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Tomatrax

An independent online music magazine

Designer Mutts – Virtue Signals

This is the debut full length release from the self proclaimed hottest anti-folk bedroom pop duo to come from Porpoise Spit, Australia. You may listen to this and think “this sounds a lot like Royal Chant”! That isn’t a coincidence, the line up is basically the same as that of Royal Chant. So what’s the difference? Well while Royal Chant are a loud and raving garage rock band, this release shows off  the guys’ softer side. The tracks are in most parts acoustic, taking on a sound somewhere between Elliot Smith and Bob Dylan. The music still has the rough, raw, and gritty feel that has made Royal Chant stand out over the years, it’s just a bit softer and quieter.

A major highlight is the the catchy almost electo-pop sounds of ‘I don’t want to race you’ that opens the record. The sound bounces around playfully, while Mr Spence’s soft yet gravely vocals gives it a somewhat sinister edge. Especially with lyrics such as “I don’t want to chase you but you won’t stay still!”

Also on offer is a mellowed out and atmospheric re-working on Royal Chant’s thrashing rock tune ‘Bored awake’. Wait given this is listed as a different band does this count as a cover version? Or is it a re-work as it was sung by the same person? I don’t know! But either way you should listen to it as it is one of the more creative interpretations of a past song out there!

As to be expected, there are a lot of the elements of Royal Chant re-appearing here so if you like Royal Chant you will like this record and may well consider it part of the expanded catalogue. At the same time it offers a different feel, with a much more placid and atmospheric vibe! Either way it’s good so you should listen to it!

Plus you can listen to the whole album by clicking the play button below!

 

 

Check out Designer Mutts’ Facebook page to find out more!

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THE TWILIGHT SAD SIGN TO ROCK ACTION RECORDS & SHARE NEW SONG, ‘I/M NOT HERE [missing face]’

 

Off the back of the news of their recent signing to Rock Action Records, Glasgow’s The Twilight Sad have released a brand new song, ‘I/m Not Here [missing face]’.

It’s a driving, motorik return from the much-loved Scots, with wailing guitars and swirling synths circling around frontman James Graham’s repeated declarations of “I don’t want to be around you anymore.” Graham describes the track’s lyrical basis as being “about my ongoing battle with not liking myself, trying to be a good person but constantly feeling like I’m failing myself and everyone I care about.”

Exploring its inception, the band’s Andy MacFarlane jovially adds, “I was attempting to play ‘Ogives’ by Erik Satie, but I’m really shit at the piano so it didn’t happen, but I came up with the music using those chord shapes. So from my perspective, it’s a bad cover version of that piece of music.”

These autumn shows will follow on from appearances at both Barcelona and Porto’s Primavera festivals as well as Robert Smith‘s Meltdown festival and The Cure‘s BST day in London. Off the back of their extensive touring with The Cure, it’s a fairly quickfire return to the stage for The Twilight Sad, however they’ve never been the kind of band to do things by half measures. Speaking of the upcoming shows, MacFarlane says, “I’m really excited to start playing again. I’ve got the drive and I want us to get back out there and do it from a new perspective. We all enjoy playing, we need to rehearse these songs with a new drummer… but it’s all such uncharted territory, l think that’s why it’s exciting to me. I can’t tell exactly what’s going to happen. I like that chaotic side of it.”

The band’s signing to Rock Action – a home for so much rich, deserving music, particularly in the band’s native Scotland – feels like something of a homecoming for The Twilight Sad. Speaking of the union, Graham says, “To be able to say that we’re on that record label, to try and give something back for all the good faith they’ve had in us over the years. Mogwai took us on tour early on, introduced us to Robert [Smith]. They’ve been a through line for us and I’m excited to be a part of that label.”  

Top 10 French Albums

 

The FIFA World Cup has come to an end with France being crowned World Champions! To mark the occasions we have compiled the Top 10 French albums of all time. On with the list, and like any good World Cup Football game, let the controversy begin!

Number Ten

Camille – Le Fil

Number Nine

M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

Number Eight

Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Number Seven

Alain Bashung – Fantaisie militaire

Number Six

Serge Gainsbourg – L’Homme à tête de chou

Number Five

Air – Moon Safari

Number Four

Alcest – Les Voyages de l’Âme

Number Three

Les Discrets – Septembre et Ses Dernières Pensées

Number Two

Daft Punk – Homework

Number One

Magma – Kobaïa

Interview with Clea

Brisbane artist Clea today serves up another dose of ethereal dream pop in new single ‘Cool Days’. The track is lifted from Clea’s forthcoming debut album, due out later this year. Accompanying the track is a stunning visual shot on 16mm film, which Clea had a
strong hand in bringing to life. In support of the release, Clea will be embarking on an east coast tour, headlining shows in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Tomatrax caught up with Clea to ask a few questions.

What inspired you to become a musician?
I was madly in love with photography, film and even obsessed with athletics at a young age, music was always in the background, a way of desensitizing from the world but was never the main focus. I think that’s where I developed my introspective style, it was not until I was 17 years old that I started performing gigs other than in my bedroom. As the gigs frequented my passion for music bloomed and surely enough became my ultimate creative output.

When did you write your first song?
When I was in grade 4. I can still remember it to this day. It was about a boy who was too cool for school and yet he wouldn’t stop flirting with me haha.

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Cool Days’?
The idea was inspired by the shapes and colours that can be found in our everyday surroundings. Jen, the director and I created a Pinterest board of amazing photographs that helped crystalize our desired visual representation of the song. We resonated with the images that had strong subjects and compositions but were set in ordinary settings. I love transforming the simple into the sublime.

You’ve said how ‘Cool Days’ is a song about “appreciating the pleasures within the mundane of day-to-day life”, do you find this a challenging thing to achieve day-to-day?
Absolutely. I practice everyday to be in a frame of mind and place where I can enjoy the full journey. I can’t rely on receiving my satisfactions purely from the large and exciting experiences, otherwise I’ll be waiting and longing for a large portion of my life.

You play a big part in putting together your videos for your music, when writing do you have an idea on how the visuals to the song should look?
Not necessarily, for me the writing always comes first, which then informs the visuals. When I formulate a music clip idea I listen to the song many times then allow my body to move till it feels right, I then try and capture ideas from those movements.

You have a debut LP coming out, how will the LP compare with your previous work?
There will be similar quirks and chimes to previous work but ultimately it will differ in many ways, mainly because I feel I have grown and evolved as a musician since, so naturally my music will follow.

What will the album be titled?
Can’t say just yet! I’ll give you a hint…’Red’ (nothing to do with T-Swift)


Was it hard to pick what made it onto the album?
It was surprisingly easy…when you listen to songs over and over a natural pattern of what fits and what doesn’t seems to become obvious.

 You’ll be touring in support of your latest single, what can fans expect from your show?
Synchronised dance moves, 110% heart on the line and of course shinny pants.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
Just after the songs/albums completion it’s all I can listen to! A bit vain I know…haha. But once the songs are released I rarely even give them a spin.

What other music do you listen to?
At the moment I’m listening to Alvvays, Japanese Breakfast, Grizzly Bear, Air and as always The Beatles.

What do you have planned once the album is released?
The plan is to get right back to it and make another album! Of course I also intend to play as many shows as humanly possible and promote the album like there’s no tomorrow.

 

CLEA’S ‘COOL DAYS’ TOUR
Fri 3rd Aug – Waywards, Sydney
Sat 4th Aug – Workers Club, Melbourne
Fri 10th Aug – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

Check out Clea’s website to find out more!

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