Triple R Soundscape: 2 November 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 2 November 2020.

Kylie Auldist - This Is What Happiness Looks Like (Soul Bank Music)** Album of the Week

The latest solo work from the Melbourne based singer of The Bamboos and Cookin’ on Three Burners, is, true to its title, an unbridled expression of joy and celebration, brimming with big pop hooks, funk grooves, lush disco synths and soulful vocals. Of the album, Auldist has said "Some albums are written fast, some take a long time, some albums experience setbacks, become beset by creative blocks and personal issues, and can generally be a whole lot of hard work which makes you question why you even bothered to start it in the first place - this was not one of those albums - hence the title This Is What Happiness Looks Like,"

Ex-Olympian - Afterlife (Dot Dash Recordings/Remote Control)

Ex-Olympian is the new project from Melbourne artist Liam McGorry (Saskwatch, Dorsal Fins, Eagle and the Worm), born of a desire from McGorry to apply a more hands on approach to music making. Afterlife was created over a period of three years, starting as a purely solo pursuit, before inviting a long list of friends and collaborators to provide vocal, instrumental and production support. Billed as a “dream funk” record, the album ultimately floats on a gentle breeze of soul, driven by McGorry’s exploratory trumpet over a field of glistening synths, and airy vocals. For an album whose genesis was the desire for a more individual process, the biggest take-away from Afterlife is the joy of connection and collaboration.

Lous and The Yakuza - Gore (Sony Music France/Columbia)

The 24 year old Congolese-Belgian artist Marie-Pierra Kakoma releases her debut studio LP after a run of seven EPs in just four years and uploading tracks to Soundcloud since her mid-teens. Produced by Spain’s El Guincho - known for his work on Rosalia’s breakout El Mal Querer - the record, sung in French, is elegant and hypnotic, with Kakoma’s ethereal R&B vocals and verses backed by an atmospheric trap pallette, occasionally flirting with emo rap sincerity. The title of Gore represents the post-colonial conditions that created the conditions of her life. “I want people to understand the reality of a young black woman living in Europe”, she explains.

MOURN - Self Worth (Captured Tracks/Remote Control)

Self-Worth is the new album from the Catalonian quartet MOURN. The album is a refreshingly sincere take on the dilemmas and delusions of adult life from a group who have barely cracked their 20s. Over energetic power-chords and frantic drumming, MOURN show a newfound willingness to confront uncomfortable and necessary issues of power and excess. “We talked a lot about getting out of toxic situations – not resigning ourselves to that, not enduring that anymore. The songs are like flags to stand up and say: ‘we are done.’”

Mimi Gilbert - Grew Inside the Water (Cohort Records)

The California raised, Melbourne resident Mimi Gilbert has released an ambitious folk opus with Grew Inside the Water. Like much of the best contemporary folk music (Fleet Foxes, Big Thief) Gilbert creates compositions whose seeming effortlessness belies complex and carefully considered arrangements, produced with great care. Embracing a more collaborative mindset after many years of solo writing and performance, Grew Inside the Water is ultimately a meditation on forgiveness and healing through honest reflection and connection.

Songhoy Blues - Optimisme (Transgressive Records)

Optimisme is a relentless attack of hope and positivity from a band who would be well within their rights to express the opposite. Having fled their hometowns in Northern Mali, the band teamed up with Matt Sweeney (Skunk, Chavez, Zwan), to construct a vessel for empowerment and equality. Confronting both very local and universal issues of human rights, female empowerment and increasing materialism and selfishness, the band casts these heavy messages in a capsule of hope, encouraging the young and old that” positive vibes and persistence are the best tools to fight our struggles.”

Dizzee Rascal - E3 AF (Island/Dirtee Stank)

After his controversial multi-year pop exile in Miami and Los Angeles, Dizzee releases the second album of his home-coming. On E3 AF; referencing both the East London postcode where he was raised as well as his Afrifcan heritage; Dizzee enlists a long-list of grime MCs and producers in an earnest attempt to reconnect with his roots. The likes of Deekline, Platinum 45 and Splurgeboys stir up elements of grime, drill, trap, garage and dubstep while Dizzee trades verses with P Money, Kano, Ghetts and Frisco. E3 AF finds Dizzee treading the line between his underground heritage and pop tendencies in its most authentic way since Maths + English.

This Is The Kit - Off Off On (Rough Trade / Remote Control)

This is the Kit is the music project of Kate Stables and a rotating list of collaborators. Off Off On finds Stables wooing the listener with her singularly pattern of glitchy rhythms, twangy banjo and storied vocals. Off Off On is about “events catching up with you and how you catch up with events,” explains Stables, “not so much mood swings as brain swings, the here and there that your brain tugs you on.”

Oneohtrix Point Never - Magic Oneohtrix Point Never (Warp Records / Inertia)

Daniel Lopatin, moored in NYC during the height of the first wave of the pandemic, reverted to writing songs in the same method as he began his career; alone in his bedroom on his laptop. He also reconnected with FM radio as a means of human connection and as both a conduit of the zeitgeist and a receptor of cultural history. His new album Magic takes this as it’s driving conceptual narrative; it’s a dense and opulent tribute to radio culture, assembled with warped samples of radio presenters and thick with sounds which build, sustain, and just as suddenly deteriorate.

Good Sad Happy Bad  -  Shades (Textile Records)

Previously known under the moniker Micachu and The Shapes, Good Sad Happy Bad is musician, producer and film composer Mica Levi’s project named after the last Micachu album Good Sad Happy Bad. The fifth album from her collective follows a series of structural changes to the band, moving keyboardist Raisa Khan to lead vocals and bringing in CJ Calderwood in on Sax, recorder and electronics. The result is a band sounding youthful, refreshed and fun as they attack their wonky brand of retro-pop with youthful abandon and newfound spontaneity.