LISTEN: Camp Cope – ‘Blue’

A heavy-hearted acceptance of love that comes in many different shades, Melbourne power-emo trio Camp Cope have shared their latest single ‘Blue’. Released via Run For Cover Records, the track is the band’s first piece of new music in three years and despite its softer sound, it rings with the same raw charm the trio have cultivated on their previous releases.

Since sharing their second album How To Socialise & Make Friends in 2018, Georgia Maq (vocals/guitar), Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich (bass) and Sarah Thompson (drums) have been working on their third album at their own pace, partly influenced by the global COVID-19 pandemic but also by changes to their careers and living arrangements. Taking time to reflect on and accept these changes meant Camp Cope were able to do what they do best – write cathartic and earnest tunes that provide joy and relief for their listeners.

New offering ‘Blue’ is a bittersweet contemplation on what it’s like to love and be loved in the midst of depression. Tapping into the chasm that’s left by the disconnection that mental illness can bring, ‘Blue’ doesn’t cushion listeners from the reality of depression, but it does gently remind them there’s still love in the world – even if they’re struggling to feel it in the present moment.

Listen to ‘Blue’ below.

Follow Camp Cope on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Michelle Grace Hunder

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: HighSchool – ‘De facto’

A yo-yoing, infectious synth tune that dwells on the darker side of love, Melbourne trio HighSchool have shared their latest single ‘De facto’. Released via Dalliance Recordings, the track traces the highs and lows of falling into a romantic relationship via its racing beats, brooding bass lines and catchy electronics.

Formed of Lilli Trobbianni, Luke Scott and Rory Trobbiani, HighSchool are inspired by the sounds of New Order, LCD Soundsystem and Future Islands. Through their pulsing beats, catchy synths and Rory’s meandering vocals, the band focus their song-writing lens on the shadowy space between euphoria and melancholy, with new single ‘De facto’ shining a light on the complexities of romance.

“We created ‘De facto’ to shed a mortal light on love,” the band explain. “It presents relationships as being temporary and expected.” This unease around the illusions and fallacies of the sought after emotion are reflected in the track’s accompanying video. Self-directed by the trio, the visuals contrast footage of the band performing with flashes of pagan-like rituals and other paraphernalia associated with love and death, exposing the romanticism and the ridiculousness of it all.

HighSchool are currently putting the final touches to their debut EP which should be melting our ear drums by the summer. Watch the video for ‘De facto’ below.

Follow HighSchool on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Hannah Mckimmie

Kate Crudgington

WATCH: PRIMO! – ‘Machine’

Melbourne-based PRIMO! tackle work hierarchy issues with wit and elbow grease on their latest single, ‘Machine’. Taken from their second album Sogni, set for release on 17th April via Upset The Rhythm, the track brims with jangly guitars, steady beats and catchy lyrics.

Formed of Suzanne Walker (drums), Violetta Del Conte-Race (guitar), Xanthe Waite (guitar) and new addition Amy Hill (bass), PRIMO!’s talent lies in taking taboo subjects and turning them in to catchy, oddly melodic tunes. They’ve achieved this on ‘Machine’, which Walker explains explains the premise of in detail: “It’s the feeling of being like a machine inside the machine, as well the fact that sometimes great ideas, thoughts & observations come to you during the working day, in unexpected ways. Rhythmically, the pacing is like that of a machine, speeding up and slowing down, at times frantically chugging, spattering vivid bursts of greasy colour, before halting to a stop and slipping the key from the ignition.”

PRIMO!’s start-stop-start style certainly keeps listeners on their toes. There’s a natural edge to their music, but their soft dual vocals provide a well-oiled delivery on ‘Machine’. Watch the accompanying video for the track below, and follow PRIMO! on Spotify and Bandcamp for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

ALBUM: Divide & Dissolve – ‘Abomination’

A sonic force to be reckoned with, Melbourne-based duo Divide & Dissolve‘s second album Abomination, released via Dero Arcade is a collection of heavy-instrumentals designed to “decolonize, dismantle white supremacy and empower people of colour & Indigenous people.”

Together, Takiaya Reed (saxophone, guitar, live effects) and Sylvie Nehill (drums, live effects) seek to undermine the forces that oppress them. The duo have been receiving praise and support since the release of their debut Basic in March 2017, which earned them the accolade of ‘Best Heavy Album’ at The Age Music Victoria Awards. This year they’ve been granted a support slot with Poliça on their forthcoming US tour, and after listening to Abomination, it’s easy to see why Divide & Dissolve are currently in demand.

Opening the album is the eponymous ‘Abomination’. It’s five minutes and fifty seconds of unnerving riffs and ceaseless cymbals, crashing together to form a desolate but powerful soundscape. It paves the way for eerie second track ‘Assimilation’, poised between chaos and calm from the moment it starts. There’s an intense power in the lack of lyrical content on these songs, which feels reflective of the repressed minorities the pair seek to support with their music. ‘Cultural Extermination’ is another shining example of this.

The spoken word from Minori Sanchiz-Fung on ‘Reversal’ is incredibly poignant. “By using English, I have let out many violent spirits. Words that I trust would in English, fling themselves against the wall,” speaks Minori from her “Immigrant Mind” in a composed, but visceral manner. Subtle, reverb-heavy guitar scores her incredible poetry, making this collaboration an intriguing and important listen. ‘Resistance’ follows with its manic sax sounds that ring out like defiant sirens in the face of adversity, resisting all notions of conformity.

The brief but bold ‘Re-appropriation’ demands immediate attention with more of the Divide & Dissolve’s crashing cymbals and abrasive riffs, before the penultimate ‘Reparations’ seeks to musically right the wrongs that white supremacy and patriarchy have inflicted on indigenous communities. Its slow-building, atmospheric nature seethes and soothes in equal measure, before ‘Indigenous Sovereignty’ closes this exploration of the unheard.

The eight tracks on Abomination are a platform on which Divide & Dissolve “transform the experience of space and time” and draw on the experiences of their ancestors and surroundings to create their unique and extraordinary sounds. It’s instrumentalist activism that seeks to disrupt the norm – and we love it.

Abomination is available to stream  & download now. Follow Divide & Dissolve on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: @annasnowsill

Kate Crudgington