ARTIST: Wild Meadows
RELEASE: Wild Meadows
RELEASE DATE: 2nd March 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Wild Meadows are a Melbourne-based shoegaze/garage/alt-rock outfit whose self-titled eight track debut album sounds like a mix between 90’s neo-psychedlica in the vein of bands like Ride, and something a bit heavier and rock based, more in the taste of post-2000s alt-rock. Over the course of the album, the neat vocals of singer Jessica Lawrence sometimes soar, sometimes drown, over the tight rhythm section, guitar riffage and cloudy yet atmospheric synth lines… A worthy listen. The band are made up of Jessica Lawrence - vocals, James Ross - guitar/vocals/synth, Dylan Bird - guitar, Donovan Pill - bass & Simon Gemmill - drums/percussion. 'Wild Meadows' was officially released on March 2nd 2018 and is available to buy/download on various formats right now via wildmeadows.bandcamp.com
Wild Meadows album by Wild Meadows
Despite what it goes on to achieve, 'Wild Meadows' actually opens with the albums worst and most cliched track ‘First Exit’. The bass and drum performances are admirable, and the vocals are certainly in a suitable place, but altogether the song reaches no great convincing heights of either originality or enjoyment; it comes off sounding slightly ‘by the books’ alt-rock. Nevertheless, after the subjective false start, ‘Feel the Noise’ is one of the albums best tracks: a great blend between the softness of Lawrence’s vocals and the fantastic instrumentation which evokes the aforementioned 90’s neo-psych/shoegaze mix. The guitar tones and intricate bass performance join together to create a truly memorable and catchy chorus; the culmination of the track comes around the two-minute mark, where after a great bass riff, the band break into a free form instrumental passage: leading into the music atmospherically soaring. The follower, less dense ‘These Days’ is just as brilliant: it's strummed background guitar and steady drum pattern are good backups to the vocals, which this time are much clearer. Thanks to this very fact, the lyrics are more audible and could be judged as some of the best on the album. Altogether the song carries over the careful creation of an almost alt-pop sound that was heard on ‘Feel the Noise’, with catchy instrumentation and soothingly tended to production.
‘Fever’, with its backing vocals and rolling drums is a good example of how a band such as Wild Meadows can turn things slightly anthemic. The band again present a tight performance, with special note going to the drums, which at several points in the song descend into drill like fills as the rest of the band continue to craft a background soundscape that tends more to the alt-rock side of things. ‘Stay for a While’ is a post-punk sounding entry on the album, the hi-hat tap combines with the bass to create something 80’s inspired sounding. Later, the fantastic guitar tones and the hum of what sounds like a synth adds an almost dream-pop to the mix, resulting in one of the albums most simple yet most totally enjoyable tracks. The follower ‘Evergreen’ reiterates this form of simplicity and playfulness: ‘Evergreen’ features a great acoustic strumming pattern in the background. Notably, also, the song features male lead vocals, which adds a whole other dimension to the bands sound. The laid-back shoegaze/dream-pop undertones of the second half of the song are truly pleasant pieces of music.
‘Sunshine’ is a continuation of the laid-back alt-rock sound that band seeps into on the second half of Wild Meadows, featuring a more introspective instrumental backing. The vocals hazily sing of catching trains and the entire mood of song is heightened on the songs chorus where the players seem to crescendo into a more powerful and denser layering of their various instrumental compositions to the track. Somehow the bands save one of their greatest treasures for the second half of the release in the form of ‘Uzi’ which combines neo-psych with the tender and approachable sound of alternative rock. The vocals brilliantly hush down at the end of the lines meld with the brilliant guitar playing and a tight yet bright rhythm section… A worthy listen indeed.
