Dot Dash / Remote Control
Pretend You're Mine is the anticipated debut album from Melbourne three-piece Pearls. Formed in 2011, the group have spent the past few years refining their distinct musical identity in the studio and on the stage, drawing from and building upon a number of rock traditions. The result is a collection of bold musical arrangements as well as subtle and seductive melodies, combining elements of glam, shoegaze, psych and classic guitar pop.
Jessica Pratt's debut album was a pure revelation when it arrived in 2012. Like an undiscovered folk masterpiece of the late '60s or early '70s, the record was a perfect showcase for Jessica's compelling voice, acoustic melodies and melancholic stories. The recordings were homemade, and exhibited an uncommon warmth and intimacy in their gently faded, tapeworn state. Jessica's second album On Your Own Love Again is eagerly anticipated, and provides another glimpse into her unique songwriting world. Plaintive, contemplative, uplifting and inspiring, the album shows how very much can still be produced with the essential elements of songcraft and a subtle ear for melody and atmosphere.
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is a vivid showcase of the distinctive psychedelic sound that Noah Lennox has pioneered and perfected during his career. It's a unique musical experience with layered and looping melodies, percussion, synths and vocals. As always there are elements of rock, folk, hip hop, electronic and abstract pop, as well as undefined and unexplored styles. It is also a philosophical experience, as Panda Bear shares reflections on life, mortality and identity.
Riot-grrrl legends Sleater-Kinney surprised all with the sudden release of their first studio album in ten years. It's a passionate, powerful and concise set by songwriting pair Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, along with drummer Janet Weiss. No Cities To Love is full of the bristling energy, complex post-punk melodies, and searing lyrics that made the Olympia, Washington trio an icon of '90s alternative rock.
Chapter Music/Merge Records
Twerps' second full-length is laced with seemingly effortless melodies and some of their most immediate pop hooks to date. Range Anxiety, the band's follow-up to their 2011 self-titled debut and first release since signing to US label Merge Records, is a deceptively simple guitar-pop record, which sees the Melbourne band further refine their jangly and familiar sound. With this album, recorded in 2013 before last year’s Underlay EP, Twerps continue to expand their repertoire of timeless Australian pop songs.
Enjoy the Holidays!
After another incredible year of music, Triple R's Album Of The Week will return in 2015.
"The Hum" is a confident return for Leeds-based band Hookworms. The album draws from a rich history of punk, noise, psychedelic pop traditions, propelled in parts by strong motorik rock rhythms. There's a variety of pacing too, with meandering melodies and gentle drones forming the basis of absorbing songs such as "On Leaving."
Cut Copy have spent years producing and performing cutting edge dance music but they are also discerning DJs and selectors, a fact fully displayed on "Oceans Apart". The 19-track release is an impressive survey of some favourite Melbourne producers, and a celebration of this city's club culture and influential dance music scene. The vinyl/digital compilation features a range of leading artists including No Zu, World's End Press, Andras & Oscar, Speed Painters, Tornado Wallace and many others.
"Playmates" is perhaps the most definitive statement of intent yet from Sydney's Jack Ladder. A master of melodrama and intrigue, Jack Ladder is here accompanied by his all-star cast of Dreamlanders, the exceedingly talented Kirin J Callinan, Laurence Pike and Donny Benet. Production is handled by Kim Moyes of The Presets, and the sum of these parts adds to an emotionally engaging and musically adventurous trip. There's elements of cold wave, 80s synth pop, country, and rock ballads, all anchored by Ladder's distinctive baritone.
To expect the unexpected is a safe approach to any new Ariel Pink record. For starters Pom Pom is the first album in a highly prolific career to be solely attributed to Ariel Pink, but by his own admission it’s also the most collaborative. Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce, and famed/infamous Kim Fowley of ‘70s rock group The Runaways contribute to the collage, along with other band members (including Melbourne's own Shags Chamberlain). The result is a characteristic, unpredictable mix of wistful AM radio rock, strange tape textures, stream of consciousness skits, and stream of unconscious pop, including standout single Put Your Number In My Phone
Interstate 40 Music/Remote Control
The anticipated new album from Melbourne's Black Cab is another inspired collection of songs, this time themed broadly around the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Evoking the tension, exhilaration and sonic spectrum of the time, Black Cab once again prove masters of mood and narrative. Early electronic, analogue dance music, synths, and spoken word samples are all employed to craft a unified record that extends on their earlier post-punk and psychedelic styles. Crafted over several years, the LP also features contributions from Lowtide's Lucy Buckeridge, Mon Brumby, Shags Chamberlain, and former Black Cab members Steve Law, Anthony Paine, Rich Andrew and Alex Jarvis. Needless to say, it's a Gold Medal performance all around.
Chapter Music / Dopeness Galore
Café Romantica is the brilliant second record from friends and collaborators Andras and Oscar. Otherwise known as Andras Fox and Oscar Key Sung, the two Melbourne artists have spent years refining their craft, and earning a reputation for their hip hop, boogie, R&B and dance music. Their forces combine on this album to produce another collection of instant classics. The title is a nod to the after-hours eatery where the two would rest and relax following work in the studio, a place to meet friends and make memories. The music draws from early analogue house recordings, and evokes the gently melancholic, romantic haze of the early hours of the morning. There’s traces of modern soul, 80s funk, and a distinctive local vocabulary of sounds unique to Andras and Oscar.
