Community radio music presenters and music directors often have an encyclopaedic knowledge of local music and an insatiable thirst to keep their ears ahead of the curve. So in this Tone Deaf series, the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) invites music directors to highlight new Aussie tunes that you might have missed.
In this edition, Sophie Atkinson & Ryan Sahb from the Radio Adelaide music library team contribute with a selection of tracks currently making their way to community radio through Amrap’s music distribution service ‘AirIt’.
Check out Sophie & Ryan’s selections below and if you’re a musician you can apply here to have your music distributed for free to community radio on Amrap’s AirIt.
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Being the professional that I am, if a song with a wacky name is submitted to the station I am immediately compelled to give it a listen. My hope is that it’s remotely half good so I get to say its name on the air a lot.
So when a track called ‘Baby Chav De-Prawns’ arrived in the inbox I was pumped to be greeted with this total good time of an indie-punk tune.
Featuring cool girl vocals, delightfully shimmery guitars and a healthy dose of F-bombs to keep it punk rock, this one would go alright for fans of Courtney Barnett, Dream Wife, and Body Type.
I don’t know if those three acts necessarily reflect their sound but if you’re into them there’s a good chance you’re cool and Good Pash are the sort of band cool people enjoy.
A female four-piece that have the unique ability to look stylish in hazmat suits, Good Pash originally came together as a sort of mad science experiment to see what would happen if they switched instruments.
Their debut EP GEN I is set to come out later this year and I have a hypothesis that it’s going to be a ripper. (Sophie)
Check out ‘Baby Chav De-Prawns’ by Good Pash:
Anybody in radio can tell you that long songs are worth their weight in gold, usually to buy some time for a mad dash to the toilet before getting back on mic.
Last Days Of Kali deliver an eight-minute epic that taps you on the shoulder, sits you down and keeps your butt firmly planted. You’re not going anywhere but Tone City, baby.
Tone City is also probably a good name for a dodgy music shop, just saying. That one’s a freebie.
The Adelaide instrumental three-piece steadily build a palette of overtones and brooding atmosphere, rail-guided by determined toms and glassy guitar action. If you like a dash of doom with your post-rock, you might just have a new favourite. (Ryan)
Check out ‘Kitsune’ by Last Days Of Kali:
While Ponytail Kink have made their mark on the Adelaide live music scene, the trio haven’t put out many releases yet. (Although I think we can forgive them for that with all the amazing work frontwoman Hannah Fairlamb is currently doing with Girls Rock!).
After years of anticipation, Ponytail Kink have released ‘Marry Me’/’Well Done’ on 7″. It’s been labelled a double ‘bee’ side and features bee-themed cover art. A genius artistic choice that I applaud them for.
Despite the record being under five minutes in total it packs a punch like the music equivalent of snakes in a can. ‘Marry Me’ leans toward the pop end of the band’s sound and features a DIY lo-fi charm that makes you go “yeaaah man this is REAL”.
Striking a good balance between serious themes and playful tones, Ponytail Kink will make you bop with purpose. (Sophie)
Check out ‘Marry Me’ by Ponytail Kink:
I didn’t know about Dust Of Us until this single was added to AirIt (cheers AMRAP), so you better believe I’m glad I get to spruik them now.
The Woy Woy duo have teamed up with Sydney’s Jess Chalker (We Are The Brave) on guest vocals (and what vocals they are), accentuating some really engaging and warm production, mixing in rich live and processed percussion, chimes and some nice synth pads.
It reminds me of the first time I heard ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ by Massive Attack – that “I didn’t know you could DO that” factor – and if that’s somehow not a convincing enough argument, their debut EP comes out soon. Get in now for maximum bragging rights. (Ryan)
Check out ‘7 Years’ by Dust Of Us:
It was a Friday afternoon at the station, the harsh fluorescent lights glared down on me as I battled to keep my head above water the tidal wave of new releases the end of every week brings.
The hours of churning through new releases were taking their toll, it was if every song I heard was melting together into a goo of indistinguishable sound.
That was until I stumbled onto this e4444e track so unlike anything else I had heard it jolted my senses back into action like those little jars of coffee beans in the perfume department.
‘Streetlight(hide)’ is this fascinating collage of sonic textures layered over a constant pulsing beat that takes you on a journey. Just when you feel like you’re starting to get a handle on what’s going on he’ll throw in some kind of wildly oscillating synth that punches you into another dimension.
Romy Church, the artist behind e4444e, crafts the soundscape so masterfully I contemplate whether I should ask my doctor about Synesthesia because after listening to this on repeat I’m pretty sure I can see sounds now.
If you’ve ever listened to Animal Collective and thought “hot diggity dog” you might want to give this one a go. (Sophie)
Check out ‘Streetlight(hide)’ by e4444e:
Do you like saxophones? Of course you do.
This song is like that one super cool shirt you find in a dodgy op shop, an inexplicable shimmering lake in that desert of ill-fitting business attire and stained Bintang singlets.
No, this fits just right, the pattern’s funky – almost too funky. How did it get there? How, amongst all of the dusty Kamahl records and Depression glass, did this end up here and just hang on the rack, awaiting your discovery? Are you cool enough to pull it off?
Maybe you’d just look ridiculous and be relentlessly mocked for such a headstrong pursuit. Doubt. Anxiety. That musty mothball smell. Money changes hands. It’s yours.
Friday night. You take the plunge. It’s happening. You’re quickly walking to the local, nervously holding your jacket closed. You see your friends. It’s time. The jacket comes off. A beat.
They love it. They all love it. You regain your confidence in a flash. It’s the coolest you’ve ever looked. You go dancing and you see eyelines hold for a split second as strangers pass by. They know you’re cool. You know they know.
Wrap that shirt around a smouldering throwback groove and you have Sleepy Lizard, an Adelaide five-piece that probably just left a conversation pit at a swingers’ party. Bittersweet lyrics offset a smooth groove that’ll have you swinging your head in a perfect oval and throwing some shoulder candy* around in no time.
*”Shoulder candy” is the act of popping one’s shoulders up and down to a groove, often when hands are full or occupied, such as when driving or holding drinks. It’s a thing. (Ryan)
Check out ‘Can’t Help It’ by Sleepy Lizard:
Let me just say a futuristic inter-dimensional disco jam called ‘Space Party’ is exactly the kind of deep cut I come to AirIt for. It’s transcendental boogie time. (Sophie)
Check out ‘Space Party’ by Space Cop 2:
In 2015 I saw Green Buzzard play a support slot at Fowler’s Live (RIP) and during load-out Paddy’s pedalboard slipped out of the hands moving it at the elevated loading bay.
The pedalboard fell about a metre and a bit, butter side down, landing on the corner and crushing Paddy’s sunglasses, which fell off his head at just the right time to get between the board and the concrete.
I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.
That was the first time I had heard of and seen Green Buzzard, and there was a mysterious, nondescript tape at the merch desk. I bought a copy and it was packed with bedroom demos for some songs that hadn’t come out yet, like ‘Phantasy Girl’ (and a down-pitched version of ‘What’s Up?’ by 4 Non Blondes for some reason) and I was sold.
I bought every song they had and followed them eagerly, until they fell off the face of the earth a couple of years ago – but now they’re back! (See, that was worth it, wasn’t it?)
‘I Don’t Want to Be Alone’ is a simple and effective pop number, clocking in at under three minutes. It’s got the fuzz of Green Buzzard songs past, respectfully dialled back to let a bit of sun in.
Add some shades of Britpop and an earworm chorus and you’ve got a great summer driving song. You can hold me to that when December rolls around. (Ryan)