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“Australian Music #1”

3 Jun

Australia has innovative, genre and taste defying artists, however what was once our main source of new and creative music- public radio station Triple J, a non-commercial music-based radio station has greatly fallen from grace over the past year or so. It has nowadays become a ‘hit’- flogging station, fuelled by its own ego in an attempt to gain listeners and become popular.  Triple J’s main problem is its association to bands and their seeming need to mould bands they ‘discover’ into commercially successful groups, on the way losing what they used to be about- a platform for independent artists to gain airtime and still grow in their own directions creatively. I’m not going to continue a rant against Triple J for any longer, I’m just saying that the following two embarrassing genres popular in Australian music owe a lot to this particular station.

Aussie Hip Hop: What I think is and I hope will continue to be a dying genre is ‘Aussie Hip Hop’, honestly I don’t think (someone who is not Australian my have to confirm or deny this for me) Aussie Hip Hop is listened to, or taken seriously anywhere outside the bogan suburban house (for those who are not familiar with ‘bogan’, it’s similar to ‘chav’ for those from the UK and ‘white trash’ for Americans). I’d tell you more about it, name some ‘artists’ rah rah rah, but really it’s going to be a waste of both my time and your’s. That said, if you feel the overwhelming need to see what Aussie hip-hop is like, try Urthboy or The Herd, at least their subject material is a little wiser than most (who usually talk about getting drunk at festivals).

Synth/electro 80’s revival dance: Australia’s two most popular electro dance bands Cut Copy and Art vs Science released albums recently. Firstly I’m not going to say much about Art vs Science, all I’m going to say is read this review it’ll speak for itself. I don’t know whether this is a big international thing or an Australian music thing at the moment, but the 80s just. wont. die. Cut Copy are a band with a reasonable amount of credibility, however their recent album Zonoscope is just oozing with cheesy synths and tragic attempts to sound ‘retro’. The main single “Take Me Over” even features hooks from the Fleetwood Mac song “Everywhere” and overall the song sounds like a cover of Men At Work’s song “Land Down Under”. I know this is sounding more irritable than a kid who can’t kill all the pigs in Angry Birds, but honestly I’m not trying to be one of those snarky music fans that’ll bitch about anything popular, I bought my Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a bit late to the game I know, but it’s just proof I’m no indie snob. There is honestly so much fantastic underrated Australian music happening at the moment. The most ingenious music scene happening in Australia at the moment is the experimental scene with artists such as Melbourne artist Pikelet, Sydney duo Kyu even Perth psych band Tame Impala to some extent are making me very hopeful for Australian music’s future.

Kyu released their self-titled debut album late last year and honestly if had heard it all before writing my ‘Best Album of 2010’ review, it may have been a whole different review. Their music is like a re-born Bjork, but in a number of ways a lot more accessible. Kyu are a Sydney based duo featuring 2 girls with incredible vocal ranges and the ability to create another world out of their musical ambience. I wont go on much more because it’ll start to sound wanky, that’s all.

Pikelet is a Melbourne based artist who seems to pop up all over the place, I see her DJ-ing at bars I stop by for a drink, I see her catching the same tram as me, however every time I try to go and see her live something gets in the way. Well enough about me; Pikelet is one of those hard-working artists who you know cares only about the music she’s making (in a genuine way). Her latest album Stem combines folk, experimental sounds, loops and sweet wispy vocals to make a sound that could not be imitated by any other. She’s also really tiny and sweet, go on, check her out, I dare you not to fall a little bit in love with her.

I think that’s all from down here at the moment, if you’re interested in listening to something a bit fun here’s a little gem of a band called ‘Bum Creek’- it can be your reward for getting though my first haphazard Australian column that I promise will be better organised next time! Lucy