Sunday, 5 June 2011

Hits From The Box #21 - Standing On Queen's Land

For those of you not in the know - and that would be over 5 billion of you - it's Queensland day today. Where the Australian state of Queensland celebrates all things Queensland. Im not sure what that is - drinking profusely, searing some red meat and offering out some latent racism? I jest, of course, as I am a proud parochial Queenslander, yet I feel rather idle on a day that feels like it should be celebratory. Maybe Ill go eat a lamington...

I know what Ill do! Ill start this week's Hits From The Box with a Queensland band! The Keep On Dancins are a four piece from Brisbane that delve into the doo-wop surf garage thang with a heady dose of Twin Peaks fanaticism to boot. They have just released their debut album The End Of Everything which is a solid release, the weird contrast between the jangly instrumentation and the maudlin, morose themes at play a nice alteration to the sound. They play around a lot, are a likable bunch, and love Twin Peaks. Nuff said.

The Keep On Dancins - There Goes Your Guy

You know what? Listen to the album too!

Electroluminescent is the aural pseudonym for Ryan Ferguson, who has been a staple on the Hamilton, Canada scene for the past 15 years. His sound is best described as calming guitar workouts drenched in droning ephemera, synth explorations and Cluster-like ambiance. Very delectable then... He has just released Bleeds Light, which is a compilation spanning his recordings from 1998 to 2011 - and its fucking amazing. Seriously, I am in love with this album! You can get a free download of the album on his Bandcamp here - WELL worth your time...

electroluminescent - Atala & Rene
electroluminescent - Hidden In Books

Hailing from the stereotypically lambasted shores of Southend-on-Sea in England (ever heard of Essex Boys/Girls? This is apparently the capital...), CLOUT! are an intriguing experimental five piece who are mashing a variety of styles together to create something otherworldly. They have a debut EP out through new label Dirty Bingo Records, and I was especially taken by opening track 'Maxwell's O' - a distinctive PVT-like sound with the right level of dubstep invoked therein. They flirt with reggae and hip hop as well, and it is all very beat driven - We'll keep an eye on em to see what they flower into. Until then...

CLOUT! - Maxwell's O

Sheep Dog & Wolf is 17 year old Aucklander Daniel McBride - no shit. When I first listened to his first EP Ablutophobia I was reminded of Jose Gonzalez if he was more familiar with Sufjan Stevens, Les Claypool and Boyz II Men. This is some weird, yet very well rendered freak pop - and I think its amazing. The entire thing has been recorded by McBride himself - all instruments, all vocals - in his bedroom. Holy fuck, right? Its taken 9 months to complete due to schoolwork... He is first and foremost a saxophonist, but has taught himself a whole lot of other instruments, like guitar, drums, piano, and euphonium, most of which feature on this EP. Be afraid, be very afraid... Grab the EP here.

Sheep, Dog & Wolf - Ablutophobia
Sheep, Dog & Wolf - Tamefires

Describing themselves as a slow, quiet band, Brooklyn's Villa Venus traverse the same sonic terrain as Low, Bedhead, even a little bit of Galaxie 500. They are just starting to step out into the roiling waters that is NYC, and I think they will do all right. They remind me of a great band we have here in Australia called Art Of Fighting - sweeping, ethereal melancholia that is esoteric in its vocal stylings. This is burning the midnight ruminative oil soundtrack material if Ive ever heard it... Villa Venus have a self-titled EP out now - you can get it here.

Villa Venus - Slow Collapse

We finish in Buenos Aires, Argentina today as Dead Berlin, an independent duo drown us in their minimal psychedelic rock. The Dead Will Come is their first proper EP release, which you can get from their Bandcamp here. They are still very much developing their sound, yet there are elements amongst The Dead Will Come that offers very high hopes for the future. Keep at it guys...

Dead Berlin - The Sun
Dead Berlin - Upstairs

Happy Sunday!

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