TFS deliver one of the greatest debut singles in recent memory
Tropical F*** Storm – ‘Chameleon Paint
Cynical readers will state that anything Gareth Liddiard does will get an immediate pass-mark from us because he’s some kind of untouchable force in underground Australian music. Not true. I’m not gonna pretend his music is good if it’s not.
Tropical F*** Storm is Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin, both of The Drones, teaming up with Lauren Hammel from High Tension and Erica Dunn from Harmony.
Their first single is ‘Chameleon Paint’ and it is very, very good. It’s kinda spooky and totally warped, the kinda song you feel might fall to pieces, but instead throws up a range of surprisingly tuneful melodies when you’re least expecting them. The way it injects a little sweetness into its evil sound makes it even more terrifying.
It’s absolutely a progression from The Drones’ most recent (and objectively brilliant) album Feelin Kinda Free and, honestly, not a huge leap from the new sounds and sonic textures they were trialling there. That’s a very good thing if you’re a Drones fan. If you’re not, then give this a wide berth, you will hate it. Your loss.
Antibalas – ‘Gold Rush’
Antibalas stake their claim as one of the world’s most exciting bands with the epic ‘Gold Rush’. It winds its way through different rhythms, bass grooves, vintage synth jams, horn blasts, spoken word narratives and other euphoria inducing moments. Another stone-cold classic from the unbeatable Daptone label.
LCD Soundsystem – ‘Tonite’
This third taste of LCD Soundsystem’s comeback record just has us more excited about getting our hands on the whole thing. Like the first two tracks, it’s very similar to the LCD Soundsystem of the past. James Murphy’s observations remain on point, the track’s rolling rhythm will lock you in from the outset and the simple, uncluttered synths just sound so damn cool. With every new track, we get more confident American Dream will be a winner.
Yumi Zouma – ‘December’
We loved New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma before. But that adoration reaches a new level after hearing ‘December’. It’s the kind of luscious synth-pop that you just don’t want to touch; every sound is in precisely the right place, the emotions hit in just the right way and the song moves through its different passages so perfectly. It’d take a cold heart to not feel some affection for this.
Bicep – ‘Aura’
Irish electro duo Bicep make the kind of dark, thumping electro that I wish my local gym would play. But they don’t, so I’ll forever be a weakling. If you miss quality 80s darkwave, give ‘Aura’ a chance.
Tori Amos – ‘Up The Creek’
Native Invader is Tori Amos’ 15th album and ‘Up The Creek’ suggests she’s as willing to try new ways of presenting her high quality songwriting as she always has been. The arrangement here is complex and unpredictable. The way it jumps around, plus the way her voice is so up-front in the mix, means it’s pretty much impossible not to pay attention. Clever, quality stuff.
L.A. Mood – ‘Two Hearts’
Super catchy, laidback pop from Dave Mudie’s great new(ish) L.A. Mood project. It’s a whole lot of fun and that chorus will stay with you for hours.
Karl S Williams – ‘Blood To Give’
A nice cut of gritty blues from Gold Coast singer-songwriter Karl S Williams. He’s got the voice and the riffs to bring a bar full of rowdy drunkards to attention and, as he proves towards the end, he’s not afraid to put the brakes on when you’re least expecting it.
Kaiit – ‘Natural Woman’
This is the first Kaiit song I have ever heard, but it already sounds like she’s a veteran. There’s so much amazing neo-soul in the world (and in Australia) right now, so for ‘Natural Woman’ to grab our attention so forcibly, it had to be pretty incredible. The vocal performance here is completely astounding, the production is super cool and just sits back and let’s this incredible vocalist steal the show. Just brilliant.
Flight Facilities – ‘Arty Boy’ (ft. Emma Louise)
New music from world-beating production duo Flight Facilities is always a good thing. As is anything that Emma Louise lends her voice to. This unstoppable combination give us an incredibly cool piece of exotic, summering synth funk with a stunner of a chorus that serves as more of an added treat, given we’re already so satisfied by those slick verses.