Monday, 25 March 2013

New Music Monday #45

Vs Head Vs Heart
by Emma Louise (2013)

It was 2011 when Emma Louise released 'Jungle,' a confident, catchy indie debut track that won her fans throughout the world. Her debut EP, Full Hearts and Empty Rooms followed shortly after, containing the heartbreaking ballad '1000 Sundowns' and highlighting her incredible way with words. In 2012 we heard the first taste of her debut full-length album, the single 'Boy.' Not a huge departure from what had come before, equally as engaging and simply ramping up the anticipation. Vs Head Vs Heart has had incredible expectations placed upon it and now that it's out on shelves Australia wide, I think we will all agree that Louise has not only met those expectations, she's exceeded them in experimental ways no one could have imagined. It's safe to say music punters, this is far and away the best release of 2013 so far. 

"Hands on her shoulders, hair down her back, lying to her lover at home." A haunting vocal introduces '17 Hours,' a somewhat surprisingly chilled introduction that sets the tone for Vs Head Vs Heart. These tracks aren't designed to earn a ton of commercial airplay; they build beautiful layer upon beautiful layer, Emma Louise singing stories of childhood, wasted love and growing up. They take their time to develop, drawing you in so close to her you'll find the words bouncing around in the back of your mind for quite some time. 'Stainache' could be the most stunning moment in the collection; as Louise reveals, "but I can feel you, chasing me in the dark," you feel deeply involved in an intimate moment that leaves you holding your breath an instant longer than you'd expect. 

Current single 'Freedom' finds itself perfectly relaxed in one instant and celebrating a triumph the next. "And feel the wind blow through your hair, this is freedom, on a long road to no where, chasing the moon till morning comes." It's almost like a dare you want to follow through with or one of those annoyingly effective Corona ads - "From where you'd rather be." 'Freedom' isn't in any way shape or form annoying though. 'Cages' is another standout track, with Louise drifting into Bjork-influenced territory. There's something in the erratic delivery of the lines, rapid then slow, that separates 'Cages' from the rest of the album (with the exception of the bare bones, interlude-ish 'Braces'). There's got to be a metaphor in here somewhere, but it would be even more Bjork like if Louise is singing about a bird she got rid of. 

Vs Head Vs Heart is a confident, expectation shattering debut from an artist that's proving she isn't afraid to take some risks. Moving further away from the pop sensibilities found in 'Jungle' was a brave move and it's more than paid off. You've got to give this album a go. Emma Louise has certainly earned your time. 

Matt Bond gives Vs Head Vs Heart five Nick Cave's out of five...

by George Maple (April 15, 2013)

Electro chanteuse, George Maple is ready to fix her gaze on you. Already known for her collaborations with Flume and Flight Facilities, the artist formerly (and probably still) known as Jess Higgs is set to make an impact with her own brand of minimalist electronic music. 'Fixed' lacks any distinctive bells or whistles, instead utilising Maple's soulful vocal performance as the true draw card, with percussive beats supporting her along the way. Think Roisin Murphy without the theatrics; Maple's voice holding you in a trance without the unnecessary and artificial environment. It's the Aussie ladies that are leading an innovative, experimental charge in the music industry right now and with 'Fixed,' George Maple throws her hat in the ring as a future contender for leader of the pack. Bring on a full album!

Matt Bond gives 'Fixed' four Shirley Manson's out of five...


Hunt Like Wolves
by Ride Into The Sun (April 6, 2013)

Fans of classic horror movies... you're welcome. Ride Into The Sun's 'Hunt Like Wolves' cuts up snippets from ye olden time Nosferatu and friends films to make an accompanying video as fantastically trippy as the song itself. Already lamenting a year without Tame Impala? Get behind these psychedelic rockers. It looks like they're heading over to the Austin Psych Fest later in the year, or they will be - maybe with your support! We're already big fans around here of the Kickstarter approach and Ride Into The Sun have almost reached their Pozible goal to get them to Austin. Liking 'Hunt Like Wolves'? You can head over to Pozible and buy some sweet, sweet music from Ride Into The Sun (including the option of purchasing their upcoming, self-titled vinyl LP) and send them on their way to the US of A. Then you can enjoy the video for 'Hunt Like Wolves' again and again... and again and again and again.

Matt Bond gives the video for 'Hunt Like Wolves' three Karen O's out of five...

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