Spiral Stairs Announces New Album
Doris & The Daggers
Doris & The Daggers – the first new album in eight years from Pavement co-founder Spiral Stairs – is being released on March 24, through Coolin’ By Sound in Australia and New Zealand
Pitchfork were the first to herald the new album and showcase the clip for lead single Dance (Cry Wolf), which was orchestrated by Texan director Joe Salinas and features a Milli Vanilli-esque appearance by Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy fame) singing Spiral’s vocals in the grainy iPhone footage.
Spiral Stairs – or Scott Kannberg to “the man” – co-founded indie rock pioneers Pavement in 1989 and played guitar for their full span, also contributing and voicing songs on the majority of their releases. After Pavement’s decade-long reign ended in 1999 Spiral started his new outfit Preston School Of Industry and recorded two acclaimed albums under that banner, before releasing his solo debut as Spiral Stairs, The Real Feel, in 2009.
Not one to rest on his laurels, 2010 found Spiral back in Pavement mode as the seminal band reformed for a six-month global jaunt, and in that same year Spiral Stairs married an Australian and soon found himself living on the beach north of Brisbane. After a few years he returned back to the States with his family and currently calls Mexico home, but he recently decamped to an Eagle Rock, CA studio to bash out his vibrant new statement Doris & The Daggers.
The record – which is clearly identifiable as belonging to the Spiral Stairs lineage but also takes his aesthetic in new and fascinating directions – also features guitar contributions from Kelley Stoltz and backing vocals from Matt Berninger (The National) and Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene).
But excitingly for Australian fans of Spiral Stairs his years spent in our country are clearly evident on the local release of Doris & The Daggers, with the limited edition Australian vinyl being pressed in the colours of his beloved St Kilda and also coming with a bonus 7” of songs penned about his time living in the Deep North, Pig City and Vultures of Caboolture.
It’s both a welcome and consummate return from one of indie rock’s most unique purveyors: prepare yourself for Doris & The Daggers!
Doris & The Daggers out through Coolin’ By Sound (Aus/NZ) BUY NOW
Doris and the Daggers
1. Dance (Cry Wolf)
3. Dundee Man
5. No Comparison
6. The Unconditional
7. Trams (Stole My Love)
8. Exiled Tonight
9. Angel Eyes
10. Doris and the Daggers
Bonus Australian only 7″ (pictured)
1. Pig City
2. Vultures of Caboolture
Thigh Master Release Debut Album – Early Times
After years of toil building their reputation on the local and national scene, Brisbane guitar outfit Thigh Master are finally dropping their debut album Early Times this October though Brisbane label Coolin’ By Sounds, and are embarking on an extensive album launch tour to celebrate the occasion!
As the name suggests Early Times represents a sonic snapshot of a formative stage of the Thigh Master career arc, some songs pre-dating the band’s formation in mid-2012 and others written in the their first year of its existence when still a trio, current members Matthew Ford (guitar/vocals) and Patrick Byron (drums) then augmented by Ford’s brother Daniel on bass (Black Vacation).
The job of recording the batch of songs that the band had accumulated at this juncture was afforded to Blank Realm guitarist Luke Walsh, the band working around his schedule and recording wherever Walsh’s mobile set-up was found at the time. Laying down their parts in various rehearsal spaces (such as the much-missed Hangar) and share houses, the bulk of the album was tracked in late-2013. Some new songs were added to the mix shortly after second guitarist Dusty Anastassiou (Dag) joined the Thigh Master ranks in 2014, and he added his parts to most of Early Times’ original tracks as well, with Matthew adding further vocals and guitar overdubs in dribs and drabs until early-2016 when the project finally reached completion.
The result is a surprisingly cohesive collection of angsty, sun-dappled guitar-pop, the songs on Early Times urgent and hook-laden and etching their way into the listener’s consciousness with effortless abandon. Early outings have already gained solid traction, with lead single Company topping the Amrap Metro Chart for four weeks running and follow-up radio track Canned Opening sitting atop 4ZZZ’s Top 20 for a fortnight in September.
Of course Thigh Master had plenty of runs on the board before these recent achievements, having sold out the entire runs of their early singles Head Of The Witch (2014) and Songs To Wipe Your Mouth To (2015), toured Japan (including sold out headlining shows) and shared stages with friends The Clean, Guitar Wolf, Courtney Barnett, Ty Segall, Ariel Pink, Real Estate, The Coathangers and many more, as well as being selected to showcase at the 2016 BIGSOUND Festival.
And with Ford and Byron now joined by guitarist Innez Tulloch (Deafcult, Feathers, Roku Music) – who added parts to Canned Opening on the album – and bassist Hayden Knight in what has become the band’s most stable line-up to date, Thigh Master are embarking on a national album tour to celebrate the release of Early Times. The run will find them taking in Nambour, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and sharing stages with a great assortment of like-minded Aussie bands including The Ocean Party, Wireheads, Lower Plenty, Tralala Blip, Dead Farmers and Martyr Privates.
This long-lauded live band now has a killer album to call their own, grab a copy of Thigh Master’s Early Times and then catch them in the flesh this October.
