We’re all folkies at heart here at Rabbit Radio so this week we’ve decided to pull together some down-home excellent songcraft from Julien Baker, Sufjan Stevens and Tay Oskee. We’re also excited to announce that Totally Mild have returned with both news of a follow up to 2015’s Down Time and new single ‘Today Tonight’. Sydney’s Betty & Oswald and Morning TV have also dropped an excellent pairing of tracks while Hockey Dad has covered You Am I classic ‘Purple Sneakers’ in support of Thirty Days of Yes. To cap things off with something as completely out of the box ex-Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker serves up a glitzy rework of Baxter Dury’s ‘Miami’.
TOTALLY MILD – TODAY TONIGHT (CHAPTER)
Totally Mild’s Down Time was one of 2015’s most devastatingly underappreciated records, so it’s exciting to see the Melbournian outfit have been hard at work on follow up Her. Returning with a lead single ‘Today Tonight’ the group’s latest retains their signature guitar shimmer but decorates itself with retro-leaning pop. Drawing inspiration for a prolonged spate of apathy and unemployment, frontwoman Elizabeth Mitchell weaves her lounge lizard observations and unfailingly expressive falsetto into catchy lament.
JULIEN BAKER – TURN OUT THE LIGHTS (MATADOR/REMOTE CONTROL)
Written from the vantage of a perineal outsider, ‘Turn Out the Lights’ drifts into focus as an earnest outpour of angst and emotion. There’s a sense of beauty in the sparse grandeur of the Memphis songwriter’s arrangement. Baker’s vocals simper with resignation and unadorned vulnerability before sweeping into their explosive climax.
BETTY & OSWALD – FIGURE IT OUT (INDEPENDENT)
This Sydney outfit have dropped a gem with latest single ‘Figure It Out’. Hitting a sweet space between bouncy rock and melodic ‘80s pop, there is some definite call-back to Fleetwood Mac. Duelling vocals dissect a tangled relationship in all its carnal melodrama.
MORNING TV – GET IT RIGHT (HABIT)
Morning TV strike out in a similar vein with their own jangly guitar pop. Vocals ring out in a near murmur while gritty and twinkling guitar lines trade places. There’s a masterful minimalism which courses throughout. Oh and ‘Get if Right’, alongside forthcoming debut Sun, comes mastered by Mikey Young - ‘nuff said!
SUFJAN STEVENS – WALLOWA LAKE MONSTER (ASTHMATIC KITTY/INTERTIA)
The first taste of Sufjan’s forthcoming mixtape of offcuts and rarities, the richly textured ‘Wallowa Lake Monster’ showcases the freak folk luminary at his finest. The track casts a sombre mood with sweeping hits of dystopic pads. Intimate vocals crash through calamity and crisis before striking a lighter shade of child-like naivete and fantasy images. This cut didn’t make it onto 2015’s Carrie & Lowell LP but it’s a similar masterstroke.
TAY OSKEE – LIKE WAVES (INDEPENDENT)
The free flowing ‘Like Waves’ offers a first taste of itinerant busker Tay Oskee’s forthcoming debut LP. Here Tay journeys through recent feelings of reconnection with his indigenous heritage, namely the Yolngu culture of North East Arnhem Land. Amidst leaping vocals and delicate acoustic licks ‘Like Waves’ documents the highs and lows of a life lived on the outside.
HOCKEY DAD – PURPLE SNEAKERS (YOU AM I COVER) (30 DAYS OF YES)
As 30 Days of Yes kicks fully into gear, Australia’s best and brightest talents are continuing to dish out the goods. In lieu of an original, New South Wales’ Hockey Dad have covered You Am I’s seminal ‘Purple Sneakers’. A hit single from You Am I’s now iconic third album, the track marked a key turning point in Australia’s musical culture. But historical context aside, Tim Rogers’ punchy popcraft stands up surprisingly well as the Dads affectionately imbue it with their own signature sonics.
BAXTER DURY – MIAMI (PARROT AND COCKER TOO REMIX) ([PIAS])
Here ex-Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker reworks a low-slung electro groover indie contemporary Baxter Dury dropped back in August. As with the original, Baxter inhabits the ill-placed bravado of a foul mouthed and mercifully fictitious narrator, part cockney urchin and part cocaine cowboy. While the unadulterated original conjured something compellingly weird, Cocker’s retouch amplifies the track’s dramatic flair. This remix undeniably seduces with disco flourishes and healthy spades of danceable shuffle.