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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Discoverer 81: new indie findings

New year, new discoveries! And to make a flamboyant start, we're heading to Oceania with three bombastic findings. Follow us in this music trip!

Courtney Barnett. Hailing from Melbourne, this singer-songwriter and guitarist started her own label, Milk! Records, in 2012, releasing her debut EP "I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris" that April achieving immediate praise in Australia. A follow-up EP, "How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose", arrived in October 2013, quickly packed together into a full-length entitled "The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas", which propelled the buzz about Barnett worldwide. Folk-pop with GREAT LYRICS (yes capital letters) sung in deadpan style, 60s-70s sunny vibes and loose melodies. You don't even know me dear Courtney, but I clearly see you're going to be "soundtracking" my life quite a bit. Thanks for that.
The Native Cats. South to Hobart, Tasmania, to meet Julian Teakle and Peter Escott, a duo active since 2007. Debut LP "Always On" came out in February 2009, and a year later the 7" single "Catspaw / Lemon Juice". Sophomore album "Process Praise" kept the work pace in 2011, with latest adventures to date being a split 7" with UV Race and third LP "Dallas" in 2012 and this past summer respectively. Self-defined as electronic pub rock, they recall early New Order, or the gloomiest moments of The Fall using a Nintedo. A razorblade bass, toy electronics and incisive, anxious words. 21st century post-punk meets excitement.

The Prophet Hens. Couldn't be any other way: we end our trip in Dunedin, New Zealand, this time to meet a lovely four-piece, formed in 2012, when songwriter and guitarist Karl Bray stayed at home recovering from a serious injury. He began writing songs with local musician John White, and an album, finally entitled “Popular People Do Popular People”, took form before the band shaped into its actual quartet form. Released on (of course) Fishrider Records past August, the LP is pure jangle gold, with Karl's and Penelope Esplin's harmonies shining all over, recalling Flying Nun's tradition, but also UK's indiepop classics, full of melodic hooks and well crafted tunes. Another gem from NZ!

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