INTRODUCING. Cameron Avery with debut album review – Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams

Release date: 10 March 2017
Genre: Experimental blues/folk
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Words by: Scott Murray

With such an emphasis on production in the modern era, vocals have seemingly fallen to the back burner. This is not the case for Perth’s Cameron Avery. His debut album ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams is a truly beautiful offering thanks to Avery’s transcendent vocals, with the entire album highlighting vocal qualities reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. This, paired with Avery’s poignant lyrics of longing and loss, create a dramatic vocal landscape.

That is not to say that Avery’s production suffers as a result, to the contrary Avery has created a striking instrumental landscape filled with sounds not of the modern age. His use of strings, horns and even an organ is shockingly refreshing in an industry filled with synths, and generic drum beats.

This old school sound shines in the albums fifth track, ‘Big Town Girl’, a soulful ode to Jane, the girl running circles in Avery’s brain. Avery drives this home in the song’s forth verse.

“You know I’ve never had the time to wait around for a dame, but if I knew that we could make it I’d wait around for Jane”.

The track begins with a swell of an organ before being joined by thoughtful guitar and minimalistic percussion. Avery’s voice then cuts through the instrumentals in what feels like an instant, but lasts in your ear for far longer.

A standout of this track is the pain in Avery’s voice, constantly oozing his longing and eventually his loss. These two themes can be heard throughout the record, no more so than when Avery croons “Could I suit her better, than that dark blue sweater? Probably not.”

There isn’t a tune on the record that manages to escape Avery’s titanic wave of despair, every track dips its toe into the deep pool of Avery’s pining. This coupled with Avery’s seeming opposition to contemporary sound has allowed Avery a unique opportunity to let his lyrics to take the fore.

However, there are tracks that seem entirely independent of this sound. The album’s third track ‘Dance With Me’ highlights this through its neo-western sound, similar to that of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds track ‘Red Right Hand’.

As well as this there are tracks that give glimpses of Avery’s psych rock pedigree. Avery, Tame Impala’s touring bassist and a former member of Pond, briefly lets his roots show in the album’s two busiest tracks ‘The Cry of Captain Hollywood’, an entirely instrumental track that is as rousing as it is peaceful, and ‘Watch Me Take It Away’.

Watch Me Take It Away begins with pulsing, almost sitar-esc guitar before the track takes flight with a swarm of rhythmic clapping and heavy short bursts of guitar and rapid fire percussion. This ensemble becomes a tapestry that allows Avery to highlight his range whilst also allowing his powerful lyrics to shine. The track follows Avery’s growth as he grasps that he need not waste his time on relationships without mutual respect, starting the third verse with the glass shattering realisation that his time is as important as anyone else’s. “I aint got time for your perversions, I spend my time transcribing versions of the truth”.

Overall the album is musically undefinable, and yet astoundingly beautiful. There is something ethereal about Cameron Avery’s voice that creates a sense of hope, despite the distinct sense of loss seen through almost all of his lyrics. This is a fantastic first effort from a talent that has been hidden behind a bass guitar for far too long.

 


Listen to the highly anticipated debut album from Cameron Avery here
Also make sure to check him out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

S.M.

 

INTRODUCING. The Seefelds with debut EP Temple

Release date: Out Now!

Genre: Indie Rock

Rating: ★★★★

Words: Scott Murray

 

The Seefelds have slowly immersed themselves in Brisbane’s bustling live music scene, playing gigs all over Brissy throughout 2016, culminating with the release of their debut EP “Temple” at the Empire Hotel in late November.

The public got the first taste of the EP when the lads released their lead single, and title track, ‘Temple’ onto Triple J Unearthed in early October. This slow jam opens with a quiet, cut-back riff by guitarist Alex Lim before building to resounding heights thanks to the crooning vocals of Nick Boxall. The Brissy four piece then gave us the rest of Temple, an absolute cracker that highlights the genre hopping range of the group. The EP kicks off with ‘Tell Me (That You Want It)’, another tune similar in tempo to ‘Temple’.  However, this tune takes the time to concentrate on the instrumentals of the band, with drummer Lachie Atkinson, bassist Josh Bartlett and Lim providing an intriguing and striking contrast to Boxall’s slow croon.

15055753_676117042561801_9106084212475237488_n

The EP then moves onto the fast paced ‘Curiosity & Boredom’, a deceiving track that begins with light relaxing guitar before building into a drum driven bustle that lifts the pace of the entire record. Following on from the title track, the lads build on the slow, drawn back vibes of Temple in ‘Cradle’. This track is just full of soul, and again highlights the intertwining voices of Boxall and Lim in a manner reminiscent of the DMA’s ‘Delete’.

The EP ends on its seemingly most zealous track, ‘Fly Away’ kicks off with driving guitar riffs and a bustling drum line showcasing the more upbeat tendencies of The Seefelds . However, as the song draws the EP to a close, Boxall utters “I need to slow down and find myself again” and suddenly the pace shifts. The lads like to keep listeners on their toes through tonal juxtapositions like this, making them refreshingly unpredictable. In fact, this track manages to encompass what The Seefelds are all about: delivering relaxing contemplative tunes for when you need to slow down, whilst also providing energetic party jams.

Overall, the self-described “Brisbane boys making mediocre music” have stepped far beyond that with their debut EP, creating a fantastic introduction that is undoubtedly a sign of bigger things to come.


