Archives for posts with tag: bedroom

doubleu-quit-bandcamp“Quit” is the title of a fine 6 song EP from mysterious Auckland musician Doubleu. Here’s the opening track “Hero”:

Next track “Red” is equally impressive in its skillful minimal guitar layering, the subtle oddness of the backing sounds, and hushed melodic vocals. And the title track “Quit” after that. And… each following track, so stick around for the whole 12 minutes of this EP thanks.

It’s ALL pretty damned beautiful in a very understated and uncertain way, as if Doubleu doesn’t quite have the self-belief that these songs are in fact just right.

The last track “Words” offers a slightly different palette of sounds. The same shy, delicate and restrained songcraft but with more of an electronic sampled backing and playful sonic weirdness going on.

Everything about this 6 track EP by the mysterious Doubleu is intriguing. In it’s own quiet bedroom-pop-symphonies-in-miniature style, it’s a bit special. Don’t quit please.

Out of nowhere (or downtown Dunedin – same difference) comes latest Dunedin pop underground luminary Mavis Gary.

What? I have my ear to the ground in this town and I’d never heard of Mavis. Suddenly there’s a single and an album ready for release on cassette via The Attic (Dunedin’s top floor ‘underground’ arts/ music, general loafing cooperative space).

Turns out Mavis Gary is the name given to a side-project of shy Dunedin DIY pop auteur Adrian Ng. As I’ve seen Adrian almost every week this year, and he’s spent days at my place recording the debut album by his main band, Trick Mammoth, I’m surprised I knew nothing about this. Although he did ask if he could borrow a bass guitar a couple of weeks ago and he has hung onto my SM57 microphone for months – an upgrade from his old SingStar microphone, famously used for those Trick Mammoth demos

The combination of a creative flood of songs and being bored now that the Trick Mammoth album recording has finished meant he used his mid-term break week to self-record an album as Mavis Gary. I’ve heard the whole thing now – it’s extraordinary. There’s a whole new dark side of what I can only describe as post-punk glam rock plus more of the glorious woozy melodic pop I know and love from Trick Mammoth. In fact Mavis Gary even covers three Trick Mammoth songs – two old ones and one new one (‘Candy Darling’ the ‘B-side’ to the ‘Dim the Droog’ single).

I presume Mavis Gary is named after the Charlize Theron character in the 2011 film ‘Young Adult’ – a cynical feel-bad movie about the delusions of early adulthood. Some of the songs seem metaphors for the sickly-sweet jumbled up confusion and dark undercurrents of life lived halfway between a cheerful and positive surface image and a darker clandestine reality.

‘Dim the Droog’ is one of the songs that stuck out most on first listen, possibly because it strays far from Adrian’s usual palette of songwriting. It is dark, angular, mysterious and brooding, but in a kind of saturated colour cartoon kind of way. I love it. As always he uses the contrast between rhythm guitar chords and chiming lead parts and there’s the expected killer pop hook chorus.

The ‘B-side’ ‘Candy Darling’ is a song that Trick Mammoth have been playing live for the past month or two. Another cracker, and Mavis Gary does tend to blur the lines between a kind of testing ground for emerging Trick mammoth songs as well as an outlet for Adrian’s darker, skewed pop.

I’m looking forward to the cassette. Not often I say that these days…

Leon Jory

Finding new sounds on Bandcamp is addictive. It’s particularly good fun when they are local sounds. This one popped up today and excited my ears with its over-saturated too-much-of-everything blast of neuro-stimulant audio waves.

Leon Jory is a self-proclaimed ‘big haired, bad jerseys bedroom producer’ from Dunedin. I think he also now plays keyboards in Dunedin’s fruitiest psychedelic space-cadet ensemble Scattered Brains of the Lovely Union (a band well overdue to deliver some kind of audio artefact).

When I heard this the first thought that came into my head was: “Music by someone who has drunk too much, ingested too much, stared too much into a oil-lamp projector, played too many computer arcade style games without sleeping, breathed some vapours too deeply, hyperventilated, hung upside down until all the blood rushes to their head. Maybe all of these things at the same time.” Here’s ‘Myself’ – what do you think?

It’s more than likely Leon has done none of the things in my imagination above and the only thing he’s had too much of is time alone in his bedroom with a keyboard, a computer and every delay & reverb effect known to humankind.

A couple of things make this stand out for me from every other bedroom keyboard recording artist. Firstly is it starts out like a cartoon version of Snapper before spiralling madly out of control and transforming into some kind of baroque pop psychedelic madness. Secondly, the voice is not some whispering self-deprecating bedroom afterthought but a gleeful/ demented yelling-from-the-rooftops, with lines like “I learned not to trust anyone/ except for the ones who showed me love”.