Monthly Archives: April 2009

Art Of Fighting – Wires (2001)

Part three in a series documenting exceptional Australian Independent releases of the past 15 years

It is my personal opinion that this, the debut album by Melbourne group Art Of Fighting, remains their most compelling work. They continue to produce albums to this day and yet this record still grabs me in a way that their others have not. They maintain the traditions established by foreign counterparts such as Low, Red House Painters and Codeine, whilst also retaining a strong sense of their own identity throughout. 

  • Bit Rate: 128k (best I could find)

Please click here to sample the album.

Here is the band’s page, where you can purchase their releases.

(Posted by N.)

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Update: Basket Of Figs

So, my previous link to this wonderful EP has been our most viewed entry, and would be most sampled item if it wasn’t for Stuart Murdoch… So, clearly, people are listening. I’ve managed to get in contact with the creator of these songs too. If you find yourself seeking more, her Myspace is back up, and contains three other, equally exceptional songs.

You really should listen.

Zola Jesus – New Amsterdam (2009)

Zola Jesus

This will be big. Zola Jesus is just one in an exciting new wave of lo-fi noise pop artists who at least for the moment can do no wrong. One of the most consistent records of 2009 thus far,  and an incredibly enjoyable listen. Her recently announced involvement in Former Ghosts also bodes very well for all participants. Just listen already!

Rating: 8.5/10

Sounds like: Blank Dogs with a female noise twist.

Click here to sample.

Myspace, for purchasing and information.

God Help The Girl – Soundtrack (2009)

god_help_the_girl-cover

B&S fans rejoice! The drought is over!

Here’s the soundtrack to Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch’s musical film, God Help the Girl. Consisting of songs Murdoch states he could not envisage himself singing, the jazzy, upbeat, sixties-swing-influenced ditties are instead brought to life by the delicate, girl-group vocals of the film’s star, Scot Catherine Ireton. Good news for old-school B&S fans, reworked Belle and Sebastian songs feature along side the new material, to ultimately evoke a “story set to music”. OSSUM.

Click here to sample the record.

Here’s the offical Myspace for more information

Kazuki Tomokawa – Blue Water Red Water (2008)

 

The commonly given nickname “the screaming philosopher” seems almost embarrassingly trite in describing the 30+ year career of one of Japan’s most iconoclastic folk icons. Legends speak of him breaking every single acoustic guitar string in one song. He has appeared in Miike films both as scorer and actor. Regardless of your Japanese-speaking prowess (mine is nil), the power and emotion in these songs is self-evident. I have included below one of many incredible youtube clips of this amazingly unique performer at work, and it comes just as highly recommended as this crucial album of last year, so long as you are up for the barrage.

Please click here to sample the album.

Here is the site for his US representation, where you can purchase his releases (try the 10 album box set!!).

Here are English translations of the lyrics.

Tomokawa-san performing Pistol in 2004.

Former Ghosts – Compiled Demos (2009)

 

 

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My absolute favourite new thing I have heard so far this year.

Former Ghosts is the supergroup reincarnation of Freddy Ruppert’s This Song Is A Mess But So Am I, with a helping hand from Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, a man of formidable talent, and Zola Jesus’ Nika Roza, the possessor of spine-tinglingly amazing vocals. The result is as mindblowing as you’d expect. Although they are currently working on a debut record, these collective demos gathered assiduously from their myspace are, in my opinion, perfect and comprise a record of exciting, pulsating, post-punk-inspired dark synthpop. 

Points of Reference: A bit of OMD in there…Morrissey surfaces occasionally…y’all getting my drift?
Sample the demos
Here’s the band’s myspace
Here’s Freddy Ruppert’s awesome blog
Here’s the band’s official website

Basket Of Figs – Oh Eye, Oh Night (2009)

EDITED – Thanks to the kind reader who informed me of my mislinking for this album. Resolved – the link is functional. – N.

This girl is from Ontario, Canada, and she has deleted her myspace. Her download-portal-cum-label have zero information on her. I found this by accident and it’s really, really important that you hear it. This is what the internet exists for – helping to expose new artists, and to encourage them to continue producing works, in the vague hope that someone like this might spend a happy lifetime making incredible recordings. One absolutely stunning voice and the barest of guitar parts. Three originals and a Tom Waits cover. I’ve just come home from a long walk listening to this, and if anyone has any information on this lady, then by christ please help me get in touch or something.

Please click here to sample the EP.

Here is the label’s page, where you can purchase downloads.