Month: November 2021

CD Review: Tiny Little Houses – Misericorde


Band: Tiny Little Houses
Album: Misericorde
Label: Ivy League
Release: November 19th, 2021

Rating: 9/10

The tagline for Misericorde boasts that it chronicles Caleb Karvountzis’ “search for salvation through suffering”. That’s enough to lure in any emo worth their eyeliner, but what’ll keep them buckled in are the gristly, jacked‑up pop guitars, brute-force beats and razor-sharp honesty. 

Three years removed from Tiny Little Houses’ debut (2018’s Idiot Proverbs), Karvountzis has levelled up from a tinnie‑slamming sad-boy to a cosmopolitan family man. Thus – and yes, we acknowledge how cliché this is to say – it’s a notably matured album. Such is tangible in the gravity of Karvountzis’ songwriting, but even moreso in the band en bloc’s musicality: the riffs are bold, crunchy and calamitous but never grating or obnoxious, and the hooks, while buoyant and catchy, wield a striking emotional weight.

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Misericorde is set for release on November 19th, 2021 via Ivy League. Click here to pre-order.

NME news roundup: October 26th – November 4th, 2021

Hey, hi, hello!

So in the intro for the last roundup, two weeks ago, I mentioned that Milo and I were heading down to Naarm/Melbourne for a week to look at a couple of apartments (see: 18 of them). We ended up finding one that we adored – the second one we looked at, on our first day in the city – and we managed to have our application processed and approved within a day… So, uh… We live in Naarm now! Postcode 3000, baybeeeeeee!

We moved everything in yesterday. I am… Very exhausted 😅

So with that said, I’m not gonna do much of an intro this time around. But I have linked two songs from the past fortnight that I have been frothing HARD – ‘27 Club’ by Trophy Eyes and ‘Say It To My Face’ by DZ Deathrays – and the new film clip for ‘The Man Himself’ by Gang Of Youths, because it is just spellbinding.

Nevertheless, here’s everything I got up to at NME over the past couple of weeks!

TUESDAY, 26/10/21

Aminé lives the high life in jaunty new single ‘Charmander’

Between You And Me announce 2022 ‘Armageddon’ tour

Listen to Tiny Little Houses’ soul-baring new single ‘Take A Swing’

Yours Truly announce 2022 ‘Walk Over My Grave’ tour

WEDNESDAY, 27/10/21

Watch the trailer for new Brian Wilson documentary ‘Long Promised Road’

Shygirl breaks out the charm on shimmery new single ‘Cleo’

Snoop Dogg honours late mother with singalong to ‘Stand By Me’

Mayday Parade to play self-titled album in full on 2022 Australian tour

Dregg and Nerve link up for tearing new single ‘Beta Gods’

THURSDAY, 28/10/21

BENEE opens up about mental health on new single ‘Doesn’t Matter’

Jaguar Jonze returning for 2022 edition of ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’

Trophy Eyes channel their inner stadium-rockers on anthemic new single ‘27 Club’

Listen to Columbus’ electrifying new single ‘Temporary Summer’

FRIDAY, 29/10/21

Facebook officially rebrands as Meta, outlines plans for its sprawling “metaverse”

A$AP Rocky pays tribute to A$AP Yams on smoky new single ‘Sandman’

Lastlings and Ninajirachi join 2021 Ability Fest line-up

Bad Juju celebrate the spooky season with grungy new single ‘American Halloween’

Colourblind muse on their egos with soaring new single ‘Longsleeves’

SATURDAY, 30/10/21

A$AP Ferg teams up with Pharrell Williams for bewitching new single ‘Green Juice’

Former Sony Music Australia artist Dami Im comments on label’s allegedly toxic culture: “We all knew that was going on”

Peter Garrett responds to allegations of misconduct at Sony Music Australia: “The behaviour was inexcusable”

SUNDAY, 31/10/21

Watch a group of robot dogs recreate The Rolling Stones’ iconic ‘Start Me Up’ video

Grandson teams up with Kesha and Travis Barker for uplifting new single ‘Drop Dead’

Staind’s Aaron Lewis addresses his beef with Bruce Springsteen

MONDAY, 01/11/21

Franz Ferdinand tease return and release of new material

Steve Buscemi spotted out on Halloween dressed as “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme

Bill Maher to ‘Nevermind’ baby Spencer Elden: “Stop being such a fucking baby”

Jon Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams cancel gigs after testing positive for COVID-19

TUESDAY, 02/11/21

Slash, Myles Kennedy and two Conspirators came down with COVID-19 working on new album

The War On Drugs debut two tracks from ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’ in Tiny Desk Concert

FX and Hulu to air documentary about Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at 2004 Super Bowl

Ruby Fields announces east coast theatre tour to launch debut album ‘Been Doin’ It For A Bit’

NSW to ease more restrictions on music venues starting next week

WEDNESDAY, 03/11/21

Listen to Black Country, New Road’s new Steve Reich-inspired single, ‘Bread Song’

Cardi B announced to host the 2021 American Music Awards

Starsailor set December release for 20th anniversary edition of ‘Love Is Here’

Spiritualized announce new album ‘Everything Was Beautiful’, share ‘Always Together With You’

Matt Edmondson on impact of rare mental health disorder cyclothymia: “Simply getting the label was life changing”

