Posts Tagged ‘Taylor Swift’

30th April 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

I had something of what you might call an epiphany of sorts last night. I was cooking dinner, and as is standard, had put the TV on. I usually have it on mute and watch the news with subtitles while listening to a CD, but instead, while chopping veg for a healthy stir-fry, I had a music channel playing 80s hits, and it was good – mostly the early 80s, with some ABC and Aha (‘The Sun Always Shines in TV’ for change) before plummeting into the shit of Bros and Brother Beyond just before I served, at which point it went off. But it was during this unashamed nostalgiafest that I realised that for my daughter, who’s 9, the 80s are further in the past than the 60s were when I was her age. And that at her age, I had no interest in the 60s because it was so far back in history it was tinny, trebly, scratchy, dated, sepiatone or black and white. It was historical relics and I never got why my parents rated anything 60s. I still don’t really have much interest in the main.

But chowing my chow mein, I came to realise that things have changed, largely, one assumes, on account of the Internet. Now, we have truly hit peak postmodern in the sense that the historical is now part of the present, and everything and anything goes. The 60s likely feel a lot less distant and alien to a nine-year-old than to someone like me in their mid-40s, because they’re simply so much more accommodating.

And so it is that 23-year-old singer/songwriter Bethany Ferrie takes in a wide range of influences, from the likes of Fleetwood Mac to Lewis Capaldi, Kings of Leon to Taylor Swift. And also, I’m reminded that no longer is anyone purist in their allegiance to rock, pop, or folk. For those under thirty who can extricate themselves from the mundane bilge of R1 mediocrity, whereby music is so much wallpaper, music is music, and there are only two kinds – good and bad. There’s perhaps a certain naivete in the idea that all of these things sit together, but Bethany demonstrates an admirable songwriting prowess with her new single, ‘Bones’. The piano-led song is low-key, but layered, melodic yet heartfelt. It’s also one of those songs that has a slow, contemplative start, before bursting into a cinematic chorus, aided by some reverby production that really does the scope of the song justice.

Is it alternative? Is it niche? No. Is it commercial? In terms of R1 circa 2004 when Keane’s ‘Something Only We Know’ and playlists were wall-to-wall Coldplay, yes and no. ‘Bones’ isn’t dreary, drab, or manufactured, but does have clear commercial potential.

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Final Cover

Integrity Records – 21st October 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

This instrument-swapping Australian duo don’t piss about, blasting into their debut EP at a hundred miles an hour with the spitting guitar frenzy of ‘KYMS’ – that’s (should) ‘keep your mouth shut’, as the refrain goes.

They’re pitched as being ‘lost somewhere between The Melvins and Taylor Swift, and Dan’s aggressive holler is contrasted by El’s nonchalant pop tone. Previous single, ‘Sick’ doesn’t only sustain the initial momentum, but ratchets things up a notch. ‘Sky’ brings a mammoth bottom-heavy sludge riff to underpin the duelling vocals, the end result being somewhere between the no-wave noise of Sonic Youth and school of ’94 grunge.

The well-timed breakdowns and softer moments only accentuate the force of their straight-ahead, driving, hell-for leather blasts of bratty, sharp-tongued punky noise. Of course, as much as it’s always about the songs – and these are killer songs, without exception, with an unquestionable pop tint – it’s about the attitude. And yeah, MDS have got plenty of that. This is the sound of a band who have that perfect blend of being pissed off and not giving a fuck, the sound of a band who play hard for the release, who crank it up to the max because, well, it feels good and because they can. It’s a short, sharp, shock of a release, and one equates to awesomeness turned all the way to eleven.

 

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