All the Rage no. 78, March 30, 2020: Isolation – Shut In

Sixty minutes of the best in left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond to get your through your self isolation and social distancing.

This week, a couple of timely self-isolation tunes: a Joy Division cover from YACHT and the eerily timely Shut-In from Nova Scotia’s Beauts. Also! Transcendent punk from Welland’s Dboy, loundness from UZI and Gutter Girls, Ottawa’s Surrender w/ some tasty 80s synthpop, new Pet Shop Boys (fact: the U1 is a party train), Sparks and Donny Benét. Also, Danko Jones takes us up the mountain.

The show:

The setlist:

YACHT
Isolation – Single

Pet Shop Boys
Will-o-the-wisp

Willaris. K
DETACH

Surrender
A Lifetime Away

Australia
Physical!

Tanaya Harper
Evan Keele
triple j Unearthed Embedded Player

Corridor
Topographe

Heart Beach
Elastic

UZI
Competencia

Dboy
Scavengers of Luv

Gutter Girls
The Bullet

Wares
Surrender into Waiting Arms

Sparks
I’m Toast

Donny Benét
Girl of My Dreams

Beauts
Shut In

Danko Jones
Mountain (Live)

All the Rage no. 77, March 22, 2020: Anthropocene Dream

As always, the best in new and indie music from Canada, Australia and beyond. There’s no better way to enjoy your social isolation, right?

On the show: mellow chillness from Kashka and Molly Drag, tasty loudness from Montreal’s Double Date with Death, delicious power pop from NOBRO and Bloods, poppy confections from U.S. Girls and Hello Seahorse!, Heart Beach with a side dish of homesickness, a spiky punk punch from Cable Ties and Rata Negra.

I really need to get something to eat.

The show:

The setlist:

KASHKA
It’s Winter Now

NOBRO
Marianna

Double Date with Death
La princesse de l’au-delà (feat. Laurence Gauthier-Brown)

OPT/out
Holocene

Cable Ties
Sandcastles

Rata Negra
¿Qué Tendrá?

Bloods
U & M E

Spectres
Provincial Wake

U.S. Girls
Overtime (feat. James Baley & Jake Clemons)

Hello Seahorse!
Gratitud

Funeral Lakes
Anthropocene Dream

Victories at Sea
Ice Data Centre

Art d’Ecco
I’ll Never Give You Up

Diamondtown
The Voice

VIM
Waiting

Crystal Eyes
Wishes

Heart Beach
Together

Go Get Mum
Moving Day

Molly Drag
Walking Out

 

All the Rage no. 74: Best tuneage of 2019

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s list time! First up, my 30 favourite left-field pop songs from Australia, Canada and beyond. Enjoy.

30. BBQT
Flinch

Delightfully bouncy guitar pop from Montreal. Not a bad way to kick off at top 30 list.

29. DZ Deathrays
Shred for Summer

A perfectly named song from this Brisebane trio. Definite Jane’s Addiction vibe going on here.

28. Moody Beach
Slave

Sydney sultriness.

27. Miesha & the Spanks
The Girls are OK

In a world of microgenres, it’s nice to know that straight-ahead rock and roll, in this case courtesy of this fine Calgary outfit, is still a glorious thing.

26. Booji Boys
New Repacement

Ditto for punk rock. No-frills, unadorned noisy perfection, straight out of Halifax.

25. The Vovos
Venus

This weird and wonderful tune, from Melbourne’s The Vovos, is the epitome of left-field pop. Probably the most purely delightful song on this entire list

24. Ausmuteants
Forever Cops

Melbourne’s Ausmuteants nail punk’s proud tradition of standing up to unjust authority. “Hands up; we’ll still shoot.” A harrowing glimpse of the nasty side of 2019.

23. Nooky
Blackfellas

A harrowing, desperate cover of a 2009 Steel Warriors song from this Yuri man from New South Wales’ South Coast, who also happens to be one of Australia’s most exciting rappers.

22. IV League
Comedown Sensation

Yet another soaring pop anthem from a Melbourne group that over the course of only a few songs has demonstrated an uncanny knack for soaring pop anthems.

