Try the Pie
Try The Pie is Bean Tupou’s labor of love. With the highly regarded Domestication under her belt Tupou has released – Rest – a collection of songs from 2005 – 2008. The 13 self-recorded tracks allow listeners to partake in Tupou’s music at the embryonic level. The tunes are stripped down to just her voice and a guitar as she sings about things that are on her mind. The songs on Rest weave in and out of relationship issues, love and living life with Tupou using hot days, trains and bunkbeds as metaphors. The raw sound lends to the frailty of this collection of songs. They are imperfect just like life. Tupou’s voice is at the forefront of this album baring its naked soul for all to judge and it is her wispy vocals that give each track its strength. Try The Pie demonstrates that a catchy melody and strong lyrics make a great song. Big productions have their place, luckily for listeners it is not on this record.
Antlered Aunt Lord
The debut record from Antlered Aunt Lord – Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and On Fire) – is a wild trip through the mind of Jesse Stinnard (Tunnabunny). The record suffers from multiple personality disorder as Stinnard gives us songs that range from brilliance to what the hell was that. The tracks “Monopilot” and “Questions From Our Publicist” utilize catchy pop melodies and jangly guitars allowing Stinnard’s vocals to flow freely over this incredible soundscape into listener’s ears. Stinnard refuses to be safe and many times wanders into an area that walks the thin line between noise and music. A wall of noise rushes from the speakers on “Abandoned Car”, “Classic Nu New Uncomfortable Bumblebee Dub” is a weird jazz infused tune and “Sciatica” is a chunky punk infused track the rattles the brain. It is this inconsistency in Antlered Aunt Lord’s tunes that makes this different and worth listening to. With each listen something different is discovered as Stinnard mixes a plethora of instruments, sounds and noises throughout the album. The 19 songs keep listeners wondering what comes next as they progress through each track. Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and On Fire) draws comparisons to the eclectic albums by Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices). There is no set pattern nor plan to the music it is just there to enjoy.
Consisting of Rose Berlin, Dean Garcia and a group of collaborators that could take all day to list make up SPC ECO. In 2015 SPC ECO released Dark Matter, a collection of esoteric music built around haunting melodies, synthesized sounds and Berlin’s soothing vocals. Listeners are sucked into SPC ECO’s soundscape on a journey that seems to slow down time. Songs such as “Creep In The Shadows”, “Under My Skin” and “Breathe” are beautiful demonstrations in music showing how delicate it can be. With “The Whole World Shines” and “Let It Always Be” things get a bit more experimental. The music has an edge but Berlin’s vocals keep it from careening out of control. Dark Matter is an album that requires a bit of investment from the listeners. The traditional song structure is not there but Berlin’s & Garcia’s ability to stray from the musical norm is what makes this worth the listen.