November music review

Gum’s monthly music round-up for November 2018.

Illustrations by Tahlia Kristjansson


 
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BUGS

Sweetener (Single)

There’s nothing that will feed your appetite for the Brisbane heat more than this big, happy anthem from Bugs about falling in love and feeling good in the summertime. It’s impossible to listen to this song without a goofy smile appearing on your face. The drums are driving, the guitars punchy, the vocals are raw and honest, and the combination of all this results in something as smooth and moreish as caster sugar straight from the bag (don’t pretend you’ve never done it!).

For fans of: Blink 182, Hockey Dad

Pairs with: Cracking a cold one with…literally anyone.

Listen to Sweetener on Spotify here.


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GOOD BOY

Sodabread (Single)

Sodabread is the first we’ve heard from Brisbane legends Good Boy since 2017, and the tune is short, sharp and packs a punch. All the hallmarks of classic Good Boy are back to play—complete with vocalist Rian King’s sharp, shouty lyrics and a fast-paced rhythm made for bouncing off club walls, half-spilled cheap beer in hand. Buoyed by the addition of a new member (bass player Marli Smales of Chakra Efendi), and a punchy horn section that chirps and swells to a blasting crescendo each chorus, the band has expanded on their fast, politically-charged garage rock with even more depth and clever production.

For fans of: The Smith Street Band, The Saints

Pairs With: Angrily remembering that “Sunrise” is on Channel 7 and you can’t find the remote.

Listen to Sodabread on Spotify here.


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hallie

Not A Lady (Single)

Hallie is a fresh-faced songwriter with killer pop sensibilities. Written like an open letter to her parents, Not A Lady is a bitter-sweet anthem for those who don’t conform to the gender roles we’re brought up with. The track gives a nod to the big pop ballads of the past, with twangy telecaster arpeggios adding texture to Hallie Tait’s sweet and tangy vocals. The whole effect washes over you like a happy wave. Refreshing in its simplicity, and in the uplifting sensation you’re left with as the last chords fade, Not A Lady is a perfect introduction to an artist that does things her own way.

For fans of: Ruby Fields, Phantastic Ferniture

Pairs with: Happy finger-pointing dance moves.

Listen to Not A Lady on Spotify here.


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KEESKEA

Forfeit

This has been a massive year for Adelaide-born, Brisbane-based multi-instrumentalist Vanessa Marousopoulos. She’s released laboriously refined material and copped a label signing to Hobbledehoy records for her efforts, all the while performing and recording with numerous other Brisbane music projects. The second promising track from Keeskea is Forfeit, a dreamy, stripped-back meditation on loss that balances sound and silence to create something beautifully haunting. Marousopoulos has a talent for writing delicate, devastating pieces, and it’s evident that this song comes from a place of raw and genuine emotion. She has a voice that contains strength, while being hushed at the same time, proving you don’t have to be loud for people to listen.

For fans of: Phoebe Bridgers, Bright Eyes

Pairs with: Her neon, sun-drenched new music video.

Listen to Forfeit on Spotify here.


 
 
 

MY BLOODY VALENTINE

Loveless (November, 1991)

It’s not often that you can describe the sound of an album the same way you can describe the album art, but My Bloody Valentine did just that with the release of Loveless in November of 1991. A droning and intimate record, Loveless is punctuated by dreamy textures that overlap, intertwine and melt together. The resulting sound balances on the edge of music and noise—like a rock band performing in a swimming pool. Tracks like Only Shallow and I Only are awash in layers of modulating riffs, fractured tempos and vocal melodies, while other tracks, like Loomer and Sometimes, are so heavily textured that the distorted guitars and subtle vocal melody melt together to create what could almost be drums underneath the fuzz. Despite nearing 20 years in age, Loveless certainly still occupies prime real estate on any self-respecting shoegaze or experimental noise-pop playlist.

For fans of: Slowdive, Beach House

Pairs with: Falling into an acid bath on purpose.

Listen to Loveless on Spotify here.

Tom Jordan