Oct 31, 2009

New Spoon In January!!!

Wow! What a way to start a Saturday morning. Spoon, the great ones, will be releasing their newest album in January. January 26 to be precise. On Merge, naturally. The album is called "Transference" and contains 11 tracks. All designed to make us all smile!

Transference Track Listing
1 Before Destruction
2 Is Love Forever?
3 The Mystery Zone
4 Who Makes Your Money
5 Written in Reverse
6 I Saw the Light
7 Trouble Comes Running
8 Goodnight Laura
9 Out Go the Lights
10 Got Nuffin
11 Nobody Gets Me But You

Oct 30, 2009

Whitley Brings Forth New Music

Today sees the release of the new album from Whitley. I am quite excited by this, as his debut album, "The Submarine", was my favourite Australian album of 2007. "Go Forth, Find Mammoth", out on Dew Process, was written and produced by Whitley and engineered on the Victorian coast. Whitley are about to go on the road again for a slew of dates around the country, including a stop in Sydney on November 28 at the Oxford Art Factory. So go out and find the album and then see Whitley perform live.

Go Forth, Find Mammoth Track Listing
1 1945
2 Poison In Our Pockets
3 Head, First, Down
4 Bright White Lights
5 Warm Winter Sky
6 Killer
7 Let It Sing
8 The Piece You Took From Me
9 1
10 Darkest Hour
11 Facades 1
12 Facades 11

Oct 29, 2009

Surf Solar-Fuck Buttons

How good is "Tarot Sport"?, the new album from Fuck Buttons. Pretty damn good if you ask me. Maybe even better then their debut. Here is the first song, the majestic "Surf Solar".

Oct 28, 2009

Midlake Return With New Album

An early present in 2010 will come in the shape of a new album from Midlake. "The Courage of Others" is the band's first in 3 years and will contain 11 tracks in total. To quote guitarist Eric Pulido " We didn't want to make the same album as Van Occupanther, so we carried on moving and creating and pushing for a newer sound and emotion.". The album will be released February 2 on Bella Union.

The Courage of Others Track Listing
1 Acts of Man
2 Winter Dies
3 Small Mountain
4 Core of Nature
5 Fortune
6 Rulers, Ruling All Things
7 Children of the Grounds
8 Bring Down
9 The Horn
10 The Courage of Others
11 In the Ground

Oct 26, 2009

We Are The Willows

We Are The Willows is the solo project of Peter Michael Miller, a native of Wisconsin who now resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On November 24 Amble Down Records (Bon Iver, The Daredevil Christopher Wright) will release his debut album in the shape of "A Collection Of Sounds And Something Like The Plague". He has previously released two EPs, the latest coming in June this year in the form of "A Family. A Tree.". His style is atmospheric folk-pop, with all the music recorded by Miller. Mostly on laptop and a few microphones. What I have heard so far is very good. Definitely worth your time.

MP3: A Funeral Dressed As A Birthday-We Are The Willows

Oct 25, 2009

Arj Barker: Funny, Funny, Funny Man!

Saw Arj Barker at the State Theatre last night. Absolutely hilarious. Here is some of his work from 2008. The man is unique, relying on intelligent, perceptive humour.

Oct 23, 2009

There Is No Enemy-Built To Spill

"There Is No Enemy" is a definite and defining return to form for Built To Spill. Not to say their last two albums were inferior. In fact they were very good. But Built To Spill were not built to do just very good. They were the gold standard. The benchmark. Three albums in the 90s were reference points for high quality guitar rock. They. Had. It. So, I was pleasantly surprised at the outstanding nature of "There Is No Enemy". Guitars soar through out, taking the velvet voice of Doug Martsch along for the ride.

