Archive for the ‘News’ Category

September 18, 2018

Touring: Parquet Courts

PARQUET COURTS TOUR DATES:

  • AUCKLAND: Monday, 28th January @ Albert Park. Tickets: Official Website
  • BRISBANE: Saturday, 2nd February @ Brisbane Showgrounds. Tickets: Official Website
  • SYDNEY: Sunday, 3rd February @ SCA and Callan Park. Tickets: Official Website
    ADELAIDE: Friday, 8th February @ Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide. Tickets: Official Website
  • MELBOURNE: Saturday, 9th February @ Footscray Park. Tickets: Official Website
  • FREMANTLE: Sunday, 10th February @ Esplanade Reserve and West End. Tickets: Official Website

 

Mistletone is rapt to present the return of Parquet Courts to Laneway Festival 2019. Watch this space for more!

August 29, 2018

Touring: Kurt Vile

Mistletone could not be prouder to present the return of the supreme Kurt Vile & the Violators, touring brand new album Bottle It In with special guests RVG. Tickets on sale now!

KURT VILE & THE VIOLATORS TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Monday 15 April @ Enmore Theatre with RVG. Tickets on sale here.
  • WOLLONGONG: Tuesday 16 April @ Unibar with RVG. Tickets on sale here.
  • CANBERRA: Wednesday 17 April @ ANU with RVG. Tickets on sale here.
  • BYRON BAY: 18-21 April @ Bluesfest. Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Monday 22 April @ The Forum with RVG. Tickets on sale here.
  • ADELAIDE: Saturday 27 April @ The Gov with RVG. Tickets on sale here.
  • PERTH: Sunday 28 April @ Rosemount Hotel with RVG. Tickets on sale here.

Weeks of speculation come to an end today as details of the new Kurt Vile album can finally be confirmed: One of the most critically and commercially acclaimed artists of the last decade will release Bottle It In on Friday 12 October via Matador Records / Remote Control.

A sprawling new jammer titled ‘Bassackwards’ follows previously released Bottle It In single, ‘Loading Zones’, an ode to the parking challenges in Vile’s native Philadelphia, described alternately as “Vile at his comforting, shaggy best” (The Guardian), and an “ambiguous rumination on small town life” (MOJO). The epic, loping ‘Bassackwards’ is the album’s beating heart and Vile’s most compelling evocation of how he sees the world: “I was on the ground circa Planet Earth, but out of sorts,” he sings over a gently psychedelic bed of backmasked guitars. “But I snapped back, baby, just in time to jot it down.

Travel can inspire in surprising ways: Kurt Vile discovered as much making his first record in three years, the eclectic and electrifying Bottle It In, which he recorded at various studios around the country over two very busy years, during sessions that usually punctuated the ends of long tours or family road trips. Every song, whether it’s a concise and catchy pop composition or a sprawling guitar epic, becomes a journey unto itself, taking unexpected detours, circuitous melodic avenues, or open-highway solos. If Vile has become something of a rock guitar god—a mantle he would dismiss out of humility but also out of a desire to keep getting better, to continue absorbing new music, new sounds, new ideas—it’s due to his precise, witty playing style, which turns every riff and rhythm into points on a map and takes the scenic route from one to the next.

Using past albums as points of departure, Bottle It In heads off in new directions, pushing at the edges of the map into unexplored territory: Here be monster jams. These songs show an artist who is still evolving and growing: a songwriter who, like his hero John Prine, can make you laugh and break your heart, often in the same line, as well as a vocalist who essentially rewrites those songs whenever he sings them in his wise, laconic jive-talkin’ drawl. He revels in the minutiae of the music—not simply incorporating new instruments but emphasizing how they interact with his guitar and voice, how the glockenspiel evokes cirrocumulus clouds on “Hysteria,” how Kim Gordon’s “acoustic guitar distortion” (her term) engulfs everything at the end of “Mutinies,” how the banjo curls around his guitar lines and backing vocals from Lucius to lend a high-lonesome aura to “Come Again.”

These journeys took Vile more than two years to navigate, during which time he toured behind his breakout 2015 album b’lieve I’m goin’ down, recorded a duets album with Courtney Barnett, opened for Neil Young in front of 90,000 people in Quebec, famously became a clue on Jeopardy, hung out with friends, took vacations with his wife and daughters.

In April 2017, he trekked out to Indio, California, to catch the Stagecoach Festival and sit in with his friends the Sadies (“my favorite modern band”). Inspired by Willie Nelson’s epic set, Vile spent a few days in Los Angeles working with producer Rob Schnapf at his Mant Sounds studio.  The two had previously worked together on “Pretty Pimpin,” the leadoff track on b’lieve that became a number-one AAA radio hit. Their second collaboration was similarly inspired: Featuring backing vocals from Cass McCombs, the eleven-minute title track is full of ominous bass rumbles, hazy-steady drumbeats from Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa, delicate harp stabs from Mary Lattimore, and what sounds like chewy distortion leaking out of a David Lynch flick.

