australian

JAPANESE WALLPAPER EMERGES FROM ITS COCOON
October 27, 2016 9:28 am

When I was 17 years old, I was doing what most other 17 year old teenagers do; playing sports, doing homework, driving a car for fun, I was even playing guitar a lot by most standards. But I was creating nothing like Gab Strum did in his seventeenth year.

He started the electronic pop project Japanese Wallpaper and released his first single “Waves” back in 2014. Even at this early stage in his career, the sounds he created were nearly on the same level as ambient titans Tycho and Boards of Canada. The ethereal, jovial tunes started drawing attention from some pretty well-known folks in the industry such as fellow Australian, Chet Faker. Also in Gab’s seventeenth year, he won Triple J’s Unearthed High competition. Oh, and his track “Breathe In” was also featured on the soundtrack for Zach Braff’’s follow-up to Garden State, Wish I Was Here. Seventeen! I think this goes to show how the state of modern music equipment has altered the music scene. If a high school kid fifty years ago wanted to make music with more than a guitar, he would find it incredibly difficult to do so. The tools to do so weren’t easily available yet. Now we can download software on our laptops and create magic.

Gab did his first tour of Australia back in 2014 with great success. He has since been putting out EP’s with some fantastic remixes in the last couple years. Most recently this year he released the single “Cocoon.” Earlier this year, he released a deluxe edition of his self-titled EP that came out in 2015 with a slew of new remixes. The remix of Between Friends” by Sable is a noteworthy track from the record. The single “Forces” featuring Airling is a smash. I think it’s safe to say that Japanese Wallpaper has a promising future ahead of him. He has a few tour dates left in 2016 if you happen to live in a major Australian city. I imagine he’ll make his leap over to the states soon enough and I for one will be right there in the crowd grooving along to these incredible tunes.

TROYE SIVANAUSTRALIA’S EMERGING PRINCE OF POP
August 2, 2016 4:34 pm

“I’m addicted to working. For me to be up all night writing songs and waking up early and posting teasers—it’s addictive to me. It’s just my natural state to be creative, even on my off days.” –Troye Sivan

The hard working Australian musician/Youtuber/actor Troye Sivan sounds like he could be an ATYPICAL SOUNDS staff member, but unfortunately he’s probably a little busy between touring, writing music and being the 3rd most subscribed to Youtuber in Australia.

Sivan says that it’s “not his job,” to disprove the stigma Youtubers might get, but when he makes such good music, why should he have to?

I care about my music, what people think of me. I just want people to hear my music with an open mind. If you don’t enjoy it, that’s cool. But don’t not listen because of that label. It’s going to take a few years before people take it seriously, but it’ll happen. –Troye Sivan

Sivan is on his way to becoming a bonafide pop star, 4,260,226 subscribers can’t be wrong. His debut Blue Neighborhood is airy, yet aching. His songwriting is innocent, smooth and brutally honest. Blue Neighborhood is such a perfect title, it’s filled with good vibes and yet there’s an underlying tinge of pain reminiscent of a midnight drive.

Not many artists can live up to the hype of 4 million people, but Troye Sivan does.

JUMP THE GUN WITH HOCKEY DAD
August 1, 2016 6:33 pm

After a long week of work, who can’t appreciate a nice beach trip. Windows rolled down and music blasting with your friends cracking jokes, this is the best way to relax during the summer. Two Australian men, Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming, and their passion for music and beach trips have crafted the perfect music for these beach trips inside their simple and beautiful band, Hockey Dad.

Dreamin’ was their first EP which was warmly welcomed among the alternative and indie communities in 2014. A great sound for their first EP: fully of energy, bright guitars and gritty drums. After touring and a few singles during the past years, their new album Boronia is due to arrive August 12th.

In the spirit of summer time fun, they’ve already released a few singles and just yesterday a new music video for their newest single from the upcoming album which is appropriately called Jump The Gun. The track starts with an addicting string of notes from the guitar as the bass and drums hop in a bit after. Just like the video showing Stephenson and Fleming jumping in the glistening water to surf, the song brings the feeling of diving into the cool ocean water to you wherever you are. A perfect song that is as timeless as a sweet summer sunset. With such a relaxing and enveloping music video, it will make us all say to our daily responsibilities the lines of the chorus, “I don’t want to go home, I’m having too much fun…I don’t want to go home, so leave me alone.”

A superb addition to the repertoire of Hockey Dad’s summer surf songs that makes me all that more excited for Boronia later this month.

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND K
June 8, 2016 1:18 pm

You can bet those cringe-worthy getups your parents wore in the early-80s are going to be next season’s hot commodity. Human innovation is less about spontaneous combustion and more about an endless mashup of patterns. ‘Dude! What does mine say?  Sweet! What does mine say?’ If only a rock band capitalized on this notion of the never-ending pop cultural Saṃsāra.