Mogwai are recruiting Glasgow fans for an upcoming film project

Live Nation to launch NFT ticket stubs

James Righton cancels sold-out London gig, promises “new music and shows coming very soon”

Joywave drop new single ‘Cyn City 2000’, detail fourth album ‘Cleanse’

Gang Of Youths blur the lines between youth and adulthood in ‘The Man Himself’ music video

Kendrick Lamar to appear on new Terrace Martin album ‘Drones’ alongside Snoop Dogg, Ty Dolla $ign and more

Rosalía announces new album ‘Motomami’ for 2022, teases first single

HBO sets release dates for new ‘Music Box’ documentaries on DMX, Juice WRLD, Alanis Morissette and more

The Cat Empire announce final show with original line-up at Bluesfest 2022

Teenage Dads drop new single ‘Piano Girl’, outline 2022 Australian tour dates

THURSDAY, 04/11/21

Boygenius to play first show in three years to fundraise for San Francisco nonprofit

Slipknot concert in Arizona paused after fans start fire in mosh pit

DZ Deathrays drop new single ‘Say It To My Face’, deluxe reissue of ‘Positive Rising: Part 2’

Spacey Jane, Pnau, Lime Cordiale lead Beyond The City line-up

Micra put the “dream” in “dream-pop” with breezy new single ‘Sunday’

CD Review: Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time


Artist: Courtney Barnett
Album: Things Take Time, Take Time
Label: Milk! / Remote Control
Release: November 12th, 2021

Rating: 8.5/10

CB’s 2015 debut was brisk, bright and lively, like a summer’s day at the beach. Its follow-up was sharp, ripping and acerbic, like the storm that night. So, naturally, LP3 feels like the morning after: foggy and humid, debris from the wind scattered over the lawn. It’s clear Barnett is much more comfortable in her storytelling these days – the songs are reflective, inspired, and distinctly human.

Production is loose and experimental; percussive clicks and pops meld with raw, cerebral fretwork. The soundscape is overall very sparse and relaxed, letting tracks like the drowsy, pseudo-celestial “Here’s The Thing” and the groovy, buoyant and punchy (if far too short) “Take It Day By Day” really shine.

Though certainly not as immediate or memorable as Barnett’s earlier work, Things Take Time is beautiful and brilliant in many ways. 

Please note: this review is also printed in #144 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Things Take Time, Take Time is set for release on November 12th, 2021 via Milk! / Remote Control. Click here to pre-order.

CD Review: Snail Mail – Valentine


Band: Snail Mail
Album: Valentine
Label: Matador / Remote Control
Release: November 5th, 2021

Rating: 9/10

Equally as glittery as it was melancholic, Lush – the aptly titled debut from Maryland indie stalwart Snail Mail (aka Lindsey Jordan) – had a notable ‘lightning in a bottle’-esque quality. It wowed with meticulous production and conscientious songwriting, but it also shone for its blithesome looseness and brazen confidence, Jordan committing herself wholly both as a classically trained musician with an ear for technicality and a dorky queer teen living in the peak of meme culture.

Three years on, Jordan doesn’t try to recreate that magic. It would seem she isn’t so keen, either, to reinvent herself – she knows she has a niche, and she’s happy to lean into it – but there’s a clear determination to evolve and experiment. Where warm, fuzzed-out Jaguar chords laid the groundwork on Lush, they’re just one small chunk of a much broader, more vibrantly vegetated soundscape on Valentine. We open with the title track, filmy and ethereal synths flooding the mix as Jordan’s cool, honeyed rasp dances over them – until about a minute in, when she and her band erupt into a bold and emphatic chorus. 

There’s a fierce, St. Vincent-channelling swagger on “Ben Franklin”, and a dip down into the doughier, more pensive indie flair of Jordan’s early work on “Headlock”. In succession, these three tracks paint an orphic and arresting picture of the album as a whole: rich, soul-baring songwriting twined around poignant and pictorial – and above all, interesting – melodies.

But as the album continues to unwind, so too does it continue to surprise – whether it be via the folky acoustic fingerstyle and warm violin on ‘Light Blue’, heady tinges of blustery ‘90s pop on ‘Forever (Sailing)’, or subtle, smoky prongs of bass guitar on ‘Madonna’, tastefully accented by eerie stringwork and a warbling synth. Even the most zealous fans are bound to blindsided by something unpredictable – yet entirely welcomed – as not a second of Valentine feels like it was penned without the utmost care and consideration.

Jordan’s use of space is especially admirable. A track can have two guitars, a kinetic beat, strings and synths in abundance and her own dryly sung, kaleidoscopic quips, yet never feel cluttered. In fact, the record often sounds distinctly lowkey, Jordan maintaining a prudent tact throughout despite such a dense array of colours and tones at her disposal. 

This, too, is reflected boldly in her lyricisms – sharp and stormy, but delivered in such a way that makes Jordan come off as down-to-earth and reticent. She never teeters on vaudeville, but the dramatisation of her inner turmoil is always gripping and grandiose. She drums up a wealth of emotion, potent and impassioned, and makes it all look effortless in the process.

So, on Valentine, Jordan doesn’t look to recreate the magic she made with Lush; instead, she makes a whole new kind of magic – one that is endlessly more… Uh… Magical.

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Valentine is set for release on November 5th, 2021 via Matador / Remote Control. Click here to pre-order.