Tag Archives: gl

Record review: GL – Touch (2016, LP)

gl touch

Former Bamboos buddies Graham Pogson (G) and Ella Thompson (L) are a band on a mission. The sound of their debut album lies somewhere in the realm of electro/funk/soul/r&B/pop, and while caring about fitting into an easily-defined category is nowhere near the agenda, the duo’s obvious goal appears to be getting people dancing. This generous 14-song collection will most certainly do that and more, as killer track after killer track is revealed and at no point does the quality take a dip. A constant throughout is the ghost of ’80s electronica, albeit strained through a filter of contemporary Australian pop. ‘Number One’ is perhaps the silkiest track here, while single ‘Hallucinate’ brings the funk and ‘Grip’ the bass. Elsewhere, ‘Scully’ introduces a little menace and ‘Cheap Shot’ is Thriller-era pop with better vocals. Thompson must be a contender for busiest musician of the year, having released a record with Dorsal Fins and a solo album in the past few months, and as with anything she is involved in, her voice which steals the show; she could probably sing pages of the dictionary and her soulful delivery would still melt the hardest of hearts. Touch doesn’t sound like much else being released right now and debut albums shouldn’t be this assured. What the GL have these guys been drinking?

For Beat

High rotation: 2015 in 50 tracks

Taylor Swift 2015
Taylor Swift: completely irrelevant to this article

It has been another tip-top year for tuneage. These are some of the tracks I have enjoyed most.

Bad//Dreems
‘Bogan Pride’
(Ivy League Records)
Where: Adelaide
What: Disenchanted pub-rock from a bunch of Bastards of Young

______________________________________________

Baro
‘Resume’
(Teamtrick)
Where: Melbourne
What: Hip Hop/electronic with a raised middle finger

______________________________________________

Beach House
‘Sparks’
(Subpop)
Where: Baltimore
What: The dreamiest and depressing-est of depressing dream-pop

______________________________________________

Beach Slang
‘I Break Guitars’
(Tiny Engines)
Where: Philadelphia
What: Carefree indie/college-rock drained through the sock of ’90s punk-pop

______________________________________________

Big White
‘You Know I Love You’
(Caroline Australia)
Where: Sydney
What: Angst-y, urgent jangle-rock with a sugary glaze

______________________________________________

Blank Realm
‘River of Longing’
(Bedroom Suck)
Where: Brisbane
What: Layers of lovelorn indie-rock and messy melodies from Queensland’s finest

______________________________________________

Bully
‘Trying’
(StarTime International)
Where: Philadelphia
What: A punk-pop breath of formidable, fresh air with razor sharp lyrics

______________________________________________

Car Seat Headrest
‘Something Soon’
(Matador)
Where: Leesburg
What: Experimental rock from an outsider who has finally found a home

______________________________________________

Cian
‘Extend’
(Entertainment Systems)
Where: Unknown
What: The sound of a ZX Spectrum loading, underwater

______________________________________________

Communions
‘Forget It’s a Dream’
(Tough Love Records)
Where: Copenhagen
What: A band to fill a Stone Roses-shaped hole, if only the Roses hadn’t reformed

______________________________________________

Destroyer
‘Dream Lover’
(Merge)
Where: Vancouver
What: Big sounds and celebratory sax; that moment when you decide you like the party after all

______________________________________________

Dick Diver
‘Tearing the Posters Down’
(Chapter Music)
Where: Melbourne
What: Top-of-the-pile Australian indie-pop

______________________________________________

DIIV
‘Dopamine’
(Captured Tracks)
Where: New York
What: A triumphant return for troubled shoegaze/dream-rock genius, Zachary Cole Smith

______________________________________________

Dorsal Fins
‘Monday Tuesday’
(Gripless Records)
Where: Melbourne
What: ’80s-esque good-time pop from Melbourne’s funnest collective

______________________________________________

Ferla
‘Breakups are Hard for Everybody’
(Independent)
Where: Melbourne
What: Off-kilter oddball does battered and bruised break-up rock

______________________________________________

Flyying Colours
‘Running Late’
(Club AC30)
Where: Melbourne
What: Charge-leading roogaze/psych-rock with a conscience

______________________________________________

Gang of Youths
‘Knuckles White Dry’
(Mosy Recordings)
Where: Sydney
What: All the heart-wrenching misery of a loved one dying from cancer. Happy Christmas!

