5 UNDER 500 September edition
5 UNDER 500 aims to show you some little-known artists that deserve recognition.
A lot of acts that you read about on music websites - the hot/upcoming/buzz-worthy articles - come from a press release, with the authors sent a lot of awesome new music and having to sift through for the good stuff. With that in mind we thought we'd go on a little hunt through the online realm to try and find a few acts that haven't broken over the 500-Like mark (because like it or not, the number of FB likes you've accrued can play a role in the amount of online love you'll receive). So we hope 5 UNDER 500 will bring to your attention a few emerging acts, who are under 500 likes on Facebook, and whose sounds we are very much digging.
Native Spirit (pictured above, photo by Tom Loach) - In My Head
The late 2000s was the height of electro-pop in Australia with bands like Cut Copy, Miami Horror, Bag Raiders and The Presets running the scene and in my opinion it's period of music-making that should have never ended. Sure all these acts still exist but nostalgia is an overwhelming substance that makes you yearn for what once was. Native Spirit are the solution with their airy atmospheres, hand claps straight out of 2008 and vocals like fat, fluffy clouds. However, to just earmark Native Spirit as a copy is limiting their talent, rather like the hand in the cover artwork, In My Head is unique and adds to the already fantastic history of electro-pop in Australia. Also keep an eye out for Native Spirit's upcoming debut EP.
Follow Native Spirit: FACEBOOK
Luwum - A Weird Flash
A Weird Flash is stepping out of your New York apartment onto the balcony, hypothetical New York residence that is, and discovering a hungover Sufjan Stevens just strumming on a guitar nonchalantly. It borders betweens, 'Is this actually happening?' to,'Damn I need to listen to Stevens more often,' as Luwum's disarming approach to guitar pulls you in. Indeed, it has this strange intimacy which makes you feel like you're there watching the song unfold and gradually build. A Weird Flash is part of Luwum's LP Places Worn and it's an album you should spend some time listening too.
Follow Luwum: FACEBOOK
Brer Sunshine & Phil Raincloud - Ralph's Icecream // Single Scoop
I think a lot of artists starting out are given the impression that music as an artform, most importantly a high art-form, needs to be shaped around defining moments, it has to have substance to stand out from the crowd. This release is just a simple homage to Summer, sure it comes around every 9 months, but for those who really dig it, that's 9 months too long. And in many ways this entire release references many different sounds but the best sonic approximation would have to be The Avalanches. Now sure these young sample-based artists don't have that level of skill yet there's definitely something there. The track that sums up Summer for me is Orange Dream Bar (Ft. Meadowlark Irving) as it shimmers between the heat hazes of the days with the shiny brass and those hot nights that are pressed into the deep, heated spoken word flow.
Follow Christmas Day: FACEBOOK
Padre - The Good Lord
If you've been missing a bit of Mac DeMarco in your life then Padre's The Good Lord with it's dry drums, twangy guitar licks and a heap of reverb is here to comfort you. It's a playful number that a time even hints at the mania of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard as it delves into the fuzzed-out world of garage-psych. Albeit it never embraces its wild cousin's attributes instead choosing to follow down its own lazy path into slacker-world. Or a close enough approximation of it as Padre jams away tossing some whispery vocals into the back end of the song.
( ( mothers ) ) - mother and wife
Like Padre ( ( mothers ) ) is also from Athens, Ohio which if anyone is interested is right near Roswell. You know where aliens supposedly landed and were taken to Area 51 where they were never seen again? Yeah that place. But funnily enough the out-of-this-world thoughts aren't all too distant when you listen to mother and wife. It's an eerie, unnerving song with a twangy guitar and raw vocals that strain against the track to break free. But you know not all music is made to just be ear-candy, mother and wife rewards with repeat listens as the patient guitar strokes, the sombre mood and sense of intention meld together into something all the more engaging.