21. Heart Attack Kids
Do What You Do

Two guys from London, Ontario, who know how to bring the noise, with a detonating sound you can hear from space.

20. The Double Happiness
No Place Nundah

A nostalgia-washed homage to a backwater town from this Brisbane band. I kind of love this song.

19. Quivers
You’re Not Always On My Mind

Exhibit A for the theory, which I am starting right now, that Hobart’s Quivers are time travellers from the late 1980s. A mellow tune that has classic Dad Rock written all over it.

18. Tram Cops
California Way

Jittery, wistful lo-fi goodness from a forward-looking Melbourne outfit.

17. Big Mike & Gianni La Bamba
Bad Boys (Single Edit)

Seeing Big Mike & Gianni La Bamba open for Donny Benét (twice!) was one of the highlights of my year in Germany. Big Mike is a hulking, muscled blond dude from Cologne who looks like he’s either just come from or is going to the gym. He raps (in German) about working out and partying – he’s basically a Teutonic Andrew WK. And his music, courtesy of Mr. La Bamba, is a delightful throwback to hard-edged 80s dance music. One highlight of their live show (other than the very fit, shirtless men that seem to comprise 50% of their audience) is a rap that’s done to the tune of the Hall and Oates’ hit “Out of Touch” that kind of sneaks up on you (“Is… is he rapping in German to a Hall and Oates song?”) This song isn’t that one, but as a celebration of Kolsch Bad Boys, it’s almost as awesome (in the 80s sense of the word).

16. Ultra Magnus
Duck

Nice heaviness and great flow from this Toronto rapper. Yes, please!

15. Jackie
New at Drugs

Joyous power-pop from Toronto’s Jackie. I’m pretty sure I’ve never before heard a song about a mom (your mom) trying drugs for the first time. Jackie packs a lifetime of history and a staggering amount empathy into three minutes.

Fuck, what a great pop song.

14. Dead Little Penny
Honeycomb

Curve-y shoegaze from Auckland. Mmmmmmmm…..

13. Hello Seahorse!
Mujer

I’ve been a fan of Hello Seahorse! from the moment I saw them open for The Killers in Mexico City in 2009. Ten years later, they’re still delivering phenomenal tuneage, their secret weapon being Lo Blondo (Denise Gutierrez), who has one of the distinctive voices in all popular music – any language, any genre. Mujer, their latest, continues the winning streak.

12. Gold Fields
Glow

Ballarat heroes return with some dancey goodness that showcases Gold Fields’ growth as a band.

11. The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (The Lonely Island)
Bikini Babe Workout

Few things brought me more joy in 2019 than The Lonely Island’s 30-minute ode to the Oakland A’s steroid addled heroes. There is no reason why The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience should exist – I’m pretty sure no one was clamouring for a 30-minute set of raps about/by Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire, but the world is a better place for its existence. It’s only a matter of time before The Lonely Island pull and Parker and Stone and stage a Broadway musical, right? Please say yes.

10. Donny Benét
Second Dinner

An 80s disco-style ode to the joys of four square meals a day, this is vintage Benét.

9. Smaller Hearts
Circuitry

The standout song from these Haligonians’ strong second album. Picture a warm Pet Shop Boys, or an optimistic Depeche Mode. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

8. Tropical Fuck Storm
The Planet of Straw Men

Angry, righteous, off-kilter and noisy, with the best male-female vocal tradeoffs in the business, Tropical Fuck Storm is the 2019 band we both need and deserve.

7. Pale Lips
You’re A Doll

Another highlight of a year in Germany: Seeing Pale Lips play a small room in Münster in February, at a time when I was pretty much ready to head home but still had months to go. Tight, poppy, 60s-style rock and roll that I could listen to until the sun goes out.

6. Heart Beach
Cliffhanger

Hobart’s (now Footscray) Heart Beach somehow find another gear. Cliffhanger injects an already fully formed sound (deliberate drums backing Yo La Tengo-style dissonance) with an epic level of soulfulness courtesy of Claire McCarthy plaintive vocals. A song made for movies – you know the scene. There’s something special about this band.

5. JuliaWhy?
Starman

Sydney’s (now London, UK) JuliaWhy? take the next step. Muscular dreampop. Their new album is excellent. I can’t wait to see where they go next.

4. Sampa the Great
Final Form

“Young veteran; new classic.” Long may she rule.

3. Sahara Beck
I Haven’t Done a Thing Today
triple j Unearthed Embedded Player

Sahara Beck, the Brisbane artist who’s been recording since she was what, 15? (my goodness), gifts us with a wonderfully upbeat, Killers-esque tune in all the best ways. One of my 2019 go-to mood-lifters.

2. Sunscreen
High Over Love

Pure, joyous guitar pop from a Sydney four-piece. Seriously – just go listen to it. I’m running out of adjectives.

1. Calmly
Pet Tornado

This Perth four-piece (née Childsaint) has finally released their first album (huzzah!), and it doesn’t disappoint. Eight songs of heartbreak, regret, reseignation and resolve, capped by this quietly haunting acoustic tune. Beauty in despair.

All the Rage, no. 64, April 15, 2019: Still biweeklyish, honest!

As (almost) always, your biweekly(ish) hit of the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. It’s been busy. True biweekly service to resume once I’m back from Australia next month.

This week: I think this mix turned out particularly well. Then again, that’s easy when you Tropical Fuck Storm, The Sex Geckos and Greys providing the noise, Bronswick, Skinnyfish Soundsystem and Errhun providing the beats, and JuliaWhy?, Skydeck, and Rey Pila providing the indie rock cred. And that’s just scraping the surface of this 18-song smorgasbord. Dig in!

Your setlist:

The Sex Geckos
Black Dots

Ausmuteants
Forever Cops

Sauna
Felt

Tropical Fuck Storm
The Planet of Straw Men

Greys
These Things Happen

Errunhrd
Atbp2

Skinnyfish Sound System
Smoking Ceremony (feat. B2M, Birdz & Tasman Keith)
triple j Unearthed Embedded Player

Slumber
Salty

Skydeck
Solid State

Raave Tapes
Stabs
triple j Unearthed Embedded Player

Australia
Get My Shit Together

Rey Pila
Flames

JuliaWhy?
Starman

Bronswick
La dérape

Scary Bear Soundtrack
Investment Plan

Polycool
Polywood

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete
Lineas En Hojas

Hannah Georgas
No Need to Argue (feat. Lucius)

 

All the Rage no. 60 – January 29, 2019: A nice, round number

Show 60! Second show of 2019! As always, the best in new left-field pop from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Triple J Hottest 100 heroes Hilltop Hoods and Hockey Dad! The heartbreakingly beautiful Ripe Music (ripemusic.com.au) #1 song of 2018, from Laura Jean! Invigorating noise from Gloin, Babyfats and Vintage Corp! And so, so much more.

Yer setlist:

Jeepz, Tune.In[Tro]

Gloin, Cha Cha

Omar Musa, Assimilate (feat. Tasman Keith)

FM Attack, Frozen (feat. Mnynms)

FLUIR, Feeling for You
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7588466

Lastlings, Stellar

Scary Bear Soundtrack, pyongyang

EWAH, Black Horse

Nice Biscuit, Captain
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/6832751

Actors, L’appel du vide

Vintage Corp, Guarantees

Babyfats, AAH! AAH!

Hilltop Hoods, Leave Me Lonely
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/yKifJ4Q5ph0

Hockey Dad, Join the Club

Soft Science, I Don’t Know Why I Love You

Laura Jean, Girls on the TV

All the Rage no. 53 – September 15, 2018: Hello, Duisburg!

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: I’ve relocated to Duisburg, Germany. 45 minutes from Cologne. Home to the world’s largest inland port. The cycling is fantastic. I’ve managed to tear myself away from it to gift you 52 minutes or so of tasty tuneage, from the thrilling experimentalism of Petra Glynt to the sombre beauty of Molly Drag (lots of Montrealers on the show this week). And so much more.