This album is a fluid and exciting mixture of great guitar riffage, melodic tinges and heartfelt and sometimes oblique lyrics. There are some short poppier numbers, a few blasts of axe wielding and best of all, that thing that Built To Spill does best. I like to call it languid ferocity. Songs simmer and nearly come to boiling point as the famous Martsch vocal floats on top. There is a sad desperation to his voice, a mixture of melancholy set at exactly the right pitch to this ever appreciative ear. Let's go with an example in track three. "Nowhere Lullaby" is a dreamy, billowing song that aches with beauty. "And everyone gets through the night and everyone wakes up all right and the fear you feel will pass, then a calmness that will last we will learn to drift off fast" croons the always reliable Martsch. But back to the beginning. The album kicks off with two shots of joy in "Aisle 13" and Hindsight". Both reasonably brief, but very entertaining. But it is perhaps the ferociously good "Life's A Dream" that announces this album as one of greatness. It contains those trembling guitars, slowly winding its way through a lazily good melody. It even comes with horns. Pure gold. "Oh Yeah" builds on the momentum, with its winding, intricate guitar lines delivering the goods. "Done" has that similar texture, that incessant stabbing of woven guitars lines. They chime wistfully, pulling you into the band's world. Then the album closes with two mini epics. The slow burning "Things Fall Apart" and then the truly majestic "Tomorrow", a song of yearning and plaintive hope. A song of pure beauty. A specific reminder that in 2009 Built To Spill can still make the hairs stand up.

Oct 22, 2009

Animal Collective Love Animals

Not only is Animal Collective one of the greatest and most influential bands of this decade, they also care about the world that we live in. They recently featured in a video for PETA calling for the end to seal slaughter in Canada. Good people.

The band will also be releasing a new EP, "Fall Be Kind" on November 9. Containing 5 songs, some of it was recorded at the same time as "Merriweather Post Pavilion". According to Avey Tave, "The vibe is a little bit darker, I'd say-- not in terms of the sound, maybe. Well, the melodies are definitely darker. It's not abrasive dark or anything, but I think the mood of it has just a little bit more of a nighttime, kind of dark, sad vibe, even though I think "What Would I Want? Sky" is a little bit more positive or upbeat. That's the only one. And then "I Think I Can" is very rhythmic, too. A lot of it's not so rhythmic, or at least not as much as Merriweather is. It's a little bit more washy and kind of orchestral."

Fall Be Kind Track Listing
1 Graze
2 What Would I Want? Sky
3 Bleed
4 On A Highway
5 I Think I Can

Animal Collective are playing Enmore Theatre on December 11. Downstairs standing is now sold out, but upstairs seating is still available. Make sure you don't miss out, because the band looks to be taking a break from touring for a while.

Avey said "At this point, it's time for us to take a break. It's the most we've ever taken one group of songs, one era out on the road. We were excited and enthusiastic to go to all the different places we've been, especially this year with all the festivals. I just think it feels like a natural ending to it all. We're going to go to Australia in December. I'm really looking forward to that because we've only done that one time before. It's going to be a slightly bigger thing this time around. So that'll be great. But I think after that, we want to take a break and start thinking about music more, really going at it and working a lot on it, and work on other things and get inspired by other things, then next year start writing again".

Oct 21, 2009

A New Look

You might have noticed a new look around here. Well thanks to my nephew Jason, he designed my blog, Oceans Never Listen has a fresh new look. I think he has done a great job, hope you do too. I just realised the other day that this month has marked my three year anniversary of blogging. Lately I have found it hard to write long pieces or update every day. I mean I try, but there never seems enough hours in the day. Anyway, I hope to continue blogging for a good while yet and hopefully I will be able to devote more time to my writings.

Meanwhile, here are a few tunes to enjoy...

MP3: Island, IS-Volcano Choir
MP3: Twenty Cycles To The Ground-Molina and Johnson
MP3: Sugalumps-Flight of the Conchords

Oct 20, 2009

St Jerome's Laneway Festival

After much conjecture, mostly wrong, the lineup for the 2010 St Jerome's Laneway Festival was announced today. I have to say I was rather underwhelmed. I mean, it has a certain amount of interest with some very much written about bands on the bill. It certainly has a fresh feeling about it. But, but, well it's just. There are no bands that scream 'I have to see them'. No Broken Social Scene. No Okkervil River. But I think I will buy a ticket. I am certainly curious about The xx (like their album), Black Lips and Mumford & Sons and a few others.

