Maple Glider is the project of Australian singer songwriter Tori Zietsch, a recent signing to Partisan Records. It takes just one listen of ‘As Tradition’ to get drawn into the lush and creamy smooth vocals of Zietsch as she takes you on a journey through the reflections that flood (or in many instances, plague) your mind post-relationship breakdown. In recent interviews, Tori speaks about her religious upbringing in Melbourne and how it had an effect on her last relationship – something only adequately analyzed once she moved out of her native country. As someone who was also raised in a religious home and struggled to come to terms with that influence on my own interpersonal relationships, I find that my interpretation of her work cuts quite deeply. She writes – Love is just a word I have learned / I may use at my own expense. Immediately memories of my own willingness to feel, yet ineptitude at expression, wash over. For me, the melancholic piano is the tangible expression of the optimistic ache we can so often welcome before hastily seeking refuge from.
I was listening to a band called Oracle Sisters when I came across this band. Moon Panda is Maddy Myers and Gustav Moltke – a duo based in Denmark that set out to ‘launch you into the electric currents that govern deep space’. I’ll tell you what, I’d like to be launched into an electric current by Maddy and Gustav on a good day, let alone after having lived through 2020. It was a hard year people, I’m signing up for Danish deep space. I just hope they bring René Redzepi with us to cook intergalactic mushrooms on Mars.
So I met this guy named Sham at a music festival in Gloucestershire and he was both the nicest person I’d ever met and the most mysterious / flexible human being I’d ever seen. We’ve stayed friends and recently he added me to a Music Exchange collaborative playlist on Spotify. I noticed someone in particular, out of the 20 or so additions, that kept adding such good shit. Curiosity led me to her profile…which led me to a playlist she made…which led me to Callum Brown a.k.a Yore. According to Spotify “he’s been part of the East-London music/art scene for years & a member of Ulrika Spacek (UK) & Mint Field (MX).” Yore has brought together such a unique blend of collaborators and sounds to create a really compelling and enjoyable first release – one of those that you want to tell everyone you know about – so, here I go.
His self-titled debut album was released on December 4th via FLAT FIVE Records.
Some musicians just have it all going for them – the aesthetic, artistic direction, voice, lyricism, story and most notably – the nerve. It’s hard to be unique in 2021, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a year more influential on the universal search for refuge in creative expression. Hailing from Canberra, Owusu has expressed how the place he’s from has allowed him to ‘paint on a blank canvas’. It’s easy to be struck by his acute and matter-of-fact sense of awareness as he mentions the ‘vultures’ that reside within the industry in his recent NME interview. To truly ascertain the erosive strain this reality can have on a creative mind and still move forward in his quest to share his work is noble – but also something that fans can take for granted. I sincerely hope that Owusu consistently finds blank canvases outside of Canberra and that he protects – or perhaps, leans in, to his lust for the ‘other’; a frame of mind he categorizes as a kind of protest.
The Cool Greenhouse
If you’re paranoid about Alexa listening to every conversation you have, monitoring your heart rate and recommending oddly relevant supplements, then ‘Alexa!’ by The Cool Greenhouse will strike a humorous, albeit triggering chord. It’s tongue-in-cheek until it turns painfully relevant and pointed as a commentary on a little machine with the voice of a woman, far too reminiscent of Smart House. The band writes, “When you’re asked to play Girl Band, you play the Shangri-las / and when you’re asked to play us, you call the greenhouse suppliers / and you show a clear preference for the white middle class“. Fans of IDLES rejoice and behold lyrics fit for an intelligent fan base looking to bite into substance whilst head bobbing at a dive bar, trying to forget about their own Amazon dependencies.
Working Men’s Club
One of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing in 2020 was Working Men’s Club. *Enter seismic public health issue, the loss of thousands of music jobs (including my own), and the borderline annihilation of the live music industry here.* It takes one listen of a WMC track to be able to imagine it sonically filling vast space; music made for a transformative and borderline extraterrestrial trip. In this case – Mars is the north of England (Yorkshire to be exact) and your host is lead singer, Syd Minsky-Sargeant. If they’re blaring ‘Be My Guest’ up there, I’m out of here (don’t tell René and Moon Panda). Fans of Crack Cloud, Viagra Boys and the like will consume voraciously.
Drug Store Romeos
Hailing from Fleet, Hampshire, Drug Store Romeos have been making a name for themselves in and amongst the DIY-NME-Lamacq would love this set. One of the best parts of DSR is their aesthetic – a facet to the success of a young band that only gets more prevalent as the days wear on. It’s also proven to be what’s elevated them alongside and above a long line of talented groups coming from the UK in recent years. In and amongst the Porridge Radio, Sorry and PVA fans are those that love the intergalactic siren song, ‘Now You’re Moving’ – spun with a humming drum and woven with a hypnotizing and catchy pronunciation of the word superfluous. Trust me, you do wake up with humming it.