The World is a Beautiful Place and I No Longer Want to Die, HARMLESSNESS:

album review, music

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TWIABP, HARMLESSNESS ★★★★

My gosh did Band of Horses, Modest Mouse and Death cab have a love child??? because they’re entirely the vibes I’m getting from The World is a Beautiful Place & I’m No Longer Afraid to Die’s (TWIABP) new record Harmlessness. Drawing on angsty almost (but never entirely) emo undertones the indie punk album deals with loneliness, anxiety and depressive notions, essentially its about life. The record is not seamless in composition but its centralisation on lead vocalist David Bello allows it to maintain consistency which their previous attempts have lacked. The album gets under your skin and into your head in the way catchy tunes can’t, in a way thats real and reflective of experience. Overall it is an album that simply needs to be listened to all critical appraisals aside and enjoyed for its impact and its rawness.

Foals, WHAT WENT DOWN:

album review, music

FOALS

Foals, WHAT WENT DOWN: ★★★★

And they’re back! Foals doing what they do best by dropping some toe-tapping alternative rock tunes for the worlds enjoyment. Album 4 from the British boys has seen the band embrace the darker elements of rock, introducing more big guitar heavy synth to their typically poppy beats. Lead singer Yannis adds wider range to his infectious voice, building from melodic ballads to hard hitting crescendos which though perhaps more slow burning than previous indie anthems are undoubtedly more hard hitting. What went down explores the maturing of an alternative rock band moving away from high-energy indie ballads and into the darker and more aggressive world of rock and roll.

The Paper Kites, TWELVEFOUR:

album review

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The Paper Kites, TWELVEFOUR: ★★★1/2

The Melbourne five piece have returned with their second album Twelvefour which is based around the concept that creativity peaks between the wearisome hours of 12- 4 am. This can be heard at the heart of their indierock driven sound which attempts to add in a whimsical darkness to their traditionally lighter sound. Overall however the album falls flat, unable to present their sound in an entirely original or particularly effective way. However the tracks do mesh together in a way that is reminiscent of the long lonely driving scene presented in all indie and coming of age films. Track ‘bleed confusion’ is a standout resembling Father John Misty’s style, while tracks ‘i’m lying to you because I’m lost’ and opening single ‘electric indigo’ will also make you feel some feels (not all of them though).

Disclosure, CARACAL:

album review
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Disclosure, CARACAL ★★★1/2
In their second instalment the boys again deliver  on the catchy sounds and toe-tapping beats we have come to expect from the duo. Employing the infectious sounds of some of pop’s biggest names (yet ones who are still respected critically) they build on the industry of neo-house meets pop their first album catapulted them into. Some songs sound like any other club anthems lacking some of the ‘fire’ of settle and yet they’re redeemed by Lorde’s collaboration ‘magnets’ and the head bopping nature of ‘holding on’ featuring Gregory Porter. In the mode of ‘if its not broken why fix it?’ Caracal is familiar to Settle in its composition which is forgiven due its enjoyable nature.

My Own Pet Radio, GOODLUM:

album review

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My Own Pet Radio, GOODLUM ★★★ 3/4

Ball Park Music frontman Sam Cromack’s solo project My Own Pet Radio is an eclectic, conceptual and experimentally driven venture. Goodlum, is MOPR’s inaugural album and according to Cromack the result of flogging too much ‘Kid A’ as a teenager. The change of direction and experimentation which drove Radiohead’s critically divisive ‘Kid A’ is also apparent in MOPR’s conceptual album which attempts to create art rather than BPM’s traditionally catchy tunes. Though not attempting to be ‘hits’ many songs also do not quite reach the image of self reflexivity the album attempts to project. Cromack’s maturing is however apparent and the album sees him attempt to grapple with his life choices and his accept his resulting person. Such expressions of sincerity are present in opening single ‘no great mystery to me’ and following tune ‘goodlum’ which explore our own ability to limit ourselves all the while sounding like a beautiful mesh of Radiohead and Chetfaker (yes please!) .

