Archives for posts with tag: Tasmania

Violet Swells

Here’s PopLib’s 10th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Gravity Wins Again” from the album 7000 The pick of Hobart Independent bands by ultra-psychedelic astral adventurers Violet Swells.

“Gravity Wins” again is from the second of the two great compilation albums of bands from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.  It may orbit in a similar far distant planetary system to the music of early Tame Impala perhaps, but classic psychedelic pop sound of the Violet Swells recording here suits the music far better than the saturated crunch of a typical Kevin Parker production.

Recommended to send as a gift to your most psychedelic friends, as is their glorious 2017 mini-album “There’s No Time Like Eternity”.

 

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The Know NothingsOK, buckle in – our 2nd ‘send as a gift’ tip for December is this cracking, snot-caked garage-punk nugget from Community 4 – a compilation of Hobart music – one of the two excellent Hobart music underground compilations featured on PopLib earlier this year.

“Ain’t no Shame in my Game” may be formulaic snotty garage punk but The Know Nothings have clearly discovered the secret ingredient to that formula and this song is perfect enough to grace any Nuggets type compilation from any era. Ever.

The song gets extra attitude points for the twin lead vocals and the honking saxo-cacophony. The Know Nothings are Keith Hinde on vocals and guitar, Bek Binnie on vocals and bass, Sam Harrington on drums and Dave Holmes on even more guitar.  You’ll find it and even more splendid feral garage-punk nuggets on their album “Days of Foolishness, Nights of Idiocy”.

The entire compilation album is recommended as a gift for anyone you know who likes Australian alternative music but thought the plug was pulled on that sound in the 1990s. This particular track is highly recommended as an upgrade gift for annoying little brothers or sisters who listen to cartoon radio-punk like Green Day too loud while curling their lip. Get real.

Peak Body EPBack in January we introduced Peak Body via their song “Feelings” on the “Community 4” compilation of Hobart, Tasmania underground music. “Feelings” is on their debut EP, out today as digital download and cassette. Here’s another song – Life’s Hard” – from the EP:

Peak Body describe their sound as minimalist electronic post-punk – which it mostly is, particularly on the perfect “Feelings”. The addition of tremolo and surf twang guitar to “Life’s Hard” transforms the early 80s attitude and Young Marble Giants styled tension into something even more intriguing and menacing.

Later on the EP there’s more tremolo and twang and a reduction in volume and pace with the last two songs, “Girl Gang” and “Diamonds”, sounding like they wouldn’t be out of place as roadhouse slow-dance songs from the first series of Twin Peaks.

Top sounds once again from the Hobart underground.

 

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We first met Foxy Morons back in January through tracks from two fine Hobart, Tasmania underground music compilations. Here’s another song from them – “Home” – which comes from a self-titled 6-song cassette EP, released last month by Wrong Place (right Time) Records.

The music on “Home” – all languid strummed guitars and cascading fairground organ – sounds like it could have come from an early single by The Chills played at the wrong speed.

The guitars here are strummed in the classic Velvet Underground chug. Attitude is elevated above slavish attention to technical mastery, as it always should be. It’s all about the song and the performance and the experience it represents.

“Home” is a simple song about trying to avoid returning to a cold house, and looking for a dog. In the fog of course. As with Dunedin bands, it appears weather, cold houses and pets offer plenty of inspiration for songwriting in Hobart, Tasmania.

There’s plenty of other fine songs on the EP and the cassette looks like it’s getting another production run so head on over  to the Wrong Place (Right Time) Bandcamp page.  While you are there, check the back catalogue items from Foxy Morons and other Tasmanian lo-fi & DIY music gems on display.

 

 

ewahtvopbeachpanarama“As The Sun Goes Down” is the opening track from the debut album “Everything Fades to Blue” by Tasmania based EWAH and the Vision of Paradise. It’s a belter of an album – epic, cinematic and just a bit dark. Well worth a moment of your time to get lost in the desert at night “As The Sun Goes Down”.

But don’t stop there. Linger a while and take the whole trip here. The album is classic Australian alternative post-punk rock in the tradition of The Triffids, Roland S. Howard, or Spencer P. Jones. From the lush production, menacing tremolo guitar, shimmering New Wave synths and keyboards and thundering drums, to the storytelling in the lyrics, it’s all here.

Presenting this stylish ‘cinema-noir’ album is guitarist, vocalist and songwriter EWAH and her band The Vision of Paradise, a recent discovery from the fine Hobart underground music compilation album “Community 4” where their “Walk the Night” was a standout track.

For another perfect example,  listen to the song the band takes its name from – “Vision of Paradise”. Over a majestic 7 and a half minutes the song builds from atmospheric mantra to a swelling tidal wave of keyboard, drums and guitar feedback before easing back again to fade to silence.

“All Summer Long” is another song which immediately conveys a sense of landscape, distance, and shimmering heat through its atmospheric wide-screen arrangement and lethargic pace.

These are just a couple of highlights. The album really deserves to be listened to as a whole piece, working together as a collection of thematically-linked stories mixing light and dark, affection and menace, beauty and beasts, triumph and disaster.

“Everything Fades to Blue” was released a few weeks ago on LP. I reckon it’s worth adding to your collection.

the-sunday-leagueThis may well be my favourite song from the other* Hobart music compilation called “7000 – The Pick of Hobart Independent bands”. And “Monday” is a perfect song for a Monday naturally. Even though Monday in NZ is still a Sunday in some parts of the world, it’s still a perfect song because it’s by The Sunday League.

The Sunday League take me back to the likes of The CannanesThe Lucksmiths and The Steinbecks; all chiming perfect hollow-body electric guitars, earnest melodic vocals and lyrics reflecting on the everyday things of existence in suburban Australia. Like rubbish collection day and overgrown Pittosporum trees.

It’s music so familiar you’d think you should have heard enough of it already. And yet, something like this can breeze along, with those ringing guitar notes, quivering Australian voice and honest band-in-a-room recording, and it’s just perfect for dreaming and escaping to imagine watching the bin collectors work their way down a tree-lined street you’ve never been to, in Hobart, Tasmania, postcode 7000.

* check out the “Community 4” Hobart music compilation on bandcamp for more Tasmanian underground pop goodness.

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Time for another stellar track from “Community 4 – a compilation of Hobart music” – “Teeth” is fine inter-woven minimal post-punk from Heart Beach.

One of the rip-it-up-and-start-again aspects of the original ‘post-punk’ movement was freeing ‘pop’ music from songwriting and playing conventions, like guitar chords, verse-chorus, etc. The apparent minimalism of some post-punk can also be complex patterns played on multiple instruments, often with echoes of traditional non-Western music.

Two conventions not abandoned here are rhythm and melody. Combined with the exploratory and circuitous snaking lead guitar lines and the mesmeric bass part “Teeth” establishes a dark kind of melancholy; a world within a world that invites us to join it for a moment.

There’s plenty more from Heart Beach to explore on their own Bandcamp page.