Triple R Soundscape: 17 August 2020

Soundscape is a weekly look at local and international releases making an impression on our musical radar. The list offers a cross-section of EPs and albums arriving at the station.

We have been busily scouring the Soundscape! Check out some of our favourite finds for this week 17 August 2020.

BRICK HEAD - Thick as Bricks (Independent)**Album of the Week

Thick as Bricks is the debut album by Sarah Hardiman (Deaf Wish, Moon Rituals, Night Club, the Opals) under her new BRICK HEAD moniker. Recorded over three weeks in Melbourne’s first lock down, Thick as Bricks channels the chaotic and connective energy of the live show, despite being recorded entirely in isolation. Built on foundations of pure punk rock, Hardiman has described the album as an “adrenaline rush” and a return to heavier, guitar based music.

Naretha Williams – Blak Mass (Heavy Machinery)

Blak Mass is the LP release of Naretha Williams award-winning show at Melbourne Town Hall in 2019. The work, commissioned by the city of Melbourne to be performed on the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ, combines the epic cathedral drones of the organ with Williams’ experimental electronic compositions, which are partly informed by the code from her own DNA. Through this binary, Blak Mass reflects on the city’s colonial history and its impact on First Peoples and Land.

Tom Lyngcoln - Raging Head (Solar/Sonar)

Following the tight and focused guitar and vocals of his 2018 solo debut Doming Home, Tom Lyngcoln beefs out his sound with Jay Allen (The Kill / Mid Youth Crisis) on drums and Cal Foley (The Stevens / The Blinds) on bass on Raging Head. The Nation Blue frontman directly confronts the politics of modern Australia, through a pure, direct and uncompromising punk aesthetic. 'I’m literally like a nerve ending…I’m just like, “it annoys me. Here’s a record. Here’s a whole fucking record about it, and I apologise."'

SCUTI - This is Skoo (Different Recordings)

The cult London rapper releases her debut mixtape with This is Skoo, revealing a remarkable talent for an artist yet to reach the age of 20. Over 6 tracks, Scuti pays homage to foundational UK rap and grime, punctuated by timely samples, hazy instrumentals and lo-fi beats, proving herself as another artist to watch in the new London scene packed with talent.

Gillian Welch - Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs (Acony Records)

Unearthed from a collection of home demos and tape recordings, Boots No. 2 is the second release of archival music from Gillian Welch and her recording partner David Rawlings. The 48 songs featured in this three part collection were recorded between Welch’s two revered albums Time (The Revelator) and Soul Journey, as an attempt to fulfil the final requirements of an unwanted publishing contract. Listening to these tunes in 2020 reveals an effortlessly talented and restrained songwriter, with a striking capacity for evoking mystery and intrigue within intricately constructed three minute musical narratives.

Various Artists - Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993 (Strut Records)

This new compilation - released via Strut records - celebrates the Black-owned record label founded by the leader of Oneness of Juju (featured here) James “Plunky” Branch and DJ and record promoter Jimmy Gray. With a foundational philosophy of empowerment and artistic freedom, Black Fire records represented Black artists in the 1970s, reckoning with the post-civil rights era. Featured here are the likes of Theatre West, Okyerema Asante, and Southern Energy Ensemble.

Black Noi$e - Oblivion (Tan Cressida / Warner)

The first external artist signed to Earl Sweatshirt’s Tan Cressida label is his tour DJ Black Noi$e. Over a rapid 24 minutes, the Detroit based producer enlists a run of big name collaborators; Danny Brown, MIKE, Pink Siifu, Duendita, Liv.e, ZeeloperZ and Earl Sweatshirt himself. Despite this weight of talent, Black Noi$e’s ethereal dreamscapes come to the foreground as the most interesting element of this release, driven by glitchy drum loops, startling distortion, and a reverence to Detroit techno.

Allegra Krieger - The Joys of Forgetting (Northern Spy / Redeye Worldwide)

On her new album, the New York City based songwriter embraces the idea of forgetting as relief and freedom, an unburdening from past trauma and pain. Through elegant and simple arrangements, cradling her lucid vocals with acoustic guitar, tumbling percussion and strings, Kreiger connects the non-linear dots on her journey to the here and now.

Roland Tings - First Wave (Cascine / Redeye Worldwide)

Following the sun-tinged 2019 album Salt Water, the Melbourne producer Roland Newman returns with a new EP, First Wave. Where Salt Water was a deeply collaborative project, First Wave sees Newman return to his solitary approach to songwriting, with inspiration here taken from the physical environment, specifically his coastal surroundings. First Wave brings liquid malleability to the dance-floor with sounds struck by the euphoria of the crashing wave, and settling with the calm of the coast at dawn.

Orville Peck - 'Show Pony' EP (Sony)

The enigmatic, masked, Canadian cowboy has been at the forefront of country music’s rejuvenation over the last few years, with diverse voices and once taboo subject matter finding its footing in a genre which was once (unfairly) considered the musical form of American conservatism. On ‘Show Pony’, the singer emphasizes that this is no novelty movement, with huge pop moments (including a collaboration with fellow Canadian superstar Shania Twain) and deeply authentic and personal songwriting in the mould of a queer Roy Orbison.