Das Phaedrus – New Position
Genre: Indie Rock
The art world is a bit of a sham. And, I think that we’re all better off for it. There are incomprehensible patterns of paint thrown onto a canvas that sell for millions of dollars. There are guitarists who don’t know more than a few chords who’ve bought mansions on the back of their musical endeavours. Personally, I think that’s wonderful.
Sure, folks like Frank Zappa would’ve been quick to call into question our collective knowledge and appreciation of serious, high-minded art. Listen, if the concert halls designed for classical music can’t muster enough enthusiasm, why would he expect to push these cavalcades of artistic expression onto kids?
New Zealand’s Das Phaedrus feels like a band that knows the difference. There’s a distinct whiff of artsiness about their single New Position. However, there are pleasant melodies and rhymes kicking about. The dreamy alt-rock production begs for inclusion on playlists featuring the genre’s biggest players. If serious art had a hook, it might get more people spending their Saturdays at the museum, eh?
Curse of Lono – So Damned Beautiful
Genre: Americana, Alternative Rock
The thing about pop songwriting is that it breeds tremendous liars. How could it not? Few want pop songs about how difficult and, potentially, unfulfilling life can be. Those people have The Cure’s first albums. Most other people want to escape, dream and feel little responsibility for their chosen pleasures.
Love and sex. That’s what most pop songs are about. For the most part, they are written from an idyllic perspective. Love is always holy, breakups are heartwrenching, and sex is a speckless activity just like in the movies. Nice, but is this really the message these writers should be sending.
These love and sex businesses can get pretty sinister. For novices especially. That’s what Curse of Lono’s back and forth duet on the single So Damned Beautiful. This is sex as a would-be death cult and desire as torture. It’s the Nick Cave song left buried, and the pop star’s aborted follow-up to platinum success. It’s sultry stuff.