5. The Bureau Of Terry
Melbourne quartet Terry are, even if you ignore their multiple other projects, incredibly prolific. The band are set to release I’m Terry, later this month on Upset The Rhythm, their third record in as many years. This week, the band, who feature members of Total Control, Dick Diver and Primo, to name but a few, have shared the latest taste of that record in new single, Bureau.
Part of a wonderful moment in Australian music, Terry are a band of perfect contradictions. Their music is repetitive, even simplistic, yet it’s also clever and exciting, their songs tackle hard-hitting subjects; for instance, Bureau seems to almost absent-mindedly reference the global financial crash, yet they seem to fixate on almost mundane details of these events, they’re both very odd and the most straight-forward punk band you’ve ever heard. On Bureau, Terry seem to look at the world and find it to be an awful Orwellian nightmare, yet they never seem to suggest we fight, in fact with their dead-pan vocals you almost feel like they are lost to their fate, part of the very machine they once rallied against. Terry invite us into the world of tomorrow, welcome us to the fate of all mankind, don’t worry friends, Terry is here, you’ll like Terry, Terry is your future.
I’m Terry, is out August 31st via Upset The Rhythm. Click HERE for more information on Terry.
4. Tomberlin Heads Any Other Way
On At Weddings, the debut album from Tomberlin, or Sarah Beth Tomberlin if you like forenames, for the most part, deals with the isolation and loneliness of growing up. Much of the record details her shift from a home-schooled daughter of a Baptist pastor, into a young woman striving to find her place in the world and questioning, perhaps rejecting, the faith that shaped her upbringing. At Weddings is released today on Saddle Creek, and this week Tomberlin has shared the latest track from it Any Other Way.
Influenced more by hymns than any modern artist, there’s certainly a clarity and power to Tomberlin’s sound more often associated with religious music, as well as a lyrical intensity that comes with those songs of judgement and revelation. Sarah Beth describes the moment she found herself singing in church and realising she wasn’t sure she believed the words in front of her, “I felt nauseous and shaky reading these words I was singing and feeling their intensity. If I did believe this, how could I sing these words without being scared out of my mind? That’s what’s influenced how I write”. On, Any Other Way, Tomberlin offers a candid snapshot of that moment, and the emptiness that came with it, “feeling bad for saying oh my god, no I’m not kidding, gave me a sudden feeling that I didn’t have a place”. Throughout, atop a backing of muted guitar strums and gentle piano runs, Sarah Beth is struggling for answers, now they’re no longer found in, “a book off the shelf”, and despite others reassuring her it’s a brave decision, you can hear the doubt and the temptation to run back to the world she knows. Tomberlin’s music feels vital, a lifeline to those going through difficult times and wondering if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, “my number one goal with my music is for honesty and transparency that helps other people find ways to exist”, this certainly seems like a very impressive start towards achieving her goals.
At Weddings is out today via Saddle Creek. Click HERE for more information on Tomberlin.
3. Night Shop Sets Sail
Justin Sullivan has been performing as a touring drummer for over 20 years; he performed with Kevin Morby, both solo and as The Babies, as well as being a founder member of Marc Riley favourites, Flat Worms. In 2016, burnt out from life on the road hitting skins on other people’s songs, Justin decided to take a year out: it might just have been the best idea he ever had. The result is the aptly titled album, In The Break, Justin’s first record under his musical pseudonym, Night Shop.
Ahead of releasing In The Break next month, Night Shop has this week shared the newest taste of it, The Ship Has Sailed. Liberally borrowing his musical friends talents, the record features offerings from Meg Duffy, Anna St. Louis and Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere, Justin has created a sound entirely on his own terms. Sure, there’s certainly a touch of Kevin Morby in the vocal production, and that’s no bad thing, yet in the twanging-guitars and prominent percussive bass-line there’s enough to make this stand out from even the most distinguished of crowds. Time to put all your best drummer jokes to one side, and admire a talent stepping into the limelight with effortless aplomb.
In The Break is out September 14th via Woodsist / Mare Records. Click HERE for more information on Night Shop.
2. Peel Dream Magazine Hit Terminal Velocity
While the influence of John Peel has never been in doubt, we must admit we were a little surprised to hear that a young, New York based songwriter, would have named his band after the great man – yet that’s exactly what Joe Stevens did. That band, Peel Dream Magazine, are set to release their latest record, Modern Meta Physic in October, and listening to the latest cut from it, Qi Velocity, we are certainly transported back to late nights in the late 1990’s listening to that wonderful strain of indie music Mr Ravenscroft Senior used to play to us so regularly.
Peel Dream Magazine’s sound is a winning blend of pop-drenched melodies and fuzzy production, marking them out as part of the same lineage of The Velvet Underground through to Jesus & Mary Chain and Belle & Sebastian. The trick here, on Qi Velocity, is the way nothing is wasted, nothing is superfluous, just an expertly judged production that flows perfectly. Biting guitars provide bursts of energy one second, then warm buzzes of organs and electronic twinkles offer moments of dreamy escapism, the whole thing held together by Joe’s unwavering, almost unemotive vocal. Old influences, stitched together into a perfect modern tapestry, in our opinion, Peel Dream Magazine are doing music exactly the way it should be done.
Modern Meta Physic is out October 5th via Slumberland Records. Click HERE for more information on Peel Dream Magazine.
1. Adrianne Lenker Cradles The Abyss
The rise of Big Thief has been a charmingly old-fashioned one, built on hard work, word of mouth and wonderful music. The band have become one of the alternative-scenes most loved acts, and done it entirely on their own terms. Continuing that theme of doing things your own way, the band’s vocalist Adrianne Lenker has this week announced, not a new Big Thief record, instead a return to her solo career. Adrianne is set to release abysskiss, the follow-up to 2014’s, Hours Were The Birds, in October and has shared the first taste of it, Cradle.
While much of Adrianne’s work has dealt with her youth, her past if you will, for abysskiss, she has set out to document the here and now. Much of this record was written on the road and in studios as Adrianne lived the musicians life. It serves as an intimate and immediate documentation of where both her songwriting and life currently stand, in her own words, an attempt to, “archive the songs in their original forms”. Listening to Cradle, you feel like you’re almost listening to a demo, a song still having the life breathed into it as it’s performed; it’s not lo-fi per se, in fact it sounds lush and perfectly unadorned, allowing her unmistakable vocal and gentle backing plenty of room to breath. Lyrically, it seems to dance with half-finished images; there’s an underlying feeling of discontent, yet it seems to be more with an inability to accept the potential for happiness than any underlying sadness. As a snapshot of a songwriter at the peak of their powers, Cradle suggests Adrianne Lenker remains one of music’s most vital voices.
abysskiss is out October 5th via Saddle Creek. Click HERE for more information on Adrianne Lenker.
Header photo is Adrianne Lenker by Shernin Lainez – https://www.shervinfoto.com/