CHOOK RACE will be playing a rare show following their sold out tenth anniversary gigs at the Tote in January. Chook Race are a Melbourne trio who play guitar music of the pop variety. They like a good time. After a string of tapes and 7’s they self released debut LP ‘About Time’ in 2015 followed by ‘Around The House’ in 2016.
“Sometimes a perfect jangly riff can make the whole world seem brighter, and a simple guitar line launches and powers an entire song with ease. It’s intentionally loose and rough around the edges as though these Melbourne rockers are totally charming.” – Marc Masters, Pitchfork.com
“They have the pop sensibility of Belle and Sebastian’s sensitive jangle-pop and the casual playing style of Parquet Courts’ unpolished punk.” – Dan Kok, Popmatters.com
COOL SOUNDS return to the Brunswick Ballroom on Friday 16th July following their sold out ‘Bystander’ album launch in February. Melbourne’s Cool Sounds make records that move deftly and playfully through indie-rock, pop, and alt-country. The band are defined by their signature guitar lines, as catchy as any chorus, as well as a beloved live show that sees six musicians crowded onstage. Lead singer and songwriter Dainis Lacey has been making music as Cool Sounds for years, but the band found a unique sound on their 2018 album Cactus Country and 2019’s More To Enjoy, which was nominated for the AIR Award for Best Independent Country Album. On their latest album Bystander Cool Sounds are more attuned to their surroundings than ever: written during a European summer and recorded in three weeks over the following Australian one, Bystander isn’t always as laid back as the warm weather might suggest. With more of a focus on lyrics than ever before, Bystander, is at turns introspective, self-aware, irreverent and unflinchingly observant. All of the band’s essential elements are here – those guitar licks, vocal melodies that dip and spike then smooth out, and clever, understated rhythmic changes – but as lyrics are brought to the forefront, the band’s agile, elastic arrangements feel all the more essential.
Let’s take a weird little sojourn to suburban Australia, at some undisclosed time in the past. The houses are falling down, the gear is well cooked, and vocalist Ed Fraser has gravel in his deadpan voice as Australian “Grit-Pop” duo Kino Motel discharges their dissonant, distorted slow-burner third single, Fingerprints.
Rife with pub rock guitar hooks and the heat of the Great Southern Land, the song reflects a time when crime rates rise and people go mad. Fingerprints is a fabulously strange song, verging on sleazy, with sleepy guitar and trippy, psychedelic percussion. The duet sounds like a Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra track run through a Velvet Underground wringer.
Kino Motel is the brand new project from Ed Fraser and Rosa Mercedes. After meeting in a commune in Berlin, the duo deserted together and hit the road. Following a grimy and particularly sweaty basement karaoke session somewhere in Vietnam in 2019, Fraser and Mercedes realized they needed to form a band. Named for the bar in which it was conceived, Kino Motel listeners can expect dusty, gritty pop.
The production unfurls a labyrinthine soundscape that swirls, twists, and turns. Sitting above the post-punk soundscape hovers ghosts of Rosa Mercedes’ smooth alto creeping into the mix, adding conversational tone of the track. Part Courtney Barnett, part Rowland S. Howard, the track (recorded in Berlin and Melbourne) features drums from Josefin Runsteen (Damien Rice, Jens Lekman), and percussion from Sebastian Maschat (The Whitest Boy Alive).
THINK ABOUT YOU will be making their live debut as part of this fab line up.
“Think About You are a three-piece band formed over an adoration of Bayu and Moopie’s recent jangle pop compilation I Won’t Have to Think About You. Compiled by Melbourne’s best selectors this record contains some of the most buried and beautiful jangle pop of nineties Australiana, from The Pearly Gatecrashers to Bart and Friends, where Raymond Carver-esque lyricism meets love.
Think About You are fronted by the vocals and guitar of D’arcy Noonan. A classically trained cellist, Noonan’s melodies are inspired by Bach to the organ of Kali Malone to the power of Nina Simone. Think About You sees Noonan, for the first time, step to the mic after years of playing cello and bass for indie rock Melbourne faves Harry Permezel, Starring and The Kuek Family Reunion. A recent Honours graduate in Creative Writing with a thesis titled Depression as a Pathological Outcome of Neoliberal Ideology: Restistance to Normative Depression in Sally Rooney’s Normal People. He brings to the songs of Think About You less Marxism, and more passion. Songs about falling in love with Red Symons, making cabbage pasta, getting high with your uncle and Joelle, the dissociative neighbour. With the conviction of Shane McGowan, and the timbre of Guided By Voices, D’arcy paints a scene of love, sadness and ecstasy. This culminates in tunes reminiscent of the cello pop music of Arthur Russell, and plain writing style of Scott And Charlene’s Wedding. D'arcy is backed by brother and mollydooker drummer extraordinaire Spencer Noonan, co-founder and producer of Pitchfork revered, Mouseatouille, as well as Lottery Girls, Harry Permezel and Starring. The driving basslines of Jasper Van Daatselaar’s harmonise with Noonan’s unique voice to create a post-punk jangle that is flavourful and bright. Van Daatselaar is the co-founder of Melbourne fashion label Stella Vendetta and has worked on electronic music, Pistachio Green, and production at Melbourne Music Week and is the former booker of the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick. Think About You’s tracks speak of mental health issues, of lived experience with depression, of overcoming stigmatisation. They are songs of growth. Attached is an early version song Isaac (Typical Pleasure), recorded as a voice message in D'arcy's garage with a former housemate on drums and no bass. Our setlist contains more in this vein, some full of elation, some more punk, some more pop. All like a roaring train, steaming down the line.