Ghost Wave

The garage rock outfit Ghost Wave from Auckland in New Zealand contains Eammon Logan, Matthew L Paul, Mike Ellis, Jamie Kennedy and Andy Frost.

Ghost Wave - Garage Rock from New Zealand

Ghost Wave

Ghost Wave float the notes airily across the room before they settle in the ears where they go to work in a blend of echo, delay and fuzz creating sounds that beguile the listener with their rolling rhythms.  Before you know it half an hour has passed in a state of hypnosis.

The combination of psychedelic rock and ’80s indie provide the audience with sounds that hold them in rapt attention without being aware of it. The tracks in the main are fairly brief which comes a surprise after hearing what seems like airy spaces, which is a testament both to the songwriting skills and the technical ability of the players. The lack of formulaic structure allows the pieces of music to flow through a full story from end to end, giving it a more languid feel.

Inside the distinctive sound that is Ghost Wave the band is able to generate different textures by playing with tempo and effects giving them a broad area of discovery and each iteration is a delight of music filtered through gauze.

A recent LP, the ten track Ages (which is available on iTunes*), should see the band raising their international profile to fans of garage rock.

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Sherpa

Sherpa is Early SansBen JackDaniel Barrett and Vince McMillan – an alternative indie band from Auckland in New Zealand.

Sherpa - alternative indie from New Zealand.

Sherpa

There is a retrospective ’60s feel to Sherpa. The music calls to mind glass blowing, as the molten silica is formed into recognizable shapes. Sherpa deliver a slightly fuzzed undercurrent that, as it develops, winds in to focus and the music takes on distinguishable formations.

Easy to engage with and immediately engrossing the quartet have a decent handle on song writing and composition. Their earlier work, despite its undoubted strength, I am left with a slight feeling of the munchies, akin to eating a Chinese takeway – satisfying, but – the hunger pangs arriving soon afterwards. The reason for this is the frequent lack of a well defined percussion and bass line, which as regular readers know, I often need, to shape the out-put. Sherpa benefit by bringing these lower registers more easily accessible to the listener, as they do on their recent  single – Love Films, which sadly I am unable to share with you.

I am hoping that Sherpa continue with this sharper definition in the forthcoming LP as it raises them to a far higher plane and a space which gives them a far stronger impact. It will be interesting to see if the quartet have transitioned to a more powerful sound as the single would indicate, or whether the single is a one off – time will tell.

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Lesser Flamingo – Sherpa is available on iTunes*.

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Little Bastard

Little Bastard a seven piece roguish country rock band from Sydney in Australia is Matt MasonRoss TipperJohnny TookEd RoweDaniel D’arcyTrevor Davies and Liam Hoskins.

Little Bastard - country rock from Australia

Little Bastard

Mid-west America couldn’t come up with anything more Americana country blues than Little Bastard. Essentially a live performance act, though how the seven of them fit on the stage I am not quite sure, but there is plenty to enjoy by listening to recorded pieces. Every conceivable instrument from fiddle to harmonica appears at some stage or another and it is all delivered with an infectious sense of fun that the audience can’t help but get tapping along to.


Inside the framework of the upright mid-west, Little Bastard inject some Australian nonchalance and the resulting compositions skitter across the room on the verge of a breakdown, but it is all kept in order and the exuberant sounds continue to rattle round the head long after the music has stopped.

Gaining considerable visibility around Australia on the festival circuit, this is an out-fit who need to bring their rays of sunshine to an international live audience as this is music that works just anywhere.

Turn up the volume and enjoy a rollicking good party with Little Bastard.

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Ned Collette & Wirewalker

Ned Collette + Wirewalker is a collaboration between the Melbourne – Australia performers Ned Collette (vocals, guitar) and Joe Talia (drums, vocals), with Ben Bourke (bass, vocals) and James Rushford (keys, vocals), featuring Gemma Ray (vocals) and Norma Jean (vocals), with European contributions from Fred Kinbom (bass, vocals) and Mads Ronbjerg (drums). After a debut EP, one full length album and a number of solo releases, the Ned Collette + Wirewalker project unveiled their second compilation in the late summer of 2012, simply titled 2.

 

Ned Collette & Wirewalker - alt rock based in Germany

Ned Collette & Wirewalker

Now based in Berlin, Germany Ned Collette has perhaps found a more natural home.

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The record begins with the quirky Il Futuro Fantastico, which features rich, droned vocals and choppy guitar notes played over a catchy bass-line and moody synth, preparing listeners for the experimental avant-pop experience to follow.

As 2 progresses, warm nylon-string guitar melodies interweave with synth and crystal-clear lyrics to create a compelling and often haunting experience. The Hedonist begins with a single sustained electronic bass note, bringing to mind Furious Angels by Rob Dougan before revealing its melody and dual vocals which build into a striking sonic tapestry. The lyrics are strong in this song and mesh well with every element of the mix to deliver a satisfying track, my personal favourite on 2.

There are times at which 2 forgoes the poetic melancholy for a more pop-focused vision, with tracks such as Long You Lie seeming almost to belong to another artist entirely, bringing to mind the work of European “electro-pop” acts. Dreamy, sultry and full of a gloomy swagger, the song stands out as perhaps the most accessible on this release.


This intermingling of styles is a fairly common occurrence throughout 2, with the last third of the album once again defying expectation. This begins with Happy Heart, a fairly innocuous track which serves as the preface to For Roberto, which sits as something of a black sheep within an otherwise cohesive flock. Before long the largely upbeat mix of guitar and synth takes an unsettling turn into a wash of ambient synths for just shy of a minute and a half before finishing with some reassuringly warm guitar chords. The album finale, What Lights Have You Seen, returns to a sombre and stripped down framework, concluding the compilation much as it began.

Personally I enjoyed listening to 2, there is some very clever song-writing and enjoyable twists which serve to lighten the mood and keep everything fresh. The production is great and the mixture of solemn lyrics, crisp musicianship and uncluttered composition mark Ned Collette as a master of his craft.

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Magic Bones

Magic Bones from Melbourne in Australia is Dylan Thorpe (Vocals / Drums /Guitar), Kiri O’Connor (Vocals / Guitar), Richard Bowers (Guitar / Drums / Vocals) and Michael Hales (Bass) an alt rock band.

Magic Bones is an alt rock band from Australia.

Magic Bones

The music meanders across the room in a shimmer of colours as the dreamy, psychotropic nuances of Magic Bones settle on the cortex. The easy nature of the material rumbles into the soul of the listener taking over thought and heart beat in a conundrum of layers which unfurl as verisimilitude shapes formed by sounds.

Well crafted tracks deliver much to the listener as they play with the brain and when music has the power to shift and form moods, then you know you are listening to something which has a heart and soul. What is equally impressive is how they are able to define those images within what are relatively brief pieces of work not over extending their welcome.

The delightful bass / drum combination set a tempo which provide the tracks with a well formed spine, around which floating guitar is permitted to express the emotional journey, which is interspersed by vocal that fits as part of the overall compositions, rather than a core focus and all the textures come together in an extraordinarily well painted canvass that also permits the mind to travel to its own point of interest.

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Magic Bones EP – Magic Bones is available on iTunes*

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