Æ: Aglet Eaters

Stay with me.

Posted in Track by R on May 18, 2015

Hell is made of people of leaving, of leaving people, and of being left behind.
(Such is life)

‘Ghost’ will bring you to your knees and to tears, but at least it won’t leave.

Hold me close
Stay with me

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Heads Up: The Microdance – We Meet In Dreams

Posted in Discover, Track by R on April 14, 2015

Not long till The Microdance‘s first full-length New Waves of Hope is out. I already know it’s excellent but you don’t so just take my totes unbiased word for it.

Out of the dozen or so tracks on the album, this one’s my favourite. That’s why they’ve decided to release it as a single.* It’s out tomorrow on Boxing Clever Records.

[*No, that’s not why]


Damn. It only took me a month to get that hook out of my head and now it’s wedged solidly in there again.


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The greatest MBV cover in all the world

Posted in Discover, Track by R on April 7, 2015

Arctique Circles

Who are they?

Where did they come from?

How did they do it?

An MBV cover to rival MBV?

It cannot be!

But it is:


Built to Bleed

Posted in Track by R on March 3, 2015

This is for the ones didn’t overcome the odds
Still stacked against them.

For the ones who dropped out of school
And didn’t launch a startup.

For the ones who left a career
To follow a dream that didn’t want them.

For the ones who fought a family for a lover.
And lost.

For the ones who gave up when the going got tough
And the ones who didn’t even try.

This is for the ones who don’t roll with the punches.

They’re built to bleed

But it’s all right.
If you feel like letting go.

According to Plan – I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness

Posted in Feature, Track by R on September 3, 2014

Born the son of a god, believed to be the lowly son of a lowly charioteer, he lives a life of quiet misfortune.

Adopted as a brother by a king, he appears as a suitor before her. She mocks him mercilessly before an open court.

He should hate her, he tells himself, but he never forgets the tilt of her chin or the fire in her voice.


She first sees him when he appears for her wedding which he hopes is to him.

She knows it can’t be, and uses her voice and crown to ensure it.

She weds his rival, but never forgets the eyes that now refuse to meet her own.


Her husband kills him while his back is turned during a misplaced battle for a barren kingdom.


Years later, when she falls by the side of the road, he reaches his hand out to hers.


In a perfect world,
the perfect place is with you
the truth is the world is without love.

See also: The Palace of Illusions

No Joy – Maggie Says I Love You

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on May 10, 2013

There are songs for seasons and songs for moods. Something like this tastes of summer. Something like this is for the cold. This is fury. This is solitude.

No Joy‘s ‘Maggie Says I Love You’ is everything.

It’s bare toes and outstretched arms in summer, it’s a glimpse of the sun in winter, it’s the rationale that overcomes fury, it is the quiet company you seek in solitude.


Two Dancers – Wild Beasts

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on September 8, 2012

What is this odd contraption that you are aiming at us?

I don’t speak the language of lyrics.

It’s one of the traits I am least proud of because a heady melody can lead me to ignore a compelling story.

But if there really is a craft to the words, a song will bring me back. Maybe not right that minute. Maybe not even that year. But one day I’ll hear it playing in the back of my mind, and I’ll turn it on to appease the earworm. And the hungry creature will ask for more. And I’ll keep feeding it until finally, a rusty little cog in my brain will shudder awake and the worm will vanish, knowing it’s done its job.

So here – two years after seeing Wild Beasts on stage and three following the release of Two Dancers –  I find the title track looping incessantly around my mind. I liked it, on first listen, but it hadn’t really got me by the throat. If anything, it was ‘The Song Before ‘Two Dancers II”

Funny that, because right now I can’t even bring to mind what the second one sounds like.

I’ve had it happen before. Innocuous songs come to me in shreds. ‘They dragged me by my ankles through the street’ hadn’t left me since the first listen. Neither had ‘They passed me round them like a piece of meat’. But now ‘I feel as if I’ve been where you have been’ was echoing off the walls of my skull, fading out and starting over, prancing around with unknown intent. What could it possibly want?

I turned it on.

‘His hairy hands/His falling fists
 His dancing cock/Down by his knees’

Why don’t I listen?

Now the ankles were more apparent. So far, they had been a pair of blurry wrists in my inattentive mind. So was the desolate acceptance of ‘I’ve seen my children turn away from me’ – if that voice had eyes, they would be lowered and unfocussed. And then there’s that lie of a line:

‘Oh do you want my bones between your teeth’

The fraud – it’s the one that led me astray in the first place. You can’t help registering it because of the silence that comes before – the act so concrete, but still so intangible . Distracting. It left me mulling over it while ‘they pulled me half alive out of the sea’ washed over me. I hear the words, but because their meaning is so disparate from what I interpreted the line before to mean, I opt to gloss over them.

Still – I can hear where the name comes from. No matter how you read it or hear it, the track dances. Maybe it’s the voices – don’t think I missed ‘two hearts’ swirling behind the second verse, Hayden. It rises, and floats, and flies. The voice is heavy, as is the lump pulled out of the sea, as is the heart within it. It’s devastating but still – it’s fluid and rhythmic and as it breathes, it takes you in.

It’s a shame – I can’t listen to anything else from the album anymore.

Emperor X – Bashling (2004)

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on October 1, 2010

I have never, ever been so desperate to get out of a café.

