Digging For Diamonds - Your Monthly Recap Of Hidden Music Gems
The most overlooked tracks from the past month in music, including OKBadlands, Human Movement, Oliver and more.
Digging for Diamonds is your monthly wrap-up dedicated to highlighting all those hidden gems you may have missed from the month in music just passed. Shining some much-needed light on a handful of tracks that have for whatever reason, possibly fallen through the cracks, no artist is too big or too small. From indie-rock to hip-hop, rap and folk, there is no genre snubbing here.
OKBadlands - Mineral
I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off this month’s selections than with something fresh from Brisbane duo OKBadlands. Warm and jazzy, layered with delicate vocal work, Mineral holds true to the duo’s unique electronic mesmerizing glitchy quirk. Their earlier 2017 offerings in PTY LTD and Dust & Gold were great, but this is probably the duo’s most attainable track to date. Through a little help from fellow Queenslander Golden Vessel, who is also no stranger to working with the pair (the duo also appear on his latest track Less~More), Mineral was completely self-produced by the Brissy duo. With Mineral only adding to the hype and excitement surrounding OKBadlands, the pairing is a definite must-see if you're heading over to Brisbane for next week's BIGSOUND Conference.
Marlon Williams - Vampire Again
Sure, Lorde may be the most high profile New Zealand artist we like to call our own, but if there were a trophy for the second I’d sure as hell give it to Marlon Williams. Making his return since his incredible self-titled debut back in 2015 which included tracks like Hello Miss Lonesome, Dark Child and I’m Lost Without You, Williams has swooned his way back into rotation with Vampire Again. Accompanied by a video clip, the song has been in his set since 2015, with a full release finally arriving earlier this month. The clip depicts a comedic play on Marlon’s favourite scary flick Nosferatu (props to him for dressing up like the creature), but just like most of Marlon’s material, the song combines Williams’ alluring vocal work and oozing guitars that grasp your attention from the get-go. Ah yes, welcome back Marlon, welcome back indeed!
Human Movement - Theo’s Party
Sydney’s Human Movement are back with two blistering beats for the dancefloors. Still taking it straight to the club, as of recent, the duo has shifted away from those more dark and melodic sounds as we heard on their 2015 EP Dancing Room to a more deep house approach. This hasn’t diminished their quality though, with the Sydney-sider’s have just recently pumped out a sleek new two track EP titled I Need. Theo’s Party is the go-to of the two cuts, with it encapsulating everything that is incredible about getting lost in the sounds and feeling of house music.
Akurei - Floating (feat. Nico Ghost)
Another track with production credit from Queensland’s Golden Vessel, I love discovering a newbie, especially a homegrown one. Recruiting Melbourne rapper Nico Ghost, Akurei’s track Floating was one of the discoveries of the month. Ghost’s vocal adds some great R&B flair to an otherwise incredible atmosphere. A song about falling asleep after waking up in the middle of the night, this theme is certainly apparent through those dreamy, wave-like synths and Akurei’s delicately smooth vocal work. It's definitely worth keeping tabs on this guy!
Alex Cameron - Stranger’s Kiss (Duet with Angel Olsen)
I’ve been itching for a gateway to get into the much buzzed about Angel Olsen, and it appears I have finally found it. It’s small steps, but Alex Cameron’s duet with the folk singer/songwriter was one of the surprise packets for me this month. Having unfortunately slept on the collaboration for two weeks, Stranger’s Kiss packs dreamy synths with sleek guitars and the pairing of vocal work by both Cameron and Olsen makes for a perfect match. The song was also accompanied by an incredible visual, which stars Jemima Kirke famous for her role in hit tv show Girls. If the song alone doesn’t hook you in, then allow Kirke’s role as a resident of New York desperately seeking out her doppelganger/idol Alex Cameron. I’m all for great music, but the Stranger’s Kiss’ visual is the real selling point. Also worth noting, is that Alex Cameron’s follow up to his 2016 record Jumping the Shark is out September 8th.
Sunni Colón - Little Things
Would this column be complete without something from fresh from Kaytranada? Maybe, but everything this man touches or at least holds production credits on is straight up gold, and Sunni Colón’s track Little Things yet further proof. From Colón’s crisp vocal to guitars that drip wooziness, Kaytranada has masterfully layered the track with some subtle funky foundations. Another masterstroke in the renowned beatmakers ability to showcase little/as of yet unknown names, Little Things receives a big tick from me.
Oliver - Chemicals (feat. MNDR)
Looking through an international scope, Oliver have been making a name for themselves since 2013. I’m still amazed at how little traction they have gained across Australia because the Fools Gold signed duo are making some of the hardest hitting, funk-tinged electronic music I have come across. Having been on my radar since their incredible two track EP titled Light Years Away (think Gesaffelstein, but in space), the duo released their debut record Full Circle last Friday, and it’s super polished. Nabbing a handful of beefy features from the likes of Sam Sparro, hip-hop legends De La Soul and the likes of Chromeo, Full Circle is a 15 track journey that not only showcases just how far these guys have come sound and production wise, but how exciting of an outlook their future is in the electronic game. The record sits at 15 tracks, and there are quite a few tracks I could’ve gone with but it was the duo’s collaboration with singer and songwriter MNDR Chemicals that stole my attention. Infectious and hard-hitting, Oliver knows a thing or two when it comes to crafting a beefy bassline. Throw in the blend of MNDR’s vocals and those dreamy, liquid like synths, and it’s straight to the club for this funky banger.
A House In The Trees - Summertime
Music stemming from free to use creative hubs/ spaces often conjures all different types of raw and unique creations. More often than not these spaces are holed up with musicians with no restraints, bursting with promise. Point in case, with London collective A House In The Trees and their melancholic dream-like track Summertime. A creation from a pub-turned-recording studio and creative community in South East London, woozy, merely tip toeing into psychedelia, Summertime is ultimately a play on down-tempo alt-pop, and a damn fine one at that. Following their first single Tuesday Afternoon, this is the second track from the collective’s debut EP titled What Am I Supposed To Do?, which is out September 14th. Only having just discovered the Londoners, making it two from two with both Tuesday Afternoon and even more so Summertime. There will now certainly be some intrigue come the EP’s release on September 14. I will definitely be keeping tabs!
Lupa J - Keep Back
I remember being in the car when this debuted for the first time via triple j’s Good Nights, and you better believe I cranked this right up. I’ve been longing for Lupa J to not just grab my attention but hold it, and Keep Back appears to have done so. It’s dark and harrowing. Think Bjork, meets Visions-esque Grimes. Not only do I recall the text-line blowing up with praise for the young artist from Sydney’s new sound, but I too and shooting Lupa J praise as I believe this is her most exciting sounding piece of material yet.