Wild Meadows don’t do anything particularly original if we are looking at the scope of modern music: they’ve used a blueprint that was forged somewhere in the late 80’s, honed through the 90’s and established as a style in itself in the 2000s. But the way they use this blue print is of particular note. Things start dense, heavy, somewhat less lighter, and transition sonically into a comforting, laid back rock adventure, meaning that after you’ve listened to it all, it feels like the band have actually ventured somewhere. The production is very good, as is the mixing which balances the denser instrumentation brilliantly. Look, you’d better go listen to it yourself, that way you don’t have to read about it; you can actually enjoy the textures, the performances, the sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music
God Bless by The Citradels
Austrailian based experimental sound manipulators 'The Citradels' have released the first single to be lifted from their forthcoming eight independently released studio album interestingly titled 'God Bless'. Formed back in 2010 'The Citradels' traditionally created engagingly dynamic soundscapes filled with repetitive drones, fuzz and intense melody deftly underpinned with a subtle undercurrent of shoegaze. On this latest single release entitled 'Dawn Chorus' the Melbourne based five piece have channelled the sonic mindset of both Brian Wilson and The Byrds with an added touch of west coast coolness for good measure. 'Dawn Chorus' was released on the 22nd November 2017 and is available to buy/download right now via thecitradels.bandcamp.com
'Dawn Chorus' shimmers and floats atop a swirling cacophony of golden tinged sound waves filled to the brim with stunning five part vocal harmonies, jangling guitar progressions and subtle percussion. Cascading bass lines hum and dance alongside melodic orchestral arrangements adding instant warmth to the ethereal ambience. 'Dawn Chorus' is a welcome injection of summer sun to this damp European winter.
RELEASE DATE: 6th October 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Saint Marie Records
The debut album from 'Miniatures' is a dense and lush affair. Its textures are tightly woven to create velvety soundscapes that envelope and endear. Formed in 2012 and currently based in Melbourne, the trio seem to be a further example of the strength of the Southern hemisphere's creative scene right now – especially when it comes to the dreamier side of the spectrum. The band worked with renowned Melbourne based producer Matthew Hosking to fine tweak the sounds on this album and the finished product is spectacular. 'Jessamines' floats and flickers. It gets it's full release on the 6th October 2017 via the ever reliable Saint Marie Records and you can pre-order it right now on various formats from saintmarierecords.bandcamp.com
The opening track is an immersion in the soft swirls that are found throughout this record. 'Try' is wispy and bright, but a few sharp edges reflect the light. 'Jessamine' – the title track – is a fuzzy force, not quite an iron fist in a velvet glove, but thinking about it. You can hear the Cocteau's influence in 'To The Lake'. The chorus shimmers on top, like a heat haze on the surface of the titular water. 'Form Into Soft And Wild' is beautiful whilst the guitars trill and jangle in 'Dust', setting the scene for single 'Without Saying'. A speeding journey through a large sonic landscape, there's much for students of shoegaze to savour here, from the 80s-tinged guitar sound to the vast chorus.
'Honey' is big and bright. 'What You Want' is a real highlight, driving and a touch dark. The rich vocals ride along on a fuzzy wave so gracefully and dive deep into the chorus. An eerie whirr introduces 'Silent Tide' and the colours change. Slow's spacious opening soon spills over with sounds, layered and layered. The album ends with 'Standstill' which slowly swaggers towards the exit, each step cushioned by clouds of fuzz. It's a grand end to an album with ambition.
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
One of our favourite bands right now, the brilliant Melbourne based 'Laedj' have unleashed a riotous new video to accompany their latest single 'Carpal Tunnel', the follow up to their recently released debut single 'Pacific', both of which are taken from their forthcoming debut EP penned in for release over the coming months. The band include members of Melbourne based outfits such as 'Inventions, Yachtburner, Breve, Singing For Humans' & 'Hotel on Mayfair' and their sound is distinctly fuzzy with shimmering shoegaze connotations underscored at times by soaring slivers of psych & noise. 'Carpal Tunnel' is available to buy/download right now from laedj.bandcamp.com
'Carpal Tunnel' drives into the ether lashed tightly to a busy percussive attack and straddled by throbbing bass lines & hazy production. Its guitar progressions swirl and arc throughout the piece, whipping up a sonic frenzy, sending out layer after layer of delicious reverb that collectively circumnavigates those impressive vocalisations.
The video was produced, edited and directed by Liam Jemmeson.
Melbourne based atmospheric dream/gaze duo 'VHS Dream' have unleashed a brand new video to accompany the third and final single to be lifted from their sublime 2016 released full length 'Departure'. The track is called 'So High' and it marks a highlight for us lot here at Primal as we had previously picked this track out and lavished it with high praise back in 2016. The duo are made up of Matthew Hosking - vocals/guitar & Mayzie Cocco Wallen - vocals/guitar and their collective sound is inherently shoegaze in orientation with blissful waves of glistening dream-pop streaming through it's inner core.
Unfortunately, since the release of this single the band have announced that they are taking a break from recording but you can get your hands on 'So High' and indeed their back catalogue by heading over to vhs-dream.bandcamp.com
The stunning accompanying video was created video artist Stephanie Peters.
Carpal Tunnel by Laedj.
