This wild year has flown by! As the air begins to cool, why not listen to the hot tracks that our writers have been listening to. Whether you are after something fresh to hear or want to pick apart our editors', we have got you covered! Enjoy our May edition of T-Rax.
T-Rex Musiq x
May has been a strange one - things are looking up in terms of slowly lifting restrictions in Victoria, but we're still not quite back to normal. I've been throwing myself into my uni work in my downtime, which has obviously required an accompanying soundtrack - I find that I often lose focus trying to work to lyrical music, so this month's highlights include a couple of nods to some talented producers.
#1 - Over and Done With // The Proclaimers
Who knew that the guys who did I'm gonna be (500 Miles) made other good songs? This one's just as much a display of The Proclaimers' (which, fun fact, is made up of identical twin brothers Craig and Charlie) thick Scottish accents and homey mixture of folk and rock and, can I just say, is a great song to quit your mediocre job to.
Like this? Try These: The Soft Boys, Deacon Blue
Other Gems by The Proclaimers: Then I Met You, Let’s Get Married
#2 - Destination // Felt
'Smooth' is one of my favourite adjectives to apply to music, and Felt's Destination is the embodiment of such a descriptor. This track is like if the Beatles did blues and then Jimi Hendrix dropped in for a jam - stellar electric guitar work, jazz drums and a singer that sounds like John Lennon? That's a yes.
Like this? Try These: Arzachel, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Other Gems by Felt: World, Now She’s Gone
#3 - Little Black Submarines // The Black Keys
This song feels like they wrote two versions, loved them both and so decided to put them both into the track - the first 2 minutes make me want to fall asleep, all warm and cosy, and the second half is something I'd dance to at a moderately dirty pub and seriously enjoy.
Like this? Try These: The Raconteurs
Other Gems by The Black Keys: Meet me in the city, Money Maker
#4 - All My Friends Are Dead // Dirty Bourbon River Show
A highlight from their album The Flying Musical Circus (how good are these names?), this track is one of my favorite purely upbeat songs. It's got a wholesome, acoustic sound and makes great use of horns and bass guitar - something that can be said regarding this whole album.
Like this? Try These: Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Swampcandy
Other Gems by Dirty Bourbon River Show: Knockin’ on your Headboard, The cruel and hollow fate of time travel
#5 - Found God in a Tomato // Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
Another one with brilliant naming, this song is a bit of a journey: 9 minutes of mostly instrumentals with heavy psychedelic rock influences, guitar and lyrical reverb galore and seriously varying energy levels. About 5 and a half minutes in, it transitions from leaning on the rock part to the psychedelic part, giving a solid minute of subdued drums and pick work - probably my favorite section.
Like this? Try These: Sugar Candy Mountain, Kikagaku Moyo
Other Gems by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets: Denmark / Van Gogh and Gone, Marmalade March
Wow this year is flying by, how are we already at June? I’ve spent this month pretty hunkered down on the Uni front and as such, most of the songs have been pretty lowkey, easy-listening numbers. Some songs are new, some are old, but all were enjoyed and hopefully you can find a track or two that you that pleases your musical palate.
#1 – Chasing Feelings // Buttered
This is the debut release from the blonde-haired Gold Coast duo, and, like their band name suggests, the song is silky smooth. The opening bars ooze elegance with a gradual crescendo that builds up throughout only let you down gently into the soul and bass lines developing in the background. The lyrics cut through the soul and have a sense of young Frank Ocean about them, such is the class of lead singer Scott Dalton’s voice. He seriously had me doing a double take it wasn’t Matt Corby who’d jumped in the studio and lent the boys his voice for the track, such is the aura. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this group, but in the meantime, I recommend you check out some of Scott’s self-titled solo work he’s recorded and released during iso.
Like this? Try these: Scott Dalton; Matt Corby; pinkiscool
Other gems by Buttered: N/A but Within (Scott Dalton) & Monday (pinkiscool) are grouse
#2 – Daisies // Majak Door
This was the Melbourne 5 piece’s first release of 2019 and it’s a doozy. The blend of surf rock, 60’s psychedelia and dream pop create laidback track that goes just as well on a long drive as it does over the UE at kickons early Sunday morning. The simplistic bass line in conjunction with the guitar riffs and dreamy vocal delivery only enhances the soothing powers of the track. Give this one a listen and tell me you don’t feel calmer for it.
Like this? Try these: The Grogans; Surf Trash; Good Doogs
Other gems by Majak Door: Superman; Los Pollos; Chasing Colours
#3 – Surf 1 // Hobsons Bay Coast Guard
This Melbourne band’s genre is technically classed as rock, but I’d attach them more to the 60s psych surf scene than anything. Surf 1 was released as a single in 2018 and is the 2nd song on their self-titled debut album released last year. The bubbly track is bubbly blend of synths and fast paced drum sequences, drawing parallels to bigger named bands such as Pond and Babe Rainbow but to be honest, they remind me of a modern day Beach Boys. Another cruisy number for you Sunday afternoon.
Like this? Try these: Pond; Babe Rainbow; Majak Door
Other gems by Hobsons Bay Coast Guard: Junkie; Summoning the 4th; Wannabe
#4 – On The Line // San Cisco
They’re back baby!! Everybody’s favourite WA sweethearts have released a new song only a few months after their latest EP Flaws and after a few spins, its possibly my favourite San Cisco release since 2015’s Gracetown album. Jordi and Scarlet have reunited for a shared chorus reminiscent of the baby faced duo’s performance on the timeless classic that is Awkward. With the usual San Cisco flair evident in the dour lyrics contrasting over choppy guitar runs and upbeat, jovial vocal delivery we have become accustomed to, their new album set to be released in the future is seeming like it might be a ripper.
