Is anyone else excited as us to be catching (Sandy) Alex G at Laneway? His latest ‘fay’ is potent work of lo-fi artifice. While LA's Pinky Pinky won't be sharing the festival bill, single 'Hot Tears' is one of the hardest rocking tracks to cross our ears this year. Backing up these two internationals is a veritable host of local talent. This week we’ve collected new sounds from Hockey Dad, Siamese, The Flamingo Jones and The Bennies as well as a new clip courtesy of Jess Locke. Oh, and Yo La Tengo too!
SANDY (ALEX G) – FAY (DOMINO/ORCHID)
Terminally shy bedroom auteur Alex Giannascoli has made a name for himself with emotionally pulling sketches of churning angst. What really sets his music apart is that rather than hovering around cliche, each new recording reveals itself as something entirely new. ‘fay’ mysteriously cropped up on YouTube late last week and it’s another masterwork.
PINKY PINKY – HOT TEARS (INNOVATIVE LEISURE)
Cosmic blues grind atop a Beatladelic piano jitter. But not for long, vocalist Anastasia Sanchez sends the whole thing dovetailing into a slow fit of heart aching doo-wop. Who are these guys? According to the three LA natives, they’re the self-proclaimed saviours of rock ‘n’ roll. There’s enough energy and attitude here to suggest they might have a claim.
HOCKEY DAD - I WANNA BE EVERYBODY (FARMER & THE OWL/INERTIA MUSIC)
Hockey Dad are the latest in the long lineage of Australian power pop acts. Coated with a layer of grungy production. ‘Everybody’ draws the listener in with the classic collision of deep-but-not-too-deep lyrics and catchy hooks. It’s a masterclass in anthemic simplicity, which is likely why this outfit has so quickly built such a rabid following.
JESS LOCKE – DANGEROUS (POOL HOUSE)
Tail ending the stellar string of singles accompanying Universe, ‘Dangerous’ twists and turns as a crumpled mess of jangly guitar and bleak dejection. Yet beneath the malaise, Locke’s flair for lyric-driven songcraft rings true. The message of ‘Dangerous’ is ultimately a joyous and uplifting one. It’s okay to be alone. Can’t use your head? Use your heart.
THE FLAMINGO JONES – TONY DANCER (THE ORANGE PLANET)
27 minutes of sprawling psych, ‘Tony Dancer’ is, by its very nature, mysterious. Is it an EP or protracted jam? We’re not sure but we like it.
THE BENNIES – DREAMKILLERS (POOL HOUSE)
"This song is our big fuck you to all the people that try and tell you not to chase your dreams” The Bennies’ frontman Anty Horgan explains. It sounds it too. A twisted fusion of ska and thrashing guitar lines, ‘Dreamkillers’ takes no cues from the school of good taste. By all common sense it should fail and yet, true to its message, it succeeds.
SIAMESE – SLAUGHTERHOUSE (SWIRL RECORDS)
SIAMESE are an Adelaide outfit which – yes – sound a little like The Smashing Pumpkins. Their latest single hits with a furious cutting edge. While it's driven by its devastating guitar runs, there’s plenty of yearning pathos to back them up.
YO LA TENGO – SHADES OF BLUE (MATADOR)
After four or so years hiatus indie long hauls Yo La Tengo return. They haven’t been idle and attesting to the fact is not one but four new singles from their forthcoming LP There’s a Riot Going On. As the record title suggests the group have been looking backwards into a world of pop music past to find their inspiration. ‘Shades of Blue’ is exemplary. Replete with backwards guitar lines, it evokes all the narcotic colours of vintage sunshine pop.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald