Who we listened to and loved in May.

We've been getting a lot of artist submissions, so we thought we'd compile a list of our favourites each month. 

Here's our best-of list for May.

Reviews by Parlour's favourite new intern, Christian Pisasale.

Artist: A Whale Called Phoenix
Track: Yo’de Lady

The thinkers and the drinkers are who you’re making company with tonight. You’re handed a half empty bottle of some dark spirit with the label ripped off. You don’t normally drink spirits. You certainly don’t normally drink them straight from the bottle. But tonight’s different. You look around. When did everyone stop talking? Everyone seems to be sharing the same melancholically fixed gaze. Their eyes are open but they’re somewhere far away. 

AWCP’s track “Yo’de Lady” won’t give you a complete gauge on this raw yet melodically refined band’s entire catalogue but it’s a pretty great introduction. Put it on right now. It’s a saloon slow burner. Don’t expect an affront on your senses. AWCP seem to prefer a minimal approach to layering their music, an approach other band’s could definitely learn from. Each melody and harmony carefully chosen to avoid convoluting the song. “Yo’de Lady” takes obvious inspiration from the likes of Lead Belly and Leon Redbone. Irrespective of how familiar the song structure may be – it’s lasted the test of time for a reason. But don’t stop with one track. There’s so much more goodness buried in their back catalogue. Fans of Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses will get that same overwhelming sense of “all of the emotions” when hearing how beautiful and sometimes dark AWCP can make one guitar and two voices sound. 

Artist: Lydia Goldthorpe
Track: Secret Sculptures Go

Look up. Dusk light breaks through the tree canopies. For an instant, you’re entirely guided by your ears. The break off a branch. The crunch of foliage beneath the sole’s of your feet. Your pulse, now completely autonomous. Primal. What do you see? What do you smell? Only you can help yourself. There’s an element of empowerment in being lost and alone. No-one will ever know what you felt. They’ll only know that eventually you found your way. But there was more to it than that. Despite how hard you try to repaint the portrait, the colours will always pale to the original. 

'Secret Sculptures Go’ is the debut single from Lydia Goldthorpe’s upcoming EP ‘Simple Local.’ Be warned, this is an easy song to listen to on repeat. The first thing to strike me was the song’s production. Clever. Dynamic. Here is a song that appreciates the delicacy of restraint yet doesn’t shy away from delivering cinematic crescendos when the song yearns for it. There’s an unmistakable tribal drive to the song’s composition. The combination of African influenced percussion, the sound of classical piano and grand atmospheric guitar swells create a stunning and slightly unsettling listen that would equally suit a film soundtrack as it would radio play.

Artist: Tim Moore
Track: Come Go With Me / This Little Light

Tim Moore. Let me pack you up, put you in my backpack and take you wherever I go. Tim is what I call a “sunset and kisses” musician. He provides the soundtrack to all those moments you dream about. It probably involves you lying somewhere next to a still creek. Someone else’s property, someone else’s problem. A willow to your only shade. You’re watching the sun fall behind rolling hills that extends beyond the horizon. Resting their head on your stomach, the only person who knows you better than yourself. You’re probably drinking some fucking cider too. Aren’t you?! Moore straddles the line between Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice but with a self-confidence that says “any time, any place – just make sure I’ve got my guitar.” “Come Go With Me / This Little Light” opens his January 2015 album, ‘Songs for Little People.’ Wake up to Tim, walk to work with Tim, go to bed with Tim – it’s versatile music for any time or mood.

Artist: Woodes x Elkkle
Track: Muddy

Under my bed at home I have one of those weird Chinese finger trap toys. If I don’t get a follow up EP of Woodes and Elkkle collaborations I’m going to be forced to use it on both of them. My personal gauge for the success of an electronic track is based on the song’s ability to make me forget that I’m listening to an electronic track. A great song will shift my focus from the inorganic components of the song to be lost instead in its musicality. Muddy achieves this in spades. This is an unassumingly beautiful union between the production of Elkkle and omnipresent vocals of Woodes. The electronic elements are never forced on you, the listener. They are used in a perfectly complimentary capacity. The main hook, reminiscent of R2D2 being rewound slowly backwards in a VCR cries out for remixing. This entire song is like a bird in graceful flight that turns to you to reveal one robotic eye. The breathy and ethereal vocals of Woodes are delivered perfectly. Like Sirens luring sailors to their untimely destruction in thick fog, there’s something foreboding in her delivery. I’d suggest you listen to the original track a few thousand times then check out the Muddy Remixes EP. Both can be found on either Woodes’ or Elkkle’s SoundCloud pages.

