New Music

Listen: Circular Keys – Lite

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Here’s the first new Circular Keys song since the ‘Eurogrand’ 7 inch earlier this year, which featured material initially released in 2012. With that in mind, ‘Lite’ is the first evidence of how the Melbourne duo has developed since last year (unless you’ve seen them live). ‘Lite’ isn’t as dark as earlier tracks but it retains a kinda spectral melancholy more reminiscent of Balam Acab, Clams Casino et al. The RnB influences are more apparent, resulting in a sound that’s better suited to late night city skylines than the illusory dreamscapes of ‘Possessed’.

Circular Keys is touring next month through Tasmania, South Australia and Melbourne. ‘Lite’ can be purchased for download on Bandcamp.

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New Music

Watch: Circular Keys – Possessed

circularkeysCircular Keys is one of my favourite new bands on account of ‘Eurogrand‘, a quiet sub-aquatic song that is achingly beautiful, even while it hints at something quite frightening – dreadful even. Circular Keys’ sound could easily be lumped among similar movements happening abroad – think Sleep ∞ Over, or even Balam Acab with a bit more murk and a lot less (read: no) pitch-shifting – but the band at hand feels more graciously sentimental, yet at the same time disquietingly distant.

The Melbourne duo hasn’t released anything official yet, though several tracks have appeared on the Circular Keys Bandcamp page over the course of the year. The song at hand was first released at about the same time as ‘Eurogrand’, though this film clip is brand new. Directed by Anna Skoekstra, it’s considerably different in tone to ‘Eurogrand’s comparatively lo-fi clip, but despite its sharper edges it captures a similar edge-of-dream state befitting the drowsy pulses at the heart of the duo’s music.

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New Music

Listen: Absolute Boys – Love Mode

Despite having released two 12 inch singles, Absolute Boys are still a bit of an unknown quantity. They play the east coast fairly regularly, and we’ve got solid audio evidence of their being, but the idea of the band and what they actually are still don’t quite add up. If you’re familiar with this Complex Emotion then ‘Love Mode’ may help you unravel the clues. But then, it might confuse you even more.

‘Love Mode’ is less right-angled and minimal than what we’ve heard from previous singles, but it maintains the earnest, echo-y vocals, and there’s still no disputing that they’re a rock band. The “dub” qualities often mentioned in the same breath as Absolute Boys seem to hinge on the notion that echo and reverb is all you need to conjure that style, which isn’t true. There’s nothing uncanny or haunted about ‘Love Mode’. If you want an example of that style wielded in a truly effective (and weird) way, check out Circular Keys, who share an affinity with the style, as well as a member with this group.

Absolute Boys though? They’re a good band, but it sounds like what in the ’90s you’d call “experimental rock music”: not without its virtues, but both legs here sound knee-deep in a kind of delicate and cerebral approach to rock. It’s very restrained and coy. I still don’t know what to expect from an LP, which can’t be a bad thing.

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