Archives for posts with tag: The Twerps

If you love Dumb Things as much as I do you’ll adore Renovator’s Delight, the solo+friends band of Dumb Things guitarist/ vocalist Madeleine Keinonen, who has just released a first album “Bark All Night”. It’s delightfully melodic and jangling guitar pop, and “Head In The Clouds” here could be a long lost Magick Heads song. It’s a beauty. The whole album is.

The phrase “renovator’s delight” is a real estate agent’s euphemism for an old ‘character house’ that has seen better days, requiring re-piling, re-plumbing, new electrics and replacement windows, bathroom kitchen etc. In other words, a money pit. However your commitment of $11 AUD for the digital album or $32 AUD plus postage for the LP of “Bark All Night” is a sound investment. No hard work required here, but many hours of rewarding listening guaranteed.

As with Dumb Things, Renovator’s Delight does the simple stuff exceptionally well. Guitar & bass, drums, Keinonen’s unaffected vocals, and some additional texture from clarinet, violin, and, well, bowed saw of course. As with Dumb Things, Keinonen’s lyrics are observational, slice-of-life stuff, and work with the homespun music and arrangements.

“Bark All Night” seems to display as much of a strong stylistic link to southern New Zealand jangle pop past (Robert Scott and his bands Magick Heads, and The Bats) and present (check the forthcoming album by Jim Nothing if you like your laconic jangling guitar pop served with violin), as there is to the legions of Australian jangling guitar pop icons past and present. Quietly essential.

As bonus content, here’s the video for the opening track “Bucket of Water”:

jmcfarlanes_reality_guest_photo“Where Are You My Love?” is the captivating flute+synth+voice track which closes an album by one-time/ some-time Twerps member Julia McFarlane, and friends, operating under the banner J. McFarlane’s Reality Guest.

The Bandcamp page for the release says “TA DA! It’s the debut full length from Julia McFarlane, previously known as Hot Topic, henceforth known as J. McFarlane’s Reality Guest!” 

“Where Are You My Love?” stands out for its unusual simplicity, the song taking the form of an almost traditional folk lament sung over minimal instrumentation of synth, and flute from multi-instrumentalist Ela Stiles (Bushwalking)

The album is notionally ‘synth-pop’ but in a minimalist way. The songs zoom around between bold synth-led pop statements (eg: “I Am a Toy”), minimal strange folk pop (eg: “What has He Bought?”) and stripped down post-punk pop of  the likes of “Do You Like What I’m Sayin?”.

In some ways the music on “TA DA!” may be long way from The Twerps strum and jangle (if you are here because of Twerps related withdrawal curiosity) but it takes a similar low-key DIY approach and focus on everyday themes.

The album was released on 9 January but the LP version on Melbourne label Hobbies Galore has sold out already, which should tell you everything you need to know about how good this is.

jmcfarlanes_reality_guest

bettong_eastern-quoll

Couldn’t find a picture of The Pits so here is a couple of Bettong (L) and an Eastern Quoll (R) via http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/

“SHOUTING IN CAPS” by The Pits is another track from the excellent “Community 4” compilation album of Hobart Underground music. The song has the kind of Bored-Young-Dylan appeal of early releases by The Clean – and their Great Unwashed alter ego.

The song is about the minutiae and anxiety-inducing hyper-connected  (anti-)social-media world:

“Refresh the page again, refresh the page again, what’s happening?”

The  deadpan observational lyrics are simultaneously funny and heartbreaking:

 “SHOUTING IN CAPS again, SHOUTING IN CAPS again, to my 29 friends” 

To use the vernacular of the song, in my humble opinion The Pits are hashtag “Dunedin Sound” except they are trending from Hobart, Tasmania, in Australia so it’s probably called something else there.

They fit in the everyday story-telling-with-rambunctious-guitar-strum style of fellow Australians like The Twerps and Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, but hopefully Tasmania has it’s own descriptive labels for what The Pits do, rather than relying on those mainland Australian put-down genre names of ‘slacker indie’ slash ‘dole wave’.

Check out the rest of the “Community 4 – a compilation of Hobart music” album, and find out more about Bettongs and Eastern Quolls at the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife website.