Totally Unicorn takes out this week's top spot.
Prized Pig (The Farmer & the Owl)
This is heavy, fast and high-intensity. There’s a lot of guttural screaming and frenzied guitar playing. Maybe don’t put it on when you’ve got a hangover or experiencing a wave of anxiety. Or perhaps you should – it’ll put you in a similar headspace to singer Drew Gardner. Gardner tries to summon the energy to be a polite, normal social being. It’s not long before he flips into defensive mode, offering the classic male retort: “Worry about yourself, I’m fine”. But for all the thematic tension and musical severity, ‘Prized Pig’ is a lot of fun.
Honey 2 Honey
Under the Hangar (Chapter Music)
‘Under the Hangar’ reveals Honey 2 Honey’s affection for Loose Joints-era Arthur Russell, plying off-kilter dance beats and artsy instrumental decoration. Vocalist Rory Stenning is understated, repeating a few lines that generate intrigue rather than paint a clear picture. It’s a grower until it becomes an addiction.
Nothing Sacred / All Things Wild (Dead Oceans)
Kevin Morby is a soul man. It’d be easy to dismiss this claim on paper – he’s got a good voice, but not the most dynamic register, and isn’t he just some indie rock stoner? But ‘Nothing Sacred’ showcases Morby’s depth. Congas, saxophone and gospel backing vocalists all contribute to a hushed atmosphere. The lyrics explore the implications of the title. Is there any underlying meaning or are we just scrambling around in apathetic chaos? Life circumstances distort our feelings in either direction, but songs like this inject irrefutable beauty.
Gena Rose Bruce
Angel Face (Dot Dash)
It’s not clear whether ‘Angel Face’ was preceded by a breakup or if it’s conveying the feelings of an unwanted visitor. The Melbourne songwriter starts off with a snipe – “I know you think you’re God’s gift to the world” – and by the crest of the song she’s soaring through the line, “I can’t make you love me”. It’s an attractively decorated production with backwards guitar lines, a sequenced bass throb and roomy drum sounds.