 
Months later, when a lengthy Violators tour ended in Salt Lake City, Vile let the momentum carry him further west, where he recorded several more songs with engineer/producer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, the War on Drugs) at The Beer Hole in Los Angeles.  Other songs were put to tape during sojourns to Portland, Oregon, and to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where fellow Violator Rob Laakso co-produced. The bulk of Bottle It In was bottled up at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with Peter Katis (Interpol, the National) engineering and producing. Bottle It In captures the spontaneity of these impromptu sessions, revealing Vile as a diligent and singularly determined musician.
 
These recordings are the destinations, but the journeys were just as important, whether they gave him time with his wife and kids or an opportunity to get some writing done. “For a while I was terrified of flying, so I would be listening to whatever country songs I was obsessed with. I’d have George Jones blasting in my ears. Or, I would be reading something about country music. Or, I would start writing songs in that flash of being afraid, being swallowed by life. I’m up there on a plane drinking wine because like everybody else I’m afraid to die. And I wrote ‘Hysteria’ up there.” That new song, with its woozy guitar fanfare, captures mid-flight queasiness well, as Vile daydreams about escaping the flight: “Stop this plane ‘cause I wanna get off,” he sings. “Pull over somewhere on the side of a cloud.”

Bottle It In is about place only insofar as it is about the people in those places: friends and family, bandmates and music heroes, colleagues and collaborators. There’s a lot of love in these big-hearted songs, a lot of warmth toward everyone in Vile’s orbit and even toward those whose paths he’s yet to cross. “Loved you all a long, long while,” he sings on “One-Trick Ponies.” “Looked down into a deep dark well, called all of your names.” The jangly country-rock tune serves as a valentine to… he won’t say, but he and Mozgawa and Farmer Dave Scher deliver a beautifully sympathetic sing-along chorus that invites every one of us one-trick ponies to join in. 

 

As Vile prepares for another round of lengthy tours and countless shows, these songs should prove good company, reminders of the love and responsibility he has toward those he leaves at home and those he meets along the way. That makes the sentiments resonate more strongly and lends Bottle It In an emotional weight. “It’s like that moment on the airplane,” Vile says, “when you’re on your way somewhere and you have that burst of panic. When you’re terrified of dying, that’s when you want people to know you love them.”
August 27, 2018

Grand Salvo: Sea Glass

Mistletone is proud to present Sea Glass, the eagerly awaited new album from esteemed Melbourne artist Grand Salvo. Pre-order on vinyl or CD here. Release date: November 2.

  • “One of my favourite musicians. I’ve loved Grand Salvo since he first began. I used to go to every single one of his shows when I lived in Melbourne, sitting on the floor at the Corner Hotel, and over many records, he has just completely taken us into another realm. He’s not only a great songwriter, but often thematically takes us into all kinds of worlds. There’s a very textural quality to what he does, he’s explored death, and on this new album Sea Glass, he’s focusing on the idea that a single, vivid memory can shape who we are” – ZAN ROWE, DOUBLE J

“In the water”, the first excerpt from Sea Glass is a baroque-folk rumination on memory, loss, the passing of time and death: “Oh say you love me before I go / will you remember me when I’m gone”. Someone walks slowly along the beach, though it soon becomes apparent that this is a beach of dreams, where everything is allegory and symbol. “I wander slowly along the shore / the tide is high and the sun is low”; a childlike attempt to articulate the endless flow of time.

Paddy Mann has made six albums under the Grand Salvo moniker: (1642-1727), River Road in 2002, Temporal Wheel in 2005, Death in 2008, Soil Creatures in 2009 and Slay Me In My Sleep in 2012. His songs can be both sparse and heavily orchestrated, with each album focused on a particular idea or theme. Death was a story-book affair, with narration and intricate programmatic arrangements; Slay Me In My Sleep, an ambitious narrative-based song cycle co-produced with Nils Frahm, was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. All Grand Salvo’s albums have received lavish critical acclaim, winning Album of the Week on RRR (twice), Radio National, PBS, RTR and 4ZZZ.

