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Gig Review: Thumpers + Tales in Space + Billy Fox

Thumpers

Thumpers might seem like a strange name for a band, but it won’t after experiencing the syncopated, pounding rhythms they bring to their live shows. And this well-managed sound was certainly a pleasant surprise for the casual audience that made it down to Newtown Social Club on Thursday.

As the crowd gently trickled in, Billy Fox filled the room with swirling electronic notes that brought to mind San Francisco producer Tycho, combined with snappier vocals to lift the mood. His offbeat sense of humour matched a quirky sense of style, and managed to lighten up the quiet audience.

 

Tales in Space started to draw a larger audience with an intriguingly in-sync rhythm guitar section and bass line that made them seem almost like a parody band. But these guys meant business, pulling out all the stops with nicely placed indie rock harmonies and even a cosmic cover of George Michael’s sultry “Careless Whisper” (a riff like that sax line never goes astray, I can tell you).

 

UK act Thumpers followed and showed the audience just how much fun they could have, with great chemistry on stage between friends. In fact, there was so much going on that it made me stop and realise just how much it’s easy to miss in a recording. From getting the audience in on the action by clapping, to a complex patchwork of syncopated vocal rhythms, there was a lot being put into their sound and none of it was lost on stage. “Tame” was a standout track in this respect, creating an interesting weave of beats.

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“We’re used to having an eleven-piece ensemble on stage, but we couldn’t afford to fly them all out,” apologised lead vocalist Marcus Pepperell. But Newtown Social Club proved once again to be a space that facilitates effective mixing of the sound, allowing each member of the band to shine, and bringing out the particularly lovely backup vocals just enough. The final track “Unkinder (A Tougher Love)” got people moving and encouraged some (ahem, braver) members of the audience to dance like no one was watching.

 

Thumpers gave a spirited performance to a relaxed audience and revealed their rhythmic prowess. Check out their debut album Galore, out now.

By Erin Rooney

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International Highlights – Feel Awake with Tycho’s latest album

Tycho

Image Source: Navis Photography

This man can do no wrong.

No, honestly he can’t. Simply put, Scott Hansen, known in the music world as Tycho, is an artist.

As with his earlier titles, including Dive and Past Is Prologue, Tycho’s latest album Awake maintains the San Francisco producer’s signature ambient sound, and after his three-year break from recording, reminds us that there is beauty in the simple things in life.

He has managed to create original tracks with this sound, compiled together in a smoothly linked album. Because whether it’s easing into your morning peacefully, practicing yoga or doing a last minute essay for uni, there is no wrong way to experience this music.

However, the genre is not for everyone. Unlike his past albums, Awake is stripped back with no vocal layers, focusing instead on the simple, looping guitar riffs. For those with short attention spans, Awake is not for the foreground.

The album is a work that should be experienced in full and is a great start to the day, true to its name. Listen here:

Keep in the loop for upcoming music and concerts here. Us Aussies can only hope that one day soon Tycho extends his tour to our borders!

By Erin Rooney