Tame Impala, CURRENTS:

album review, music

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Tame Impala, CURRENTS:★★★★ 1/2

Kevi P; wordsmith, psychedelic producer & melodic genius. Tame’s second album currents is Kevin Parkers brainchild and follows an introverts attempts to enter society and his resulting loneliness and isolation from it. Currents feels like a break up album, with opening single ‘let it happen’ functioning as an ode to rejection and following sounds such as ‘eventually’ lamenting but accepting this loss. It is a psychedelic masterpiece which manages to artfully combine modern electronics with tunes reminiscent of the bygone era of the 60’s. As all good psychedelic tracks do the nearly 8 minute journey ‘let it happen’ and the luscious multi-tracked harmonies of ‘gossip’ provide an out of worldly and out of body experience.

‘Yeah I’ve heard of them…’

opinion

“Oh, ‘that band’ .. yeah I’m really into them”

We’ve all done it.

Whether its regarding a ‘positively life-changing‘ piece of art, a novel which is ‘so very poignant that it forces you to question your existence‘ or an album which ‘like totally blows your mind man‘ we’ve pretended to know it, often well, in order to seem “cool”.

It is an interesting trajectory that we transgress in our desire to be seen as “cool”, and one -it seems- that is entirely defined by who we surround ourselves with. I feel myself transition, in both language and presentation, depending simply upon the age group of the people I am in the company of. For example, at my Grandpa’s 80th just a few weeks ago I was the perfectly agreeable grand-daughter, one who loved study and pretended to have an understanding of the stock market in order to converse with the multitude of stock-brokers and accountants who regarded me. My aim was to impress, I wanted these 60-90 year olds to leave thinking how lovely, mature and un-teenagy I was. For what purpose? for acceptance. To feel comfortable with the image I projected and be interpreted by the group in terms of what they deemed as socially acceptable.

In comparison, after a few drinks at a social gathering with friends and peers I’ll be swearing like a solider and referring to Tony Abbott as an ‘Onion Eating Bigot’. You’ll also probably see me nodding emphatically as someone recites the works of a poet I’ve never heard of and calls them “transformative”. While surrounded by peers I will speak passionately about the “languid beauty” of foreign film and act as though I’ve heard of the obscure Swedish arthouse indie that just came out. Many times these lies are aspirational images we wish to perpetuate, I do, for example, have an interest in Foreign film but have never viewed Cinema Paradiso despite the fact I wish I had. The reason I may pretend at one house party to have listened to Bob Dylan’s entire works and at another to be familiar with the entire works of Saul Eslake’s economic vision for Australia is the same.

While I’ll be the first to decry my distain for anyone ‘fake’ (a sentiment that feels fairly ironic after what I just wrote) I do believe that there will always have to exist a certain component of ourselves which is fake. For all you Neysayers just try -and reflect a little here please- to tell me honestly that during a job interview or in a work environment you’ve never pretended to have a greater skill set or even knowledge base than you actually do. Tell me that you’ve never pretended to agree with your bosses perspective on Tolstoy’s War and Peace. That’s right you can’t, you wanted to be “cool” and informed didn’t you?.

In our bizarre and divergent job-sphere you could argue that every interaction we share can be seen as potential networking and that therefore the impression you wish to share is an agreeable and mutually affable one. This essentially means that we have commodified our daily interactions and used them as tools to gain access to certain environments which they would otherwise be denied. This is an idea that further develops into our representation of self through social media. From a business perspective social media can be your make or break, with most companies scanning your online presence before hiring you, the image you perpetuate has a huge impact. Further, the ability of your online presentation to be turned into a business in itself has had serious implications on the willingness of people to represent themselves in certain ways. I have admittedly, on multiple occasions, reconsidered posting a photo onto a social network, not because I want to avoid embarrassment (check out my instagram: nativecoast) but because it  hasn’t ‘fit’ with the way in which I wish to be perceived online. That is to say, it would reduce my cool factor.

With modern society dominated by the impacts of image and many relying on the impressions given off by both their virtual and real selves to gain careers one could argue that the little white lies we spill in order to be seen as “cool” make ‘good business sense’.

A media student with a blog? How original.

About this blog

Hello Pals,

I will be using and abusing this free  internet space to write- and occasionally rant- about areas of personal interest for the benefit of no-one in particular. This blog will make you laugh, as I have an overwhelming tendency to do dumb things and will happily write about them ; it might make you cry, as Australian politics are a bitter and soul sucking study; and it could make you bound around your bedroom in a euphoric fit of happiness as you see your own thoughts and opinions expressed and realise you aren’t alone in this big, bad world.*

Stay tuned friend and foe,

Lara

* Such experiences are limited and may be side effects resulting from intake of illicit substances / narcotics rather consumption of blogposts.