In desperate need of a drink tonight? Melbourne’s alt-rock gems Edith Lane have got you covered, with the perfect musical accompaniment to match.
Edith Lane know their music well and it shows. Just look to their debut album for proof. A playbook of alt-rock at its finest, Eden On The Park is a deeply intimate record that wastes no time in getting its message across.
Fresh off the release, we caught up with the band to chat their all-time favourite albums and why they are so special. They were even kind enough to pair each with evening beverage, for your listening pleasure.
There’s a lot of music out in the world. Like, a lot. I’m never going to hear every piece of music ever written and I just have to accept that (it’s definitely not ideal but I’m not complaining). So, it’s no surprise that some several billion brilliant albums have fallen under the Grammy’s radar for Album Of The Year over the past 61 years. Anyway, like any person writing a top ten list based on personal taste, here’s ten albums I think you should listen to despite not knowing what your musical tastes are. This list is in no particular order, with no other criteria other than being generally great albums.
Esc – Courtesy
Let’s kick things off with one of my favourite records to have come out in recent years. ESC’s Courtesy is an eclectic supernova explosion of musical ideas. They have such a unique sound that is eerie, fresh, but also familiar. In a nutshell, it is the perfect blend of contemporary electronic music and no-wave/alt-rock. This is what I think of when I wonder what the future of guitar music sounds like. This is what the guitar of music sound futures like. Sadly, ESC doesn’t perform anymore, however, this record is testimony to how fantastic they were.
Courtesy is best paired with a nice, soft Cabernet Sauvignon, leaning more towards the fruity side. Something that is full-bodied with a satisfying dry bite and plump fruity undertones. Rich, delicate, and best drunk without reading the descriptions on the bottle.
Recommended tracks: Courtesy, Lightyears, Fall Deeper.
Evelyn Ida Morris – Evelyn Ida Morris
This record is an incredibly unique record, mainly because of its malleability. Malleability? Yeah, malleability. I find when listening to this album, on some listens I am witness to what Evelyn is presenting and other times my own experiences are being presented to me. This comes from two big elements of this album. The first is how sparingly the vocals are used. This album is mostly instrumental and, because of that, I find there’s a lot of space for personal reflection when listening to it. The second is how the flow of this album is constructed. It moves between three moods that seem to mimic how thought is processed. You get these moments of jumping between chaos and shimmering clarity, and then occasionally a dose of immediate perception. Kind of like trying to remember something, but you can’t quite get your thoughts straight, and then being pulled out of your head for a moment. It makes it a very human album, in a very vivid and real way.
Evelyn Ida Morris’ self-titled LP is best matched with a chilled Chardonnay. One with a bit more bite and less of the buttery textures, so it quenches your taste buds but also takes the edge off of that Darwin heat.
Recommended tracks: Darwin Heat, The Body Appears, Tamping It (personal favourite).
Lost Talk – Symbol Signal
One of the most organic sounding heavy alternative rock records ever. There is a phenomenal level of playfulness and musicianship on this album, from the “don’t try this at home kids” screams to the perfectly syncopated (dual) drums, the tubular bass, and, of course, the abrasive and constantly moving guitars. Sadly, this is another band that are no longer playing but, like with ESC, I’m very glad they left evidence of their existence. Symbol Signal is the first of two records released by Lost Talk.
Symbol Signal is best paired with a very dry Lager. Something with a lot of bite, but also a subtle sweetness in the after taste. Make sure you and a friend attempt to smash your empty pint glasses by throwing one at the other.
Recommended tracks: Annie, Chrome Alone, Spotless Temperament, Jesus is a Centaur
The Raincoats – The Raincoats
This band is simply the best and this record should be testimony to that. The Raincoats’ self-titled debut can’t be described, it just simply ‘is.’ It feels like such a personal album, like a big secret. It’s rough around the edges, like very rough, but that doesn’t matter at all because it makes you feel so at home. Letting this record into your life feels like the moment you realise there are friends you don’t hang out with, who are incredibly kind people that you should spend more time with. At least that’s how I felt, but hopefully you get something just as potent from it. All this, and yet it’s still so very punk rock.
The Raincoats is best matched with a simple cup of hot chocolate. It’s a Sunday, and you’ve been out all weekend, so have a rest and hang out with The Raincoats.
Recommended Tracks: No Side To Fall In, Off Duty Trip, Void, No Looking
The Trucks – The Trucks
I feel like this actually a popular record, but I don’t know. Either way more people need to hear it. The Trucks is an electronic rock record that is surprisingly raw and vulnerable beneath its fun exterior. It’s like going to a party, but a real party, not a party from a film. There’s some shitty guys at this party, but The Trucks are there too, and they’re going for the jugular.
