Archives for posts with tag: Sydney

Sachet 2019

Sydney-siders Sachet have finally released their long-awaited (by me) second album “Nets”.  Here’s “Arncliffe Babylon” from the album:

The album is an utterly glorious collection of off-kilter pop with melodic twists from the vocals and guitars spinning off in all directions.  It’s quite different from the standard Australian strum’n’jangle (which I like a lot) and has it’s roots more in a kind of medium fidelity re-imagining of melodic power pop and also Wire-y post-punk.

Sachet feature two members from now defunct Sydney shoegaze band Day Ravies – Lani Crooks (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar) and Sam Wilkinson (bass) – along with Nick Webb (Guitar) and Chris Anstis (drums). Sachet’s ultra-melodic guitar-based post-punk pop is a more choppy, angular, direct and concise form of pop-craft than Day Ravies.

If you like this new album “Nets” then please do check out that first album “Portion Control” over at the Strange Pursuits Bandcamp.

Also, for anyone wondering: “Arncliffe is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Arncliffe is located 11 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the Bayside Council. Arncliffe is south of the Cooks River and Wolli Creek, close to Sydney Airport.” (thanks Wikipedia).

The DandelionOur Psychedelic Sunday trip today comes from The Dandelion, another artist discovered via Sydney’s The Stable Label compilation “Kick the Scarf Volume 1”. Here’s “Old Habits New Ways”:

The Dandelion – a studio project and live band now led by Natalie de Silver, who writes, records and produces the band’s original material – specialise in retro-sounding ghostly psychedelia that is part swinging sixties garage-psych and part mystical ghostly psych-folk.

The songs on the album capture the paisley vibe but also mix in a bit of magick & witchcraft some sweet & sinister folk darkness. The album “Old Habits & New Ways of The Dandelion” (released last year) is an intriguing journey.


The Buoys

“It’s been a golden year…” sing Sydney garage-rock band The Buoys. “Gold” with its buzzing fuzz guitars and pulsing insistent rhythm contains an ounce or two of the spirit of The Clean, in their primal modal drone “Point That Thing Somewhere Else” form. It’s a glorious noise for sure. Pure joy. Pure “Gold”.

It has been a golden year for new music, particularly when you look outside the mainstream of music formerly known as alternative-rock/ pop etc.

Bandcamp is your friend here, and one of the most reliable ways of expanding your music horizons is (still) via compilation albums from particular labels, scenes or geographic areas.

The Buoys are from Sydney, Australia and made up of Zoe (Vocals/Guitar), Hilary (Lead Guitar), Courtney (Bass), and Tess (Drums). They were one of the bands included on the compilation “Kick the Scarf, Volume 1” released by Stable Label, the Sydney independent record label that brought us one the fine album by The S Bends.

“Kick The Scarf is a webseries and online gig guide based in Sydney, Australia. The tracks featured on this compilation appeared in the first season of Kick The Scarf. The selection of tracks is a representation of guitar based indie happening in our city right now! The tracks are presented here for your listening pleasure on classic black vinyl!”

“Gold” is also available as a 7″ single from Sydney’s Stable Label.


The S Bends 2019

OK, more Australian guitar pop. The S-Bends are from a different end of the Australian guitar pop spectrum as Dumb Things (see previous post) and a different city (Sydney). While Brisbane’s Dumb Things thrilled with gloriously melodic, slightly wonky, low-key-charming, guitar pop, The S-Bends glorious music has a kind of equally low-key-charming appeal, but also ambitious grandeur. Here’s the opening track “Datsun”:

Unlike many New Zealand bands, The S-Bends are another young Australian band happy to acknowledge “the ever pervasive sound of 80s/90s Australian and New Zealand indie guitar music” as an influence.

Which may be why the featured track here, “Datsun” shares a similar storytelling approach to post-punk guitar-pop as Don McGlashan in Blam Blam Blam and The Mutton Birds (eg: the similarly car-themed “White Valiant”).

It may also be why the album “Nothing Feels Natural to Me” reminds me in tone and sound of The Go-Between’s dark masterpiece “Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express”, arguably that band’s most literary and considered collection, made when they were at their peak, but before they realised that.

And there’s shades here of the kind of atmosphere (without the vocal melodrama) The Triffids regularly conjured – like the song is transporting the listener into scenes from a movie, or into the pages of a short story. Just as The Triffids’ Jill Birt provided a shift in tone and delivery, The S-Bends’ Madeleine Er takes the lead vocals on “Vitamin D Deficiency” and “Indoor Plants” and shares lead vocals on the sublime centre-piece “Two States” – all stand-out tracks on an album that I can sense is going to grow even stronger with further listening.

The descriptive storytelling on the album often conjures a mood of personal and social unease but also a strong sense of place and wonder. The care with words matches the classic songcraft, the arrangements, and the unfussy recording, which was engineered and produced by The S-Bends’ Jacob Dawson-Daley.

I didn’t need another favourite Australian album this year, and wasn’t looking for one, but here we go again… The S-Bends “Nothing Feels Natural to Me” was released last week on the Stable Label.


Sachet 2019Sydney band Sachet are back with a new single ahead of their second album. The first Sachet album “Portion Control” was a PopLib favourite, and this new song “Nets” promises more fair dinkum Aussie guitar-pop goodness ahead:

The album “Nets” is from (also called “Nets”) is due in September 2019 on Brisbane label Tenth Court.

Sachet feature two members from now defunct Sydney shoegaze band Day Ravies – Lani Crooks (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar) and Sam Wilkinson (bass) – along with Nick Webb (Guitar) and Chris Anstis (drums).

Sachet’s ultra-melodic guitar-based post-punk pop is a more choppy, angular, direct and concise form of pop-craft that Day Ravies. If you like “Nets” then please do check out that first album “Portion Control” over at the Strange Pursuits Bandcamp.

shrapnel 2018

Here’s three songs segued together as an introduction to a new release upcoming from Sydney lo-fi guitar pop outfit Shrapnel, in the process sounding like something from an early Guided By Voices album:

Not sure if this is how these tracks will be assembled on Shrapnel’s “Wax World 5” album or if this is a three-up edit as a pre-release tempter, but either way this is a great way to experience three quite different flavours of Shrapnel’s scratchy, distorted pop goodness.

“Little Rockets” and “Milkman” have the highest GBV quotient, dangerously melodic and a bit mad (those “Milkman” choruses are extraordinary). In the middle is the prickly and furious beast of “Death Rug” which will sandpaper your ear-drums with the roughest fuzzed out guitar and overloaded (cassette porta-studio??) recording.

Shrapnel features Sam Wilkinson who was also in a couple of PopLib favourites – Sachet who in turn came out of the fine Sydney shoegaze band Day Ravies.  Check them all out please, if you haven’t already. Some very fine albums and singles from all.


Sachet_Portion Control_TVfireHere’s PopLib’s 7th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Tinnitus” from Sachet’s beaut “Portion Control” album, self released on their Strange Pursuits label earlier this year:

The album by these Sydney, Australia descendants of the band Day Ravies, is crammed with inventive, hyperactive lo-fi melodic guitar pop.

Recommended for anyone and everyone.

Sachet Portion Control Front_Back_LPHere’s another song from Sachet’s excellent first album “Portion Control” – the fuzzy “Neenish Tart” which ends side one of the LP, which arrived in the mail last week from Sydney label Strange Pursuits.

“Neenish Tart” evokes strong memories of two very favourite (and related) Scottish bands from the mid-1980s – The Pastels (from Glasgow) and Shop Assistants (from Edinburgh).

It’s probably infuriating for new bands for a comparison to be made between a song they released in 2017 and the music from 30 years ago of some bands they may never have heard of. However, there are thousands of fans of those two bands who have never heard of Sachet who would love this song and album if they knew about it… so here we are.