Yer tracklist:

Petra Glynt
Surveillance

U2
The Blackout
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/AWeYqbUzyF0

Marie Davidson
So Right

Erthlings
Bridges

White Blanks
I Don’t Wanna (Die)
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7455706

Noughts
Skew

Straight Arrows
Out and Down

La URSS
Cristal

Danny Michel
Purgatory Cove

Molly Drag
Last Words

FRTIZ
Summer Holiday

Plum
Cool 2 Start
https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/3732961

Black Springs
Slinky Day

Choses Sauvages
Damoclès

All the Rage no. 52 – August 30, 2018: Goodbye to the Garden City

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: My last show in Canada before crossing the ocean … to Germany! And what better way to mark the occasion than with JuliaWhy?’s garagey sensibility, Nun’s ominous electronic foreboding, Babygirl’s dreampop, Würst Nürse’s punkiness, and so much more.

Your setlist:

Sahara Beck
Here We Go Again
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5s2JcXMkuhkEF8MYeWFrW1

JuliaWhy?
Pocket

Loose Tooth
All the Colours Gone

Phantastic Ferniture
Uncomfortable Teenager

Brian Tamaki and the Kool-Aid Kids
Tunnel Vision

Baby Cages
All U Want

Leathers
Day for Night

Youngblood
Dark Place
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/1hMoML8Dc9H1KuZODcUb2L

Sam Taylor-Wood & Pet Shop Boys
I’m In Love With a German Film Star (Radio Edit)
https://embed.music.apple.com/ca/album/im-in-love-with-a-german-filmstar-radio-edit-single/293317675

Nun
Pick Up the Phone

Heathers
Black Moon

Babygirl
Over in No Time

Primo!
A City Stair

Würst Nürse
Hot Doctor

Briggs
Here (feat. Caiti Baker)

All the Rage no. 51 – August 23, 2018: I’m going nowhere

Back from vacation with another edition of your biweekly(ish) source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Some mellowness, some hip hop, some punk-inflected pop from Nooky, Tropical Fuck Storm, Billy Moon, Fog Lake, Okin Osan and others. And! The triumphant return of ATR favourite Hello Seahorse!

Your setlist:

Nooky
Black Future

Tropical Fuck Storm
Stayin’ Alive

Metric
Dark Saturday
https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/0xJRUArUCDBb0tGwo1Std2

Petra Glynt
New Growth

Dilly Dally
I Feel Free

Billy Moon
Dingus
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/Ol_9QyNRL3g?rel=0

Slowfish
Stringy Bits

Exposure
Erase

Squaring Ciricles
Movement

A Lily
Paint Me With Your Blood Again

Fog Lake
talk

Hello Seahorse!
Son

Okin Osan
I Wanna Be That Girl

All the Rage no. 49 – June 23, 2018: Feel-good hits of the year

Your biweekly source of the best left-field pop/rock/punk/dance from Canada, Australia and beyond. This week: Good music equals good mood. The proof is streaming below.

Your setlist:

Shirley & the Pyrmaids, One Life

Expanda Fuzz, Check Your Watch

Moaning Lisa, Good

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7137071

VOIID, Not For You

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7135436

White Blanks, Go Right Now

Georgia June, Pressure

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/6529526

Muncie Girls, Picture of Health

Wax Mannequin, Boring

Fritz, Biggest Fool in the World

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/embed/7119326

Loose Tooth, Keep Up

Seaside, Golden Girl

Stars, One Day Left

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xXW1BB6N1gg?rel=0

Single Tear, in your arms, in my arms

Chromeo, Room Service

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/B-_xw6lf9T8?rel=0

All the Rage no. 41, Jan. 29, 2018: Batting cleanup

Revisiting the bumper crop of great 2017 tunes I missed the first time round, and a few new tracks from 2018.

Your setlist:

Tim & the Boys
Hey

Buzz Kill
Into the Void

US Girls
Pearly Gates
https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/k9PLXHDEUFE?rel=0

Paupière
Défunte Lune de Miel

Spiral Perm
24 Sevem

Milk & Bone
Nevermore

DEAFCULT
Lemonade Beauty

Tropic Harbour
Can’t Pretend

Totally Mild
Today Tonight

The Plastic Fangs
Never Liked That Dog

Lizard Queen
Nightmare

The Buoys
Liar Liar

Kaptur
Spirit

Hideous Towns
Dogma

Turnover
Curiosity

Champion Lawnmower
Mean Fast One