The Trucks is best paired with Apple Pie Moonshine. Hard, surprisingly fun, and easily your new favourite drink. Make sure you’re in a dark room dancing too.
Recommended tracks: Titties, Shattered, Zombie, March 1st
Truly Holy – Transporter
Truly Holy are a little group from Melbourne that keeps a pretty low key. Their debut album Transporter is a patient record, and one that exercises a lot of restraint. The songs are very in the moment, often circling around and around until the latter parts come in and we’re gently introduced to more and more layers. These layers don’t pull you away though, they simply add to it in a way that serves to enhance the overall mood. Patience is always rewarded. This band is the physical embodiment of ‘a vibe’.
Transporter is best matched a soft single malt whiskey like a Balvenie 12yr Doublewood, with a single cube of ice. Rich, light, and something that even an avid whiskey hater could enjoy. Stare vacantly into the distance while drinking.
Recommended tracks: Eyes Across The Universe, One Thousand Years, Another Life. Not from this record, but you should also check out Beatrix83.
Mangelwurzel – Gary
This one’s from another band who aren’t playing anymore, which is a damn shame. Gary is the spawn of Mangelwurzel, what was one of the most colourful bands to have ever been. This is one of the most surreal albums to come out of Melbourne. It’s colourful, bizarre, and really, really fun. Gary is what you get if you convert a trumpet into a blender, then throw a pack of gummy babies into that blender with some hydrochloric acid, then mold that blend into a person that you then present to Nickelodeon as the main character for an adult cartoon series. Does that make sense? No? Well it does after you listen to Gary.
Gary is best matched with a cocktail of whatever drinks you have laying around your house, infused with a packet of skittles, and served in a glass that has a picture of a beach printed on it. Make sure you have your multicoloured LED’s set to auto, and speak only in tongues.
Recommended tracks: Hawaii, Odyssey, Baby Pie, My House
Bridget Chappell – Undertow
Where to start… there is so much that informs this record. Undertow details the history of water colonisation in Naarm by using contemporary and historical data from The City Of Melbourne’s Open Data Platform and putting it through a process of data sonification. Basically taking raw data and converting it into music. This piece was made for cello, electronics, and Melbourne’s Federation Bells. It’s a very haunting record and the history it’s built on plays a huge role in creating that feeling. That haunting feeling constantly builds to an almost uncomfortable level, but you just can’t turn away from it. It’s sonically compelling and leaves me in awe every time I listen to it.
Undertow is best listened to straight up sober. If you need though, a nice Rooibos tea with some soy milk, honey, and brandy would keep the nerves calm while listening.
Recommended tracks: I think this is technically one piece of music in four movements.
Jaala – Hard Hold
Hard Hold is a very special record. This is another one that’s hard to put into words, but basically what you’ll hear is raw vulnerability fitted with jaw dropping percussion, complex rhythms, one of the most unique and animated vocal styles, and a dark moody production. I think it’s a breakup album, but it’s one that follows all the motions, not just grief. It’s music from beneath the flesh and its deliverance is near perfect. There’s something really nostalgic about its atmosphere too, though nothing comes to mind for comparison.
Hard Hold is best matched with french martini, drunk atop a sand dune with two old ladies sunbathing who don’t seem to notice that you’re there.
Recommended tracks: Salt Shaker, War Song, Double Dutch, Ticket
Hexdebt – Rule Of Four
Wow, we’re already at number ten. This mashup of poetic brilliance, hard punk rock, and sharp visceral guitars is such an otherworldly experience. Rule Of Four is a perfect example of how important an album cover is to setting the tone and imagery of a record too. Like seriously, the album cover is a mood, it serves the music so well. When listening to this record, I feel I’ve been whisked away into a ’90s episode of Power Rangers, and I’m watching every character get torn to shreds by the band. I don’t exactly know why they’re there, but it makes sense in my head. In all honesty though, I can’t get past the lyrics. They’re delivered hard and fast and there’s so many double entendre’s and brilliant wordplay. There’s a track called Flux that is easily one of the coolest noise intermissions I’ve ever heard too. You know you’ve done well when your noise intermission is a standout track.
Rule Of Four is best matched with a small electrical charge served in a jar with absinthe. Once finished you should notice that you’re now a futuristic post apocalyptic road warrior. To return to normal, simply drink a pint of water.
Recommended tracks: Era, Stakes, Gemini, Flux, Ekhos
Grab your copy of Eden On The Park here