There’s no way to properly brace yourself for King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s latest high-octane concoction. Nonagon Infinity dishes out a blissed-out 42-minute jam served with a blitz of viciously fast guitar-play, fist-pumping lyrics, and a time-warping motorick beat. It’s also King Gizzard’s most righteously ambitious effort to date: an album that’s deliberately designed to seamlessly loop back to the beginning, again and again, for eternity. The disorienting bombastity crescendos into a seemingly abrupt end on “Road Train,” which fits back into the first track “Robot Stop.” The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. C-C-C-Combo Breaker!!

Frontman Stu Mackenzie howls out themes of a dystopian future run by robots (The universe is a machine/That has awoken from a dream), evil flying vultures (People-Vultures waiting to begin/Deadly ulcers feeding on my skin), and the nonsensical (Once I’m Mr. Beat/I only miss a beat).

It’s rare to see a band with seven members, but Australian psychedelic rock septet King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard just wouldn’t be complete without two drummers, four guitarists, and harmonica. Nonagon Infinity was released via According to Our Records (ATO), which features a heady roster including Gogol Bordello, My Morning Jacket, and Old Crow Medicine Show. While certainly conjuring up 70s prog-rock of Pink Floyd and Yes ilk, King Gizzard rev up the ferocity by incorporating the harder edge of metal, and the hallucinatory repetition of Krautrock. Sonically, the band resembles fellow-Melbourne garage-rockers The Oh Sees.

The accompanying music videos also match the novelty-rock theme. “Gamma Knife” features the band circled around a makeshift offering pit as the camera dizzyingly pans around King Gizzard and company shredding guitars and banging drums. Druids adorned in brightly colored robes descend from the surrounding foliage. The video comes to an end as the ritual pit spawns a egg-shaped crystal and knocks out the band and adjoining worshipers. Incidentally this seamlessly leads into the next video, “People Vultures” in which the egg hatches a horrendously lofty paper-mache prop, which King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard painstakingly lug around while performing their instruments (you know, like a People Vulture). They are sporadically attacked by jump-kicking villains reminiscent of Power-Ranger which are vaporized by the vulture’s lazer beams.

If you hadn’t guessed yet, the band has already confirmed they will release a music video for each of the tracks on Nonagon Infinity–which might seem like a page out of Beyonce’s playbook–but this case clearly hints that, yes, there will be a never-ending music video to accompany their never-ending album.

If you’re a connoisseur of Rock’N’Roll’s rich history of novelties Nonagon Infinity is a must have–it fits in right next to Flaming Lips Zaireeka, synchronizing Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz, KISS action figurines, and the complete Guitar Hero collection. Unsurprisingly so, the prized vinyl pressing of Nonagon Infinity is already sold out on their bandcamp. You can start placing your bets on Ebay where I’m sure it’ll fetch a fair price.

I say tuh-may-tow. You say to-mah-to. I call it retro, you call it nostalgia. Certainly you’re familiar with the old adage that Pop Culture comes in cycles.  Some call it the 40-year-rule, but…

NEARLY OROTORIO: SIMON LAM’S STRIPPED DOWN  TIN EP
April 15, 2016 11:43 am

Melbourne’s Simon Lam is known by many names. Earlier this month, Lam, who releases solo material through the Nearly Orotorio moniker, dropped his second EP, Tin, via Solitaire Recordings.

Whether contributing vocal tracks or lending his keen sound engineering chops, Simon Lam has done a lot in a short span of time–and it seems like any project he decides to take on tends to make its way to an increasingly wide audience. His career launched in 2010 with the formation of Kins, a group that initially manifested in Australia, but later transplanted to Brighton, England. Kins fused wistful guitar with downtempo electronic breaks. They followed up the release of their self-titled full-length by touring in support of last year’s indie rock blockbuster, Courtney Barnett, before officially calling it quits in February. Meanwhile Lam, who didn’t stay around for Kins to fully come to fruition, was busy parsing together tapestries of his soulful vocals and minimal electronics with I’lls. Next he was building warm synth backdrops to back fellow-Melbourn songstress Chloe Kaul for their project Kllo.  They released a debut EP Cusp in 2015 via Dot Dash / Remote Control.

Lam’s first Nearly Oratorio release Showers was released in 2011, perhaps opening the door to some of his other collaborations. His fluid transition from one project to the next is disorienting indeed, but it’s the sign of an ambitious recording artist dedicated to his art and finding just the right collaborative environment to find inspiration for his next work.

Tin is a collection of oddball ditties dedicated to the wandering thinkers and creatives that occasionally get stuck inside their heads. To soak in this album properly one simply needs to lay back in a comfortable position, adorn a pair of headphones and take it in. Tin captures the essence of Sam Lam’s tinkering, the thought-process of a tireless scientist going through the motions of artistic process. It’s packed with a modest range of percussion adding texture and rhythmic dimension to his tracks which are otherwise bare-bones: Sam’s soothing R&B falsetto accompanied by a trickle of acoustic guitar and under synths.  It’s a great introduction to Simon Lin’s signature blissfully minimal sound. 

