P-SIDES: Hidden gems from the Perth music scene (April Edition)
As April creeps into our calendars, a fresh bout of local artists are releasing new music. I wanted to take a moment to look back to see what we might have missed. With Stella Donnelly’s latest album released and Perth-born Tame Impala headlining Splendour In The Grass, it feels like our local music collection might be missing some grassroots loving. With that in mind, here’s my top five underrated tracks from Perth’s home-grown bands.
THE HUNTING BIRDS – Naïve Eyes
This song has been a staple in The Hunting Bird’s live shows since the beginning. The launch of their new music video for the tune has brought it back to public attention. It’s an earnest track, with a progressive take on anxiety and battling your inner demons – all expressed through gorgeously emotive melodies. It’s certainly not disheartening, but it is creepy, with an anxious undertone that cleverly doesn’t leave you feeling flat.
CUSS – Never Again
When Cuss fell into my lap, I was sceptical about a band that describes themselves as having a “jangly-pop sound”. It only really took me half of this track to decide that I liked it. I liked it a lot. It’s soft, it isn’t complicated to understand and it’s fun. Reminiscent of Tiny Little Houses, the group weave 60’s elements into their twangy guitar sections with a vocal flavour that tastes like DIY rock & roll. This track was released back in December 2018, but it makes the list because it’s grassroots and wholesome af.
GAZEY – Sleep
This song will have you buying roller-skates and wanting to ride down Hay Street with a boom-box over your shoulder. It’s feel-good summer nostalgia in music form. With a slick 80’s synth pop vibe, it’s hard to imagine that the live version wouldn’t involve some form of cringey, yet undeniably fun dance moves and that one guy screaming, “I NEED MORE ROOM!” Gazey haven’t released a lot yet, but if this track is a taste of what is to come then I’d be keeping my eyes and ears out for what’s next.
MAL DE MER – Sunshine and Thunder
This song is just one of those track’s that you’re either going to really like or you’re going to skip immediately. There’s something very different about the way that Mal De Mer are approaching their genre. For me, I like the way their lyricism feels very characteristic to the cynicism of Gen Y. It’s rhetorical and clever. This song puts a heavy emphasis on their bass line, but it also gives each band member an opportunity to flex. We’re talking twangy chatting from the lead guitar, lots of shadowing from the keyboard, and a vocal delivery that reminds me of Missy Higgins’ drawl.
SALARY – Polite Rebellion
Crafted by a super group of 11 musicians, Salary curl electronic elements around an indie pop sound that’ll have you catching all the feelings. True to the title, it’s gentle and polite but will roll across you like a rebellion. There’s a lot going here musically, but it’s the breaths of mid-track silence that will absolutely floor you, partly because you’ll yearn for the melody and partly because they introduce loud, earnest cues.