South London’s Childcare‘s debut album Wabi Sabi is musical green juice. Specifically, Wholefoods green juice. A mindfully hectic mind mastery concoction it’s bitty and weird, probably contains hidden celery, and really doesn’t make much sense at all but like a strong cleanse this record is arguably good for us. It’s exactly what we needed to hear but didn’t know until neccessity called and even though things aren’t usually favourable when green and smelling like organic crayons (or in this case scratch and sniff lavender vinyl) we accept it’s pulpy addictivness for what it is and rest assured will want to drink it all up (including the bits at the bottom) and relish in our new found cellular glow. HEALTH.
A fully packed record of jungle fevered harmonic pulses and a heck of a lot of zen, there’s relentless straightforwardly disorientated electric funk playing with cleanly tasseled riffs and shifted spoken word nonsecalls and it’s just so bliss. Singles such as Omega Grey and Big Man have been floating around the Childcare -sphere for a while and make for welcome breaks inbetween the remaining psychotherapist psych punk equivalent of formidable face pose. Sugarcane is three minutes of gloriously enticing shoulder thudding drones and pulsations like dancehall for sweaty mosquitos whilst Bamboo is a wholly wholesome number that gives room for bassist Emma Topolski to take front with muggy vibes of doubt and a subtle sense of kaorake night for one wooziness.
There’s a lot to take in and a lot to take from Wabi Sabi. A wierdly divine aesthetic of Noel Fielding bop guru meets fused infectiousnes, everything is perfectly placed, essential, and confidently Wabi Sabi.
The argument of Australia’s scuzzy psych world conquer has already been won. But, just in case you need a bit more convincing before we all put on our coolest band tees and ride off into a psychedelic sunset of two drummers (always the answer) and slow burning, groovy garage bliss, you’ve gotta listen to Melbourne bone rattling freewheelers Money For Rope; specifically their latest release Picture Us.
OH MAN THIS IS RAD!
Picture Us is an all-encompassing, awe encompassing fuzz fest that’s grossly attractive in a ‘punch in the face from a band of five really beautiful haired Aussies’ kind of way, there’s only so many ways of describing the wildest of fevers without using the word fuzz way too much for anyone’s good. So, instead I’m going to give you a brief insight to my hypothetical music video series I would want to make as an accompaniment to this gem. I’m talking raucous zombies dancing the twist on surfboards, tambourines flying without any regard to health and safety codes and general rumbling chaos on a red-hot sandy beach in Tasmania. Yes.
credit: money for rope
Bess Atwell makes music unlike anything other than the purist of cherry lip balm . Nourishing, mood enhancing and physically soothing, Bess blends subtly tinted landscapes of gleaning folk with crystal perfect recorded polaroids of unadorned femininty and frictioned relationships.
credit: Bess Atwell
Swimmingly refined as a blushing exploration of emotional consciousness, Big Blue has all the rich fascinations ingrained within humanity of captured riversides and edenistic orchards nestled into five haunting tracks; and whilst her flushing peach harmonies compel standalone it’s the accompaniemet of her band that are the kernel to Big Blue‘s harvested individualisms. Each track is a weaved lullaby for the soul. Grace is daisy dresses and apple trees tucked into a blanket of silver mythologies of siren standard whilst three minutes into the felicitously titled Cherry Baby and our ears are gifted to conscientous roaming guitars of drizzly mountainscapes in autumn proportions that would make the likes of Ben Howard and Fleet Foxes proud.
To be listened to body and soul in an ivy trailed dreamland.
John Myrtle is far from your average DIY indie dream. Floppy hair and gloriously twangy love songs are teamed with quintessentially English eccentricity and tongue in cheek. Charming in that awkwardly poetic manner we all can’t help fall in love with. Picture Harry Nilsson minus the dressing gown, British, and with a fondness towards bugs. Specifically Cyril the Slug, an innocently playful commentary on suburban appearances through the eyes of a fat slug (of course).
