A version of these two pieces originally appeared in Tonedeaf back in December.
Twerps – Range Anxiety (Chapter Music)
It was incredibly hard not to have felt more than just a little giddy following my first couple of listens to Twerps’ sophomore record Range Anxiety. Having taken quite awhile to warm to last year’s Underlay EP, it was clearly obvious that Twerps were 100% back on form with this newest full-length album.
With upbeat and downright infectious numbers like; ‘Back To You’, ‘Simple Feelings’ and ‘Stranger’, Twerps’ highlighted that their aptitude for penning sun drenched guitar pop was still part of their well crafted armoury. The Melbourne foursome’s undeniable ability to merge the catchiest of indie-pop tinted gems with forlorn feelings such as; spurned affection (‘Love at First Sight’), disengagement (‘Shoulders’) and unrequited reinvention (‘New Moves’), is evident throughout Range Anxiety.
Outside of the Twerps’ strong sense of all things melodic and jangly, is the rather seamless workings of co-vocalists Martin Frawley and Julia McFarlane, with the former’s rather droll and deadpan approach acting as a good counterpunch to the latter’s softer and more congruous delivery.
If you want to have an album that will leave its countless harmonies and melodies stuck in your head for days, then I urge you to find a better release this year.
Dick Diver – Melbourne, Florida (Chapter Music)
It’ll always no doubt be the case that the shadow of Australian national treasures The Go-Betweens, shall forever loom ominously over every group that incorporates the classic indie-pop recipe of jangly guitar chords, songs written by more than one member and harmonies that cannot help but be sung/hummed along to, that the aforementioned legends spurted out in droves.
However with the release of their third long-player, Melbourne, Florida, Dick Diver have rather effortlessly achieved what the majority of their counterparts fail to do and that is to encapsulate all that is fantastic about the warm and fuzzy world of indie-pop. It’s an album that encompasses the writing abilities of all four members, whose individual and varied styles combine to produce an absolute unblemished record from start to finish.
Tracks ‘Waste the Alphabet’, ‘Percentage Points’ and ‘Tearing the Posters Down’ ooze with pure and unadulterated pop sensibilities and rapture; the sombre and Americana-like ‘Boomer Class’ sees a shift in the mood while still ably fitting in; the keyboard experimentation of ‘Competition’ and melodious nature of ‘Blue Time’ and ‘View From A Shaky Ladder’ attest to the fact that Dick Diver have no such qualms when it comes to lofty comparisons.
** I’d like to add that there were of course many more craicin’ releases by Australian artists last year! So please do check out the below list and of course keep tabs on their respective labels if you haven’t already done so:
Blank Realm – Illegals in Heaven (Bedroom Sucks/Fire)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Quarters (Flightless/Heavenly)
Royal Headache – High (What’s Your Rupture/Distant and Vague)
Darts – Below Empty & Westward Bound (Rice is Nice)
Superstar – Table For Two (Bedroom Sucks)
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit (Milk Records/Marathon)
The Living Eyes – Living Large (Anti-Fade)
Totally Mild – Downtime (Bedroom Sucks)
Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again (Caroline/Universal Music Australia)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Paper Mache Dream Balloon (Flightless/Heavenly)
Love of Diagrams – Blast (Bedroom Sucks)