Listening to Tek Tek Ensemble is like walking into an Old El Paso ad. Parents throwing their children into the air with reckless abandon celebrating flat bottom tacos as well as the beautiful latino spirit of the Tek Tek Ensemble. Despite Arroz Con Coco being a cover of a Lucho Bermudez hit, TTE are bleeding individuality and creativity. Their ability to channel, recreate and write Cumbian/Vallenato songs is second to none.
The strong horn lines, spot on vocals, accordions when appropriate and a kick ass guitar tone make it hard to believe these guys are from Melbourne. The scene for your Parlour gig is already set. It's a panama hat/sombrero kind of night. Quasedillas. Tamales. Tequila based cocktails. Hand around maracas to your guests and get them involved. But not to Dave. Dave can't keep time. He'll fuck it up. Go home Dave. Who even invited you?
Tek Tek won't stop there though. They're pedigree extends to classic surf rock / spaghetti western / afro caribbean gypsy jingle jungle jazz grass milkshake. Basically, they'll bring the party - you just supply the space. Listen to Arroz Con Coco and explore around the rest of their SoundCloud, you'll certainly not be disappointed. If you're still hungry for me, also check out Johnnie and the Johnnie Johnnies track 'Mao's Party Room.' I'm not entirely sure whether the link between the bands extends beyond multi talented guitarist Paul Dornau, but it's well worth your time, if not just to admire the band's name. Tek Tek get the Tick Tick of approval from me (author rereads final pun, laughs to himself and proceeds to point the barrel of a gun towards his temple, his laughter grows in volume and intensity as he locks eyes with you).
Artist: Lucas Michailidis (Vic)
Lucas Michailidis is one of those musicians that can slow time. Now, before we start discussing the physics of relativity and travelling at the speed of light as a weightless, massless particle of supreme energy – understand that I'm fucking exaggerating you argumentative psychopaths. I grew up playing and listening to a lot of guitar centric music. By my mid-teens, I existed on a diet exclusively of heavy metal and instrumental acoustic guitarists; somehow they balanced themselves out. Lucas Michailidis fits into the later of those genres. Think Tommy Emmanuel, Don Ross and Preston Reed.
The fact that you could have someone who is currently on the CandyRat roster playing in your house is beyond incredible. This is the same label that distributes the work of people like Andy McKee. Pushing categories, genres and name dropping aside, Michailidis is an incredibly talented finger-style guitarist. There's a maturity to his recordings. Each of his songs feels like an extension of an emotion or a thought. His songs constantly shift and navigate unique progressions, telling a story through deliberate harmonic selections. A guitarist of Michailidis' calibre always makes the incredibly difficult seem simple. One thing that really floored me while watching his performance of “Breath” and “The Muse”, was the delicacy of his playing. Despite evolving chords and patterns that grow in complexity, each song maintained a certain gentleness. Michailidis is guitar royalty. It's now time for the Parlour community to welcome him into their homes and show him to his well earned throne.
Artist: Hey Frankie (Vic)
Listening to Hey Frankie will make you feel like a slowly melting ice cube in a tumbler full of whiskey. You're outer body is fading away but you're still very much present, just in another form. It's impossible not to lock straight into Werewolf's groove. It's one of those tracks where you're immediately lulled into a sense of safety by the confidence of each instrumental line. As much as I want to bow down and remove every one of my organs for superbly superb (yup) vocalist Jess Palmer, I'd definitely need to save some of the more vital ones for the band.
There's a half minute interlude at about 2:30 where the band's soul and jazz heart really shine through. Bass and keyboard following each others melody with guitar and drum providing some sturdy scaffolding. Palmer's vocals have immediate impact. They're unique, sultry, dynamic and have that rare ability to tell you the song's story whilst making your ears smile. Graduates from Monash University School of Music, the band are a perfect fit for each other. If you're into the likes of seminal neo-soul artitsts like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Maxwell then you've got a new friend in Hey Frankie. With a little less of the aggressive hip-hop/R&B tones that have oft defined the neo-soul genre and a little more pop swagger, the likes of which you may find in early John Mayer recordings, Hey Frankie have decided to infuse some electronic elements and evolve the genre in their own way.
The video for Werewolf, directed by Alistair Marks and shortlisted for the Warehouse Cinema Music Video Competition, is a piece of art in itself. It's a gruesome, beautifully shot, tongue in cheek 'Thriller' throwback; the perfectly fitting glove around the hand that is Hey Frankie's 'Werewolf'. They're off to play Queenscliff Music Festival in November this year. They could be off to play inside your lounge room as well, such is the magic of Parlour Gigs.
Article compiled and written by Christian Pisasale.