Week in Pop: Floam, Pleather, Sis

Sjimon Gompers

Seattle's own superstars Pleather from left—Butter & Andrew McKibben; photographed by Sofia Lee.

Michael Beach

Michael Beach live at The Gasometer Hotel; photographed by Naomi Lee Beveridge.

Melbourne based artist Michael Beach presents the world premiere listen to the new radical & guitar wailing 7″ sessin available now via Split Singles Club (a collaboration with Courtney Barnett’s Milk Records imprint & Bedroom Suck) & Poison City. Following up 2017’s Phil Manley-produced release Gravity/Repulsion with plans to return to Oakland this May to begin working on the follow up; Beach will be playing shows in Australia before playing stateside with Bitch Diesel (featured on the other side of the split single), Jamie Hutchings, TV Haze, and so forth.

The single “sessin” rocks with that rhythm & creative dissonance that recalls the Bay Area scenes of yesterday & today. The track trips forward with the heavy hedonistic vibes & delivery that recalls local Aussie artists with a classic Oakland by SF sort of sound that interjects the spirit of 1968 in 2018. Beach tames a distorted & blaring guitar like a serpent charmer while keeping all the arrangement elements minimal—yet totally essential. Michael mixes the artistic anarchy & proliferation of the Melbourne scenes with sunny guitar bursts that recall the sun & fog fusions of California’s Bay. Through a combination of ennui & angst, “sessin” is an exhibition of distortion cadences that rides on a Cali-coasting sailboat of sun-kissed pop to the land down-under that celebrates rock heroes from both the familiar to the new. The rich chord tones offer a taste of further musical offerings to follow from Michael as the artist prepares to lay down further song sketches that will comprise an upcoming full-length. Michael Beach penned the following intro to the new track “sessin” & how the split with Bitch Diesel’s Gareth Liddiard-produced single “Power” came about:

Late last year, I was asked by Poison City Records to be part of their Split Singles Club, pairing 12 Australian bands (mostly from Melbourne) over a series of six 7″s. As a somewhat new arrival back in Melbourne from Oakland, it was an honor to be considered a part of the city’s sprawling music scene. I’m about seven songs into the writing process for my next record, so I plucked this one and demo’ed it. Feeling a bit nostalgic for the things I missed about the Bay Area music scene, I tried to tip my hat in that direction as much as possible (Mike Donovan’s amazing ramshackle songwriting, Muslim Delgado’s old wah pedal, recorded on a Tascam 388, liberal use of Echoplex, etc).

I started the song using the melodic phrasing from the iconic first line of Rowland S. Howard’s “Shivers“. The first words that came out, I just can’t get over those wild eyes, led me to thoughts of obsession and the projection of one’s own reality and desires onto the still image. Now part of humanity’s daily routine, extracting meaning from and inserting meaning into social media imagery is a commonplace internal narrative; a pseudo-reality and a dreamworld bizarrely intertwined with modern life.

So there you have it: a song about social media photo obsession with nods to Melbourne and Oakland’s finest.

The split-side features Bitch Diesel’s high-voltage single “Power” that rumbles with thunder & lightning storms that are executed complete with liberal amounts of surface noise. The track turns the table on misogynistic oppressors with an electric blend of omniscient, electric prowess that makes no excuses or apologies in a statement of identity & purpose. With plenty of wah-wah pedal action & visceral chord schemes; Bitch Diesel rolls fiercely forward ahead down the open roads of endless international highways with a destination that only they alone know (that the rest of the world just has to find out on their own).

Catch Michael Beach at the upcoming Shows:

April
13 Melbourne, Yarra Hotel w/ Jamie Hutchings
14 Castlemaine, Bridge Hotel w/ TV Haze, Loobs
20 Melbourne, The Tote w/ Bitch Diesel

May
03 Sydney, Golden Age Cinema
14 Melbourne, Northcote Social Club (USA tour going away show w/ Ocean Party)

Michael Beach will tour the USA in May/June, more details TBD with further info available at michaelbeach.org.

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