Bad Bangs, Mess Esque and other local independent artists that we love this fortnight

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By Tom Walters

Hello and welcome to our bimonthly column on independent artists. Head here if you missed the previous installment, featuring 30/70, Snowy Band, and Parvyn.

Every fortnight we bring together the best new bands and artists from Melbourne / Naarm who are making waves online, underground and on air.

For those looking to keep a listening ear with top emerging artists, this column will cover you every two weeks with Victoria’s best.

This fortnight, we found the new single from the garage rockers Bad Bangs, the eccentric pop of the new Milk! The signatories of the Mess Esque records, and the duo’s rhythms inspired by the climate Ok for example.

Keep up to date with the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.

Bad bangs

Garage rockers Bad Bangs have announced their debut album Create the character in May, and now we have another taste of what’s to come with the second single ‘All In All’. A lighter tune compared to the swaggering main single ‘Sweet Thing’, it is nonetheless a real earworm that makes us crave the electricity of their live shows.

Echoing the wonderfully refined and highly melodic sounds of groups from the latest garage rock revival, such as Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast, ‘All In All’ does a great job of generating more hype for what could be one of the Melbourne indie albums of the year.

Character Building will be released on September 3 via Blossom Rot Records.

Mess Esque

A gathering of Melbourne and Brisbane, Mess Esque is the brainchild of Helen Franzmann (Brisbane) and Mick Turner (Melbourne). Their self-titled debut album will be released in October via Milk! Records, and based on our impressions of the single ‘Take It Outside’, it’s going to be a stopper.

Franzmann has already worked under his nickname McKiso for the past 12 years, while Turner has produced a steady stream of instrumental records for legendary American indie label Drag City. The kicker? The couple never met, setting the record entirely from a distance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A true testament to the power of music in these trying times, ‘Take It Out’ brilliantly presents the duo’s eerie and wonderful vision: thundering organs, rolling drums, and Franzmann’s semi-muffled voice all coming together in a way. strangely satisfying; like an abstract watercolor painted in real time.

Mess Esque is out on October 21 via Milk! Recordings.

Ok for example

Recorded against the backdrop of the historic bushfires that rocked Australia in 2020, Intertidal zone – the new disc from the electronic explorers OK EG – is deeply rooted in the rhythms and textures of the Australian landscape.

The inaugural release of the label of the same name of local legends of the Wax’o Paradiso party, Intertidal zone is a half hour of deep melodic listening – extremely percussive and hypnotically meditative. ‘Intertidal Zone’ sounds like a soundscape from a whole other planet, while evoking distinctively Australian spaces – putting you in the shoes of the solastalgia experience.

Recorded in collaboration with percussionist Phil Stroud, Intertidal zone Brilliantly tackles not only the sheer beauty of the land we live on, but also the tremendous damage we inflict on it.

Intertidal Zone is now available on Wax’o Paradiso Recordings.

Want more new music? Discover the last part of our column on singles.

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