We get a track-by-track rundown of Las Mar’s sophomore album.
Las Mar is the project of artistic chameleon Nick Martyn, a creative who has adorned many capes throughout his career. Building an established career as a session musician and collaborator has seen Martyn work with everyone from Gotye to The Cat Empire and Hiatus Kaiyote, while also being a founding member of the widely-beloved Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes.
Amidst his creative prolificacy, Martyn also has two albums and an EP out as Las Mar with which his sophomore album, Don’t Read Everything You Believe, has just been released.
The record is multi-layered and genre-transcendent and would be minimally described as a fusion of world music, electronic, funk and rock genres. To celebrate the album’s release we asked Las Mar to give us a rundown of the nine-track release, one song at a time.
Great Ocean Tone
The opener ‘Great Ocean Tone’ is a lush instrumental inspired by the coastal bush of the Otway Rainforest. Elegant rhythms from homemade steel drums lock together forming a foundation for a meditative rolling beat. Angelic vocals evoke the beauty of the Victorian coastal landscape.
Something That I Know
Following it up is the psychedelic ‘Something That I Know’. An ethio-funk-inspired beat creates the momentum for a huge synth driven chorus that seems to come out of nowhere. A real trip that throws colours and tiny sonic details at the listener throughout its journey.
‘Sif Ribi’ mixes crunched up guitars and lush vocals with a beat born from a love of Gnawa music, a trance-like chanting and dance tradition from the Sahara Desert. Detailed and intricate but fresh and floaty, ‘Sif Ribi’ hits you with vocal hooks and just a hint of soul in a way you’ve never heard.
Following a series of twists and turns comes instrumental chiller ‘Albino Rhino’, where warm synths rest heavy on a nice crunchy bass guitar. It’s another unusual, but seriously funky, beat that sits somewhere between Afrobeat and lo-fi dream-pop.
Next up is lead single ‘Weekend Repair’, an ode to the moves we must make as individuals to survive in a rapidly-changing world. The song bangs with percussion, heavy drumming and sharp guitars that create the perfect undertow for exposed, urgent vocals.
‘Krdtay’ is the lovechild of a deep respect for Brazilian Batucada music, the band Tortoise and the Fender Telecaster. By the power of these things combined, a lush, atmospheric instrumental track was born in a very Las Mar attempt to combine disparate musical elements.
‘Killbot Quartz’ is an epic instrumental born from a broken Casio keyboard and a teenage obsession with Aphex Twin. The track is driven by playful, even comical, synths and a sort of DIY breakcore drumbeat culminating in an epic build-up that will play havoc with any home stereo.
I No Say
Onto ‘I No Say’ – a psychedelic journey through tight, complex rhythms to wide open sonic landscapes. Featuring a clash of soundscapes – chanting, tin whistles, washy guitars and homemade string instruments – this song is a funky oddity of epic proportions.
‘Reason Child’ closes the album on a heartfelt, earnest note. It’s as stripped back as Las Mar gets – mostly just acoustic guitar and vocals – providing a calm simplicity after the genre-hopping storm that is Don’t Read Everything You Believe. The song presents a Las Mar who doesn’t always need stacks of sonic layers to create music. Sometimes all it takes is just raw emotion and immediacy.
Give the new album a spin below.
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