Saturday, 21 November 2015

Genre Mix: The Monikers - Eternals - Bloodhounds On My Trail

The Monikers - Friends Like These.

Background - The Monikers are a four piece indie rock band based in Adelaide, SA. Forming in early 2013, the guys have come together to create their own unique style of melodic, guitar- driven indie rock. Working hard over the past two years and delivering two EPs in the process, they have steadily built a reputation as one of the most fun live acts in Adelaide. The floor is always packed with people dancing along to their catchy tunes! 

‘Friends Like These’ was recorded and produced in SAE Studios, Adelaide, by Michael Carver. It’s an upbeat-party song with some dark undercurrents. Punchy and guitar- driven, it’s friendly demeanour somewhat conceals the more serious subject matter of the song. 

“It’s probably the happiest and saddest song I’ve ever written. Definitely the most personal” - Andy Mackenzie. You can catch The Monikers in Adelaide on 12/12/15 at The Ed Castle and in Melbourne on 8/1/15 at Mr Boogie Man Bar.

The Monikers are a good reminder that keeping music simple, unpretentious and danceable tends to make it timeless and popular. 'Friends Like These' seemingly skips along with fine 'earthy' vocals accompanied by a band that know their business. Go on, play it and try and stay still...

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Eternals - Out Of Context.

Biography - Drawing equally from contemporary greats such as Wilco, Spoon and Sparklehorse, and classic pop and rock experimentalists like Brian Eno and John Cale, Somerville, MA’s Eternals are the perfect collusion of timeless sounds with an ambitious sonic language.

Songwriter Stephen Konrads writes like an arranger, and arranges like a cinematographer. A multi-instrumentalist of intense versatility, he is acutely aware of the fallacy of technique over content, and keeps his sonic landscape stark & muscular. Wayne Whittaker, bass; Harrison Seiler, drums; Eric Bolton, guitar contribute a spare, smouldering power that recalls the restrained prowess of classic American rhythm sections.

For the better part of ten years, members of Eternals have collaborated with numerous musicians in the Boston area, including Marissa Nadler, Thalia Zedek and members of Passion Pit, Titus Andronicus, Haerts, Lucius, Foxygen, and Diane Coffee. The band began arranging original material in 2013, and recorded their debut full-length to analog tape at the Soul Shop in Medford, MA. Following the album’s release in 2014, the band toured regionally and landed opening slots for acclaimed acts, including Wild Nothing, Caveman and Bishop Allen. 

On their forthcoming full-length, Isn’t That Anyone, Eternals seek to expand their brand of atmospheric Americana. “Out Of Context”, the record’s first single, is a compactly arranged folk song buoyed by warm electronic ambiance reminiscent of Brian Eno or Daniel Lanois. The band co-produced the song alongside engineer Aaron Bastinelli, who has worked with thousands of artists including Bono, The Roots and The Hold Steady.

'Out Of Context' is the first song I have heard by this band, and I am really impressed. OK so there is plenty of name checking in the bio above, however in the end, its the music that "makes it, or breaks it", and this one just stands out on so many levels.

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Bloodhounds On My Trail - Jolly. (from the EP Escape II).

Background - It's no secret that Australia has a burgeoning shoegaze scene. From within the burgeoning Melbourne shoegaze community, Bloodhounds On My Trail are set to release ‘Escape II’ internationally through US label Moon Sounds Records. where they join a healthy roster with such notable bands as Ceremony, The Foreign Resort, Dead Leaf Echo, Static Daydream, and Follow The Sea. This deluxe edition of their debut EP ‘Escape’ will also feature additional tracks ‘She’s In My Plans’ and a remix of ‘Jolly’ by celebrated dreampop duo Ummagma.

Bloodhounds are Johnny Green (guitar, vocals), Chris Donaldson (guitar), Nik Donaldson (drums) and Ché Walden (bass). With a love of shoegaze bands of the late 1980s to early 90s, Bloodhounds On My Trail seek to fuse the rhythmic underpinnings of bands like the Velvet Underground and the Stooges with the infectious stylings of shoegaze luminaries such as Cocteau Twins and Slowdive. 

Since playing their first show in February 2014, the band has been blossoming through a whirlwind combination of live shows, festivals and recording sessions. Their music was met with positive reactions, encouraging press, and invitations to play with notable Australian artists such as Lowtide, Contrast, and White Walls. Thanks to Tonedeaf and Gabe Lewis from Lowtide, one of the foremost shoegaze acts in Australia, Bloodhounds on My Trail began to be known as one of the best Aussie shoegaze acts around. "They sound like how I want my guitars to sound," Gabe explains. "Needless to say, I was immediately hooked. Really languid, cascading washes, and wearing their pastoral shoegaze influences on their sleeves.”

All of this prompted the band to formally commit their hazy tones to tape at Birdland Studios with renowned engineer and producer Matthew Hosking, who was the perfect match for the band - also being deeply immersed in shoegaze music and having a record of outstanding work with fellow shoegazers Lowtide, Contrast, vhs dream and Hideous Towns. This year has also seen the band gain momentum with appearances at local gaze festivals alongside Flyying Colours, Immigrant Union, Black Cab and Day Ravies.

In all honesty I have to be in the right mood to listen to shoegaze music these days. Across this EP, there is enough variety, rather than a constant wall of noise, to keep it interesting and enjoyable. I guess my Cocteau Twins obsession, sets the bar high, however for me, 'Bloodhounds On My Trail' certainly fall into the 'ones to watch' category.

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