Miniatures – ‘Form Into Soft And Wild’

miniatures-everythings chemical

New tunes from Miniatures taken from Everything Is Chemical‘s digital 7inch series! ‘Form Into Soft And Wild’ is an eclectic dream popper a la Cocteau Twins (only with an overdrive twist at the end). Lowtide recently named Miniatures as one of the best shoegaze acts in Oz (full list @ Tone Deaf). The Melbourne-based trio delivered an impressive EP ‘Dis‘ last November. If you missed that, take a listen here.

Miniatures – ‘Form Into Soft And Wild’

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The Bilinda Butchers – ‘Heaven’

the bilinda butchers - heaven

The Bilinda Butchers give us their debut album ‘Heaven’ this week via Orchid Tapes (Vinyl)  / Fastcut Records (CD) and digital is right here! The San Francisco-based trio (Michal Palmer, Adam Honingford and Ryan Wansley) reached for the lofty goal of creating a concept record based around a fictional love story set in 19th century Japan. ‘Heaven’ being the soundtrack. As predicted, the album doesn’t fit neatly into any genre. There’s ambient (‘Ume’),  rock (‘Less Than’), synth pop (‘Golden House’), spoken word plus lots of experimentation. They haven’t pigeon holed themselves and it’s a credit to their creativity.

‘Heaven’ features several guest artists that add depth to the record, starting off with vocalist Juri Nakashima. The Japanese flavour is the first taste you get on ‘Ume’, a song of devotion to kick off the tragic tale. It’s done in grandiose  style, this song is a stunner. It’s followed by the catchy ‘Less Than’ which dispels any hope of predicting what the next song might sound like. ‘Old Style Anami’ pairs ambient synths with spoken word. The trio have mentioned previously how video games have influenced them, in these moments it’s most noticeable.

Sarah Psalti (former singer of Keep Shelly In Anthens) contributes to the second single ‘Golden House’. It’s an 80s styled synth popper that marks a turning point in the album’s theme, things are about to get dark! The rain of ‘New Style Askashi’ leads into the 2013 single ‘The Lover’s Suicide’, another one of ‘Heaven’s highlights. But for me, ‘Tanka’ and ‘Edo Method’ are the strongest songs on the record. Both play with pitch bending synths against breakbeats with fantastic vocal melodies.

The latter half of the album focuses on the concept of heaven and the afterlife. ‘Heaven Holds A Place’ is ironically happy, almost comical. I’m guessing that’s what they were going for, there’s soulful falsetto vocals and a chorus of ‘Oooh’s after all! Presumably this is the moment when our remaining lover looks forward to reuniting after death, but I could be wrong. Needless to say, ‘Heaven’ is a unique record, it’s rare to get this wrapped up in an album. It’s a conversation starter that’s likely to drag you back for repeated listens. I can only speculate how many fans will fall in love with it, destined to be high on ‘best of’s lists for 2014.
The Bilinda Butchers – ‘Heaven’ (Stream)

Visit The Bilinda Butchers @ Orchid Tapes @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

The Bilinda Butchers - 'Heaven'
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
  • Diverse and genre defying
  • Great pop moments
  • Ambitious concept
  • There can always be more reverb!
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (11 Votes)

Lowtide – ‘Lowtide’

lowtide-lowtide-album-cover_low res

Lowtide‘s self-titled debut album is out this Friday (July 18) thanks to Lost And Lonesome! The Melbourne-based foursome are streaming the record at The Music ahead of its release. It’s been four years since their debut EP ‘You Are My Good Light‘ and a long wait for fans since ‘Underneath Tonight/Memory No. 7‘. Lowtide opted to refine the songs for this album over several years at Soundpark Studios with producer Gareth Parton. The lead singles ‘Blue Movie‘ and ‘Held‘ whet our appetite and now we can dig into the nine track release.


Album opener ‘Whale’ is a fantastic starter, it’s a little taste of everything that’s loveable about this band. The vocal interplay between dual bassists/singers Lucy Buckeridge and Giles Simon is Lowtide’s biggest weapon. Combine that with inventive compositions and the immersive work of guitarist Gabriel Lewis and you’ve got a recipe for a very good dream pop album! While the singles were strong, I really didn’t feel the full impact until I heard the album as whole. Then its claws stick in.

‘Wedding Ring’ has a sunny melody and pretty vocal harmonies contrasted by droning guitars. It’s the most poppy Lowtide get, along with the single ‘Held’. The album isn’t a downer but don’t expect an upbeat record. ‘Yesterday’ reaches to the depths, a beautiful song with a bassline fit for The Cure. ‘Maxillæ Leaving, Seaward’ is another stand-out, a cinematic slow burner of post rock proportions! It’s also one of the band’s favourites, which Giles mentions in our soon to be published interview. Closer ‘Still Time’ wraps up an amazing record. ‘Lowtide’ is an ambitious album and it sounds flawless, if you’re a lover of dream pop then this is a must listen. Melbourne impresses again!

Visit Lowtide @ Bandcamp @ Lost And Lonesome @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.

Lowtide - 'Lowtide'
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
  • Male/Female Vocals Are Fantastic
  • Cinematic & Atomspheric
3.9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (6 Votes)

The Royal Landscaping Society – ‘Early Sunrays (I Am Dive Remix)’

the royal landscaping society-artwork

I Am Dive have produced a brilliant remix of The Royal Landscaping Society‘s ‘Early Sunrays’. It’s taken from the forthcoming EP, with six tracks and three remixes (courtesy of Beko). It’s the first release from the Sevilla-based four piece. I Am Dive’s treatment transports the indie pop act into electro-gaze territory with blissful results.

The Royal Landscaping Society – ‘Early Sunrays (I Am Dive Remix)’

Visit The Royal Landscaping Society @ Beko @ Facebook.

Slowdive North American Tour 2014

slowdive-north american tour 2014

Slowdive‘s North American fans are officially losing their s**t after the English shoegazers announced 2014 tour dates! For the full list and ticket links head to their official website. Tickets are on sale very soon – this Friday, July 18. So I hope you’ve saved your pennies! In the meantime, here’s a webcast from last month’s European show.

Slowdive Live @ Best Kept Secret (Netherlands June 2014)

Visit Slowdive online @ Facebook.