We've rounded up Adelaide's best new music for the month of March, including Travis Cook, SO.Crates, Pool Toy and Anya Anastasia.
Adelaide’s best new music
ELECTRIC FIELDS — ‘CATASTROPHE’
At the most recent WOMADelaide festival, I told my Melbourne friends I had to see Electric Fields perform. When they asked “who are Electric Fields?” I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. Our interstate guests not knowing these treasures is a catastrophe. Their new song is everything but.
Although ‘Catastrophe’ shimmers in upbeat electro-pop and silky synthesisers, Zaachariaha Fielding’s multilingual (Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and English) lyrics speak to tragedy. “Will I wake up one day to something,” he croons, “if only I can rewrite history”. This recently released track is a distillation of everything the explosive pair do so well: tackling difficult feelings on the dancefloor. (AS)
TRAVIS COOK – ‘HELL_2022’
CityMag’s tenured cover star Travis Cook (also one half of Collarbones) recently released a frenetic, experimental heater on New Weird Australia’s Collapse Theories compilation mixtape and we’re here for it. As the song ‘hell_2022’ slowly builds in a textural crescendo – with what sounds like never-ending fire alarms, rapid-fire glitch samples and perennial piano keys – you’re taken on a metaphysical journey. Whether that’s to the end of the night or the afterlife is up to you. (AS)
St Morris Sinners — ‘Gentrification Blues’
The title of St Morris Sinners’ sophomore long-player, Zbilanc, is the Maltese word for ‘imbalance’. One of the key interpretations of this title is social inequality, as evidenced in ‘Gentrification Blues’.
Above a pulsing rhythm section and quietly menacing guitar interludes, singer Stephen Johnson excoriates the pipeline of privilege that delivers wealthy Adelaidean youth from their parents’ “grand estates” in the eastern suburbs to a period of performative ockerism, playing in bands and living in the inner west (“With footy shorts, mullets / We sang about the outback / we love that song ‘Working Class Man’ / it really suits our expensive singlet tags”), only to return to the warm embrace of upper-classdom – hitching back onto their parents’ bank accounts, opening a bar in an up-and-coming suburb and willingly displacing the poor. An Adelaide Anthem if ever there was one. Don your crispest Hard Yakkas and sing along at the Zbilanc launch show at Nexus Arts on 8 April. (JVE)
LOOPOLE — ‘RIVERBOAT GAMBLER’
‘Riverboat Gambler’ is a cocktail of grunge, psychedelic rock and fuzzy blues in a fishbowl glass. And there’s something about it that reels you in. This latest single by local four-piece band Loopole comes with a crunchy, distorted guitar riff and hoarse singing over thumping drums and a galloping bass guitar. As the almost surf-rock song progresses, we try to decipher the lyrics. But maybe the quartet has made them hard-to-hear on purpose. Less thinking and more headbanging. (AS)
Blind Coyote — ‘Truth’
Some days you need an easy-listening indie tune to do nothing more than wash over you. Blind Coyote’s ‘Truth’ is just such a track, complete with multi-tracked ‘oo-la-la-la’ backing vocals. It asks little of the listener but offers inner calm in return for your attention.
If you do want a bit more drama, the accompanying video, directed by Harry Kellaway, sees the band become whistlebowers in possession of a tape cassette containing ‘the truth’. Despite the dogged persistence of a suit-and-tie villain, the team reaches the Corny Point Lighthouse in the Yorke Peninsula and broadcasts ‘the truth’, awakening all those tuned to the lighthouse’s frequency. Well done, guys. (JVE)
Infinities — ‘Rover’
With every Infinities single, deeper we dive into our fandom. The last time we wrote about the rapper and producer, for her single ‘Lmk’, we were impressed by the forward-propelling, pop-inflected production. In her latest single, ‘Rover’, Infinities (alter-ego of label-owner Bianca Nilsson) delivers a low-grade anxiety attack about a fading love in the form of stream-of-consciousness self-talk. (JVE)
SO.CRATES — ‘STARS’
In the (short) history of CityMag churning out its best new music of the month column, SO.Crates have never not made it on the list. ‘Stars’, the latest single from the neo-soul, jazz-infused, hip-hop brainchildren, is no exception. Like slipping into a warm bath, the song is a delightful deluge of languid loops, bright horns and smooth vocals of Adelaide-based virtuoso Cazeaux O.S.L.O (real name Dominic Wagner).
But it’s not just about sonics; Cazeaux O.S.L.O lyrically explores spirituality, the universe and our place within it. But each listen is like a babushka doll. When you hit ‘replay’ it unearths a totally new meaning to the same lyrics – pushing you further out of gravity and establishing a concrete narrative. (AS)
SOKEL –‘MY STORY’
It’s no secret. We’re Sokel stans. CityMag was there when (real-name) Jimmy Jamal Okello was announced to participate in the WOMAD x NSS mentorship program. We also interviewed the nascent Uganda-born talent about why he’s the self-anointed king of Adelaide dancehall – a genre of music popular around the world but missing from local dancefloors.
There’s a song on his latest EP and most complete body of work, 007, called ‘My story’ which tugs on the heartstrings and deserves another mention. Produced by long-time (and international) collaborator JP Backhouse, the track explores how we’re the sum of our stories. Over an Afro-beat bop and pitch-shifted auto-tuned singing, Sokel alludes to his past (and emblematically all of us) by waxing lyrical: “Everyone wants to be a big deal no / but they don’t know what we did to make it there”. (AS)
Anya Anastasia — ‘Spinning Heads’
‘Spinning Heads’ is only the second single from multi-disciplinary performer Anya Anastasia, released ahead of her upcoming debut EP, Dissenter, but there is a fullness to the sound that speaks to her long history as an artist. ‘Spinning Heads’ is lusciously layered, with a bed of searching keys and barely-there drums giving the space to the slowly building vocals, which, by the chorus, open up like a grassy clearing appearing in the middle of a dense forest. (JVE)
The 745 — ‘Goth Lock’
Either you were a goth kid, or you were a kid unsettled by the presence of goth kids. The 745’s ‘Goth Lock’ doesn’t seem to be a celebration of the sub-culture, and the song’s video has a member of the band haunted by a dream of being chased down by a goth wielding a BioPak disposable knife, so we’re going to put them in the latter category.
Opening with a sample from a 1993 episode of Oprah, ‘Goth Lock’ is a tidy, sub-two-minute piece of likely-lad surf punk, which is becoming the defining sound of Adelaide’s Mid Coast. So dedicated are The 745 to the locale, they’ve named themselves after the Adelaide Metro’s Seaford Circuit Anti-clockwise Loop, which ferries rabble-rousing coastal youths (and goths, probably) from Noarlunga’s Beach Road to Seaford’s Dalkeith Road and back again. (JVE)
POOL TOY – ‘HONEY’
Apparently, the jangly, self-described ‘soccer rock’ group Pool Toy conceived their latest single ‘Honey’ in a mere 20 minutes. Our conclusion is it’s very good. A bi-product of producing a banger so quickly is the coastal five-piece (possibly part of the aforementioned Adelaide Mid Coast) are drumming up a reputation for making solid singles. Their prior release ‘Flat Earth Society’ was just as fun and lo-fi and went live only a month ago, in February.
This song however goes a little deeper. The band are maintaining their soaring guitars and youth, but have elevated their tongue-in-cheek attitude. They’re exploring ennui in a sardonic and dryly sung way, as exhibited in lyrics such as: “I’ve got no money but I’ve got the time / Grounded in honey just get to the hive”. (AS)
Discover more of the city’s best sounds here.