AGE 18, LUPA J PULLS US IN
April 11, 2016 11:16 am

Sometimes it’s difficult to enjoy a prodigy, not because their inherent level of talent isn’t drop-dead impressive, but because we’re confronted with the stinging reality that we’ve inadvertently missed the opportunity to attain a similar level of mastery.

Enter Imogen Jones, aka Lupa J, an Australian electro-pop songstress with a naturally well-built set of bells, and impeccable songwriting chops to boot.  She also happens to be a mere 18 years old.

Lupa J parses together her ethereal intone with an eclectic pallet of atmospheric samples, sharp beats, and shimmering violin, for which she’s also classically trained. Lupa J’s immersive concoctions pull you deep into her shadowy abyss: a love affair that’s equal parts Grimes, Kid A-era Radiohead, and the stylized theatrics of Kate Bush and BJork. Her music twists your nerves down your spine like the negative space in a horror film–These aren’t the dabblings of a typical high school music student, Lupa J is a true example of an Atypical Beast, through and through.  And her moniker is fitting indeed, as Lupa translate from Italian to “She-Wolf.”

Lupa J also already has a moderate collection of tracks that are available via her SoundCloud, including her newest single “Numb” which will be including on her forthcoming debut EP My Right Name, which will see release later this year. While she hasn’t ventured abroad yet, you can only assume it’s inevitable a music label scoops up an artist as ambitious and marketable as Lupa J in short order, hopefully granting us a chance to catch her state side in the near future.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: METHYL ETHYL
April 1, 2016 10:58 am

Here at AtypicalSounds we’re always looking out for the next big thing. Our April Artist of the Month is Methyl Ethel, a Perth-based dreampop trio that are hot off the heels of releasing their debut record Oh Inhuman Spectacle, which was released digitally last month via 4AD.  The album showcases a sleek backdrop of psych-rock influences, reverb-drenched guitar, and Jake Web’s oddball lyrics: the chorus to lead single “Twilight Driving” caution unsuspecting drivers to watch out for “roos”.

Methyl Ethel are the latest indie upstart to burst out of Australia in the wake of big acts to emerge from the continent including Courtney Barnett and Tame Impala. The band’s following has been growing steadily since CMJ this past October, demonstrated by their insane and successful performance at this year’s SXSW. They’ve proven their ability to arouse new fans to faithfully follow them wherever their tour may take them.

Unfortunately, if you haven’t had a chance to catch them live yet, you might have to wait a bit. They’ve just wrapped up the US-wing of their international tour and are doing their last handful of shows in Europe and in native Australia. We’ll be waiting their return.

TALK IS CHEAP: CHET FAKER’S DOWNTEMPO SEDUCTION
March 2, 2016 10:40 pm

Some artists are easier to “get into” than others.

Nicholas James Murphy, aka, Chet Faker, is an electronica artist that has you covered in the “chill” department. He effortlessly fuses sleek downtempo grooves with his seductive R&B-leaning croon.  Whether you’re lounging around after a long day, or on an extended evening spin, Chet Faker provides a perfect dose of ambiance and substance to keep your ears entranced.

Chet Baker hails from Victoria, Australia, and since breaking onto the scene in 2011, he’s had no trouble finding an audience for his tunes both at home and abroad. His 2014 full-length debut Built on Glass, made waves internationally, and debuted at the number 1 position on Australia’s ARIA charts.  I’m sure by now you’ve heard Talk is Cheap.

Most recently Chet Faker released Work EP, a collaboration with London-based DJ Marcus Marr. He also put up an immaculate performance for Boiler Room’s #Campaign4Change last October,  I encourage you to give it a spin.

While he might be keeping things on the down-low this year, Chet Faker will certainly be making a splash this festival season – catch him stateside at Ultra, Sasquatch, or Governor’s Ball.

LUCID DREAMING WITH SAY LOU LOU
May 18, 2015 10:25 am

With a lot of sister bands emerging nowadays, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. Swedish-Australian twins Say Lou Lou have voices that are each the missing puzzle piece to a perfect sound. They have finally released their debut album after teasing fans for three years with a few dropped singles here and there. Like their album title “Lucid Dreaming,”  their sparkling tones and nu-disco soundscape can make any listener fall into a trance. Both of their shows in New York were sold-out, and I was fortunate enough to scope them out at Mercury Lounge on a Tuesday night.

They appear on stage with chic silk print matching outfits, ready to wow the crowd with their fierce personas. As soon as the music starts they switch gears and electrify the crowd with their sensual voices. The drummer starts to bang on his glittery set while the keyboardist swings her vibrant orange wig to the beat. Their set consisted of an array of colorful lights, transporting you into a fantasy.

I was temporarily put into an arcade game when “Games for Girls” came on. It’s playful theme had rainbow lights that hit me with the nostalgia of old school recreation. “Nothing but a Heartbeat” stood out the most because of the way the lights rhythmically flashed like the heartbeat they sang about. It was surreal. It was a dream I didn’t want to wake up from.
It’s safe to say that Say Lou Lou left a great impression on their New York fans. We’re excited to see them back in the city for some more dreamy experiences!