Nancy Leticia - Perma-Smile
Music is evocative and transportative. That’s why we love it, right? If it hits the right notes, it takes us places, helping us escape the drudgery of everyday life. It’s like a short magic elevator ride to a faraway place. But that faraway place doesn’t necessarily have to be a nice destination. For me, Perma-Smile, by Vancouver artist Nancy Leticia, escorts me back to my childhood, reading Roald Dahl stories with a torch under the sheet well past my bedtime.
The stories I’m talking about, however, are not of the “James And The Giant Peach” or “Matilda” variety. No, no, no. At the tender age of nine I was “borrowing” my mother’s copy of “Kiss, Kiss”, and reading sinister stories of human darkness twisted from the fabric of cheerful “normality”. Ms Leticia insists that no such malevolence was intended when she created this track, explaining, “Each song I write is about exploring how ideas, sounds, melodic lines etc. can be constructed and how they play off/inform one another”.
Maybe that’s true Nancy. Maybe. But for me, Perma-Smile (seemingly innocuous, but laced with just the right amount of menace) is the perfect soundtrack for my naughty under-sheet sessions with Mr. Dahl all those years ago.
By Chryss Stathopoulos
Mix Tape #6 - November 2013
Ooh it’s Mix Tape time, our favourite time of the month where we put up a bunch of songs, slap on a weird and random photo and not bore you with too many words. Hooray!
Today’s random photo was taken by Chryss who found Bert laying on the streets of Mauritius after a fatal drug binge. What a tragic way to go.
Here’s the tracklist:
I’lls - To: All The Blurred (Rat & Co Remix)
Leaks - Often It’s You
Abram Shook - Coastal
White Denim - Under Mi Pretty Green
Five Leaf Nettles - Autumn
Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Atlas Hands (Thomas Jack Remix)
The Holidays - All Time High
Play the whole mix on Soundcloud here.
Give Me Five - The Ocean Party Give Us Their Top 5 Aussie tracks
If you can name a band that is quintessentially more Aussie than The Ocean Party I’ll invite you round for a barbie and even chuck on a few shrimps for ya.
Since featuring Quarter Life Crisis, we’ve been completely besotted with their latest album Split and were keen to know what current Aussie music the Aussiest (I’m sure that’s a word) of bands are into. What better way of finding out than subjecting them to our Give Me Five segment.
Conveniently, there are 5 members in the band, so they could each select a track, thus avoiding any potential squabbling or fisticuffs.
Here are their most excellent selections.
Andre – Friends (Chosen by Liam Halliwell)
TV Colours - The Lost Years (Chosen by Lachlan Denton)
Nathan Roche – Serafina (Chosen by Zachary Denton)
Day Ravies - I Don’t Mind (Chosen by Jordan Thompson)
Shorts - Berlin 1979 (Chosen by Curtis Wakeling)
The Ocean Party are playing the following shows this week with Bored Nothing, Bearhug and Deep Space Supergroop:
December 06 – The Standard, Sydney
December 07 – Yours and Owls, Wollongong
December 08 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
Employee Of The Year - 2 EP Track Breakdown
A few months ago we featured the amazing Summer Deep House DJ set from French electronic duo Employee Of The Year. This set, plus their much loved remixes of Wild Belle’s It’s Too Late and S O H N’s The Wheel, firmly placed them in our ‘artists that we simply can’t get enough of’ list.
They recently released their second EP, simply titled 2. The EP is a collection of four original and diverse tracks, starting with the funky Coming and Something About, progressing to the more introspective On My Own and finishing with the dark intensity of Berlin.
We asked Romain to give us a breakdown of the tracks and how they came about:
Coming: ‘This song has a cool story. We were in the studio and I came back with a really cheap Lap Steel Guitar. Edouard had this big beat and we were searching for guitar sounds. We plugged a lot of effects in the pedal steel. I pushed the strings too hard and it suddenly sounded like a saxophone. We looked at each other and laughed and decided to keep this scream of guitar.’
Something About: ‘This song for us defines the “slow French” concept we like to call our music. A cool melting pot of groovy electro sounds and analogic guitar and bass.’
On My Own: ‘This song has been written with the idea of an area in Paris called “Pigalle”. There are a lot of sex shop and neon lights everywhere. We wanted to do a really simple song with the feeling you could have when you walk along these streets at night. We made a beautiful video of this song with talented A&R Ben Donadieu & Fred Rambaud.’
Berlin: 'We went to Berlin in June this year with all our friends. We spent a night in a club called “the Watergate”. The music is incredible and around 6 in the morning, the walls open and you see the sun rising over the river. When we came back to Paris, we had this memory in mind and the song could not have another name. '
EP 2 is available on iTunes.
Slow Machete - Shake The Starling Tree
I first heard this beautiful track a month ago and immediately felt compelled to share it but every time I sat down to write about it I was overwhelmed with a sense of panic. I felt that there was so much passion and love that went into creating Shake The Starling Tree, and indeed the entire Mango Tree EP that it came from, that there was no way that any sentences that I manage to string together could possibly give the musicians justice.
So as a method of procrastination, I devoured every single word ever written about the making of the EP and felt much more enlightened but even more panicky. So I’m not going to pretend to understand or describe the amazing experience, I will just share with you the facts.
Slow Machete is the collaboration project between DC’s electronic artist Joseph Shaffer and a group of Haitian singers. Joe frequently visited Haiti to assist with various aid programs. He fell in love with Haitian music during those trips and befriended a number of singers and musicians. Over the course of four years, he traveled with binaural microphones to record singers and field sounds. Often, the singing would be very powerful and emotive but too short to release as an entire track so he would add sounds such as field samples and movie samples as well as native percussion and pitched down machetes.
The resultant EP is a truly beautiful meeting of two worlds. The underlying emotion of each song is determined by the beautiful Haitian vocals and elevated by the varied and interesting electronic samples. The Mango Tree EP leaves you in no doubt that the musicians have achieved their aim of respectfully capturing and sharing the spirit of the Haitian culture.
All proceeds from these recordings go back to support the Haitian people through education and agricultural programs in the Cap Haitien area.
Foreign/National - Paris
Well buy me a Beret and a first class plane ticket. I’m off to Paris for the weekend. Actually, why bother when I can just listen to this joyful sounding track from Melbourne’s Foreign/National and feel like I’m already there, thus saving some cash and avoiding that horrible feeling of having dehydrated hair after a 30 hour fight.
Paris, the first single from the band’s upcoming EP, is the musical equivalent of watching a technicolor movie. Life is more fun in technicolor and life is definitely more fun when listening to the nostalgic sounds of Paris. In fact here’s something really trippy to do that could double your fun and happiness. Listen to this track while watching Gene Kelly’s famous dance sequence from Singin’ In The Rain, one of the most awesome technicolor flicks ever made. If you time it just right, the tune and lyrics perfectly match the visuals of the scene. It even starts with Gene Kelly standing at the door looking like he is waiting for Debbie Reynolds to let him in, just as the song says. Freaky! Go on, try it. I know you want to!
The Furrs - Money
So this morning I was sitting in my lounge room happily eating my delicious breakfast cornflakes with a naughty sprinkle of coco pops when I pressed play on Money from Brisbane band The Furrs and completely freaked out.
The reason for my freak out was that, instead of being in a sunny lounge room, I found myself walking around a dingy 70’s style basement full of chilled out dudes hanging around on couches and smoking weed while listening to the cool sounds of The Furrs. Basically, I felt like I was in a scene from Almost Famous.
How did this happen? Do I need to seek medical help? Sure the thought crossed my mind but, as I’m generally a stable person, I dismissed it and decided to blame the band instead. Then I found out from their bandcamp site that the entire EP was recorded live in Uncle Monty’s Puzzle Basement. Well that explains it! The basement was somehow absorbed into this gem of a rock ‘n’ roll song adding an extra dimension to the already amazing listening experience by transporting the listener back in time. It’s so obvious now that I think about it.
My advice to Uncle Monty is open up your dodgy sounding, time-travelling, Puzzle Basement for business. Stat!