The Goon Sax remind us of everything great and terrible about being young and in love
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The Goon Sax – ‘Make Time 4 Love’
The Goon Sax are one of the best bands currently active in Brisbane, one of the best music cities in the world. Their first album Up To Anything was so beautifully naive and innocent and earnest, it made us recall all the good and terrible parts of being a teenager in such a vivid and unpretentious way.
That was over two years ago, and when you’re a teenager, two years is a hell of a long time. Even so, I doubt many expected The Goon Sax to deliver such a richly embellished single as they have with ‘Make Time 4 Love’.
It’s still got that looseness and that heart-on-sleeve sincerity that makes them so charming in a kind of shabby way. But now there are strings and horns to make the realness feel somewhat regal.
If you’re not impressed by such tasteful orchestration, then hopefully the directness of the lyric will grab you.
‘Now it’s the night before your birthday / I tried to paint you something, it didn’t work out / I can see myself tomorrow / Telling you something you won’t feel’
So sweet, so sad, and so evocative in such a concise way.
The fact this song is all over in two minutes is both completely perfect and utterly heartbreaking. You have to applaud their brevity, but we’re not getting that new album for another six weeks or so and the wait might end up being pretty painful. We’re Not Talking will be out on Friday 14 September.
Christine & the Queens – ‘Doesn’t matter’
In a world saturated with quality synthpop, no one’s doing quite as well as French artist Christine & the Queens. ‘Doesn’t matter’ is an example of how Christine is able to strike that perfect balance between slick and catchy pop goodness and emotional levity, she sings about internal struggles and about coming to terms with the unknown, while a deep, aggressive bassline churns throughout. Her new record Chris, out in September, is one to look forward to.
Rayland Baxter – ‘Strange American Dream’
Very pleasant, kinda Beatles-esque pop from songwriter Rayland Baxter that takes a less than pleasant view of his country, and the world at large, right now. He wrote the album its from, Wide Awake, around the time of the last American election, so make of that what you will. Ignore the lyrics and enjoy a really luscious piece of slick pop-rock. Pay closer attention and hear an artist expressing his confusion and frustration at the world in the most eloquent of ways.
Metric – ‘Dark Saturday’
One of Canada’s finest indie rock bands deliver their first new single in three years with the pulsating, energetic ‘Dark Saturday’. It’s Metric doing what they do best – dark, foreboding verses and big, anthemic choruses. An emotional rollercoaster and one that sounds so big and brash that it makes us yearn to see them live again. They should have a new record out by the end of the year.
Harts – ‘Consciousness Of What You Think’
If you listen to this new Harts track and don’t hear a hefty dose of early Lenny Kravitz then I don’t know what to tell you. Soulful rock’n’roll with a heavy guitar focus that explodes outta the speakers.
Fat Freddy’s Drop – ‘Trickle Down’
Typically soulful electro pop from one of New Zealand’s most beloved acts. Fat Freddy’s Drop leader Joe Dukie sounds brilliantly laid back and the pulsating synths are utterly hypnotic. We can only imagine they’ll transform this for the live stage brilliantly as well. The band are working on a new album, but there’s no word as to when we’ll hear it.
The Coral – ‘Sweet Release’
One of the more psychedelic bands to come out of the whole ‘nu-rock’ era of the early 2000s, The Coral never got quite the same plaudits as many of their contemporaries. But they had their fans, many of whom have stuck with the band ever since and have been rewarded with plenty of great music over the past decade and a half.
Move Through the Dawn is the band’s ninth (!!) album and ‘Sweet Release’ is the first taste of it. It’s a propulsive track that adds just a little bit of 60s psych to its straightforward indie rock.
Caiti Baker – ‘Gimme’
Caiti Baker didn’t put ‘Gimme’ on her excellent debut album Zinc last year. Not because it wasn’t good enough – take one listen and you’ll realise that’s definitely not the case – but she just didn’t feel as if it fit stylistically. Thankfully it has seen the light of day anyway though, as its bluesy, soulful verses, bassy modern R&B chorus and spacious production all tie together so nicely. Another highlight from an artist who has delivered us so many in the past year or so.
Angie McMahon – ‘Keeping Time’
I’m already calling Angie McMahon one of the country’s finest songwriters, even though she’s only released three songs so far. Those three songs are of such an impeccable standard that it’d seem foolish to say any different. ‘Keeping Time’ sees McMahon continue to push her brilliant vocal to its limits and create a song that at times feels stunningly intimate, and, at others, like she’s shouting to the world. Can’t wait for the fourth track.
Jannah Beth – ‘In Bloom’
After hearing ‘In Bloom’, you can’t help but feel that Jannah Beth is set to dominate Australian music in the coming year or so. It’s considered hip hop that shows off both her killer flow and her refined melodic sensibility. It’s just pure fire from start to finish and we can’t wait to hear more.