Big Scary get their daggy dance on, Vikki Thorn of the Waifs on her intimate connection to home, and Family Fold proves he never goes out of style
Organism – Big Scary
Christopher Walken may have done it first in the Fatboy Slim video Weapon Of Choice, but there’s always room for more daggy dance clips. Singer Tom Iansek, one half of Big Scary, co-directed their video Organism with film-maker Shaun Garland, and says he was partly inspired by Australia’s prince of darkness, Nick Cave. The single-shot clip was filmed in Fitzroy Town Hall in their home town of Melbourne, and with the gangly Iansek dressed in a retro brown suit and slim hip-shaking his way through the song, the impression is somewhat uncanny. His bandmate and drummer Jo Syme appears dressed in a custom made gold-sequined tracksuit. Currently touring internationally, ending with what is sure to be a ripper of a show at the Lexington in London with Courtney Barnett on 8 December, Organism is a taste of the new Big Scary album due soon.
Lustre Glo – Family Fold
Family Fold is one man, Paul Andrews, with some help from his friends. Formerly of Sydney power poppers Lazy Susan, his first album in five years takes its title and cover photo from a smash repair business in Sydney’s Marrickville suburb, so it’s appropriate they are launching Lustre Glo in the same neighbourhood. Family Fold, with support from Danny Yau, play in the Gasoline Pony on 26 September for a bargain $5. Andrews has an unusual response when asked to describe how he writes. “I liken my songwriting to a good high street tailor. I don’t do haute couture. I don’t do songs that are the equivalent of catwalk fashion – all power to those who can. But if you’re after a song that’s the equivalent of a well-made suit, in a classic style, that makes you feel a million bucks when you put it on, then I’m your guy.” Listen and decide for yourself if Andrews has the talent to back up his claim. Comparisons to Neil Finn, Elvis Costello and Evan Dando are not entirely out of place. The video for Get A Grip On Yourself, the first track on the album, is an exercise in home renovation show gone badly wrong.
Alsp – Asdasfr Bawd
Pronouced az-das-a-fah bor-d, Asdasfr Bawd is the mouthful-of-a-moniker of Melbourne producer Alex Clayton. The 19-year-old jumped straight out of high school and into electronic music production, releasing an EP called Underpass. He says of his new single, “Alsp was a chance to create one of those hyped up roller coaster rides with unstoppable momentum. It takes from some jungle and footwork influence and rolls them into one.” The odd yet strangely satisfying juxtaposition of irregular rhythms in the track opener has the hallmarks of noise art, but a deeper syncopated beat drives the rest of the song and will keep the clubheads happy. Sampled vocals are stretched and yanked, then rewound and slowed down, over and over again. This frenetic three minutes of mania is not for the faint of heart. Catch Clayton play Paradise festival at the Lake Mountain Alpine Resort in Victoria, 27-29 November and the Electronic Music conference in Sydney, 1-2 December.
6,000 Miles – the Waifs
6,000 miles may divide Vikki Thorn, now living in the US state of Utah, from her old home in Albany, Western Australia but musically the singer-songwriter and one third of the Waifs continues to draw heavily on the salt-of-the-earth, unadorned country music soul of her home country. Thorn says “the longer I am away from Australia the more connected I feel to Australia and I keep writing songs about that”. She grew up near the salmon camp where her grandfather fished, the same place her father used to play as a child, and where she now takes her children on visits. “I physically feel connected to that place when I’m there. It’s almost a spiritual thing.” Thorn says she learned to play guitar there, and it’s where her husband proposed. “I’ve had all these deeply personal moments and significant things happen in this one place.” The band are currently touring regional Australia and the main cities, playing tracks off their seventh album Beautiful You.
Smell Of Smoke – Ivey
With a riff that could have been lifted directly out of the Vampire Weekend indie rock songbook, Smell Of Smoke is the kind of lighter-than-air, surf pop that perfectly signposts the upcoming arrival of summer. For a band so young – the eldest members of Ivey are just 18 and lead singer Millie Perks is 14 – there is something weirdly nostalgic about their tropical-flavoured music, as if they are already looking back on their school holidays spent at the beaches of Gold Coast and puppy love crushes with a feeling of wistfulness. Proving that kids these days really can do it all, the black-and-white video is directed by the band’s guitarist and vocalist Lachlan McGuffie. On drums is his brother Matthew McGuffie and on bass guitar is Dante Martin. Catch the four-piece on 4 October playing the Relish festival at the Raby Bay Marina, just outside of Brisbane.