Plus Melbourne and Sydney have new venues. Footscray Community Arts Centre in Melbourne and Sydney College of the Arts (Rozelle) in Sydney. I think this is definitely a good move, after the overcrowding that happened in the last couple of years.

Echo & the Bunnymen
Florence & The Machine
Black Lips
The xx
Daniel Johnston
Sarah Blasko
Black Lips
Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Dappled Cities
Mumford & Sons
The Very Best
Wild Beasts
The Middle East
Kid Sam
Dirty Three (Melbourne Only)

Tickets on Sale Friday October 30
More acts to be announced...

Oct 19, 2009

Summer Babe-Pavement (Live)

Pavement. Enough said...

Oct 18, 2009

Stolen Pills-Spiral Stairs

Spiral Stairs is back with a new album. Previously recording as Preston School of Industry, the new album from Spiral (Scott Kannberg), is his first in 5 years. Here is a video from the new album, "The Real Feel", in the shape of "Stolen Pills". The album was actually recorded in Australia with help from the members of The Posies and Gersey. It is now out on Matador.

Oct 15, 2009

Oslo Novelist-Grand Archives

Brand new video from Grand Archives. "Oslo Novelist" is from the band's second album, "Keep In Mind Frankenstein", now out on Sub Pop.

MP3: Oslo Novelist-Grand Archives

Oct 14, 2009

Ola Podrida Goes Vinyl

Yes, David Wingo has signed to Western Vinyl and is about to release his second album on the Texas label. Wingo, a Texan native, records as Ola Podrida and his self titled debut album was something pretty special. The man started with home recordings and making film scores, most noticeably for David Gordon Green. "Belly Of The Lion" was actually recorded mostly in Wingo's apartment and the first taste of the album sounds pretty special. "Your Father's Basement" is all hushed beauty and velvety tones. An album to look forward to on November 10.

Belly Of The Lion Track Listing
1 The Closest We Will Ever Be
2 We All Radiant
3 Your Father's Basement
4 Donkey
5 Monday Morning
6 Lakes of Wine
7 Sink or Swim
8 Roomful of Sparrows
9 This Old World

MP3: Your Father's Basement-Ola Podrida

Oct 13, 2009

Freak Train-Kurt Vile

Here is the first video from the new Kurt Vile album "Childish Prodigy". Really enjoying the album, out now on Matador. This song is "Freak Train".

Oct 11, 2009

A Streetcar (Named Surprise)

Saturdays are great. All of them. Only Friday nights are better, because you know Saturday is just around the corner. So, our Saturday wasn't going to involve too much. Except relaxing. Well, we had booked in for the tour of the incredible artwork that is on display at the Sydney Convention Centre. Yes, the Convention Centre. It turns out that when the place was built in 1988, a group of artists were commissioned to paint on some enormous canvases for the walls of the cavernous venue. But most of the public would not know that they are there. Well I certainly didn't. But the Art Gallery of NSW was taking a few selective guided tours of the centre. Three works in particular were sublime. A Brett Whiteley, a John Olsen and a Charles Blackman. All stunning.

So, that made for a pretty nice way to spend Saturday afternoon. Being in the city, it also called for a trip to Red Eye Records and Haigh's for some selective shopping. Then my girl received a call. A good friend of hers had two tickets for A Streetcar Named Desire at the Sydney Theatre Company. There was a sad reason why the tickets were not being used, but we were fortunate enough to have some good luck shine on us. So we headed to The Rocks where we had a quick dinner at Sailors Thai Canteen. Fabulous food, can highly recommend this place. Then onto the theatre, where the incredible Cate Blanchett had us spellbound for over 3 hours. She absolutely and positvely deserves every plaudit she receives. In a world where some talents are vastly over valued, the skill and artistry of Ms Blanchett can never, ever be. She was simply breath taking in a wonderful rendition of the Tennessee Williams classic. As we made our way home and the clock was approaching midnight, we knew this Saturday was one to remember.