______________________________________________

GL
‘Number One’
(Plastic World & Midnight Feature)
Where: Melbourne
What: Electronic duo featuring members of the Bamboos; a vehicle for the supremely talented Ella Thompson

______________________________________________

Gold Class
‘Bite Down’
(Spunk Records)
Where: Melbourne
What: Major emerging post-punk talent that caused a big stir in industry circles in 2015

______________________________________________

Guantanamo Baywatch
‘Too Late’
(Suicide Squeeze)
Where: Portland
What: Ramshackle semi-serious soul that charms its way in

______________________________________________

The Internet
‘Just Sayin/I Tried’
(Odd Future)
Where: Los Angeles
What: Impossible-to-Google soul/Hip hop smoothness

______________________________________________

IV League
‘Lit Screen’
(Independent)
Where: Melbourne
What: Heartfelt indie-pop from promising Victorian upstarts

______________________________________________

Jaala
‘Salt Shaker’
(Wondercore Island)
Where: Melbourne
What: There’s magic in a unique voice singing lines like “I was pouring pints for fuckheads” in a rambling, art-pop mash

______________________________________________

Jacco Gardner
‘Find Yourself’
(Excelsior)
Where: Hoorn
What: Neo-baroque psych with shades of Kevin Ayers and the floors of a thousand Dutch coffee shops after dusk

______________________________________________

Kurt Vile
‘Pretty Pimpin’
(Matador)
Where: Philadelphia
What: The cool AF stoner/psych master is as good as ever on new album, b’lieve i’m goin down…

______________________________________________

Mangelwurzel
‘Fishy Fry’
(Independent)
Where: Melbourne
What: Fucking bizarre, unclassifiable brilliance from Jaala vocalist Cosima Jaala’s other band

______________________________________________

Methyl Ethel
‘Twilight Driving’
(Dot Dash/Remote Control)
Where: Perth
What: Scruffy psych-pop with a heavy helping of Australian sunshine

______________________________________________

Mexican Knives
‘Beach Song’
(Independent)
Where: Detroit
What: Loose and laconic garage/indie rock

______________________________________________

Mikael Seifu
‘The Lost Drum Beat’
(RVNG Intl.)
Where: Addis Ababa
What: Ethiopiyawi electronic musician ready to conquer the world in 2016

______________________________________________

Mild High Club
‘Undeniable’
(Stones Throw)
Where: Chicago/Los Angeles
What: Delightfully weird; equal parts Dr. Dog and the Beatles’ circa Magical Mystery Tour

______________________________________________

MUNA
‘Promise’
(Independent)
Where: Los Angeles
What: All the ’80s big-pop influences, but most prominently Cyndi Lauper, with swearing

______________________________________________

The Ocean Party
‘Guesswork’
(Spunk)
Where: Wagga Wagga
What: Sweet-as indie-rock/pop from NSW youngsters

______________________________________________

Palm
‘Ankles’
(Independent)
Where: New York
What: the fuck did I just listen to

______________________________________________

PINS
‘Young Girls’
(Bella Union)
Where: Manchester
What: Young Girls doing it (primo indie-pop) for themselves

______________________________________________

Potty Mouth
‘Cherry Picking’
(Independent)
Where: Northampton, Massachusetts
What: Cool pop-rock

______________________________________________

The Pretty’s
‘Angry Horizon’
(Split-Tape Records)
Where: Vancouver
What: Garage/garbage rock that may need a change of underpants

______________________________________________

PWR BTTM
‘Ugly Cherries’
(Father/Daughter Records)
Where: New York
What: Camped-up cross between The Troggs and Thin Lizzy

______________________________________________

Ratatat
‘Abrasive’
(XL Recordings)
Where: New York
What: Rockatronica à la Daft Punk circa 2001, with better guitars

______________________________________________

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
‘Tender is the Neck’
(Ivy League)
Where: Melbourne
What: Laidback Australian rock for dusty roads and frosty beers

______________________________________________

Ronnie Stone and the Lonely Riders
‘<3 Race. Cold Sweat. Nu Dance. Do It.’
(Independent)
Where: New York
What: Ridiculous retro-futuristic ’80s synth nonsense that’s a heap of fun

______________________________________________

Savages
‘The Answer’
(Matador)
Where: London
What: Brutal post-punk first taste of new album, out January 2016

______________________________________________

Sheer Mag
‘Button Up’
(Katorga Works)
Where: Philadelphia
What: Healthy mix of ’70s classic rock (Thin Lizzy) and punk (X-Ray Spex)

______________________________________________

Shlohmo
‘Buried’
(WEDIDIT)
Where: Los Angeles
What: Ominous-as-fuck electronica will have you checking under the bed

______________________________________________

Sleater-Kinney
‘No Cities to Love’
(Sub Pop)
Where: Portland
What: Gimme a break

______________________________________________

Slonk Donkerson
‘Build Something/Break Even’
(Black Bells)
Where: New York
What: Shit name, great track. Nothing is perfect

______________________________________________

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
‘Multi-Love’
(Jagjaguwar)
Where: Auckland/Portland
What: Psychedelic depression-funk dadwave

______________________________________________

Viet Cong
‘March of Progress’
(Jagjaguwar)
Where: Calgary
What: Cutting industrial noise in the controversially-named Canadians’ trademark style

______________________________________________

Wax Idols
‘Lonely You’
(Suicide Squeeze)
Where: Oakland
What: Triumphant break-up ode performed in late ’80s pop/rock fashion

______________________________________________

Westkust
‘Swirl’
(Run For Cover)
Where: Gothenburg
What: Shoegaze/rock delights for for the indie kid in all of us

______________________________________________

Yung
‘Blanket’
(Mastermind Records)
Where: Aarhus
What: If The Replacements came from Denmark

______________________________________________