Melbourne's resident noise merchants 'Laedj.' have returned with a stunning brand new single entitled 'Carpal Tunnel', the follow up to their recently released debut single 'Pacific', both of which are taken from their forthcoming debut EP penned in for release over the coming months. The band include members of Melbourne based outfits such as 'Inventions, Yachtburner, Breve, Singing For Humans' & 'Hotel on Mayfair' and their sound is distinctly fuzzy with shimmering shoegaze connotations underscored at times by soaring psych/dream pop flair. 'Carpal Tunnel' is available to buy/download right now from laedj.bandcamp.com
'Carpal Tunnel' drives into the ether lashed tightly to a busy percussive attack and straddled by throbbing bass lines & hazy production. Its guitar progressions swirl and arc throughout the piece, whipping up a sonic frenzy, sending out layer after layer of delicious reverb that collectively circumnavigates those impressive vocalisations. If this is a prelude to the full release we're definitely in for something rather special.
Pacific by Laedj
Melbourne based noisy shoegaze quartet 'Laedj.' have unleashed their debut single entitled 'Pacific' lifted off their forthcoming debut EP penned in for release over the coming months. The band include members of other Melbourne based bands such as 'Inventions, Yachtburner, Breve, Singing For Humans' & 'Hotel on Mayfair' and their sound is distinctly fuzzy with shimmering shoegaze connotations underscored at times by soaring dream pop flair. 'Pacific' is available to buy/download right now from laedj.bandcamp.com
'Pacific' shimmers into earshot on a wave of jangling guitars swimming in blissed out reverberation. It's percussive swagger is slow and ambling as it metronomically keeps time circumnavigated by throbbing bass frequencies and beautifully intense vocalisations. Explosive through it's chorus progressions and peppered here and there with subtle psych rock tones 'Laedj.' are a very interesting prospect indeed.
ARTIST: Buried Feather
RELEASE: Mind Of The Swarm
RELEASE DATE: 10th February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Cobra Snake Necktie / Kozmik Artifactz
With a sound that draws regular comparisons to Dead Meadow & Spacemen 3, Melbourne based experimental psych aficionados 'Buried Feather' have a lot to live up to. Since exploding onto the underground scene back in 2012 the band have unleashed two mesmerising singles and a debut full length filled to the brim with modern experimental psych flourishes and driving kraut rock tendencies all underscored by magnificently addictive mantra like instrumentation. 'Buried Feather' are now set to unleash their full length sophomore follow up to their 2013 self-titled 8 track monolith. 'Mind Of The Swarm' gets it's full official release on February 10th 2017 via Melbourne based indie label Cobra Snake Necktie Records as well as the German based stoner rock imprint label Kozmik Artifactz. It will be released digitally and on limited edition 180g vinyl.
Dust by Buried Feather
The album explodes into earshot swirling deftly on a wave of growling guitars, powerful percussion and those hypnotically charged organ lines that collectively circumnavigate around the woozy vocalisations. ‘I Would Miss You’ trembles on repetitious bass frequencies as it effortlessly meanders through sonic peaks and troughs, all the while surging on entrancing psychedelic vibrations and waves of fuzzy reverberation. Up next, the albums lead single buzzes into earshot on a revolving wave of colourful droning frequencies. ‘Dust’ spirals repetitively, held fast in a sonic whirlwind filled with throbbing bass lines, whirring organ swells and screaming wah wah filled lead lines as it’s metronomic drum pattern conjures up hallucinogenic incantations with great aplomb. Probably my favourite track on this entire release, ‘Dust’ is a thing of sonic beauty.
‘The Stranger’ undulates into the ether on repetitive guitars and pulsating drum patterns as menacingly hypnotic vocal lines intertwine with churning instrumentation and top notch production to produce a flood of psych induced compressions and rarefactions whilst up next, the burgeoning tones of ‘Mind Of The Swarm’ fills the senses with a slow repetitive chord progression, underscored by menacingly good reverberating drones and rhythmic organ fills. The vocals swoon on waves of delayed reverb, leading the listener on a trance like procession through walls of throbbing bass frequencies and punishing lead guitar. The opening bars of ‘Sunshine’ lean favourably into garage/psych territory with it’s pounding drums and effected fret board theatrics until the instrumentation gathers pace and injects a hit of swirling hypnotics. The track builds into a raging cacophony of noise as before filtering out into a droning synth laden whirr. Up next, 'Endless C' is slice of sunshine in a revolving cauldron of infectious sound waves. It’s deliberate swagger entices the listener in and you quickly float away on it’s addictive chord sequences, warbling vocalisations, motorik drum patterns and those mind numbing organ swells.
