Tame Impala, Xylouris White and Becca Hatch: Australia’s best new music for April
Gauci – Irritating
For fans of: Confessions-era Madonna, the xx
‘A nervy heart-thumper propelled by the infinite force of self-doubt’: Gauci’s Irritating.
These days, every second song is about crying in the club – so common it’s become its own certified subgenre of pop music whose patron saint is, undoubtedly, Robyn, and whose disciples include everyone from Camilla Cabello to FKA twigs. Entering the fray is Sydney three-piece Gauci, who have been making dance music to spiral to for the better part of a decade. Taken together, their song titles read like a chain of jittery texts: Hurry, Anxious, and now Irritating, a nervy heart-thumper propelled by the infinite force of self-doubt. – Michael Sun
For more: Listen to previous single Back 2 When, or their 2020 self-titled EP.
Xylouris White – Long Doll
For fans of: the Necks, Oren Ambarchi
This year marks a decade of Xylouris White, the duo comprised of Cretan lute player George Xylouris and Dirty Three drummer Jim White. In that time, they’ve continued to refine their spare, haunting take on Cretan folk and free jazz. Long Doll, the third single from The Forest In Me, is abstract and cavernous, constantly threatening to coalesce into something with forward motion but never actually following through, the sounds of each player’s breathing faintly audible in the mix. It’s a pregnant pause in song form. – Shaad D’Souza
For more: The Forest In Me is out 14 April. Previous singles Red Wine and Latin White are out now.
Mindy Meng Wang 王萌, Tim Shiel & Liz Stringer – First Time Really Feeling
For fans of: Pretty Girl, Overmono, Daphni
Remixes are back! Courtesy of Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 Tim Shiel on Milk! Records’ remix compilation.
There was a time in the 2000s where every track – regardless of genre, regardless of anything as simplistic as good taste – was accompanied by a litany of electro remixes sending it to the high heavens. (If the name Jacques Lu Cont fails to inspire war flashbacks, consider yourself lucky.) They might have gone out of fashion in recent times, but Courtney Barnett’s Milk! Records is reviving the tradition, beginning with this redux of Liz Stringer’s folksy number. The experimental duo Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Tim Shiel distill Stringer’s Killers-ish cut about sobriety and its clear-eyed possibilities into something far icier, haunted by distant echoes and the chilly plucks of Wang’s guzheng. – Michael Sun
For more: Milk! Records Remixed Vol 1 is out 12 May.
Tame Impala – Wings of Time
For fans of: Ween, the Darkness, Pink Floyd
Tame Impala’s new contribution to the game-turned-film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves ‘allowed him to indulge his love of fantasy prog-rock’. Photograph: Paramount Pictures and eOne/AP
This song is a one-off for Tame Impala: a stand-alone soundtrack contribution for the film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Kevin Parker has said the opportunity allowed him to indulge his love of fantasy prog-rock – a genre that was once viewed with deep suspicion. But at under three minutes, the straightforward guitars-and-drums gallop of Wings of Time is thankfully briefer than the epics it’s inspired by, and Parker keeps his tongue in his cheek. – Andrew Stafford
For more: Parker has told Rolling Stone that a new album was coming faster than usual, but that was more than a year ago. Whatever the next thing is, it probably won’t sound like Wings of Time.
Hatchie feat Liam Benzvi – Rooftops
For fans of: Flyying Colours, Chvrches, the Cranberries
‘A soaring, ecstatic chorus’: Hatchie’s Rooftops, off the deluxe edition of her album Giving the World Away. Photograph: Leigh Agius
Just about a year after the release of her second album, the sprawling Giving the World Away, Hatchie – real name Harriette Pilbeam – has a new crop of tracks to share for its deluxe edition. Rooftops builds on her classic dream-pop sound by adding a male voice – New York alt-pop singer-songwriter Liam Benzvi, who works at first as a stunning foil before shining on his own as the track explodes. It all swirls above deliciously robust bass and culminates in a soaring, ecstatic chorus. – Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen
For more: The deluxe edition of Giving The World Away is out now.