Oct 8, 2009

New Music From Frightened Rabbit

This is huge. This is special. This is friggin' wonderful. The extremely talented Frightened Rabbit are releasing a new single on November 16 on Fat Cat Records. "Swim Until You Can't See Land" is the song and it carries that trademark Rabbit 'build'. The song is a primer for a new album to be released sometime in the first half of 2010. Can't wait!

You can stream the song HERE.

Oct 7, 2009

Handsome Furs Interview

The wonderful Handsome Furs are caught here in a recent interview in Bangkok. As part of their tour of Asia, we can hear the totally gregarious Dan and Alexei discuss their adventures. Now, let's hope they return to Australia very, very soon.

Oct 5, 2009

Intuit-Ramona Falls

"Intuit" is a pleasant surprise. An injection of happiness into your life. Well maybe it shouldn't be a surprise, because this debut release from Ramona Falls represents one more branch in the Menomena family. Ramona Falls is Brent Knopf and "Intuit" was written and performed by Brent, with guest appearances from about 35 friends, including members of The Helio Sequence, Mirah, Loch Lomond, 31 Knots, Talkdemonic, Nice Nice, Tracker, Dat'r, Dear Reader, 3 Leg Torso, and Matt Sheehy. Like Menomena, the music of Ramona Falls is brimming with ideas and overflowing harmonies. The instrumentation through out is quite superb, providing that near perfect blend of joyful melody and requisite pathos. This album is very, very good.

If a strong opener is required to bring your heart and mind into an album, then "Intuit" absolutely nails it with "Melectric". This song is quite simply superb, featuring delicate guitar parts and plaintive vocals before climbing to an explosive conclusion that will have your body rocking to the crashing rhythms. Third track "Clover" is nearly as good, a beautifully layered piece of music that splices stunning percussion with high rising melody for an intoxicating mixture. For something a little less intense but just as good, then I would take a sip of "Russia", or the low key "Salt Sack". Oh, there are highlights everywhere on this album. "Going Once, Going Twice" is all yearning and wanting, whilst "Always Right" will probably most remind you of a Menomena track. Then you have "The Darkest Day", which is a dreamy elixir. "Intuit" is an extremely impressive album, full of surprises and admirable artistry. It is music that has been carefully created, with an eye for daring and an ear for the magic that stirs the heart.

MP3: I Say Fever-Ramona Falls

Oct 3, 2009

Though I Have Wronged You-J. Tillman

This song is from the wonderful new album from J. Tillman. Recorded live recently in San Francisco this is great example of thoughtful, genuine, direct songwriting. As is the album, "Year In The Kingdom", out now on Western Vinyl. Highly recommended.

Oct 1, 2009

Owen Reveals His Heart (Land)

This will be the first big release of 2010. "Heartland" is to be the third full length album from Final Fantasy and the first album for his label, Domino. According to Owen Pallett, "The songs themselves form a narrative concerning a farmer named Lewis and the fictional world of Spectrum. The songs are one-sided dialogues with Lewis, a young, ultra-violent farmer, speaking to his creator." Recording began in November 2008 in Iceland and then Prague, with the Czech Symphony. The album's finishing touches were put down this year in Toronto and New York. Can't wait for this album to land on January 11.

Heartland Track Listing
1 Midnight Directives
2 Keep the Dog Quiet
3 Mount Alpentine
4 Red Sun No. 5

5 Lewis Takes Action
6 The Great Elsewhere
7 Oh Heartland, Up Yours!
8 Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
9 Flare Gun
10 E Is for Estranged
11 Tryst With Mephistopheles
12 What Do You Think Will Happen Now?