October music review

Gum’s monthly music round-up for October 2018, featuring a slew of diverse and talented artists (and a throwback to an iconic New Wave release from October of 1980).

Illustrations by Tahlia Kristjansson

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Tia Gostelow

Thick Skin

The 19-year-old from Mackay has debuted with a fantastically balanced, full-length album that’s become the accidental anthem to my sunset commutes home from work. The songwriter effortlessly glides from big, synth-y pop ballads like Phone Me, complete with ethereal whooshing David Lynch would be proud of, to gritty, swirling guitar tracks like Hey Friends and Out of Mind. There’s also her collaboration with LANKS, Strangers, which blends these two extremes and leaves me nostalgic for a feeling I can’t quite remember. Don’t miss a chance to see her live, as Gostelow’s talent for catchy hooks makes for an incredible sing-a-long experience.

For fans of: I Know Leopard, R.E.M., Angel Olsen

Pairs with: Long drives, late nights, feeling sad but hopeful

Listen to Thick Skin on Spotify here.

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Milow Pye

These Are Private Words Addressed To You In Public

Jordan Wearn’s long-awaited debut is finally here and will blow you away with it’s delicate, stripped-back timbre and bittersweet confessional lyrics. The title is apt: listening to these tracks feels like reading intimate letters between lost lovers, as Wearn puts his heart and soul on display. Standout track, Oh, How I’d Forgotten, pairs quiet verses with triumphant chorus crescendos. It’s in this song that Wearn’s voice really stands out. Even when his words are almost at a whisper, he retains his rich vibrato, never sounding thin. The songs feel organic - as if they have always existed - it just took an artist like Milow Pye to find them.  

For fans of: Laura Marling, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, The Trials and Triumphs of Love

Pairs with: A hot beverage on a quiet Sunday morning

Listen to These Are Private Words Addressed To You In Public on Spotify here.

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The Noisy Miners Swoop Him

Requin, taken from the French word for ‘shark’, have delivered a debut EP in keeping with their name. Their addictively dark, sweet sound will leave you breathless and uneasy, showcasing soundscapes that rise and swell to daring heights. The six-minute blistering opener, Aldrin Buzz, perfectly conforms to and then breaks patterns in ways that will find you on the edge of your seat. Clever harmonic structures create rich and intricate sonic textures without losing the band’s minimalist sound. The closing song, Stole After Her, is punctuated by irregular silences and an abrupt ending, making it impossible to not want more from this local three-piece.

For fans of: The XX, Tall Ships, Slowdive

Pairs with: Rainy bus trips, sunny afternoon walks

Listen to The Noisy Miners Swoop Him on Spotify here.

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Jamie Lane

Take a Night Off (Single)

This is minimalist electro-pop at its best. Up-and-coming producer and singer Jamie Lane has a talent for funky dance tracks that layer breathy vocals over beats that ebb and flow like tides. Yes, this is a dance song, and it would be right at home pounding through the PA of any club. But, this track is so full of little intricacies it’s worth sitting down the morning after to have a more in-depth listen.

For fans of: Taylor McFerrin, KAYTRANADA

Pairs with: A day by the pool, pre-drinks

Listen to Take A Night Off on Spotify here.


Talking Heads

Remain In light (October, 1980)

New Wave, but not as you know it. Or, perhaps it’s exactly how you know it. That’s because for many people born after 1990, Talking Heads are the epitome of the ambiguous genre and the 80s itself. In turn, Remain In Light is the epitome of Talking Heads. This album is one big melting pot of musical influences. From David Byrne’s first bizarre cry on opener Born Under Punches, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a funk record. And thanks to an array of polyrhythmic afrobeats, and Tina Weymouth’s erratic, punchy bass lines, it’s definitely worth a boogie. This, coupled with Byrne’s strange vocal style and fever-dream lyrics, culminates on (the Kermit-The-Frog approved) Once In a Lifetime - that fabulous existential crisis you’ve definitely danced to at some indie bar at 2am. Even in this topsy-turvy modern world, where reality progressively feels more absurd than wacky speculative fiction, Remain In Light still felt as fresh and exciting this October as it did its release in October 1980.

For fans of: Devo, The Muppets

Pairs with: Getting an intellectual groove on, parties at art student share houses

Listen to Remain in Light on Spotify here.

Tom Jordan