Nicholas Allbrook – Round Round the Moon and All
For fans of: Pond, I Know Leopard, Queen, David Bowie
Nicholas Allbrook’s song Round Round the Moon and All ‘quakes with the pin-wheeling apprehension of new love’
It is one of Australian music’s greatest injustices that Nicholas Allbrook – and his band Pond – will forever be known as Tame Impala spinoffs. Sorry to that man (Kevin Parker) but Pond is, by far, the greater act, side-stepping the murky swamp that psych rock so often finds itself mired in for a much more buoyant disposition. Allbrook’s solo work is no different: this second single from his upcoming fourth album quakes with the pin-wheeling apprehension of new love, complete with a glorious flute solo. – Michael Sun
For more: Allbrook’s album Manganese is out 9 June.
Amanda Brown – Light Lingers On
For fans of: the Go-Betweens, Aimee Mann, Angel Olsen
Amanda Brown of the Go-Betweens: ‘A multitalented marvel.’ Photograph: Lisa Businovski
Even if you don’t know Amanda Brown’s name, you’ve probably heard her music: she’s been composing music for Australian film and TV for over 20 years. Before that, she was a member of cult Brisbane indie heroes the Go-Betweens. This track, co-written with the Church’s Steve Kilbey, sees Brown’s steady, soothing voice married beautifully with shimmering, reverb-soaked guitars as she ponders eternity. It’s one of many highlights from her first-ever solo album, Eight Guitars. Brown is a multitalented marvel. – Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen
For more: Eight Guitars is out now.
Kian & Becca Hatch – All of Me
For fans of: PinkPantheress, the Kid Laroi
A match made in viral heaven: Kian and Becca Hatch
Both Kian and Becca Hatch broke out via Triple J contests – Unearthed High in 2018 and its Indigenous initiative in 2017 respectively. In the intervening years, they’ve released a slow trickle of singles, though this is the one that should catapult them to mainstream attention. It’s a duet in the most classical sense: a he-said she-said post-mortem of a doomed relationship. With its pillowy harmonies and skittish UK garage stylings, it’s all but prefabbed for TikTok virality. – Michael Sun
For more: Listen to Kian’s previous single Shine, and Becca Hatch’s Blessed – or its Simlish version
RVG – Squid
For fans of: the Triffids, Priests, Savages
The latest single by Melbourne four-piece RVG, Squid, is a howling, existentially fraught rager powered by a simmering bassline and brittle, cold wave synths – a Kafkaesque spiral about walking along a beach and finding that you’ve accidentally turned into a squid. It sounds funny, but there’s intense pathos here; lead singer and songwriter Romy Vager’s plea of “I didn’t intend to be … some hideous third thing” pins down layers of shame and regret. It joins Joanna Newsom’s 2007 track Colleen in that rarefied canon of songs about changing between human and sea-creature form, and all of its accompanying shame and self-hatred. – Shaad D’Souza
For more: RVG’s third album Brain Worms is out 2 June. In the meantime, listen to their preceding albums, A Quality of Mercy and Feral.
Floodlights – Painting of My Time
For fans of: Midnight Oil, Hunters & Collectors, Goanna
Here is a band in a classic Australian tradition: Melbourne four-piece Floodlights are deadly serious, politically engaged and not afraid to rock out. Painting of My Time shows off their widescreen approach to songwriting. With its harmonica lead-off, big chorus and passionate backing vocals, this is a proper anthem, designed for singalongs in much bigger venues than the band is currently playing. Done wrong, this kind of thing can sound wooden and hectoring, but here, Floodlights are inspiring and uplifting. – Andrew Stafford
For more: The band’s second album (also titled Painting of My Time) is out on 21 April, with an extensive Australian tour booked from 26 May.
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