Hailed by Marc Riley of BBC 6 as having a likening to Syd Barrett, John picks up classically philosophic and lyrical driven songwriting where others before him have left off- and does it better. Forthcoming single ‘Foggy’, to be released jointly on cassette label Sad Club Records and Lancaster based Bingo Records, is a lushly contemplative, melancholic affair that sounds like black coffee fuelled musings in a leather armchair whilst watching the evening rain. Performing live as a four-piece, John’s set to play Brighton’s, Utopia All Dayer early June 2019 amongst a wholesome lineup including Hotel Lux of the Windmill Brixton and Bristol’s Heavy Lungs.
Still not convinced? Rough Trade Shops praised “Shit, this is really good. I was at his gig and I couldn’t stop dancing and smiling, and no, I wasn’t on drugs.”
What more could you really want.
Can you write about yet another South London Scene band without mentioning South London?
Yala! Records latest signing Talk Show are very much South London in scene but forget all cliche; this is no act of Shame. First introductions are a punch in the face to any presumptious expectations of new wave punk. Fast and Loud is a gutsy and impressively packed 7″ blending addictively disordered, gnarly guitar and strikingly clipped humour. Efforletlssy captivating that feeling you get when you’re so stressed you have to laugh- you’d be forgiven for not realising it’s the four piece’s debut.
Frontman Harrison Swann’s vocals relentlessly churn up decadent heightened intensity from the pit of urban ugliness. Demonstrating themselves as a vital attack on the senses it’s imperative to keep moving with Talk Show as they cut between mayhem music for moshing and sporadic breaks masterfully. A blazing drawl caught in a rush hour state of urgency and nightmarish, falling down – the – rabbit -hole adrenaline it’s breath taking in the literal sense as so much possesed angsty stomping will follow that come the inevitable tenth consecutive play, you will be short of breath.
Not to be ignored, B side FEAR (the demo track) has a liberated, rioters captivation. An early 2000’s Editors (but much less boring) feel with builded seething riffs and the pitchy quality of a consistent ear ache yet, it’s unabashed and undeniably catchy.
The best part? When drummer Chloe MacGregor shouts 1,2,3,4 and we all simutaneously start leaping around our bedrooms.
This is a band of Baked Beans.
photo credit: Baked Beans
Baked Beans are a band of human – bean – babes from Melbourne and OW EM GEE THEY’RE RAD.
Petition to bring back rad.
Signed to Flightless Records, the very cool, very hip Aussie based label run by Eric Moore of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard fame (yes of course), Baked Beans are that kind of chaotic, psychadelic garage / who even knows what this is but shit I like it sound that only ever works when birthed by Aussies, ideally those of the long haired and carboot sale bargain aesthetic.
Babble is a dirty, full body spasm inducing, moody boogie LP with a blasted spirit that creeps and lurches uncontrollably until it turns on you. Suddenly, you find yourself drifting through clouds in a synth-y warped wasteland heaven. Addictively catchy even if you’re not entirely sure what’s going on half the time you can easily nestle in to this oasis of noise and drift off blissfully. Tap your toes and let lose your inner fuzz.
Quite possibly the best example of deeply channeled pandemonium since the Lizard Wizard masters themselves; there’s echoes, conceptual but undeniably mastered manipulation and excitement. Opening number Slow could do with being infinitely long. An eternal, rip roaring soundtrack to the utter confusion of now it’s stacked high with gloriously infectious keys, shattered kits and general sporadic everything. These folks are definitely not as kitsch as their name might suggest, they own their craft and craft their own
It is odd. To state the obvious you either really like it or you dont- and if you dont you’re in denial.
Their merch is rad.
Featured in LDN MAGAZINE
Warped fuzz, reverb and reptiles, lots of reptiles. What’s not to like?
London-based duo Chiba have perfectly nailed that oh-so-trendy chaotic surf- psych sound that you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re members of King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard’s extended family. Think winding synths and staggered slow grooves with riff-fuelled mayhem for days. Reptile Room is music for when you want to let your hair loose and put on your favourite Can T-shirt (whilst in a distorted desert underworld). Garage rock, reptile rock, whatever you want to call it – it works. If you like sprawling vocals and thunderous beauty strange enough to make David Lynch proud, then this is for you. Wild, weird and woozy, ‘leave your skin at the door’.