Sea Glass is Grand Salvo’s seventh album, and his Mistletone debut. This richly allegorical album explores how a single, vivid memory can shape who we are; resurfacing and altering our thoughts and recollections as the years go by. The album’s very structure is an approximation of how such a memory is forged; each song radiates out from a seed memory which unfolds like a lotus jewel in Field of Flowers, the second-last song and the only “straight” narrative song of this remarkable album. The album then closes with Standing On The Sea, a dreamlike journey on the beach that uncovers “a shard of sand smoothed emerald glass / and a change in the light”, layering the dreams of childhood and the memories of adulthood into a woozy contemplation of eternity and the cyclic, ever evolving nature of memory.

Sea Glass was recorded using a number of non-western instruments including qanun (Persian dulcimer), kora (African harp), koto (Japanese stringed instrument) and Indian percussion, with a heady female chorus (Laura Jean, Lisa Salvo, Hannah Cameron, Michelle Surowiec) reprised throughout the album, woven through the narrative like a recurring dream.

Grand Salvo has performed throughout Australia and internationally, making appearances in London, New York, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and throughout Japan. He has shared stages with artists such as Fleet Foxes, Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan and Sharon Van Etten, and has produced and arranged live shows with up to 25 musicians at Melba Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre and The Arts Centre Victoria. His collaborations include Daughters Fever (2015) with Peter Knight, Curious Animals (2016) with baroque violinist Lizzy Welsh and Tamara Saulwick’s Helpmann award-nominated theatrical work Endings (2015).

May 29, 2018

Touring: Liars

Mistletone proudly presents the first Australian Liars shows in 4 years.

LIARS TOUR DATES:

  • MELBOURNE: Thursday September 27 @ The Curtin with Hex Debt + HTRK DJs. Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday September 28 @ ACMI Wonderland Late Nights. Tickets on sale now.
  • SYDNEY: Saturday September 29 @ Oxford Art Factory with Party Dozen + Buzz Kull. Tickets on sale now.
  • WOLLONGONG: Sunday September 30 @ Yours & Owls. Tickets on sale now.

“UTTERLY bizarre and utterly brilliant” – The Arts Desk
“ANOTHER excellent album” – Loud and Quiet Magazine
A TRIUMPH” – BrooklynVegan
SHORTLISTED for the Australian Music Prize 2017

Liars have provided the soundtrack for a forthcoming film by Jeremy Phillips, entitled 1/1. Hear/share the first taste, ‘Liquorice’:

Listen to Liars head honcho Angus Andrew’s “Listening to Australia” Spotify playlist below:

Liars have, as a matter of course, sounded radically different with each album, pursuing new concepts and occupying diverse mindsets, from the pell-mell post-punk of their 2001 debut, They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top, through the No Wave Hallowe’en stories of They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, to the haunted electronica of Mess. But there’s no defining style to TFCF, no overriding concept, as it shifts between sampled elements, brash processed sounds and “real” instrumentation, passages of pointed abstraction and passages of wilful songcraft, avant gestures and genuine pop moments. There’s no mask being hid behind, and the album is Liars’ most honest and autobiographical yet.

Angus grew up in Australia, but at the age of seventeen he lit off on a vision-quest that took him all across the globe. It was while travelling that he began to discover his creative voice, but, he says, “I always had this strong urge to return to Australia, as I still regarded it my home.” 

So, two decades later, he returned down-under, intrigued to see how his new environs might affect his output. After all, Angus had never made music in Australia before. “I wondered if I’d even be able to create here,” he says. 

Angus had been keenly aware of how his location had influenced previous Liars albums. His remote new abode brought with it fresh challenges. “Suddenly, the tides of the ocean became the most important thing to me, because I live right on the ocean now, and to get my boat out in the morning to get groceries on the mainland, I’ve got to know when the tide is coming in, or I’ll get stuck. Very basic things like that suddenly became top priority in my life. And the effect was interesting. The last record, Mess, was made in LA, and had very tight corners and clean edges – it was sharp, programmed, organised. It sounds a lot like living in a city. But now, everything started to fall off-time.”

It wasn’t just Angus’ surroundings that had changed, however – his whole creative process was about to undergo a drastic upheaval. Since arriving in Australia, as he worked on material for what would become TFCF, Angus had kept a line open with Aaron Hemphill, his Liars bandmate and only constant collaborator since the group had formed. “That line, fairly quickly and consistently, began to deteriorate,” says Angus. “At one point I visited Aaron in Berlin, where he was living, and he told me he didn’t want to finish the record.”

Their friendship endures, but the breakdown of their creative relationship exacerbated the isolation Angus was experiencing out in the bush. “I was physically isolated, and now I’d lost this connection with my past, with my bandmate, with the rest of the world. Things began to feel really fragile.” As he reworked the songs for the new album, he realised the lyrics he’d been sketching out – “Just off-the-cuff things about how I was feeling” – were about “this lack of connection, this breaking-down in communication. Classic break-up tropes were surfacing. I was narrating the process of a creative relationship deteriorating.”