Like this? Try these: Ball Park Music; The Delta Riggs; Middle Kids
Other gems by San Cisco: When I Dream; Too Much Time Together; Hey, Did I Do You Wrong?
#5 – Daisy // Pond
Man I’m really into my Asteraceae’s at the moment aren’t I (have a google). Pond do not get enough credit for being Tame Impala before there was Tame Impala and it makes me sad. Their pulsating psych-rock hits have been heard around Australia since 2008, whilst their first album was released globally in 2012 and 2019’s Tasmania was a seriously good follow up to my favourite album of theirs, 2017’s The Weather.. As is standard, the album was produced by their former drummer Kevin Parker (you might’ve heard of him) and Daisy was the hit single. The song’s ethereal, almost eerie opening with strings explodes into alternative pop bliss and one of the catchiest hooks that’ll have you feeling every ‘ooo’ as though you’ve copped a punch straight to the stomach. It’s a fun number but, as expected, the topic of the song where lead singer Nick Allbrook is imagining his childhoods loved ones clad in chains is a bit of a mind bender. Nonetheless, it’s a song you can have a boogie too and that’s all I can ever ask for.
Like this? Try these: Babe Rainbow; Tame Impala; Mile High Club
Other gems by Pond: Paint Me Silver; Man It Feels Like Space Again; Sweep Me Off My Feet
As it always does, May squeezed out the last little bit of good weather we'll see for a good few months. The cracking sunsets saw a lot of long drives to get the best viewpoints as we were finally allowed to stretch the legs with restriction eases. This reflects onto my picks for this month on those long quiet periods soaking it all in when driving. Enjoy x
#1 – 78 to Stanley Bay // Chaos in the CBD
For these dormant periods, chilled out jazz and deep house couldn’t be more suited. In this category, Chaos in the CBD reign supreme. New Zealand producers Ben and Louis Helliker-Hales have made themselves known across the London scene under the reputable Rhythm Section label. Tracks like these make everything feel like it’s going to be okay. The haziness switches you into autopilot as you glide through these isolated days. A heavily underrated duo that’s doing amazing things, definitely worth a look.
Like this? Try these: Laurence Guy; Hidden Spheres; HNNY
Other gems by Chaos in the CBD: Midnight in Peckham; Luxury Motivation; Emotional Intelligence
#2 – Rosemary // Kim Churchill
Kim Churchill has been uploading a lot of clips in lockdown. A recent one Kim shared of Rosemary took me straight back to his show at the Howler last year. In the heart of winter, the barefooted Kim performed on his own and through this particular section of the set, he was unplugged at the front. There was a pause from all the banter as Kim shared the touching backstory of Rosemary. You could hear a pin drop as we are told a unique love story of an old man named George in the same nursing home as Kim’s grandmother fell in love with her and they later on passed within 24 hours of each other. There were hairs springing up on the back of everyone’s necks as we all gravitated a little closer to the rugged good-looking man with the guitar.
Like this? Try these: Ziggy Alberts; Didirri; John Butler Trio
Other gems by Kim Churchill: Second Hand Car; Look Too; Window to the Sky
#3 – Elixir (Mary Lattimore Version) // Tourist, Mary Lattimore
I was swept up by an array of emotions when Wild came out in October. William Phillips (Tourist) put everything into it and I still look back on it fondly as one of my favourite albums. When Phillips released a batch of reworks from the album, I was in disbelief. What more could you add? Then I heard Mary Lattimore’s version of Elixir. Lattimore has flipped the dancefloor track completely on its head with her outrageous work on the harp. The thought-provoking journey Tourist creates on the original record is captured by Lattimore and she extends it further. There’s a delicateness that rides throughout the track that creates a feeling of vulnerability. Through various sections you can’t help but hold your breath and then feel an uplifting sense of release at the end.
Like this? Try these: My harp knowledge doesn’t go much further than Florence + The Machine, so I’ll just recommend Tourist’s album Wild if you haven’t treated yourself to that yet.
Other gems by Tourist: Kin; Elixir; Bunny
#4 – The Beauty Was Always Us // Loure
Since discovering him in the summer, I’ve been all about Loure. He’s another one of those admirable artists that makes everything appear easy. There’s a new sense of calm that fills the body when you go deep into the producer’s work. I put together a feature on Loure earlier in the month. Whilst making the article, I came across this beautiful piece in his Avenues EP. This was an EP where Loure uncovered another layer of himself to audiences. The Beauty Was Always Us cleverly samples Lauryn Hill describing the effects of love at 3:29 leaving a lasting impact that goes beyond the song’s 6 and a half minutes.
Like this? Try these: Laurence Guy; Harvey Sutherland
Other gems by Loure: Keep It Real; Vue; In the Evenings
#5 – On Melancholy Hill // Gorillaz
I was caught in the middle of a debate about what the best Gorillaz song is. It was satisfying to come to the unanimous decision of On Melancholy Hill. It’s a no brainer, the song is simply perfect. Even if you haven’t heard it before you’re swept up in nostalgia. It’s soothing and straight from the heart. A fine display of David Albarn’s incredible gift for songwriting and composition.
I’m beginning to comprehend just how long it will be until another major festival. Here’s Gorillaz playing On Melancholy Hill with a strings orchestra when they headlined Glastonbury in 2010 to make you feel worse. J
Like this? Try these: MGMT; The Chemical Brothers
Other gems by Gorillaz: Clint Eastwood; Feel Good Inc.; Lake Zurich