Artist: Pink Harvest
Track: Rainbow

The first time I listened to Rainbow I had to go back and watch a scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where a very hippie Flea enters a bathroom and enjoys some LSD off of Johnny Depp’s red woollen shirt. I was so sure that this was the song from the soundtrack. But how could that be? It was only released in November 2014. Alas. It was not. I’m an idiot. But Pink Harvest have done a pretty incredible job of creating the soundtrack to your next drug induced coma. Your room, thick with a palpable smoke, a flickering television, on its side, showing children’s cartoons. And colours. Me oh my. The colours. But this is no novelty track. I’m going to assume that Pink Harvest are massive Pink Floyd fans, ‘Harvest’ being the record label to release many of Floyd’s seminal post-Syd Barrett era albums. Making sure to still maintain points of distinction, Pink Harvest channel the best of the progressive rock giants in this shimmering, psychedelic guitar centric track. The heavily delayed lead guitar alongside the intoxicatingly cyclical bass line would have been enough for me. Often an instrument that fails to draw the attention it deserves, the bass in this song is SPOT FUCKING ON. Pair it all with a cleverly, restrained drum line and vox that are allowed to wander and navigate the ebbs and flows of the space they’re given and you’ve got a really solid track. To soar you into even higher highs, there’s a magical solo that starts about 3 minutes into the song that could charm the pants off of any snake.

Artist: The Missing Piece  
Track: Life Anthem

The best thing about The Missing Piece’s 2015 release, ‘Life Anthem’ is that despite how heavy this track can get, and it definitely boarders onto metal at times, it still maintains a pop sensibility. It’s a call-back to the supreme musicality and downright enjoyability of your favourite rock bands that ruled supreme in the late 80’s to mid 90s, think Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. What’s great about this song too is that it’s always evolving. It doesn’t stick to the same riff, progression or tempo for too long. The Missing Piece are bursting with quality ideas and they’ve packed Life Anthem tight full of it. As I was listening to the song for the first time, the contrast in tempo and melody from verse to pre-chorus gave me chills. Something about the Scott Weiland inspired vocals, the drum fills and that quintessential fuzz guitar brought about an intensely instinctual reaction in the chemical make up of my body. 

Artist: Pangaroos

Can we please make it our joint mission to make Pangaroos incredibly successful?! Please! Am I right?! Guys? … Hello? … Where did everyone go? … But the nachos are almost ready… All I was given on Pangaroos was the following link: https://youtu.be/eTkZOhNBqbc. I’m almost tempted to just leave it here and say no more, but I won’t. Pangaroos are an Australian based duo who create music that screams intricate creativity and emotion. They’re multi-instrumentalists but the majority of their music is created utilising the hang drum, an instrument only developed in the year 2000. The rolling percussion and buoyant, tropical melodies produced by Pangaroos using this sometimes haunting instrument will hypnotise any audience. Each song I’ve watched them perform is a different journey, often narrated by saxophone. I’m so happy that these guys have contacted us here at Parlour because there honestly couldn’t be a better example of musicians we want to connect you with.

Artist: Quantum Milkshake  
Track: Plain Bread

Plain Bread is a start to finish funckin experience. Quantum Milkshake are the deliverymen and today’s order, groove. Lots of groove. And this groove is fresh. Market quality groove. The stuff people will travel a while for. It’s hard to truly encapsulate the entirety of this song in a short summary. There’s definitely elements of Zappa-esque orchestration but with less absurdity. Just like Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, each musician wields serious chops on their respective instruments. If you don’t listen carefully, you’d be forgiven for missing some truly spectacular singular moments. For mine, the hi-hat rolls (forgive me, I’m not a drummer) which slowly open up during the songs guitar solo was a moment of bliss. In as much as each instrument is brilliant in isolation, Plain Bread allows for each member of Quantum Milkshake to shine equally as bright as the other. Incredibly mixed, we experience a roundtable conversation between each instrument. There are no arguments at this table, just constant encouragement and great anecdotes. All instruments laughing with one another to produce a truly enjoyable and diverse song. Dance it, click your fingers to it, move to it, make love to it. They’re playing June 11 at Melbourne’s Toff in Town supporting Arthur Penn & The Funky Ten. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep yourself free that night.

Christian Pisasale is a freelance journalist based in Melbourne and the UK.