Angus describes TFCF as “a super-sad record”, but this mood is offset by the restless creativity on display throughout the album. Cut off from the rest of the world in his remote home studio, with no other distractions, Angus gave free reign to artistic impulses he’d never explored. “I wanted to do lots of sampling,” he says. “I’d done a little in the past, but I’d started to realise the possibilities of the process, of sampling myself playing ‘proper’ instruments, and then using the sampler to put it all together in an ‘artificial’ way.”

In tandem with his embrace of the sampler, Angus also incorporated “authentic” sounds previously considered verboten within Liars; in particular, acoustic guitar. “That’s always been a frightening prospect to me,” he laughs. “‘Real music’, in the worst sense of that term.” But there is acoustic guitar all over the new album, albeit often sampled and repurposed. “It gave me an opportunity to create a sound that was warmer and more sensitive. Which was important, considering the subject matter of the lyrics.”

As he recorded the tracks for the new album, Angus kept a microphone running that he’d set up just outside of his studio, pointed out into the bush. “A lot of the sounds I was working on were samples, they lived inside my computer, but I still wanted to have a connection with everything around me,” he says. “So everything I was recording was in context of the world outside the studio… Sometimes I’d have my headphones on, just listening to the bush, and a bird would fly up and scream into the microphone. The truth is, even in New York or LA, I was still pretty isolated. Here, there are no other people around, but I feel much more connected to the environment around me than in a big city.”

The album’s reinvention of the Liars paradigm – blurring the lines between electronic and acoustic, between the experimental impulse and the addictive pop sensibility – is evidence that Angus’ creative energies remain as healthy as ever, even given the upheaval within the group. Even in his darkest moments, he never considered not finishing the album, still engaged by the challenge of making new art, the satisfaction of exploring new frontiers. 

“I feel like, ‘I haven’t tried this, maybe I could try it because I haven’t done it’,” he says. “The innocence of experimenting with something that you don’t know how to use. And that’s what’s driven the music from one extreme to another, the possibilities of the unknown, putting myself in a position that’s uncomfortable. ‘I don’t know how to write a record with strings and acoustic guitars, what would happen if I tried?’ Using equipment the way it wasn’t supposed to be used, because I don’t know how to use it – it gives me a chance to find a way of using it in a unique way.”

TFCF, then, is another unexpected chapter in the saga of Liars, and one that confirms, for Angus, that there will be more to follow. “Suddenly you wake up, fifteen years down the track, and realise, ‘Liars is actually my life’,” he grins. “You start off thinking you’re only messing around, and suddenly you’re eight records into it. And it feels empowering. It’s all a learning curve, experimenting with new ways of expressing myself. And that’s really exciting to me.”

March 8, 2018

Beach House: 7

Beach House‘s new album 7 is out Friday, May 11 on Mistletone via Inertia Music. Pre-order the LP on exclusive Australian-only white vinyl or CD, while stocks last, from Mistletone mail order.


Photo credit: Shawn Brackbill

7 features standouts including the Valentine’s Day 2018 single “Lemon Glow” [link here], along with “Black Car,” “Drunk In LA,” “Dark Spring,” and their latest offering, the transcendent “Dive”[link here]. All of the songs on 7 began in Beach House’s home studio in Baltimore, and were finished at Carriage House in Stamford, Connecticut and Palmetto Studio in Los Angeles. The album was mixed by Alan Moulder.

Beach House (Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand) released B-sides and Rarities in 2017, which served as a proverbial “cleaning out the closet” to pave way for a new creative process.  Their approach in the creation of 7 was rebirth and rejuvenation.  Scally and Legrand used to limit themselves to what they thought they could perform live, but this time that limitation was ignored.  Also, instead of one long studio session, Beach House recorded when inspired by batches of songs, which resulted in five mini-sessions over the course of eleven months.

Unlike the last four albums, 7 didn’t have a producer in the traditional sense. Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom (Peter Kember) became a significant force on this record by shedding conventions and helping to keep the songs alive, fresh, and protected from the destructive elements of recording studio overproduction and over-perfection.  The band’s trusted live drummer from 2016 to the present, James Barone, played on the entire record, helping to keep rhythm at the center of a lot of these songs.

7 is available for preorder now from Mistletone mail order on white vinyl, exclusive to the Australian LP pressing, while stocks last.

7 is our 7th full-length record. At its release, we will have been a band for over 13 years. We have now written and released a total of 77 songs together.

