New Noise: Dave Graney, Joe McKee, Dune Rats, Darren Cross
A somewhat blokey edition of New Noise, featuring Dave Graney, ex-Snowman member Joe McKee, Brisbane slackers Dune Rats and the folky alter-egos of Gerling’s Darren Cross.
– King of pop or king of puns? Dave Graney returns with a new single called ‘Flash in the Pantz’, a “big beat song” about being a man with muscular riffs and a title inspired by a malapropism on the wireless. “I heard a woman caller on sports radio dismiss a player as a “flash in the pantz” and took off from there,” he says. “Like a lot of my songs it starts from somewhere stupid and goes off somewhere else. I thought, ‘Are we not all the result of a couple of people having a flash in the pantz?’” It’s from a forthcoming album with an equally punny title, You’ve Been In My Mind, which will be out in June. (The cover was shot at a timber mill in Mount Gambier, SA, by Graney’s niece Kristyn Jones.)
– Whether he’s fronting a group of “screaming banshees” (the sadly departed Snowman) or performing on his own, Joe McKee has a rare talent for setting a mood. ‘Darling Hills’, the deliciously bleak first single from his forthcoming solo debut Burning Boy, opens with baroque flourishes suggesting he’s going down a Mickey Newbury/Scott Walker/Colin Blunstone path. But they soon give way to something decidedly more sparse. The song is inspired by The Darling Ranges, 35-kilometres south of Perth, where he grew up. And speaking of ranges, who knew he could sing like this?
– Every movement needs a catch phrase, and nothing sums up the current wave of slacker revivalism quite like Dune Rats’ ‘Fuck It’ (a sort of SFW for people who were too young to remember that brief and largely unimportant moment in time). Recorded at home in Brisbane by Sean Caske (Last Dinosaurs), it’s inspired by a guy called Thomas Stevenson, who is either a pioneering Scottish lighthouse designer and meteorologist, the world’s leading authority on Champagne, or someone else altogether. ‘Fuck It’ is the lead single from an upcoming EP due for release in June. And to make this blurb complete we should probably mention Bleeding Knees Club and Wavves for no particular reason at all.
– Darren Cross is a hard man to nail down. The Sydney musician – who recently informed us his former group Gerling were definitely not coming “back” – has transformed his dance-y solo project The E.L.F (who once released an EP called Sunray in the Rave Cave) into something decidedly more folk. He’s also started a gothic-folk duo with Sydney-based artist Jessica Cassar called Jep and Dep. Both acts have albums due out this year, recorded and produced by Cross himself in his new “Bernstein Studios” in Sydney.