13 November 2008

"breakaway" || big pig || 1988

Just a classic Aussie track post to prove that they've had it going on for quite some time.

I'm sad that "new beat" music didn't stay new for very long and subsequently tuckered out, because it was really neato stuff. It sounds like it was concocted by the Germans, but really, who the hell knows? It was acidic yet mellow music, which is most definitely an odd amalgamation, but it worked.

This song is one of the few gems of that era and that sound. Big Pig was a sizable band at six or seven members, but they certainly have a "big" sound, so the high member count makes sense. The remixed version that appears in the music video is exceptionally cool, and the 12" mixes of this song will blow your mind. If you dig bassy dance music with lots and lots of drums, this is right up your alley.

Although new beat music is few and far between, its better-known cousin big beat is very much alive and well. Groups like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, The Prodigy, and even Crystal Castles (on some of their songs) are very much a part of that style. In fact, "Breakaway" almost sounds more like a big beat song than a new beat song.

You decide.

NOTE: If you think you've heard this song before, you're probably remembering it from the opening credits of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.


12 November 2008

"paris is burning" || ladyhawke || 2008

Another Aussie that excites me!

Ladyhawke's sound is a perfect blend of '80s new wave and modern chick-indie rock. Her vocals and the drum rhythms are all modern, but the synth in her songs gives them a perfect retro tinge without being obnoxious. It's no wonder that she's captured the heart of every thirtysomething gay guy who listened to The Motels and 'Til Tuesday in middle school.

Again, my hat is off to you Australia. Please keep this great music coming our way!



"can't shake it" || kate miller heidke || 2008

Here's a lovely lady from Aussieland who's showing a lot of promise.

Whatever has inspired Australia to make such awesome music as of late, please, keep it up. I think the government must be adding something to the water that's giving them the ability to make fabulous danceable music, which is always something that the world needs.

I stumbled across Ms. Heidke online and fell in love with her gorgeous voice immediately. She is very obviously inspired by Cyndi Lauper in both voice and style (check out the clock in her hair!), but Lauper is an inspiring soul, so that's certainly not a criticism. Her latest single, "Can't Shake It," is a total college party song. It's about being self-conscious about one's own dancing ability; a spiritual successor to Genesis's famous 1992 hit, if you will. I heard it at about 9 a.m. one morning a few weeks ago, and it was in my station's rotation by lunchtime. Yes, it's that good.

According to anchor commentary before her live performance on the Aussie morning-TV show Sunrise, Heidke abandoned a folkier sound for this record. I've yet to hear her previous material, but I'm gonna take a leap of faith and say that this is a step in the right direction. Let's just hope she doesn't pull a Goldfrapp and improve her sound drastically for one album, only to return to completely inaccessible music on her next record.

I look forward to hearing lots more from her. And hey, check out her Sunrise performance to hear her do some super cool live vocals. This girl can sing!