbeat/downbeat songs here are bursting with fuzz & jangle pop, propelled by insistent simple drumming and topped with glorious pop melodies and engaging vocals.

7. Shunkan – “The Pink Noise” (Art is Hard)

Los Angeles musician Marina Sakimoto, with a full band version of Shunkan, recorded The Pink Noise in Lyttelton during two years in NZ, most of that time based in Invercargill.  The album is a fully-formed fuzzy pop masterclass that moves away from the DIY bedroom recordings of her 2014 “Honey, Milk & Blood” EP. The songwriting, vocals and all-round performance by the band is sensational. Even though Marina has recently relocated back to LA, there’s a case for continuing to claim Shunkan – and certainly The Pink Noise album – as a product of NZ’s lower South Island for a while longer.

8. Totally Mild – “Down Time” (Bedroom Suck Records)

Queensland label “Bedroom Suck Records” continues its hot run of form, releasing a heap of gems over recent years. “Down Time” was my pick of their 2015 releases. It’s a beautifully constructed collection of wryly wistful pop featuring twangy guitars and soaring vocals.  There’s nothing ‘slacker’ about Totally Mild’s Aussie guitar pop. It’s bright and airy, sharply focused, deliciously melodic and its simple perfection will take your breath away.

9. Heather Woods Broderick – “Glider” (Western Vinyl)

Heather Woods Broderick accompanied Sharon van Etten on her March 2015 tour of NZ on keyboards and vocals. SVE mentioned Heather – a multi-instrumenatlist and regular contributor to others’ recordings and tours – had her own album coming out, so I tracked down “Glider” from her US label. It’s another album to lose yourself in. These woozy, drifting soundscapes of lush and dreamy reverb and delay-drenched atmospheric dream-pop sit somewhere between Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star.

10. Wormstar – “Turning Red”

Wormstar is an Auckland based DIY artist/ band and “Turning Red” channels the spirit of so many of my favourite bands – notably The Pastels (Scotland), Pavement (US), The Stevens (Australia) and The Clean (NZ) – so it’s no surprise it’s wormed it’s way into a starring role on this list. Fuzz and jangle guitar pop with heartache melodies and plenty of fresh and weird excursions for good measure.

Honourable mentions – Nadia Reid – “Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs”, Ela Orleans –  “Upper Hell”, The Shifting Sands – “Cosmic Radio Station” “Cosmic Radio Station”, The Granite Shore – “Once More From The Top” , Jay Som – “Untitled” “Untitled”, Anthonie Tonnon “Successor”, Chastity Belt – “Time To Go Home” Salad Boys – “Metalmania”, Space Bats, Attack! – “Space Bats, Attack!”, Govrmint – “Pipe DRM”

PopLib’s final gratuitous mid-year list is the only one which is totally objective and fact-based. It’s all statistics… the Top 5 most viewed posts so far in 2015.

5. Totally Mild – Battleship

4. Rozi Plain – Actually

3. Ego – Moon

2. Sam Hunt with David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights – Wavesong

1. Anthonie Tonnon – Water Underground

While we are talking statistics, people from these Top 5 countries have viewed the blog so far in 2015; 1. New Zealand, 2. United States, 3. United Kingdom, 4. Australia, 5. Spain.

Primitive Motion

A well-constructed two-note/ two-chord song is a wonderful thing. And Primitive Motion – from Brisbane – are another wonderful thing from the Bedroom Suck Records label from Queensland, Australia. Primitive Motion’s “Audible Darkness” comes across like very early Stereolab on a tight budget. It’s less retro space-rock than just timeless and dreamy weird-pop.

The glorious slow throbbing opener “Bodies of the Placid Furnace” and then, further into the album, “Kaleidoscope” and “River Flow Your Face” each carry subtle echoes of the kind of addictive tunes Robert Scott has contributed to recent albums by The Clean.

However, the overall the tone of the album is a cheerfully glum colourburst of woozy budget synths, toybox drum-machines and reverb-heavy voices. There’s variety aplenty and among the melodic dream-pop there are some odd little experimental ambient soundscape touches, as if Eno was making music for kids space cartoons.

I like this Primitive Motion album a lot. It is worth spending time with and treating yourself to a copy of the LP.


Here in NZ we are meant to hate Australia(ns). It’s some kind of dumb pathological insecurity-fuelled nationalistic competitive thing, mostly based on sports. And, to be fair, Australian sports-people do their country no favours by being arrogant winners and bad losers (if I may generalise somewhat).

