Monday, 12 August 2013

New Music Monday #64

Body Music
by AlunaGeorge (out now)

AlunaGeorge are a London based rnb/electronic duo who've been creating some big waves on the internet and music blogs since they first appeared with their debut EP last year. Sometimes the internet really is a huge hype machine and for me, that's exactly what their debut album Body Music is. Hype.

Opening with 'Outlines', a track that sounds like it would be perfectly at home playing in the background in my local generic cafe, things get....just the same all the way through. Let me explain this another way. The first time I put on Body Music was early in the morning. I listened to the first couple of tracks, enjoyed the single 'Attracting Flies' and its semi-catchy ways as I always have, but then a song later decided I really should do those breakfast dishes and clean the kitchen a little. The next thing I realise, my kitchen is spotless but the album is done and none of it really held on to me.

I tried again in the afternoon. Again, 'Outlines';the cafe song, 'Attracting Flies';the single and this time I got to 'You Know You Like It', but the cushions on the lounge chair were calling and an hour later I'd slept through the whole album and the sun was starting to set while my house was quiet. Maybe it had been a long day. I tried once more, at night. This time, I was determined to hear it, except, let's just face the facts. I didn't. This is not an album that demands you listen. The soft vocal is just soft, not compelling and the beats are just boring. I don't like not liking music, but this one is just so bland it's hard to find something to like, let alone love.

The interesting thing is, the singles that created all the hype in the first place are still strong singles. 'Your Drums Your Love' and the previously mentioned 'Attracting Flies' and 'You Know You Like It' are still strong songs, but when hearing the whole album, I question, why only them? The rest feels like filler and I wonder why the obviously talented duo didn’t spend some more time working on the songs that make up Body Music, because when you listen you can hear future potential, but those words are both important. Future. Potential. Potential in the future. There’s no real energy in this album that makes me want to press play and unfortunately, that probably means I won’t have the energy to press it again. Like this is an album that has made me lose the energy to write any more about an album I’ve managed to listen to three times, but not really hear anything.

Jo Michelmore gives Body Music two Nicki Minaj heads out of five...

Is This How You Feel? EP
by The Preatures (out now)

If you're reading this, it's almost a certainty that you've heard the song 'Is This How You Feel?'. A song by The Preatures so infectiously good and appealing to the ears, that you can already bank on it crashing into the upper echelon of the triple J Hottest 100 come January. Last week, the Sydney five-piece released the Is This How You Feel? EP and you can rest assured, these guys and gal are a whole lot more that one (pretty amazing) song. 

After the timeless sound and energy of 'Is This How You Feel?' fades away, 'Manic Baby' takes over in all of its funkified glory. It's quite a dramatic shift in style, but you're already bopping your head before Isabella Manfredi's sleek and soulful tones completely reel you into the performance. For those keeping score at home, Manfredi enters at approximately the six second mark. 'Revelation (So Young)' earns top marks in all aspects. Manfredi's haunting vocal performance is flawless and the way she croons lines like, "I want to leave with you baby, we could get a place just the two of us," will leave you under her spell. Kira Puru drops by for backup in the Revelation Choir and as we've previously discussed... everything is better with Kira Puru.

Surrounded by music that one could describe as gothic country rock, Gideon Bensen's smokey voice takes the lead for 'All My Love' and all you can think is, "how does one band have not one, but two incredible singers? Who do they think they are, Fleetwood Mac or something?" Well, I was thinking that. And then I had the brilliant idea to have The Preatures supporting Fleetwood Mac on their upcoming tour. And then I remembered I have no say in things like that. Manfredi does appear throughout 'All My Love' and when she sings alongside Bensen, it's magic. Pure musical magic. I imagine it's even more enjoyable to hear live. 

'Dark Times' has all the energy of 'Is This How You Feel?' and then some. Bensen, Thomas Champion and Jack Moffitt turn in suitably funky guitar work, while Luke Davison's drum work makes you want to get up and dance to the rockin' beat. The Is This How You Feel? EP is a very, very interesting listen. How do I feel? Like I've just experienced five different moments in music history. A bit of Motown, funk, soul, rock and roll, pop, country. So many different genres, but they feel like they all belong to The Preatures, who mix them up and make something fun and new. You'd think with a song as good as 'Is This How You Feel' it would be only too easy to say it's the best song on the EP. But it's not. There isn't even a standout track. Each song stands on its own as brilliant, heartbeat-skipping, attention grabbing music. I feel good. Great even. Go get this EP and feel the same.

Matt Bond gives the Is This How You Feel EP five Nick Cave heads out of five...

Endless Drain
by Major Leagues (single out now) 

Yes. A million times yes. Major Leagues are another emerging Brisbane indie act that are going to rock your socks off. Sitting alongside local modern day contemporaries like Jeremy Neale and Go Violets, these dudettes (Anna, Jaimee, Vlada) and dude (Jake) will have you swaying along to 'Endless Drain', a song that's anything but modern day and contemporary sounding. There's a surf rock revolution going on in Brisbane and Major Leagues look set to lead the way. 'Endless Drain' is already scoring some much deserved play on the J's and I've got a feeling this is the start of something very cool. I'm excited to hear what they come up with next.

Matt Bond gives 'Endless Drain' three Karen O heads out of five...


Lost Track of Time

Maybe it was the fact that I'm a driver, like, I love driving, I drive when I'm happy, I drive when I'm sad, I love the open road and the suburban street, so maybe it was that bias that got me hooked. Maybe it was those first beautiful sounds, the beats I've become so familiar with over the last few weeks as I've fallen slowly head over heels for this fabulous trio from Brisbane that made me watch intently, but either way, the new clip from MTNS is one I adore. So simple. Wintery imagery of forests and fogs and all perfectly timed with the addictive song, it all got even better when I was shocked at the imagery just over a minute in. What was going on here? I still don’t really know, but I know when the trigger is pulled at 1:58 it's completely choreographed and in time with my favourite bits of the song, where I lose myself completely in the sound. Let's just face it: I love this song, I'm falling in love with this band and subsequently, I adore this clip. It's simple, it's understated and it's exactly what MTNS seem to be. Need more from this band, quickly. They're just too good. 

Jo Michelmore gives 'Lost Track of Time' four PJ Harvey heads out of five...

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