Early Times is available October 7 through Coolin’ By Sound Records (Australia & NZ) BUY NOW
Early Times – Track listing
2. Rics B.C.
4. Room Doom
5. Canned Opening
6. Hippie View
7. Treehouse A.P.
9. Brunno Brawl
13. Flat City
LP Launch Show
Sunday 9 October – Time Machine, SUNSHINE COAST
w/ The Ocean Party + Big White info
Friday 14 October – The Metro, ADELAIDE
w/ Wireheads + The High Beamers info
Saturday 15 October – The Post Office Hotel, MELBOURNE
w/ Lower Plenty + The Stroppies info
Friday 21 October – The Foundry, BRISBANE
w/ Wireheads (LP Launch) + Tralala Blip + Martyr Privates + Enderie info
Saturday 22 October – The Union, SYDNEY
w/ Wireheads (LP Launch) + Dead Farmers + Sachet info
Shrapnel Release New Single – ‘Another Year’
The truly unique music of ragtag Sydney indie outfit Shrapnel is in some ways a throwback to a more artistically open-minded time. Their songs capture the spirit of adventure and willingness to abandon convention in the chase of a memorable moment which was previously so prevalent in the US indie rock scene of the mid-90s, when bands like Guided By Voices, Built To Spill and Pavement would regularly redefine the parameters within which they could and would operate. The result is a batch of sonic journeys which throw the rulebook out the window with wild and unpredictable – but never less than spell-binding – results.
Originally starting life as a bedroom project to cater for the prolific creative vision of mainstay Sam Wilkinson (Day Ravies, Mope City, Beef Jerk, King Tears Mortuary), after two successful cassette releases – 2014’s Tobacco Dreams (Tenth Court) and 2015’s Carpet Yankers (Strange Pursuits) –Shrapnel started to morph into a band of its own accord, picking up members at a regular and unrelenting pace (including past and present members of Day Ravies, Mope City, Julia Why?, Miners, Weak Boys and Dollar Bar).
But while Shrapnel may have evolved from a synth-pop side-project into a fully-fledged dream band, the crux of its music remains rooted around Wilkinson’s unique and idiosyncratic vision, a strain of wistful, otherworldly melancholia which twists and turns through strange new vistas but which is rife with left-of-centre hooks and melodies which eke their way into your brain and once there refuse to relinquish their stranglehold.
Shrapnel’s debut album Tranceplanetsugarmouth (out late-October through new Brisbane label Coolin’ By Sound) is the perfect distillation of this willingness to deviate from the beaten track. It’s a diverse batch of songs united by Wilkinson’s voice and vision and the overt musicality of his newly-minted bandmates – whose individual voices are increasingly taking root in the Shrapnel aesthetic – while the self-recorded collection also makes Wilkinson’s strong production skills dramatically apparent.
The album’s debut single Another Year is the perfect introduction to the album, an existential look at the inexorable march of time and pain inherent in gradually relinquishing one’s youth, set to chiming, repetitive guitars mirroring the unrelenting nature of the subject matter.
To celebrate the single’s release and to pave the way for Tranceplanetsugarmouth Shrapnel are playing single launches in both Brisbane and Sydney, roping in some like-minded friends to ensure that these parties rock and roll in all the right ways. Catch yourself a bit of Shrapnel!
Tranceplanetsugarmouth out October 2016
through Coolin’ By Sound Records.
Thigh Master Release Video For ‘Company’
Brisbane four-piece Thigh Master’s brand new single Company is a catchy and compelling burst of modern malaise and frustration, a guitar-laden howl packing an abundance of hooks and melody into its sub-two minute duration.
Debuting this week at #1 on the Amrap Metro charts and #2 on the 4ZZZ Top 20, Company is picking up community radio airplay right across the country with spots on SYN, RTR and Edge Radio. To further the momentum Thigh Master have been announced to showcase at BIGSOUND 2016.
The film clip for Company – premiered on Noisey – was conceived and directed by Brisbane artist/musician Helena Papageorgiou and finds Thigh Master frontman Matthew Ford trapped in a cosmic cartoon wasteland with only an army of similarly-clad Matthew Fords for company (some of whom clearly display dependency issues). What may for some seem like a narcissist’s playground plays out like a nightmare scenario for the average human, but the playful clip marries with the upbeat song to make a wonderfully fun package which demands repeat viewing.
++ WATCH VIDEO ++
Company, THIGH MASTER
Produced & Directed by Helena Papageorgiou
Thigh Master have been mainstays of the fertile Brisbane underground scene, and after two sold out seven-inch singles and some cassette action this October will see the release of their anticipated debut long-player Early Times (through new Brisbane label Coolin’ By Sound).
Recorded and mixed by Luke Walsh (Blank Realm) between late-2013 and early-2016, Early Times is an accomplished collection of angsty indie rock gems which should introduce Thigh Master to many more pairs of fresh ears in coming months.
Early Times out October 2016 through Coolin’ By Sound Records.
Frontman Matthew Ford shouts with measured vitriol, but the band’s great hooks and cruisy melodies offset any gruffness in the vocals – like an Aussie Eric Bachmann fronting The Clean. – The Music
Garage tunes to be danced and cried to. Strung out and bleached beyond all recognition, Thigh Master are like that stain you have on your favourite shirt – Soundly Sounds
No matter the era or place, Thigh Master have touched us in places we needed to feel pleasure again. – AdHoc blog
June 11 – Botany View Hotel, Sydney NSW
w/ Ill Winds + Abigail & Daisy. Free / 8pm info
June 12 – Petersham Bowls Club, Sydney NSW
w/ You Beauty + Spod + Chook Race + WDK
+ Us The Band + Phone. $20 / 3pm info
June 24 – Southport Sharks, Gold Coast QLD
w/ Moonlight Society, Mark Alpen & Buff. Free / 7:30pm info
July 21 –The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
w/ Trust Punks (NZ) LP launch + Clever + Bent $10 / 8pm info
July 29 – The Tote, Melbourne VIC
w/ Woollen Kits + Terry (LP launch) + Hot Topic 8pm info
July 30 – The Grace Darling Hotel, Melbourne VIC
w/ Primo + more info tbc