Palms posted my article, so it must be okay.
Dubbed them as an artist to watch for 2014
2013 emerged as a kind of wildcard year. That big question mark in the grand scheme of things. It was a year that would be good, but only if I made it so. The power was only in my hands to do what I wanted to do.
Things that I learned over the course of the year:
This year served as a struggle for me, in most regards. My family has been through some of our toughest times in the past year, and it has only gotten worse. There have been times when we’ve been backed so far into a wall, the only thing we thought was left, was to suffocate. But there is always a beacon of light.
The HSC this year didn’t quite go as planned, and it set me back quite a bit emotionally and in terms of my own self-esteem. I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with incredible people that have all helped in supporting me through this time, and I’ve never felt better as a person.
I spent the last year questioning who I am, and what it would take to figure out who I am. But I think I know now. I’m Caitlin Medcalf. I like music, and I like to write. More often than not I say more than is necessary, but my heart is in the right place. I’ll put in 110% at all times, and I believe I have a strong work ethic. I get lazy, but I’m a product of the 21st century, what can I do. I try to do the best by everyone else, but I’m starting to learn that this shouldn’t be the case.
New Years resolutions (straight from my diary):
We all find our potential in weird places, but it’s what we invest this potential into that makes us who we are.
Happy new year everybody.
Noise-punk-surf-rock collective Fidlar, debut their “get shit done” sound and attitude with their bratty self-titled LP. Opening with the hauntingly ferocious Cheap Beer, the album’s fast-paced tone is there from the outset. No Waves and Stoked and Broke, lyrically, sit side by side, with great scathings of friends/family, a shit tonne of drug references and some refreshingly heavy riffs there to push this “get shit done” persuasion onwards. Max Can’t Surf, 5 to 9 and Wake Bake Skate are representative of an anecdotal “short and sweet” kind of phrase, rather than an entire track. But it is still this manner of carelessness and pure “making this music for the sake of making it” that rings true, particularly in these tracks. Fidlar ultimately, are successful at making some pretty dirty music that you’ll definitely want to keep getting your hands filthy over.
What an album. Really. I think this is probably the most underrated album of the year, maybe even the decade (so far). If it wasn’t clear on their self-titled debut, it sure as hell is clear now, that Brisbane radicals Violent Soho mean business. Hungry Ghost features more of a mellowed tone, one of experience. Album highlight Covered in Chrome excites the Muscle Junkie in all of us, with bouts of “fuck yeah’s” and great one liners. Okay Cathedral, Saramona Says and Hungry Ghost all take the road less traveled by the punk veterans, and expose a toned down, and stripped back version of what Violent Soho have to offer. All lyrics aside, it is so obvious that the album and the ideas behind the album have been tailored to fit the music, and this really aids in getting the album across as such an honest piece of work.
Mega-talented, mega-babe Jake Bugg sees his second release confuse the hell out of fans. The real questions are, how can someone at only 19, be a) such an accomplished musician, what with two incredibly accomplished LP’s under his belt and b) create music that honestly seems way beyond his years. A credit to Bugg, this fusion of blues with modern indie-folk-rock works favourably to his advantage. Equipped with what has been described as a “Bob Dylan-esque” voice, Bugg, paired with his acoustic talents, has created this bluegrass whirlwind of the ultimate confusion of genres, but still is nothing short of stunning, lyrically and musically. Highlights in particular occur with the verse-to-chorus transition in Messed Up Kids, the wild west-esque Slumville Sunrise and the entirety of Me and You.
Forget everything you thought you knew about pop. Haim's Days are Gone is the most refreshing pop album I have heard since probably the early 00’s. Through incorporating slaps, bangs and scrapes with flawless three-part harmonies and toe-tapping riffs, as well as that classic ever-driving pop-synth-beat that underlies the tone for each song, Days are Gone tells stories of heartbreak, decisions and consequences. Songs like Forever with its xylophone-like riff and My Song 5, plowing forward with such heavily bass-lined force, and The Wire with it’s infectious as hell chorus, show the diversity on the album. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. This is definitely the most refreshing pop album I have heard in a long time.
I really can’t think of a better album to define 2013. Not just for me personally, but I think in terms of the music being released. 180 is fun yet sophisticated and is overall, quite edgy. The raw brooding vocals from Sam Fryer paired with the yelps and driving phrases from bassist Chilli Jesson, fuses for an album that vocally, is reminiscent of 90’s soft-punk. From heavily distorted riffs (Chicken Dippers) to softer ballads (Three Stars) to tracks that remind you of that smirk that asshole you hated in high school always had plastered to his stupid face (Johnny Bagga’ Donuts), Palma Violets, are ultimately pioneers of a new generation of music that is yet to be discovered.
I’m starting up a new feature.
For the remainder of the year, I’ll try my best to post a “highlighted” album of 2013 release, and by “highlighted” I mean one that I feel deserves to be mentioned and recognised. This is not going to be in any order, just a collection of fabulous works from this year.
Wish me luck.