Throughout the process of recording 7, we wanted to rethink old methods and shed some self-imposed limitations. In the past, we often limited our writing to parts that we could perform live. On 7, we decided to follow whatever came naturally. As a result, there are some songs with no guitar, and some without keyboard. There are songs with layers and production that we could never recreate live, and that is exciting to us. Basically, we let our creative moods, instead of instrumentation, dictate the album’s feel.

In the past, the economics of recording have dictated that we write for a year, go to the studio, and record the entire record as quickly as possible. We have always hated this because by the time the recording happens, a certain excitement about older songs has often been lost. This time, we built a “home” studio, and began all of the songs there.  Whenever we had a group of 3-4 songs that we were excited about, we would go to a “proper” recording studio and finish recording them there. This way, the amount of time between the original idea and the finished song was pretty short (of the album’s 11 songs, 8 were finished at Carriage House in Stamford, CT and 2 at Palmetto Studio in Los Angeles).

7 was co-produced by Beach House and Sonic Boom. He became a great force on this record, in shedding conventions and in helping to keep the songs alive, fresh and protected from the destructive forces of recording studio over-production and over-perfection. And James Barone, who became our live drummer in 2016, played on the entire album. His tastes and the trust we have in him really helped us keep rhythm at the center of a lot of these songs. 7 was mixed by Alan Moulder.

In a more general sense, we are interested by the human mind’s (and nature’s) tendency to create forces equal and opposite to those present. Thematically, this record often deals with the beauty that arises in dealing with darkness; the empathy and love that grows from collective trauma; the place one reaches when they accept rather than deny (see “Dark Spring,” “Pay No Mind,” “Lemon Glow,” “Dive,” “Black Car,” “Lose Your Smile”).  The twisted double edge of glamour, with its perils and perfect moments, was an endless source (see “L’Inconnue,” “Drunk In LA,” “Woo,” “Girl Of The Year,” “Last Ride”).

The title, 7, itself is simply a number that represents our seventh record. We hoped its simplicity would encourage people to look inside. No title using words that we could find felt like an appropriate summation of the album.

The number 7 does represent some interesting connections in numerology. 1 and 7 have always shared a common look, so 7 feels like the perfect step in the sequence to act as a restart or “semi-first.”  Most early religions also had a fascination with 7 as being the highest level of spirituality, as in “Seventh Heaven.”  At our best creative moments, we felt we were channeling some kind of heavy truth, and we sincerely hope the listeners will feel that.

Much Love,

Beach House

 

 

 

 

Beach House
7 
Tracklisting:

1. Dark Spring
2. Pay No Mind
3. Lemon Glow
4. L’Inconnue
5. Drunk in LA
6. Dive
7. Black Car
8. Lose Your Smile
9. Woo
10. Girl Of The Year
11. Last Ride​

February 6, 2018

Touring: Michael Hurley

Artwork: Michael Hurley; design: Alex Fregon

MICHAEL HURLEY TOUR DATES:

  • GYMPIE: Saturday March 17 @ Wolvi Hall with Darren Hanlon. Tickets on sale now.
  • BRISBANE: Sunday March 18 @ Junk Bar. * SOLD OUT!
  • LENNOX HEADS: Tuesday March 20 @ Lennox Sessions with Darren Hanlon. Email lennoxsessions@gmail.com for tickets or phone Mark: 0418 210 802
  • GLENREAGH: Wednesday March 21 @ Boo Radley Shed with Darren Hanlon. Tickets on sale now.
  • SYDNEY: Thursday March 22 @ Petersham Bowling Club with Leah Flanagan. Tickets on sale now.
  • STANWELL PARK: Friday March 23 @ CWA Hall with Jordan Ireland and Purple Orchestra plus special surprise guest. Tickets on sale now.
  • CANBERRA: Saturday March 24 @ Smiths Alternative. Tickets on sale now.
  • LAUNCESTON: Wednesday March 28 @ Saint John with Darren Hanlon. Tickets on sale now.
  • HOBART: Thursday March 29 @ Republic Bar with Darren Hanlon. Tickets on sale now.
  • CASTLEMAINE: Friday March 30 @ Theatre Royal with Chastity Belt (USA) + Darren Hanlon. Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Tuesday April 3 @ Northcote Social Club with Susie Scurry. Tickets on sale now.
  • TALLAROOK: Easter Weekend at Boogie Festival.

Mistletone and Flippin Yeah present one of America’s last true outsider folk troubadours, Michael Hurley.

Michael Hurley’s music sounds old, like it has always existed, and simultaneously singular, like something you’ve never heard anyone else play quite like that before. This timeless quality ensures that Hurley’s audience constantly renews itself. From the the beatniks in the NYC Village where he started in the early 60s, to the hippies in Vermont, to the Americana fans, indie rockers and freak folkers from the last two decades, and those who have covered and championed his songs — from Cat Power to Calexico — Michael’s music never fails to find fresh new ears. Pressed for a description, Hurley has called it “jazz-hyped blues and country and western music”.

