Hear Lambchop get weird, but stay beautiful

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'NIV' is one of the best new tracks added to Double J this week.

Hear all the best new tracks on our Spotify hitlist.

Lambchop – ‘NIV’

Kurt Wagner is one of those brilliant, hugely underrated songwriters whose fanbase are so passionate and dedicated that they will follow him in every musical direction he takes. Fair enough, too. It’s not as if he’s really made any creative missteps. As Lambchop, he’s made a vast array of music and ‘NIV’ suggests Wagner is still looking to push himself into new areas.

It’s an odd, synthy track. Its only vocals are heavily processed through a vocoder, giving off something of an alien, disembodied vibe. Given the organic warmth of much of Lambchop’s most celebrated work, it’ll jar some. But there’s great beauty there as well. Beauty in the way so many sounds – the bossa nova beat, the synth blips, the stunning piano chords, the busy bassline – all intertwine

You wouldn’t suggest ‘NIV’, or even Lambchop’s great 2016 album FLOTUS (For Love Often Turns Us Still) as a great starting point for Lambchop virgins, but it’ll be a very nice re-discovery when you’re finally hooked. And you will be.

Morgan Bain – ‘Hush’

 

This isn’t the first time we’ve raved about Morgan Bain’s perfect voice. But, screw it, we’re gonna do it again. It carries so much emotion and sounds so powerful, but all comes across so effortless. This lush, swirly neo-soul cut ought to turn you onto this Perth singer too.

Sarah Belkner – ‘Cellophane’

Sarah Belkner has a killer voice. But what’s even better is that she’s not afraid to be a little inventive with her music. Had she played it straight down the line with for ‘Cellophane’, it’d still be beautiful. But the spacious arrangement, off-beat bassline and the way those backing vocals and that woodwind snakes in and out make for a far more interesting and more affecting piece of music. Another gem from a very promising up-and-coming artist. 

Blackeyed Susans – ‘Lover Or The Loved’

 

Genuine legends of Australian indie music, The Blackeyed Susans, are back with their first new music in forever with the beautiful ‘Lover Or The Loved’. It’s just proof that great bands will never age badly, their restrained beauty is as perfect as ever. Look out for a whole album, Close Your Eyes and See, early next year. 

Coldcut – ‘Only Heaven’ {Ft. Switch & Roots Manuva}

The theatrical trip hop of Coldcut’s ‘Only Heaven’ is probably better suited to a British winter than an Aussie summer, but it’s so damn good that it sounds good any time. Roots Manuva doesn’t step all over the creepy track that the legendary UK duo have created, he complements it perfectly with a laid-back vocal that keeps the song sounding as dark as intended. Sometimes you’ve gotta look to the legends to hear true greatness. 

Dungen – ‘Achmed Flyger’

Swedish psych favourites Dungen deliver another beautiful piece of music in a similar vein to the great German motorik music of the ‘70s. That rhythm section doesn’t let up and allows the rest of the band more than ample space to give us some wondrous sounds. 

Golden Age Of Ballooning – ‘So They Say’

 

There’s nothing like a big, standalone guitar riff to get you excited about a song. The one that kicks in early on Golden Age Of Ballooning’s ‘So They Say’ is an absolute ripper. Guitar lovers will also revel in the sweet harmonised solo that kicks in halfway through. The non-guitar parts of the song are good too. It’s anthemic, intelligent indie rock with just the right amount of sheen to hopefully appeal to a wide audience. 

Jessy Lanza – ‘Oh No’

Jessy Lanza might not top the charts, but she is gonna be your favourite pop star. ‘Oh No’ is like a grown-up, less-accessible but ultimately more rewarding kind of modern pop music. The sounds are diverse, the beats a little jittery and Lanza’s voice completely commanding. Get a hold of her album of the same name for more interesting, progressive and generally brilliant takes on modern pop. 

Laura Marling – ‘Soothing’

There’s always a lot to love about UK folk star Laura Marling, so it comes as no surprise that ‘Soothing’ is another stunning piece of music. Marling produced the track in conjunction with Blake Mills and it’s among the best sounding songs we’ve ever heard from her. The way her perfect voice glides across the sparse drums and bass that provide the backing is so stunning. Then the strings start to swell and it’s all just so beautiful. 

Her new record, Semper Femina, is coming early next year. If this track is any indication, we’re in for another pearler. 

Pearls – ‘Superstar’

Joyous disco-influenced rock from Melbourne trio Pearls that’ll have you strutting around the dancefloor like a peacock. It’s a little glam, but not overdone. Plus, those vocal hooks are outstanding. 

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