Archives for posts with tag: post-punk

Carla Dal Forno Album coverFirst PopLib post for 2018 or last post for 2017 – depending on where in the world you are at this moment – is “We Shouldn’t Have to Wait”, the opening track from Carla Dal Forno‘s October 2017 EP “The Garden”.

Dal Forno’s 2016 debut album “You Know What It’s Like” was on many ‘best of 2016’ lists. But somehow it avoided the PopLib radar until late on 31 December 2017. It’s wonderful, but the subsequent EP this track is from is even better. The album was a grand exploration of psychedelic folk built around minimal lo-fi experimental electronic sounds, the EP is more focused and a kind of minimal electronic pop – slow, moody, damaged, melancholic.

What struck me on first listen to the EP was it was the first thing I’ve heard to remind me of local sonic explorers Death And The Maiden. The Dunedin trio also take an oblique approach to decelerated melancholic minimal post-punk slow-dance music, with lyrics that dwell on the dislocation of life and existence.

As with the EP, a refreshing feature here is how Dal Forno’s DIY approach to experimental electronic music creation is turned to approachable pop-craft ends. So weird industrial noises and distorted deconstructed wave-forms are incorporated into song arrangements in musical ways that they are in service to the melody and rhythm and the song itself.

Here’s the 2016 album to explore too.



Continuing PopLib’s  send as a gift tips for the month with the title track from an EP called “Health” from Melbourne art-pop new-wave garage-pop band Parsnip.

This opening song “Health” and the rest of the 7″ EP channels so many great ideas, delivered in winning style. There’s a bit of 60’s garage psych-rock (the wobbly organ), lots of post-punk and New Wave (the guitars), some vocals evoking a kind of punked up Shangri-La’s and a heap of characterful and smart left-field pop.

“Health is the first single from everybody’s new favourite band Parsnip” says their label Anti Fade, and they aren’t wrong there.  Send it as a gift to someone you want to impress and get a copy of the 7″ EP for yourself as your reward for being so thoughtful.


Drahla Silk Spirit video BW stillHere’s PopLib’s 4th send as a gift tip for the month – the sonic blast of Drahla’s “Form of Luxury” from their just-out “Third Article” EP.

“Form of Luxury” is from a one-sided 4 track 12″ (a half-album?) and, as with all things Drahla, the music bristles with intelligent menace, partly from the discordant sheet-lighting of the opening guitar fury, but later through the withering dead-eyed delivery of the lyrics by Luciel Brown.

“Form of Luxury” rumbles through twists and turns, the Leeds trio’s exploration of underground noise pop ebbing into reflective oddness before ending with more destructive guitar. It’s exhilarating.

Drahla’s “Third Article” EP is recommended to send as a gift to the discerning post-punk guitar-noise art-rock fan in your life.  It’s also available in LP format.


Drahla October 2017“Silk Spirit” is a brand new track from Leeds based trio Drahla, previewed on their Bandcamp page ahead of the release of their first EP “Third Article” on 24 November:

The “Third Article” EP is 4 new songs, available on a one-sided 12″. If you are late to the Drahla party there were two glorious and essential 7″ singles “Faux Text” and “Fictional Decision” released in the past year.

“Silk Spirit” continues the promise of those singles – mystery, noise, melody and another intriguing talk-sing stream-of-consciousness from guitarist/ vocalist Luciel Brown, as if recalling a detailed fever-dream.

Bitumen by Steve FuzzFarm

Bitumen – photo by Steve FuzzFarm

“Honey Hunter” is a thundering-great slab of hot-cold post-punk from Melbourne band Bitumen.

It’s one of 4 excellent tracks on a recent 4 song split cassette EP from Melbourne underground label Vacant Valley.

Thundering drums set the pace and volume, then a skirl of squealing guitar riffs and rumbling bass comes in and all hell is let loose. This is beautifully crafted post-punk – a hint of the ice-cold pummeling sound of Clan of Xymox and some Gothic touches reminiscent of Skeletal Family but Melbourne has been the home of this kind of industrial futuristic pop music for even longer than Germany or the UK. Top shelf sounds.

Listen to the rest of the EP here too – related entity No Sister are also worth your time. There’s a bit more information on both bands in this interview in This Is Not A Drill.


Strathcona BandcampEveryone likes a mystery, right? Well here’s something mysterious and new from Dunedin. All we have is a song called “Seams” on Bandcamp and the band/ performer name strathcona pl.

An EP is promised in the future. Adding to the intrigue is that “Seams” is so good it draws you back to listen again and again to try to find clues in the DNA of the music because music can’t exist in a vacuum, it must come packaged with information – knowledge about its creator.

“Everything and everyone’s falling apart” observes the chorus over and over again before adding “in my dreams” and you really want to write down all the lyrics to try to decipher meaning from them but you also know this this would break the spell of only half-hearing these anxiety dream lines.  So, let’s instead focus on the music, because it’s a little unusual and just a bit intriguing, not sounding much like anything we’ve heard around the streets of this town recently.

The minimal-yet-complex interwoven guitar/ bass/ drum sound, staccato chop of the guitar and bass and the hushed vocals here remind me of Young Marble Giants.   But there’s other interesting undertones throughout which offer even more intriguing Post-Punk influences or perhaps just coincidences. The guitar playing and chord changes – those descending lines at the end of the chorus in particular – seem to carry a faint sonic smudge of a track off an early Cure album perhaps (circa “A Forest”).

So it’s a little bit folk, a little bit Gothic, some Post-Punk DIY or maybe even New Wave. And as much as it may carry these early 1980s UK echoes, it also hints at the folk-rock intimacy of The Spinanes (on Seattle label Sub-Pop’s 1990s roster) or the more DIY folk/ punk attitudes of artists on nearby K Records ‘International Pop Underground’ at the same time. So it’s all these things and yet, because it’s from Dunedin in 2017, it’s none of these things.

Finally, a search of Wikipedia helpfully informs us that Strathcona is an invented name from the 19th century, a way of referencing Glen Coe (Glencoe) in Scotland in a way that avoided any word-association with “massacre” and used by its creator as a place name across Canada. The ‘pl’ suffix could be an abbreviation of place, or Public Library.

So now we know everything, and yet we still know nothing at all.




Drahla_Jan2017“Is it real? Is it real?” asks Luciel Brown throughout this potent follow up to the thrilling debut “Fictional Decision” by Leeds-based trio Drahla – PopLib’s essential song of 2016.

The song is due for release in April on the Too Pure label’s singles club. Coruscating bass sets a platform for a typically cool and mysterious sing-speak stream-of-consciousness artful wordiness.

The song builds through dense layers of sonic energy as guitars buzz and menace before pulling back, introducing saxophone – some of the best wild skronking saxophone since The Stooges “1970” from their “Funhouse” album in fact – and then re-calibrating the volume for climactic ending.

It all adds up to a powerful statement and the fulfilling experience of a song merging elements of post-punk with art pop and noise rock and leaving some mystery and intrigue in its trail of beautifully dissonant noise.

The only band I can think of who may have been within striking distance of what Drahla are doing right now was Sonic Youth at the absolute apex of their dark abrasive melodic cool, around the time of their 1987 album “Sister”.