Sachet represent in 2017 the spirit of the DIY 80s when “indie” was really independent pop music. Self-recorded, unapologetically under-produced (that’s a good thing), self-releasing through their own label (which also releases a few other excellent bands), and largely overlooked, unseen, unheard by an audience who would appreciate their music if only they knew it existed.

The Pastels and Shop Assistants were around in the era of vibrant music print media and influential radio shows. They were written about (and mythologised) with the help of grainy photos in newsprint weeklies, in fanzines and in glossy music monthlies. The only places you could hear their music were a few BBC radio shows hosted by independent DJs, which anyone who wanted to hear the new sounds of the Pop Underground would listen to if they could (even around the world by exchange of cassette tapes).

Sachet exist in the era of information overload and perhaps even new music overload, where visibility across the thousands of websites depends on a budget for a PR campaign that a self-funded DIY label like Strange Pursuits can’t afford. Visibility today, even once obtained, is fleeting; quickly cached into online – and human – memory.  It’s a shame really, as Sachet – as with Lani & Sam’s previous band Day Ravies – represent a strong a pulse within the still-living International Pop Underground.

If you were wondering what a Neenish Tart is… according to Wikipedia it is an Australian invention (yeah, right. cf: Pavlova) but “the lemon-flavoured version of the tart most familiar to New Zealand residents is found in the Edmonds Cookery Book. It includes a filling made from butter, icing sugar, sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice in a flour-based pastry base topped with half standard white icing and half chocolate (cocoa added) icing.”

Sachet_Portion Control_TVfireA few weeks ago we introduced “Melted Wires” from Sydney ban Sachet, a single ahead of an album. The album “Portion Control” is out now;  here’s “Follow Car” from it:

Sachet feature two members from Day Ravies – Sam Wilkinson (guitar) and Lani Crooks (lead vocals, keyboards, guitar) – so it should be no surprise that there’s a common thread between the two bands in spiky guitar-based post-punk pop.

The songs are concise, ultra-melodic and self-recorded by Wilkinson, perhaps on a 4-track cassette, judging by their grainy, smudged character.

The music on “Portion Control” channels the contemporary 21st-century DIY garage crunch of the likes of The Oh Sees and Ty Segall, while also providing intriguing hints of the minimalist post-punk pop of Young Marble Giants within some of the songwriting and arrangements at times.

“Portion Control” is an inventive, hyperactive album and well worth grabbing a copy of the LP.


SachetIt’s been a while since we checked in on Sydney underground pop label Strange Pursuits. Turns out there’s a log jam of snappy punk-edged melodic garage-pop waiting for our ears. Here’s the thrilling staccato blast of Sachet with “Melted Wires”:

It says “First ‘single’ from debut LP ‘Portion Control’ by Sydney outfit Sachet. LP due August 2017 on Strange Pursuits.”  On the strength of “Melted Wires” that Sachet LP will be top of the PopLib shopping list come August.

Sachet are Lani Crooks and Sam Wilkinson of Day Ravies along with Nick Webb and Chris Anstis. “Melted Wires” continues in a similar vein to the compulsively melodic earworm guitar-pop template perfected by Day Ravies on their fabulous “Liminal Zones” album, but now stripped back to barking guitar, sparse keyboard, crunching drums and voices.

It’s cracking stuff – the guitar in the verses evokes the spirit of Dr Feelgood’s Wilko Johnson and the song charges along with the feral energy of an early Fall 7″ with Crooks delivering a crisp and threatening vocal.

Perfect as all that sounds, the chorus flips the song into lush melodic pop with layered vocal harmonies. Add in an instrumental bridge pulling post-punk shapes and angles, and you’ve got the kind of inventive bittersweet garage-pop genius which makes you hit ‘repeat’ again and again. Can’t wait to hear more from Sachet.