Glass Beams, Floodlights 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. Go here if you missed the previous part, with Too Birds, Plaster of Paris and Third Space.

Every fortnight, we bring together the best new Victorian bands and artists who are making waves online, underground and on the 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.

Find the latest musical interviews, news and reviews here.

Glass beams

Research Records has a penchant for finding Melbourne’s most connected musicians. The label that bought you Mildlife’s Steps, Elite Beat’s Selected rhythms and Big Yawn’s No! is back with a version that is both shrouded in mystery and which explodes hugely.

Glass Beams can be a group, a person, or something undefined. Mirage is their first release, and even before it was in the world, it already caught the attention of disco heroine Jayda G, who featured one of her tracks – “Taurus” – on her recent DJ-Kicks compilation.

If someone teleported Mildlife from space and set it up in the Sahara Desert, it would scramble like Glass Beams. The space synths are still there, but they are sanded with sand and sun. The ‘Mirage’ opener is downright cinematic, taking elements of Indian disco, spaghetti westerns and ’70s prog to create a track that resembles Surprise Chef’s scoring. Cowboys and aliens. On the flip side, ‘Taurus’ takes an ethereal, resonant voice and wraps it around Khruangbin-esque guitars, showing Melbourne’s many space jazz pioneers that there is just as much fun in the fun on the ground.

Mirage releases Friday June 25 on Research files.

Projectors

It’s been just under a year since Floodlights released their debut album From a view, a record that has served as warm comfort to many during Melbourne’s long lockdown winter. Now they are back with a new 7 “- The More I Am / Overflowing cut.

The “Overflowing Cup” B-side is the only track available at the moment, but it offers a window into the newly rejuvenated floodlights. Or From a view grain, growl and lyrics that set you against the modern world, “Overflowing Cup” finds Floodlights on a new, contemplative path.

Shrouded in golden harmonica melody and sweet alternative country production, ‘Overflowing Cup’ sees singer / guitarist Louis Parsons struggling with deeply held opinions: “My opinion seems stuck / My sight has been shortened / Tell me why is it so hard to see behind the fence around mehe muses, the band putting a distinct Australian twist on a classic rock sound indebted by Neil Young.

The The more I am / Overflowing cut 7 “comes out on Friday June 18.

Tahnee Ollerton

Tahnee Ollerton Brings Dreamy, Meditative State to Country Sound on Newly Released Album I’m hearing music. Castlemaine’s musician embodies stripped-down sound throughout I’m hearing music, that shines with the natural elements of the world around us.

Ollerton began to write I’m hearing music in 2018 after hearing a recording of his father talking about his relationship to his impending death. This melancholy and sorrow hovers over the record, but never beats it.

In fact, the opposite is true. On ‘Cherry Cola’, Ollerton’s dexterous and ethereal guitar playing shines through, lending a slight playfulness to a record that is otherwise imbued with raw emotion and, above all, love.

I Hear Music is now available Band Camp.

Fancy another fun read? Check out our article on four inspiring Melbourne music workshops helping emerging artists take the stage.


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