Archives for posts with tag: Mikey Young

Here’s another Australian treasure, from a glorious album of guitar instrumentals called “For the Morning” (because that’s the time of day the record is for) by LOU. Hard to pick a favourite tunes to share but “Birds in the Morning” is a good starting point:

LOU is Melbourne-based guitarist/singer Sarah Hardiman (Deaf Wish, Brick Head and Nightclub; as well as, Moon Rituals, a collaboration with Mikey Young, who mixed and mastered the album).

Even though “For the Morning” is music for the morning, it works at all other times of the day as well. The whole album – written and recorded alone over two days in Beechworth, inland northern Victoria – works as a woozy DIY instrumental meditation, in a similar way to the music of Durutti Column, particularly the 1980 classic “The Return of The Durutti Column” which this echoes with its use of drum machine, clean minimal guitar melodies, washed in reverb and delay.

The album has an Australian sense of atmosphere in the same way William Tyler’s instrumentals seem to fit the vastness of the North American landscape. In LOU’s case it’s open space, clean air, sun dappling under trees. Although the album’s recording setting may have been far inland, it also has a coastal feel, thanks to some understated ‘surf’ styling in the lush guitar. There’s something quietly uplifting about this album, and we all need a bit of dappled sunshine relaxation right now.

“For the Morning” had a digital self-release last year in September 2021, but soon came to the attention of Sorcerer Records who reckoned it deserved physical form to ensure its permanence. There’s a pressing of 300 copies on vinyl which you can order from Sorcerer Records Bandcamp.

Insincere apologies for the lack of new PopLib posts for about 3 weeks. I’ve been too busy play XR’s album “XR!” (see previous post) to look for any new music on bandcamp. Not quite true, in that I did buy The Green Child’s “Shimmering Bassett” album as well and have been playing that half as much as “XR!” (which is still a fair bit). Here’s the opening track “Fashion Light”:

So, as we discovered on the previous post, The Green Child is Raven Mahon from XR (and previously in US band Grass Widow) with the ubiquitous Mikey Young who either plays on, recorded, mixed or mastered every second album of Australian underground pop/ rock. Slight exaggeration but Mikey brings new meaning to the word ‘prolific’.

Almost exactly a year ago PopLib shared some Mikey Young solo music, which, somewhat surprisingly was not garage rock, but instrumental synth pop. So the melodically melancholy low-key synth-pop/ dream-pop of The Green Child is not out of character. Anyway, it’s a cool album, lots of nicely baroque, dreamy, adventurous pop, which takes a while to reveal its quietly amibitious character (a good thing). Chances are you’ll love it too if you buy it, download it and live with it for a week or two.

Terrible Signal are from Perth, Western Australia and “Retire” is a runaway truck of a song, all jangling thrashing guitars, weedy keyboards, thumping bass and drums and totally-wired rapid-fire Antipodean vocal delivery. No idea what it’s about but New Zealand gets a mention.

The song is from a brand new album “The Window” out on Ballarat label Heart of the Rat. There is an LP version… pre-orders open now.

Terrible Signal mine a similar vein to The Chills, sometimes with a side serving of The Clean (check the next track “Half The Person”), or Able Tasmans (“Day”). It’s a great mix, a bit ramshackle, fizzing, and sometimes with unexpected complexity pulled off with give-it-a-go-mate cheek.

They describe their sound – presumably tongue-in-cheek – as “Saccharine Aus-Nostalgia Pop”. Despite the NZ stylistic connections perceived or perhaps imagined, it’s definitely Australian, in a let-it-all-hang-out DIY-with-ambition kind of attitude. And in the story-telling manner of the lyrics and occassional use of the talking vocal delivery. And in the way it is mastered by the ubiquitous Australian DIY guitar pop sound engineer Mikey Young.

Some of my favourite albums of the past year have been from unsung Australian bands like Terrible Signal that I had never heard of before a chance discovery on Bandcamp. You’ve read about The S-Bends and also Dumb Things here, albums I still regularly play. This is another cracker that will probably fly under the radar. Don’t let that happen. Open “The Window” and let the wind blow.

Mikey Young

With Melbourne recently going into full pandemic lockdown again I figured PopLib should be focusing on some Melbourne artists. There’s plenty PopLib has featured over the years. Most seem to be recorded and/or mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring). So I had a look to see if he had any solo music on Bandcamp. Not sure what I was expecting but was pretty certain it would be some kind of guitar-based garage rock, not an album of synth instrumentals. It’s great, so here’s “Socks”:

Young is a keyboard and guitar player and Total Control are a kind of lo-fi-ish synth-punk band (in a kind of Gary Numan meets Swell Maps kind of way) so the synth pop vibe of his solo album isn’t too out of character.

There’s another solo Mikey Young release on Melbourne Label Hobbies Galore called “You Feelin’ Me?”, which is a bit more guitar-based and a grainy collection of lo-fi ambient instrumentals, kind of like an op shop Eno.

To find out more about Mikey Young and his recording and mastering approach there’s a highly entertaining Tape Op interview where you will find gems of wisdom like this:

“I always thought that if you can’t record the song well that you want to record in three goes, then you shouldn’t be recording the song. Especially for a kind of garage rock song. You don’t even want to get it perfect. It hardly gets any better after the third take.”

 

 

Belair Lip Bombs bandcampFrom the bottomless scuzzy pop pit of Melbourne here’s another Mikey Young mastered sound explosion from a band called The Belair Lip Bombs. So far so surf. Their recent three track EP “Songs to Do Your Laundry To” kicks off with “Everybody Cool”, which starts like the ghost of Dick Dale sparring with Thee Oh Sees. But keep listening…

… because, at around the 1 minute 30 mark, “Everybody Cool” shifts gear, transforming from surf instrumental beginnings into a kind of hybrid collision of post-punk and pyschedelic rock which works like a treat.

The Belair Lip Bombs are Maisie Everett on guitar and lead vocals, Mike on lead guitar, Jimmy on bass and Liam on drums. The genre-confounding hybridised mutating sound of “Everybody Cool” is a feature of the whole EP. Even the radio-friendly sophisticated funky soul-pop cheese of the second track “Blah Blah Blah” is a killer mix of Orange Juice and Frente style pop coolness. [postscript: finally figured out what this earworm tune reminded me of – The Cardigans “Lovefool (Say That You Love Me)”]

The trio of tunes is rounded out by the frenetic punk-pop speed-fest of “I Think I Like You” for a bit of a sonic purge to confuse the casual listener even more. It’s like having three favourite new bands on the one three-song EP.

Belair Lip Bombs FB