Archives for posts with tag: Ego
Egoism_2016_Photo by Vanilla Docherty Photography

Egoism – by Vanilla Docherty Photography

The world is full of conflicting egos so, to avoid conflict with a similarly-named band, Sydney’s Ego return as Egoism with “Reason” as the lead single to the band’s first EP which is due out in October.

“Reason” contains everything we’ve come to expect from this intriguing young band. It’s a more polished recording than the previous excellent singles – “Moon”, “Better” and “Crowd”, adding layers and space to their lush reverb soundscape.

They call it ‘dream-pop’ and ‘shoe-gaze’ but happily it also still maintains that distinctively spacey early 1970s ‘soft-rock’ sound of those earlier recordings.

Another feature of those earlier songs was brilliant space-rock guitar solos and “Reason” maintains the tradition with an explosive solo before another familiar feature – a wordless layered vocal outro.

Looking forward to hearing the whole EP now.



Ego_Vanilla Docherty Photography

Ego (Photo by Vanilla Docherty Photography)

This new single from the young Sydney ‘dreampop/ shoegaze’ band Ego is a wonderful way to start 2016. Ego released my favourite song of 2015 – “Moon” and this impressive new tune “Crowd” is more of the same, but different.

What is the same is the engaging and melodic soft-rock songcraft, the vocal style, psychedelic swirl of reverb guitar and another of their distinctive space-rock guitar solos.

What’s different is a song that’s more urgent than the previous two, with a twisting unusual chord progression and a developing confidence in expanding that lush sound into vast cathedrals of almost-infinite reverb and also delay effects.

The guitar lines channel the spirit of Vini Reilly/ Durutti Column circa the 1980 Return of the Durutti Column album and when guitarist/ vocalist/ songwriter Scout’s voice first comes in the delivery and melody is eerily reminiscent of Trish Keenan in Broadcast.  That’s a winning combo-double to my ears.

They are set to release a debut EP early in 2016. “The EP will sound really different to this, much more like our first single Moon” they say.



A few month months ago PopLib featured a debut song “Moon” from a young Sydney band EGO. They’ve just released another song, called “Better”. Can they repeat the magic?

“Better” gets of to a quiet and unremarkable start, acoustic guitar & solo voice. But it quickly starts to assemble all the elements that made their first song “Moon” such a winner.

There’s the layered vocal harmonies, the 70’s soft-rock stylings on a home-recording budget, and then, at 1 minute 30, that breakdown into the reverb-delay-soaked soft-psych guitar instrumental break before the euphoric wordless vocal outro.

At 2 minutes 45 seconds it’s pretty much pop perfection. There’s a lightness of touch here that almost seems to channel a hint of the clean-living 70’s easy-listening of the likes of The New Seekers (if anyone remembers them) into the type of classy contemporary melodic indie-pop created by bands like Avi Buffalo in recent years.

Anyway, there’s so much promise here I’m (still) looking forward to hearing more from this band as they develop even further. Keep following those instincts EGO.

Postscript 30 October 2015: Ego have a video for “Better”

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.

Here’s the second unnecessary list from the mid-way point in PopLib’s year of music discovery 2015. This one is PopLib’s favourite 5 songs posted so far this year.

OK, it’s actually 6 songs, but the two songs sharing 5th equal on this list total just over 3 minutes together. Anyway, these are the songs played the most, loved the most so far in 2015. Pretty simple…

5 = Jim Nothing – Raleigh Arena

Christchurch 4-track portastudio cassette tape mangler Jim Nothing encapsulates the spirit of fuzzy lo-fi guitar pop in 1 minute and 18 seconds with “Raleigh Arena” from his “Zig Zag Blues” cassette.

5 = Shunkan – Our Names

The first single in advance of a debut album due later in 2015, “Our Names” is a different sounding Shunkan to the name we were first introduced to a year ago via the self-recorded cassette EP “Honey, Milk & Blood” and the following electronica excursions on シュンカン I . The Shunkan of “Our Names” is now a 5-piece band (one of the best live bands around the south of NZ at the moment) and the song a stirring 2-minute fuzz-pop anthem full of melodic hooks.

4. Jay Som/ Melina Duterte – Forget About It Kid

From that Cure-inspired chorus guitar to the epic chiming guitar parts and synth wash, the combination of elements of 80’s post-punk with dreamy synth-pop gives this fine song by young Californian Melina Duterte (also going under the name Jay Som) depth and substance.

3. Ego – Moon

These Sydney youngsters have delivered an unlikely space-rock anthem that sounds contemporary while also unwittingly recreating some 70’s style soft-rock magic through those reverb-washed harmony vocals. Supple, under-stated drumming and earworm guitar melodies give a hint of a band with much potential.

2. Birdation – Hen’s Teeth

Within the murky overblown distortion and submerged vocals of “Hen’s Teeth” lurks a brilliant song. But the structural murk itself contributes so much to the mood struck here. Hard to believe something as massive sounding as this is performed live by just one person. But anyone who has seen Hope Robertson play as Birdation (or in her many other guitarist guises) knows what she can conjure with a jumble of pedals, ancient drum-machine and sundry electronic devices, including the unexpected sonic properties of an e-cigarette.

1. Day Ravies – Under the Lamp

The whole “Under The Lamp” EP – and the 7″ single preceding it – is wonderful. Can’t stop playing it. Every song is a favourite but “Under The Lamp” is just so perfect. The sonic churn and swoop of the guitar evokes My Bloody Valentine, but the vocal melody would shine on a Broadcast album and the whole thing is wrapped up in a Stereolab-esque keyboard swirl, without sounding derivative of any of these bands. A second Day Ravies album is out in July. Can’t wait.