By Tom Walters
Hello and welcome to our new bimonthly column on independent artists. Head here if you missed the previous column, featuring The Vovos, Winter McQuinn, and Spiritual Mafia.
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 stay tuned to the best emerging artists, this column will cover you every two weeks with Victoria’s best.
Find the latest musical interviews, news and reviews here.
The time of dreams
‘Death to All Actors’ – the latest single from the Time For Dreams duo – is such a hazy, lo-fi song it sounds like it came to you from a little AM ââradio in the corner of an antique store. . This is the third single from their next album The life of the inhabitant, which if ‘Death to All Actors’ is anything to go by, promises to be filled with themes of pandemics, plagues, rituals and spells.
There is a dense, thick fog in “Death to All Actors” – much like someone burning too much sage in a room where Portishead is working on the covers of Aphex Twin. It’s the sparsest song, but Tom Carlyon’s crisp instrumentation is held firmly by the magical voice of Amanda Roff, who comes and goes like a poltergeist mimicking Victoria Legrand.
This four-member punk group returns with a six-track record about life’s first world problems, rocking them one by one like tin cans erased by slingshots. Modern problems is as raw and rock as punk is: extremely lo-fi, full of attitude and full of riffs.
Singer Al rages against everything from suburban monotony (“Modern Problems”), fascinating about ultimate revenge (“Revenge”) and rightly screaming about robo’s fucking debt (“Robo Debt Blues â).
Recorded at the famous Moonah Arts Collective jam factory and mixed by Mikey Young, Modern problems is an invigorating and sober vision of the state of Melbourne today. If you want more, check out their eponymous three-track EP from last year. It’s perfectly cathartic.
Modern Problems is now available through Legless Records. Catch cutters perform at the Moonah Arts Center in Rye on Saturday May 8th. Tix here.
Eva Popov recorded There is a field, her new album under the name Hello Satellites, in her house during lockdown last year. The voices were walked around in dressing rooms; friends were invited to hum over the Internet in a virtual choir. It has all the characteristics of a pandemic record, and yet it does not have the weight – There is a field is shiny and delicate, like a ray of sunlight breaking through a wall of clouds.
âEach song was a joyful and wide open space to occupy, while the outside world felt so closed and restricted under lockdown,â Popov said on his Bandcamp page.
While Popov argues that There is a field is a folk album at its heart – and the charming âThiefâ (which is actually Big Thief-esque) does well to confirm it – it’s the genre-defying moments that really steal the show. ‘No Delivery’ channels Tune-Yards in its wobbly beats and psychedelic vibes, proving itself to be a robust pop anthem that just might become Popov’s new calling card.
Fancy another fun read? Discover our piece delving deeply into Melbourne’s underground music scene.