Michael Hurley grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As a teenager in the 1950s he fell in love hearing the music of Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and Bo Diddley blast from the radio, and was enthralled by the records of Blind Willie McTell, Hank Williams and Uncle Dave Macon that he sought for his own. This love for music, true and unvarnished, supplied him with a finely tuned musical compass he has not wavered from for 50 years and counting.

Hurley’s early records were released on Folkways, Warner Brothers/Raccoon and Rounder; in 1975, he released the impossibly excellent Have Moicy! which Robert Christgau called the Greatest Folk Album of the Rock Era. While in recent years, stalwart independent labels like Gnomonsong, Mississippi and Tompkins Square have been carrying the torch. A new album on the Mississippi label is due this spring. Besides being a truly unique musician, Hurley is also a cartoonist and watercolor artist of note — the instantly recognizable results of which grace his album covers.

WHAT SOME FOLKS HAVE SAID ABOUT MICHAEL HURLEY:

“Undoubtedly one of American’s greatest folk singers, Hurley has little in common with the majority of today’s folk performers. While they seem bent on demonstrating that all people are alike, such a suffocating presumption has no place in this man’s work. Michael Hurley is nothing like his potential audience. What better reason to hear what he has to say?”
– Chuck Cuminale

“…I don’t know what else to say about what he writes and sings, other than that it is gosh-darned great. What kind of music is it? Hell, what kind of weeds does God grow? Let’s just shut up and listen and go to where Michael Hurley is. After all, we can always turn around and come back. He can’t.”
– Nick Tosches

“Michael Hurley is the last unreconstructed folkie-shaman in America. His songs are primordial tales of the hunt for good cheer and satisfying sex, etched like cave paintings on city walls and farmland silos. Like many characters in his songs, his voice seems to have been run over by the dump truck of life, but it marries human mystery to forthright music like no other.”
– Milo Miles

“Whether weaving a yarn about a mysterious hog or comparing the human heart to a mechanic’s toolbox, Mr. Hurley create(s) elaborate vistas in a musical version of outsider art”
– Ann Powers / New York Times

“Hurley remains one of the elusive masters of American folk”
– Chris Morris / Billboard

“Trusting in his own peculiarities, Hurley makes the world spin just a little bit slower, and a little bit bumpier. Somehow it feels much more natural that way.”
– Jim Macnie

“Somehow, thinking of Hurley, I find myself thinking also of Samuel Beckett. Now I don’t see Hurley having much truck with the modernist strain of 20th Century art, and, as a high school dropout, he would probably be nauseated by the gasbag spewings of the ivory tower intellectual. A true and deliberate neo-primitive, his inspiration springs from nature, the rural blues and the lure of remote hills and woodlands, landscapes that loom in the backgrounds of his comics like vast parabolic gumdrops.”
– Vernon Tonges

October 5, 2017

Touring: HTRK


HTRK photo by Jeremy Yang

HTRK TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Thursday November 16 @ Cake Wines Cellar Door with special guest Julianna Barwick (USA). Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Sunday November 19 @ Melbourne Town Hall, headlining Melbourne Music Week. Tickets on sale now.

HTRK have announced two Australian shows in which they will be performing a mix of old and new material.

One of Australia’s most esteemed bands, HTRK is the duo of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang. Owing as much to the unsettling qualities of (David) Lynch and (Lydia) Lunch, mixed with industrial imagery and the surface aesthetics of synth pop, HTRK have struck a chord with fans and critics the world over.

HTRK’s music is layered with enough subtle cultural reference points to attract critical dissection, raw enough to appeal to beer-swilling live crowds, and visceral enough to make sense throbbing out of a club soundsystem. Throw together the core influences of HTRK and you’ll find David Lynch’s unsettling surrealism next to Bill Henson’s industrial landscapes, with Mika Vainio’s minimal compositions alongside the malfunctioning synth-pop of Suicide. It’s a potent concoction.

HTRK formed in Melbourne in 2003 as the trio of vocalist Jonnine Standish, bassist Sean Stewart (d.2010) and guitarist Nigel Yang. After six years in London, Standish and Yang returned to Australia in 2012. They have produced three critically-acclaimed studio albums for electronic labels Ghostly International and Blastfirstpetite, released locally via Mistletone. Collaborators include musician Rowland S. Howard (Marry Me Tonight LP, 2006), artists Pussykrew (Live tour visuals, 2012), artist Laure Prouvost (Poison video, 2013), designers PAGEANT (Capsule collection, 2014) and dance company Chunky Move (Supersense Festival, 2015).