‘Regular Creep’ is a heavy sonic beast. The repetitious thump of percussion echoes with almost military precision as the angry growl of guitars melds fluidly with unrepentant drum cadence. It’s snaking organ lines meander in and out of another impressive vocal take as we’re led from static verses through to noisy chorus runs, explosive breaks and on into the tracks turbulent finale. The albums penultimate piece however, has futuristically themed experimental stylings as it’s hazy synth lines ride tempestuous sequenced drum patterns, deftly enveloping that addictive vocal line. ‘Screen Dreamer’ glides on noisy guitars, electronic atmospherics and the continuous hum of bass frequencies, building as it undulates into a grand exit filled with unwavering production skills. The albums closing piece shudders into life on a bedrock of off kilter drum patterns, tumbling bass lines and the rise & fall of massive swathes of fuzzy instrumentation. ‘Well Wishes’ tumbles through the ether held fast in a swirling maelstrom of heavenly noise. A fitting ending to a brilliant sophomore release.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for the now on hiatus Sound Of Confusion music blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
ARTIST: Hideous Towns
RELEASE: Disquiet Living
RELEASE DATE: 25th November 2016
RECORD COMPANY: The Lost And Lonesome Recording Co.
Melbourne based 'Hideous Towns' have been on our radar here at Primal Music ever since their self titled five track EP release back in 2014. The band consists of Alana West, Ashley Stirling, Chris MacLean & Ryan DeCoite and they collectively create a beautifully astute melding of dreamy dream-pop, alt-rock and blissed out shoegaze! Their debut album 'Disquiet Living' was released back on November 25th 2016 via The Lost And Lonesome Recording Co and it is available to buy/download right now from hideoustowns.bandcamp.com
Disquiet Living by Hideous Towns
Skittish percussion and jangling guitar progressions announce the arrival of ‘Don’t Forget’, the opening salvo on ‘Disquiet Living’. The stunning vocal arrangement swirls into earshot held fast within a surging maelstrom of fuzzy noise until we’re scooped up with it and pulled head long into a wonderful musical trip. Up next ‘Lion’ woozily swerves into the ether on a beautifully golden guitar line coupled with sublime vocalisations, throbbing bass frequencies and motorik percussion whilst ‘Jacques - Louis David’ reverberates old school post-punk sounds with a distinctly modern twist. Driving bass lines and explosive drums hold a steady central spine while the swirling lead guitar lines weave a blistering sonic web, deftly circumnavigating those impressive vocal lines courtesy of Alana West.
‘Waratah’ pulses dreamy frequencies out into the ether on waves of intoxicating instrumentation as we meander through melodious bass lines, wavy effects laden verse progressions and on into those explosive chorus breaks. A thoroughly enjoyable track and probably my favourite on the entire album. Up next, ‘Glass Curtain’ is drenched in delicious reverb and underscored with angry guitars, driving bass frequencies and those immense ‘call to arms’ vocal progressions reminiscent at times to seminal UK based noise makers ‘The Cranes’. ‘Don’t Look Up’ is a beautiful slice of noisy melody driven dream-pop whilst ‘Coincidences’ is jam packed full of atmospherics and brilliantly executed guitar lines that coalesce effortlessly with West’s distinctive vocalisations.
