Once again this time of year is inundated with an insane amount of great Aussie music. There were too many albums I wanted to review as my first blog back. So instead of choosing one, I’ve decided to review a few in convenient bite-sized pieces.
Ball Park Music- Good Mood
Brisbane band Ball Park Music have been consistently producing music since their debut classic “Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs” back in 2011. Their Fourth LP “Every Night the Same Dream” saw the band experiment with sound, structure and lyrics in ways that polarised their dedicated fan base. With psychedelic and prog-rock influences, they churned out synth patterns and free-flowing break downs that deferred from the much-loved sound. This new release sees the band bouncing back to their verse/chorus/bridge/chorus roots, with easily digestible lyrics and only one song teetering over the five minute mark. But the band have not produced a run-of- the-mill pop album. Good Mood is a prime example of sonic experimentation within the classic indie/pop format. Sam Cromack’s use of vocal synths in ‘The End Times’, ‘Frank’ and ‘Dreaming of America’ is like something out of 808s and Heartbreak, while ‘Hands Off My Body’ utilises dark electronic sounds and instrumentation in a way that’s vibrant, brilliantly fun and something completely fresh. In saying this, many of the tracks (‘Exactly How You Are’, ‘The Perfect Live Does Not Exist’, ‘I Am So In Love With You’ and ‘If It Kills You’) exhibits what we all know and love about the band: they’re master creators of the perfect indie pop song.
Augie March- Bootikins
The newest release from Aussie music veterans Augie March highlights everything that we know and love about their poetry-to- music style of alternative rock. Glenn Richards delivers yet another set of beautifully vivid lyrics on a backdrop of whimsical and dynamic instrumentation. Much of this is based around the idea of nature, aging, and one’s place in the world. This may be best highlighted in track ‘When I am Old’ that paints a portrait of a very relatable state of loneliness, or track ‘I Hurtle Back to a Conservative Locker’ that depicts the bitter struggle in an always progressing ‘PC’ world. Famed producer Tony Cohen came out of retirement to tick “work with Augie March” off his bucket list, which is a huge compliment to the understated band, and highlights just how important their music is for people in the industry and fans alike. Sadly, Cohen passed away before the release of the record, but his influence and passion for their music is very much evident. Bootikens can proudly sit amongst Augie March’s timeless discography. It is a touching, heartbreaking and seemingly personal experience for listeners that will do what a great movie or book does. It sticks with you.
Camp Cope- How to Socialise & Make Friends
This three piece all-girl rock band have entered the Australian music scene and shaken it the fuck up. This is epitomised in their second album, especially in opening track aptly named ‘The Opener’, as it has sparked a much needed conversation about women’s representation in the industry. This leads into a conversation about women’s empowerment in relationships as next track ‘How to Socialise & Make Friends’ spins the everyday love song on it’s head by chanting “I CAN see myself living without you”. This album is a big eff you to cliche and social order. It’s Grrrl Power in a different context. Camp Cope is the Bikini Kill of 2018, but more rock, less punk, and with Aussie accents. ‘Anna’ is a heartfelt song about channelling emotions into song; one that I think young women are going to absolutely adore. The exposing rawness of Camp Cope’s music being sung by Georgia Maq was produced perfectly; with very little intervention. It seems as if Georgia is singing right in front of you, to you, as she chants “I found me” (‘Sagan-Indiana’) so fervently. This is an album for girls. Especially young girls. It’s empowering, gritty and it just bloody rocks.
Here’s to another incredible year in music! It’s good to be back.