Highway 20 Records
An extraordinary double-album from an artist whose work has been instrumental in defining and shaping alt-country and Americana music. The expansive collection presents Lucinda Williams' lyricism at its most incisive and illuminating, encompassing her personal experiences and the whole human condition. Musically the country blues, soul and rock arrangements are rich and generous in detail, with each musician performing at their best.
Two Bright Lakes/Remote Control
Melbourne four-piece The Harpoons display great versatility as songwriters, referencing and experimenting with both traditional and contemporary soul styles. Whether it’s the extraordinary vocals, the playful pop melodies, the heartbreaking ballads, the modern beats or classic R&B rhythms, The Harpoons’ debut album "Falling For You" will have you falling for them.
C.W. Stoneking is an impressive artist with a distinctive approach to his craft. "Gon' Boogaloo" is his third record, and a timeless classic, combining blues, boogie, R&B, gospel, rock, calpyso and dancehall styles. Rich in invention, the record evokes the past but points to the everlasting vitality of the blues tradition.
'Our Love' represents a new chapter in Dan Snaith's evolution as a musician and producer. Direct, focused, immediate, and intricate, these new songs draw inspiration from classic dance styles, alongside modern electronic pop and disco. A companion to his previous album Swim, and a dedication to friends and fans, it's an outward-looking set that finds Caribou exploring Balearic, psychedelic, plaintive and euphoric musical moods.
"Havens Dumb" is the welcome return of acclaimed Victorian band Augie March, their first album since "Watch Me Disappear" in 2008. The melodic and lyrical skills of the band have only been sharpened in the intervening years. There's a sense of adventure, and a heightened level of ambition on this captivating collection of new songs. Lead singer Glenn Richards draws on themes of “time passing, loss, dislocation, distance, new hope and healthy anger” as the entire band play layered compositions of atmospheric pop, and understated, elegaic rock.
This is the second album in the past two years from the legendary singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen. An iconic figure, Mr Cohen has established a unique place in popular music, managing to capture the contradictions, pains and triumphs of the spirit in inimitable poetic style. Over an illustrious career Leonard's approach has remained difficult to categorise, presenting his own versions of soul, gospel, blues, rock and folk, lounge, and caberet. Popular Problems is another revelatory journey, filled with restrained hymns, personal reflections, and melodic ruminations.
Laura Jean's self-titled fourth album offers a collection of deeply reflective and finely crafted modern folk songs. With an extraordinary gift for storytelling, Laura conveys both her inner thoughts and the world around her with a profound eloquence. The arrangements are sparse, sometimes hauntingly minimal, but rich in detail and rewarding of careful, and repeated listening.
The debut album from Goat, 'World Music', was one of the great discoveries of 2012. The project of a Swedish collective, Goat drew upon a wealth of influences and succeeded in sounding like nothing else. The mystery continues with their second album, and their unparalleled power remains. 'Commune' extends the group's sonic range, exploring regional rock, funk, psychedelic, spiritual and ritualistic styles. The result is a new collection of entrancing and compelling tracks, visceral, urgent and essential.
Spirit Level/Temporary Residence
Nick Zammuto is well known for his work as one half of The Books, a pioneering duo with a catalogue of painstakingly detailed compositions, surprising samples and song structures. This is Nick's second record released as Zammuto, and is every bit as playful in its approach as any of his earlier work. Perhaps the arrangements are slightly more pop oriented, but the album still draws from a wide array of inspiration, including experimental rock, jazz, and electronic traditions.
Rob Snarski is a highly skilled singer, songwriter and musician. For twenty five years he's shared those gifts as a member of Melbourne's beloved band The Blackeyed Susans. After such a celebrated careeer, it's was something of a surprise then to discover this record is his solo debut. It's also a revelation to hear these poignant, sparsely orchestrated songs, weaving together folk, rock, blues and ballads. Collaborating with friend and bandmate Dan Luscombe, and working with an impressive range of guest musicians, 'Wounded Bird' is deeply articulate and affecting.
It's difficult to discuss California's underground garage rock hero Ty Segall's music without reference to his prolific rate of output. This may be the seventh studio album in six years released under his own name, but he's recorded and produced over 17 more in other guises. And even that doesn't count the numerous singles and EPs he's worked on with other bands. So it's notable that Ty spent the better part of a year on this record, taking his time to produce what may be his strongest album to date. The song structures are playful but focused, and the instrumental arrangements more diverse. As ever though, Ty's signature frenzied guitar melodies and fuzzed out psych rock textures remain a powerful sonic force on this record.
August 15 - August 24
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'Fan Fiction' is the latest solo album from Melbourne's Geoffrey O'Connor, an artist well known for earlier work in Crayon Fields and as Sly Hats. Previous album 'Vanity Is Forever' introduced Geoffrey O'Connor as a reclusive synth-pop sophisticate descended from the eighties, and Fan Fiction picks up the story three years later. Bolder, brighter, and more expansive (and expensive), it's another intriguing collection, combining late night rock, synth-wave and even dance music styles.
Having now produced eight albums over a career spanning more than two decades, 'They Want My Soul' is the welcome return of Texan group Spoon. It's a welcome return to the combination of pop punk, rock and synth styles that they write and perform so well. The album is also notable as the first time Spoon have worked with other producers. On 'They Want My Soul' Joe Chiccarelli and Dave Fridmann offer their skills to proceedings, as they have in the past for acts including The Strokes and The Flaming Lips.