Fuzzy guitars announce the arrival of ‘Value’ (the albums first single) and it’s not long before it’s undulating bass lines take hold, deftly intertwined with a steadying drum pattern. Collectively they take up a type of sonic holding pattern as those reverberating guitars try ever so hard to keep up with those turbulent vocal lines. Up next, ‘Fantasy’ is led by hi-hat heavy percussion and another addictive bass line. This track drives sonic wedge through wave after wave of impressive instrumentation that is constantly battered by West’s sublime vocalisations. The albums penultimate track slows proceedings down a tad as lazy percussion and scaled back guitars allow the vocals to soar into the sonic ether. ‘Wake Us’ is a beautiful slice of modern dream-pop. Instrumentally reminiscent at times to Adam Granduciel’s ‘The War On Drugs’ albeit a million times better vocally. The albums closing piece is thing of beauty. ‘Natural Expression’ bobs and weaves on a shimmering wave of instrumentally charged reverb as those sparse percussive hits chug along nonchalantly. Beautifully radiant sound waves pulse outwardly as the vocals arrive accompanied by shimmering lead guitar lines that dance and arc all over the sonic ether. Harmonious vocalisations and spoken word add spine tingling atmospherics as ‘Hideous Towns’ close out on a triumphant piece of music.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
ARTIST: Fire Behaving As Air
RELEASE: Vapour Trail
RELEASE DATE: November 25th 2015
There is a haunting air of excitement as I wait for the opening salvos of this debut full length release from Melbourne based droning dream-gazers ‘Fire Behaving As Air’. I’ve been a big fan of this band ever since the release of their debut EP ‘Desire’ back in 2013 & having just recently read excerpts from an interview that the band gave to the brilliant ‘Blog That Celebrates Itself’, I was chomping at the bit to hear the finished album in full. Fire Behaving As Air’s origins began in 2008 by husband and wife songwriters Owen (guitarist) and Beck Lee (vocalist/harmonium), over the seven years the band’s family has grown and morphed to permanently include Chris Compton (lead guitar) & Mark Taylor (drums), as well as numerous guest appearances including players of additional harmonium, tabla, djembe, violin, cello, bansuri, moog, keyboard and trumpet. This latest release ‘Vapour Trail’ explores recurring themes of impermanence in all of its incarnations; loss, sudden destruction, metastasis, evasion, revolution and ultimately, the sublime release through escapism.
Vapour Trail by Fire Behaving As AirThe album opens with an atmospheric guitar progression that creeps between the interplay of light & dark tonal beauty whilst skipping along a musical atmosphere steeped in reverb laden brilliance, erupting in explosive power with the arrival of the absolutely immense vocal abilities of Beck Lee. ‘Silver Tongue’ is a portal to a world of sonic delight. Think Velvet Underground & Nico meets Portishead but turned on its head with a modern twist. Its a stunning opener. Up next ‘To The Seafloor’ has dream-pop aspirations from the off. Again the vocal track catches this listeners ear as it dances & weaves through reverberating guitars & steady shimmering drums. There’s a dark atmospheric edge interspersed with an almost folk like feel, vocally to ‘When She’s Bored She Dies’ & it does just about enough to keep you focused & interested until about 4 minutes in when this track explodes & offers up its inner wailing guitar self. ‘Tolerance’ is a triumphant masterpiece! Having been voted by the listeners of California based DKFM Shoegaze Radio as one of the Top 50 Most Loved Shoegaze & Dream Pop Tracks of 2012 its no wonder that it appears here on their debut full length release. ‘Tolerance’ meanders deftly through layer upon layer of fuzzy reverb laden psychedelic shoegaze & only comes up for air during Beck Lee’s stunning vocal parts. A must have in any true shoegazers playlist. After the heady heights of ‘Tolerance’ the pace slows a little as the band introduces ‘Unconquered’ & ‘Peaceful’. In both of these tracks I’m hearing sporadic ethereal dream-pop inspired flourishes Cocteau Twins style throughout but there’s also a dark droning addictively intense undercurrent that drags them both through peaks & troughs courtesy of Owen Lee & Chris Compton on guitars.
Up next, ‘Ripples’ builds & builds from its inception to its explosive ending whilst ‘Breathe’ is a cumulative charging sonic ball of hazy psychedelic goodness with repetitive vocal progressions, effected guitars & thunderous drum patterns. ‘Watch The World Go Down’ slows the album to a crawl as we listen to Beck Lee’s vocal swim through a wall of reverb & sink into a sea of guitar swells, diminished percussion & effected hallucinogenic instrumentation. This is a wonderful track that will inspire you to dream in colour. Listen to it via headphones, it will blow your mind! 'Mantra' sneaks onto the musical canvass with its throbbing repetitive bass line, snake like shakers & a droning wall of psychedelic sound all intertwined with another stunning vocal performance. There’s a definite 60’s psych feel to this enthralling track that swerves & meanders like a snake hunting its prey. Very cool indeed. The albums closing track ‘One More Winter’ is a tame affair of cinematic instrumentation all entered around a magnificent vocal performance reminiscent of Portishead’s own Beth Gibbons.
As debut albums go this is up there with the best of them. I really love the way ‘Fire Behaving As Air’ skip through various musical genres with aplomb. Their well thought out song structures, blissfully effected guitar progressions & pounding drums coupled with the immense vocal ability of Beck Lee should hold them in good stead with shoegazers, dream poppers & psych aficionados alike. ‘Vapour Trail’ gets its official release on November 25th and its a major recommendation from us. Go get it!
4.5 / 5