• “HTRK possess an originality and mystery worthy of obsession and scrutiny, for their beautiful and damaged sound is truly, and thankfully, their own” — Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
HTRK will be joined by very special guest, the alchemical Julianna Barwick (USA), whose immersive, ethereal multi-tracked harmonies take listeners to a psychedelic other-world, creating an epic auditory landscape of huge majesty. Once memorably described by Diplo as the sound of “Care Bears making love”, Julianna Barwick’s cleansing frequencies have also been praised by Pitchfork as “among the best and most artful ambient music being made today”. Since her third full-length album, Will, came out on Dead Oceans Records, Julianna Barwick has toured with Sigur Rós, sung with children’s choirs around the world, recorded and performed with the Flaming Lips, recorded Bach’s “Adagio from Concerto In D Minor” on Sony Masterworks, played piano and sang with Yoko Ono and brewed a wasabi beer, Rosabi, with Dogfish Head. Julianna Barwick’s diverse past has also included collaborative albums with Ikue Mori and Helado Negro, a remix commission from Radiohead and her song “Vow” remixed by Diplo. Upcoming Barwick projects include a film score and a music box.

 

October 3, 2017

Touring: Julianna Barwick

JULIANNA BARWICK TOUR DATES:

  • SYDNEY: Thursday November 16 @ Cake Wines Cellar Door with HTRK.  Tickets on sale now.
  • MELBOURNE: Friday November 17 @ St Paul’s Cathedral (MMW Hub). With Kath Bloom (US) + Divide and Dissolve + Wilson Tanner + Kirkis (ft. Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir) + Two Steps on the Water + James Tom & Jack Doepel (Krakatau) and the T.C Lewis Pipe Organ. Tickets on sale now.

Mistletone proudly presents Julianna Barwick, returning to Australia to headline Melbourne Music Week’s opening night at St Paul’s Cathedral, curated by Smooch Records. Julianna will also play an intimate Sydney show with renowned Australian band HTRK.

Julianna Barwick’s revelatory third full-length, Will, was a surprising left turn for the California-based experimental artist. If 2013’s Alex Somers-produced Nepenthe conjured images of gentle, thick fog rolling over desolate mountains, the self-produced Will was a late afternoon thunderstorm, a cathartic collision of sharp and soft textures that sounds looming and restorative all at once.

Barwick’s busiest period in her career to date has seen her playing piano for Yoko Ono, performing at Carnegie Hall at the annual Tibet House concert with the Flaming Lips and Philip Glass, the Rosabi EP and beer created in conjunction with brewing company Dogfish Head, and a re-imagining of Bach’s “Adagio” from Concerto In D Minor.

Barwick’s life over the past several years has largely been lived in transit, and as such the genesis of Will was not beholden to location; Barwick worked on the album in a variety of locales, from a desolate house in upstate New York to the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina, to Lisbon, Portugal, the first European city to embrace Julianna’s music in 2007.

“I love touring, but it can be a wild ride,” Barwick reflects on this cycle of constant motion. “You’re constantly adjusting, assimilating, and finding yourself in life-changing situations.” Those experiences played into and helped shape Will‘s charged, unstable atmosphere: “I knew I’d be playing these songs live, so I wanted some movement,” she explains. “Something that had rhythm and low-end.”

That sense of forward propulsion is largely owed to Will‘s synth-heavy textures, an ingredient she was inspired to add to her vocal loop-heavy formula after demoing a new prototype analog sequencer for Moog during last year’s FORM Festival in Arcosanti, Arizona.

The electric current that runs through Will takes on various shapes of intoxicating instability: the orbiting chain of tones that wafts through “Nebula”, the frizzy sine waves lying under the firmament of “Same”, the haunting vocal echoes on opener “St. Apolonia” that were recorded late at night at a Lisbon train underpass, and the martial arpeggios that accompany Will‘s processional closer “See, Know”.

“While making this record, there were moments of isolation and dark currents,” Barwick admits. “I like exploring that, and I love when I come across songs that sound scary or ominous. I’ve always been curious about what goes into making a song that way.” The beguiling, beautifully complicated Will is the result of that curiosity, as well as the latest proof yet of Barwick’s irresistibly engaging talent as a composer and vocalist.

September 11, 2017

Touring: Moses Sumney

Mistletone is bowled over to announce Moses Sumney as part of the Laneway Festival 2018 lineup.