You can catch The Seefelds on Facebook and Instagram and listen to ‘Templehere.

You can see the lads perform on the 22 December at the Zoo, Brisbane.

S.M.

 

INTRODUCING. blanket with new single ‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’

Release date: 15th November 2016

Genre: Ambient/progressive rock

Rating: ★★★★

This Blackpool quartet seems to have arrived out of nowhere and caught many peoples’ attention almost overnight. Welcome to the world of blanket, one of the country’s most intriguing and exciting bands around at the moment, with their stunning post-rock inspired ambient track, ‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’.

This track catches you off-guard and forces you to do a double-take due to its almost startling grace. It opens with immersive ambient sounds from guitarists Bobby and Simon and pulls you in as the soothing vocals seamlessly appear. As the song goes on, and all of the raw sounds join together, blanket create a totally immersive journey, one of huge power and emotions. This journey is constantly ebbing and flowing, building and breaking; all with delicate and complex layers. A futuristic crescendo envelops your ears, and refuses to let go. This song is the first from this group, and the statement it makes is one of anticipation for what could possibly come next within their debut album Our Brief Encounters’, to be released  10th February.

‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’ is about “going against those that wish to hold you back”, and the potential within blanket to explode out of the arms of anyone holding them back is unquestionable. Their post-rock influences reminiscent of the like of Caspian and Circa Survive are apparent, but you get the feeling like this band have something much grander in the works.

Immerse yourself into blanket below:


The debut album is now available to pre-order here

Also give them a follow on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

 

Baker out.

SINGLE REVIEW. BlackWaters – ‘Jarr’ed up Generation’

Release Date: 22nd June 2016

Genre: Indie-punk

Rating:★★★★

 

We first saw this South-England quartet at the Camden Rocks Festival earlier this month. Not only did they quickly stand out from the other up-and-coming acts playing throughout Camden on that day, but there was an almost instantaneous feeling of excitement with BlackWaters, that these guys were already on their  way to making their own mark on the scene as they played their explosive set at the Hawley Arms. Now, less than a month later, the boys have delivered in the form of another immersive, energetic single, ‘Jarr’ed up Generation‘.

The track opens with an old-school indie guitar riff courtesy of David Carpenter that is soon warmed up by the irresistibly catchy vocal ‘ooh’s. It is soon clear that this single is built around the distinct booming voice of Max Tanner. The carefully crafted lyrics tell a comical story of youthful angst, destructive boredom, and self-deprecation that is – as we all know – endlessly relatable. The chorus has the perfect rowdy-shout-along hooks and words, the kind that were met with great energy and vibes at Camden, and will surely go onto do the same in the BlackFutures gigs to come (the cover artwork featuring lead guitar David shows that alone!). Overall this track is a great rerelease to demonstrate the band’s professional development, and uncompromising punk identity.

 

 


Make sure you check out the new BlackWaters single here
You can also connect with the boys on facebook and twitter

 

 

Baker out.

INTRODUCING. Interview with Danish artist Fjer.

 

Danish artist, Fjer has emerged seemingly out of nowhere. Ever since moving to New York to start her career with full commitment, she has independently released two EPs, and began to catch peoples’ eye (and ear) with her obscure electro-pop sound. We got to get to know Fjer soon after she released the music video for the recent single ‘Her Turn‘ (out now – link below). We talked international influences, life in New York and the question of whether people need formal music training in order to succeed in a career.

Where did you start out and how has your experience of coming from Denmark to the American and British music industry been? 
I actually started Fjer in New York. This is where I came up with the name, released my first EP, found the people to work with and really started to believe in my self. It was so inspiring being here, around people speaking English, because I quickly learned the language fluently and began to get accepted in a different way. The UK audience came more recently and I’m so happy about that. England reminds me more of home – things like the weather and culture are way more similar to Denmark. I miss those things.
What country would you say most of your musical influences come from? 
I’m inspired with Danish music in the sense that SO many great artists come out of there and it’s where I grew up. You can hear the cold, nordic sound in my music, I feel. The American/British music scene inspires me a lot too, because everybody does everything ALL the way, 100%. Nobody’s afraid to be an artist, and that’s something we struggle with in Denmark, where it’s kind of frowned upon to be super ambitious.
You studied at the Royal Academy of Music, how has that experience impacted your musical endeavours?
When I got into the Royal Academy, it was one of the best days of my life. It was so unexpected, because I was only 19 years old, there were hundreds of applicants and it’s just so hard to get in. Going there for the years I did, was a great experience and I learned music theory, producing and just being a better singer. But it was a very elitist school and the constant competition (especially between the guys there – it was a total ‘boys club’!) eventually broke me down. So I took a year out to go to New York and I haven’t looked back or regretted that decision for a moment. School will teach you so many valuable things, but there’s nothing like going out and trying on your own. You’ll learn everything faster.
 
How did you find releasing your two brilliant EPs completely independently? Is it something you want to continue to do?
It was lucky that I met producer and indie label-owner of Quintic, Peter Anthony Red, who believed in me from the very start. Fjer, has been us building together from day one and he released my two first EP’s with me. It can be super scary but also very freeing not being on a major label, fitting into budgets and ads. It’s like.. I have the freedom to do whatever I want. Nobody’s trying to change me or put me in a box.

 

Watch here and listen here:

 

You can also connect with the lovely Fjer on facebook and twitter

 

 

Baker out.