I spend hours in coffee shops, making sure my nerves don’t dare sink into complacency. They must always be on edge, the system always in fight (of fight-or-flight) mode, constantly wired, perpetually in a state of DO SOMETHING – it’s how I balance university, work, life, music (that counts as life, surely?), and half a dozen blogs all at once.

And today is a beautiful day by anyone’s standards – even a sun-loathing vampire such as myself is a fan of the delicate warmth shrouding the city today. Not blindingly bright and the air still nippy – I’d suckle on cups of coffee for an eternity if eternity was this weather.

But I didn’t today. I thought I would. But I couldn’t. I had a craving for a song I’d been listening to for two continuous hours yesterday and still hadn’t got enough of.

It’s called ‘Bashling’ and it’s by Emperor X. He’s been hopping about Australia for the past couple of weeks. I was clever enough to not say no when a friend of mine and fan of his asked me to come to one of his shows. Suffice it to say his performance left me a bit stunned.

This isn’t a live review, though. This is about what happened after I patched the cracks in my chin from where it had hit the floor. I decided to go discography exploring. And that’s when I met Bashling.

I feel a bit guilty about how quickly I fell in love with a song that’s been around forever. How long? About six years or so. I am so late to the scene, I am a n00b in the Emperor X clique and I already have a My Song, that’s not right.

Never mind, I am too busy playing it over and over and over again on a university PC alternating the official gazer version with a ‘live’ version which may as well be a different song for its lack of gaze but that I love to pieces all the same.

I think it’s because I can make out the words in the non-gaze version (thus the gazelessness). And it’s beautiful even when it’s stripped down to six strings (not counting vocal chords). There’s this line that frames the song – “wanted to climb to you… on the swing set” – and it absolutely kills me. I think it’s so devastating because you can’t really clamber about effectively on a swing set without the risk of moderate injury. So for someone to want someone else so much that they’re willing to take that risk in a setting as innocently harmless as a swing set – that’s just heartbreaking.

Of course I might be wrong. The ‘swing set’ might be more than the couple of steel-threaded planks of wood that I see. But that’s what I want it to be so THAT’S WHAT IT IS. Don’t question my interpretation, I’m not questioning what a ‘bashling’is now am I?

What’s a bashling?


Photo credit

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Feel The Same – Millionyoung (2009)

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on July 11, 2010

Chillwave is a natural companion to shoegaze if you think about it. Both genres share the same fuzziness, the same distant, drowning echos, the same viscosity. Chillwave just happens to be slightly more synthetic – you can taste the chemicals that give it its flavour, while shoegaze is much more analogue – more silky. Nonetheless, they go together well. Which is why I don’t feel it is out of character to have a bit of a discussion about Millionyoung here.

Well, not even Millionyoung – just this one song by him. Being a relatively new genre, its proponents are a bit sparse with the albums and so you make do with just a smattering of tracks per artist.

So, yes, the song in question happens to be this tropical midnight number called ‘Feel The Same – it’s all about hollow plinkity-plinks with jingly percussion grated over it. Or that’s how it opens anyway: the parmesan synths tickling the back of your neck like friendly ants. Then something you assume is the bassline owing to its passing resemblance to the rhythm of a ‘regular’ bass guitar honks its lumbering way in offering its squishy brick wall support to the starry voice that’s been murmuring all this while.

It starts to cushion its pulse, showing itself to be more of a beat and less of a bass, and then the song morphs – the first transformation of three – into an unbelievably outer spacey 1980s guitar solo. Soon, this breaks up as well as it changes into a myriad of wah-wahs before the entire track collapses upon itself recapping its entirety in reverse order. By the time you reach the end, you’re right where you began, wondering if you just imagined the entire immobilising interplanetary journey.

PS: Click the image to download the Sunndreamm EP. Click here to download ‘Feel The Same’. Both totes legit.

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Epic45 – Ghosts On Tape (2009)

Posted in Rediscover, Track by R on June 13, 2010

I’m a little bit in love with this song. ‘Ghosts on Tape’ is the last song on Epic45‘s mini-album In All The Empty Houses. I love Epic45 even more for releasing a ‘mini-album’. Everything is a little more endearing in miniature.

Now ‘Ghosts on Tape’ starts off all innocent-like with a little bit of string-picking. Then this wistful, disembodied voice comes in and says “I’ll always remember you/you’re in my heart/forever.” Ordinarily I’d roll my eyes at such op-shop lyrics but these convey such heartbreaking hopelessness as they absent-mindedly sketch a fond memory before sinking into an acceptance of loss – “Now we’re just… ghosts on tape” – that they are immediately granted the right of way on the cliche superhighway, should such a thing exist. The song is so full of unhappy longing, it makes you want to wrap it up in a blankie and give it some spiked cocoa with the aim of snapping the glaze out of its unfocused eyes.

Because ‘Ghosts on Tape’ is effectively just an extended childhood reminiscence punctuated by unwelcome jolts back to cruel adulthood. The video fits perfectly too and you see it complement the steadily melancholic song as protagonist goes through fits of rage, defeated helplessness and ultimate submission.

But it’s not a depressing song. There’s a magical crash halfway through which transforms the melancholia of the track into something wonderfully uplifting. By the time we reach the end we’re no longer wallowing dejectedly in the past. I’d say we’re accepting the present and embracing the future instead, but it’s really more like we’ve figured out a way to go back in time and relive our favourite bits over and over again.

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