MOSES SUMNEY TOUR DATES:

Auckland: Monday 29 January @ Laneway Festival, Albert Park Precinct
Adelaide: Friday 2 February @ Laneway Festival, Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)
Melbourne: Saturday 3 February @ Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre and the River’s Edge
Sydney: Sunday 4 February @ Laneway Festival, Sydney College of the Arts and Callan Park, Rozelle
Brisbane: Saturday 10 February @ Laneway Festival, Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills (16+)
Fremantle: Sunday 11 February @ Laneway Festival, Esplanade Reserve and West End

Since emerging onto the scene in 2014, Moses Sumney has ridden a wave of word-of-mouth praise, hushed recordings, and dynamic live performances. It’s an organic, patient ascent all too rare in today’s musical climate. In a voice both mellifluous and haunting, Sumney makes future music that transmogrifies classic tropes, like moon-colony choir reinterpretations of old jazz gems. His vocals narrate a personal journey through universal loneliness atop otherworldly compositional backdrops.

Following the self-release of his debut cassette EP, Mid-City Island, and 2015’s 7″, Seeds/Pleas, Moses Sumney has performed around the world alongside forebears like David Byrne, Karen O, Sufjan Stevens, Solange, James Blake and more. With his 2016 Lamentations EP, the California and Ghana-raised troubadour widened the spectrum of his heretofore “bedroom” music, incorporating songs that feature more elaborate production and evocative songwriting. Now his inspired ascent continues.

His proper debut album, Aromanticism is a concept album about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape. It seeks to interrogate the social constructions around romance. The debut will include the devastating, billowing synths of “Doomed,” which in a way serves as the album’s thesis statement, as well as new versions of standouts “Lonely World” and “Plastic.” It’s a deliberate, jaw-dropping statement that can leave you both enlightened and empty.

Watch Moses Sumney perform “Doomed” live at St Stephen’s Church, Sydney:

August 18, 2017

TFS: “Chameleon Paint” b/w “Mansion Family”

Tropical Fuck Storm (l-r: Fiona Kitschin, Gareth Liddiard, Erica Dunn and Lauren Hammel) photographed at Nagambie Victoria, on 5 August 2017 by Bleddyn Butcher

Tropical Fuck Storm (TFS for short) is a newborn band formed by Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin (The Drones). Liddiard and Kitschin are joined by maniacs Lauren Hammel (High Tension) on drums and Erica Dunn (Harmony, Palm Springs) on guitars, keys and other gadgets. Not since John Lydon changed it up from the Sex Pistols to PiL has a curveball felt so bracingly exhilarating.

Pre-order the limited edition debut TFS 7″ single ‘Chameleon Paint’ b/w ‘Mansion Family’ here.

Pre-orders will ship on or before September 22.

Pre-order all four 7″s and received limited edition coloured vinyl, while stocks last! the first 7″ is on white vinyl (white vinyl for those ordering 4 packs only. Single orders will receive standard black vinyl.)

The debut TFS 7″ single, “Chameleon Paint” b/w “Mansion Family”, will be released on September 22 as a label collab between TFS Records and Mistletone Records. This limited edition 7” is the first of a series; each 7” featuring an original Liddiard A-side and a B-side cover of “songs we love and wish we had written”. The “Mansion Family” B-side is lifted from Melbourne band The Nation Blue, who released the original less than a year ago. Each 7” will feature phantasmagoric cover art by Montréal artist Joe Becker.

The band has already announced a North American tour in September/October with compadres Band of Horses and King Gizzard, with Australian dates to follow.

“Chameleon Paint” and “Mansion Family” were both recorded in Liddiard and Kitschin’s home studio, Liddiard having practised the dark arts of recording on previous Drones outings and recent/forthcoming releases by Gold Class, Batpiss and Palm Springs. (Liddiard prefers the term “knob twiddler” to “producer”; “I just like fucked up, do it yourself recordings,” he explains.)

“Chameleon Paint” captures the sense of foreboding that we’re all feeling at this time in history in exquisite detail. “You phone it in / All shame and sin”, Liddiard snarls, as a female Greek chorus howls in collective outrage. Liddiard explains that the song was inspired by the “stacks on” phenomenon of online shaming and trolling, the all-too-familiar cycles of internet outrage and sanctimoniousness.

“It feels like a turning point in history”, Liddiard comments, “as technology speeds up. The internet distorts reality and dehumanises relationships, and makes everyone crazy. It’s a bullshit, out of focus place where everyone is the worst version of themselves. Facebook and Instagram keep you glued to the screen, melt your brain and turn you into an idiot so they can sell shit to you. That’s the climate in my head; that’s why I write all this doom and gloom.”

“Mansion Family”, written by The Nation Blue’s Tom Lyngcoln, shudders with a kindred malaise. “I can feel a cold change is coming,” Liddiard intones, and as the tension mounts, the new day dawning foreshadowed in the lyrics feels like cause for dread.