Well, music isn’t sport, music is far more important than silly ball games and some of my favourite music over the years has come from Australia.

Plus, you have to feel sorry for them right now. They have a doofus Prime Minister and a climate-change-denying, flat-earth-embracing Government that makes NZ’s PM and sackful of clowns in Government look almost classy (no, not really). And now their dollar has plunged to be pretty much on a par with the NZ dollar.

The good news out of their declining dollar is that we can show how big we are by helping their ailing economy by buying their fabulous LPs for under $30 NZD, including postage.

If you are a regular reader of PopLib you will know there’s a lot of great new Australian underground pop music been released so far this decade. Here’s a quick guide to three of the best labels recommended for your urgent/leisurely investigation:

Rice Is Nice Records
Sydney label with releases from Sarah Mary Chadwick, Summer Flake & many more. Read more about Rice is Nice in an interview with founder Julia Wilson here.

Chapter Music
This long-standing label was established by a then 17-year-old Guy Blackman in perth in 1992, before relocating to Melbourne. Read more about Chapter Music in interview with Guy here. Chapter Music has released several great PopLib-endorsed albums recently from The Stevens, The Twerps, Dick Diver and Bushwalking amongst others.

Bedroom Suck Records
Fabulous Brisbane, Queensland label with an eclectic roster of artists, many of whom have been PopLib favourites, including albums by Ela Stiles, Peter Escott, Fair Maiden, Blank Realm and Totally Mild. Although Bedroom Suck records has only been going for a little over 5 years many of their releases have been licensed to big-indie Fire Records for release in the US and UK, which gives you an indication of the quality of their catalogue.

Aussie_Upside down

Totally Mild

“Battleship” is a track from the upcoming album by Mebourne quartet Totally Mild, due 6 April 2015 from Bedroom Suck Records and also Fire Records in the UK (which releases most of the BSR catalogue there).

UPDATE: The two tracks – “Battleship” and “Always Around” – embedded in this post when it was first published, have vanished from Soundcloud now. So, here’s another one – “Christa” – which is streaming there for the time being:

Totally Mild is led by Elizabeth Mitchell and includes Zach Schneider (Full Ugly, Great Outdoors), Lehmann B Smith and Ashley Bundang (Zone Out).

Here’s an entertaining ‘teaser’ for their upcoming album:

Another wonderful new preview song from the album is “Always Around”

“You’re always my friend/ when I’m happy/ But less/ in the down times”

Check out their Bandcamp site for a back-catalogue of symphonic wonky bedroom lo-fi pop genius in the form of the 11 track cassette album “Castanets”.

Shunkan cassette, The Stevens LP, Bushwalking LP, Trick Mammoth WIAIWYA 7777777 singles club 2014 7" picture disc single.

Shunkan cassette, The Stevens LP, Bushwalking LP, Trick Mammoth WIAIWYA 7777777 singles club 2014 7″ picture disc single.

These were my favourite 10 songs featured this year here on Pop Lib. Rather than wax lyrical about each of these songs in the time-honoured traditions of such lists, I’ve just bunged up a player so you can give them a listen and make your own mind up.

If you like a song & want more info, click through to the linked Pop lib blog post. If you like a song A LOT, go and buy it. You deserve to treat yourself to a new music discovery or three for Christmas.

1. Fazerdaze – Zero (self-released CD EP)

Posted on Pop Lib on 27 September 2014

2. Bushwalking – No Men (Chapter Music – from “No Enter” LP)

Posted on Pop Lib 8 June 2014

3. Fazed On A Pony – Alone (self-released)

Posted on Pop Lib 25 October 2014.

4. Shunkan – Dust From Your Eyes (Art Is Hard – from “Honey, Milk & Blood” cassette EP)

Posted on Pop Lib 4 May 2014.

5. Fair Maiden – Lady of Fortune (Bedroom Suck – from “Fair Maiden” LP)

Posted on Pop Lib 3 June 2014.

6. Trick Mammoth – Doll (WIAIWYA 7″ singles club)

Posted on Pop Lib 31 May 2014

7. The Stevens – Turpin’s Fall (Chapter Music – from “The History of Hygiene” LP)

Posted on Pop Lib 1 June 2014.

8. Lucy Hunter – A Bottled Brain (The Attic singles club)

Posted on Pop Lib 25 October 2014.

9. The Canals – Desperado (The Attic singles club)

Posted on Pop Lib on 2 December 2014.

10. Peter Escott – My Heaven, My Rules (Bedroom Suck – from “The Long O” LP)

Posted on Pop Lib 26 September 2014