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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Discoverer 101: new indie findings

Our 101 post in our discoverer series is a special one: another trip "down under", but this time to Melbourne, Australia, where three exciting bands are ready to blow you away!

The Zebras. Pop veterans that started their career in Brisbane in 2001 when Jeremy Cole, Edwina Ewins, Matt Jones and Leon Dufficy made the move from Cairns and shoegaze, quickly supporting bands like Lambchop and The Shins, a most promising fact fuelled by the airwaves love of first single 'Car of Idiots'. In 2004 arrived their eponymous debut album on Lost and Lonesome, with sophomore LP 'Worry a Lot' coming in 2007, to much of acclaim from fans and critics. But then came frustration with Brisbane's pop scene, which provoked the group's disband. Although there was an EP in 2008, 'New Ways of Risking Our Lives' with Cole and Ewins introduced assembling a new line-up, The Zebras got in some sort of hibernation... until now, with the arrival of flamboyant new album 'Siesta', out since June on Jigsaw Records and Lost and Lonesome. POP in big capital letters, sumptuous, jangling, endearing, sun-soaked, with Edwina Ewins melting hearts vocals. Serious contender for the best-of-the-year albums lists...

Twerps. Formed in late 2008, this quartet were already supporting big names like Deerhunter, The Bats, Black Lips, Yo La Tengo and Thee Oh Sees within a few months of their first show. Their debut EP, 'Good Advice', arrived on Chapter Music a year later in late 2009 (also released on cassette at US by Night People label). Hype became a fact when Uncut magazine called them “best new band in Australia”, fostered in 2011 when they released single 'She Didn't Know' and 'Black Eyes', followed by self-titled debut album co-released by Chapter Music and Underwater Peoples. A new single, 'Work It Out/He's In Stock', and a tour with Real Estate came in 2012. Now, after a line-up change on drums, Twerps return to action with eight song EP 'Underlay', out this August on Chapter Music and Merge Records. Immediate pop, playful and unaffected. Lazy voices, crystalline guitars, killer melodies, lo-fi scent... Honouring their own tradition (hard not to hear echoes from The Bats or The Clean) while giving us an irresistible dose of immaculate guitar-pop.

Lowtide. Although technically, they began in 2008 as Three Month Sunset, built around the solo workings of Gabriel Lewis, the band's rebirth as Lowtide in 2010 was more than just a name change, becoming a full and expansive sounding quartet. That same year the group released debut EP 'You Are My Good Light'. Shows with A Place To Bury Strangers and Festivals with names like Caribou, My Disco and Toro Y Moi followed. 2011 seem the band releasing a two-track single entitled 'Underneath Tonight' on Departed Sounds, with more shows alongside bands such as Royal Baths, The Laurels or Beaches. On 2012 and 2013 Lowtide focused on playing and preparing their self-titled first album, which was anticipated this May by the mind-blowing single 'Blue Movie', and its out since middle July on Lost and Lonesome. Somewhere in between the lovely Ride and celestial Slowdive (yes, talking big here), Lowtide have created and extraordinary record, full of reverb and dreamy layered guitars, air-suspended vocals and lush textures. A dreampop classic in 2014.

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