Every few years along comes a band that pops up from the land Down Under and blows the rest of the world away. While Perth’s Tame Impala have yet to play at the MTV Video Music Awards or soundtrack an iPod commercial, they’ve already set the blogosphere alight with their brand of “psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music” (that’s what they call it), along with plenty of accolades in their homeland of Australia, including “Album of the Year” from influential radio station Triple J for their full-length debut Innerspeaker. The album’s mind-bending blend of ethereal vocals, hazy guitars and blissed-out grooves have gained them a legion of admirers, including the likes of Noel Gallagher, Kasabian and fellow psychedelia enthusiasts MGMT, who took them out on their US tour. It’s amazing how many heads singer-guitarist-songwriter Kevin Parker and his bandmates Jay Watson, Dominic Simper and Nick Allbrook have turned in such a short time with a brief discography. Things can only get bigger from here. Links:
Hall Full Glass of Wine (from Tame Impala EP, 2008):
Solitude Is Bliss (from Innerspeaker, 2010):
Lucidity (from Innerspeaker, 2010):
Expectation (from Innerspeaker, 2010):
!!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk)
Any band that names themselves after a wordless utterance by tribesmen in the movie Gods Must Be Crazy must be, well, crazy. When you see !!! live, you may think the same thing. At least when you see frontman Nic Offer, who sings and dances like a man that’s been possessed by a demon. A particularly funky demon. While Offer jumps into the crowd and pulls off outrageous moves (usually while wearing only a t-shirt and very short shorts), guitarist Mario Andreoni, multi-instrumentalists Dan Gorman and Allan Wilson, drummer Paul Quattrone and bassist Rafael Cohen supply the sexy soundtrack that fuses disco beats, sensual bass lines and psychedelic guitar riffs, a bi-coastal sound derived from Sacramento, California and Brooklyn, New York. John Frusciante knows the score – he saw them at a gig in LA, then asked them to be the opening band for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, no strangers to hyperactive bootyshaking tunes themselves. Some bands play loud enough to wake the dead; !!! make the dead take your mother down to the dance floor.
Heart of Hearts (from Myth Takes, 2007):
Must Be the Moon (from Myth Takes, 2007):
Yadnus (from Myth Takes, 2007):
AM/FM (from Strange Weather, Isn’t It?, 2010):
Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass (from Strange Weather, Isn’t It, 2010):
You may know him as a visual artist, whose distinctive minimalist style has graced exhibitions and album covers for everyone from Zeke and the Popo to Twentyfirst Night. Or you may also know him as the frontman of Teenage Death Star, the Bandung noise merchants who embody the “Skill Is Dead” philosophy with their rowdy live performances. Now get to know Sir Dandy the solo singer-songwriter, whose self-admitted limitations as a singer and guitarist have not been an obstacle in writing songs that are simple on the surface but contain something deeper lurking beneath. The direct lyrics and small number of chords used on his debut album Lesson #1 have struck a chord in many listeners, who have adopted “Sikat John!” – taken from “Juara Dunia”, an ode to boxing champ Chris John – as a catchphrase. From humble origins as an acoustic-toting troubadour in his first few solo appearances, Sir Dandy’s recent live shows now see him backed by a rotating cast of prominent names from the Jakarta and Bandung music scenes, often on short notice and with no rehearsal, and always entertaining. It all lends to an atmosphere of spontaneity and unpredictability, where no one knows what will happen. Probably not even Sir Dandy himself.
Juara Dunia (Lesson #1, 2011):
Jakarta Motor City (Lesson #1, 2011):
Anggur Merah (Lesson #1, 2011):
Ayo Kita Kerja (Lesson #1, 2011):
Currently one of the most highly-hyped newcomers in the Indonesian indie scene, this sextet has been building their reputation the old-fashioned way – by playing as many gigs as possible and blowing people away with their songs and musicianship: the way lead vocalist Miyane Soemitro wails and sighs away over the intense rhythm section of bassist Pulung Wahyuaji and drummer Reza Arafat, the chime and grind of guitarists Adji Dimas Ramayanda and Jason Sutrisno, and band mastermind Rendy Surindrapati’s knack for quirky yet familiar melodies. They’re the first band from outside Bandung to sign to that city’s famed label FFWD Records – home of illustrious names such as Mocca, The SIGIT and Polyester Embassy – so you know they must be good. Look out for their upcoming debut album.
Waking Hour (Live In the Studio, 2010):
Sunset People (Live At OZ Radio, 2010):