Goodnight Owl name change

Name changes can always cause a bit if confusion, however for Melbourne band Goodnight Owl it signifies a change in direction.

From the 2nd of July they will be known as Love Migrate. With the electronic glitches of their EP replaced with a fuller sound, their newer tracks are catchier that anything they’ve ever released.

On July 2 the band will play their final show as Goodnight Owl and their First as Love Migrate at the Grace Darling Hotel in Melbourne.

You can buy tickets here.


Guineafowl Interview

Most musical projects that begin in the bedroom stay there, however for Sydney-based Gineafowl, it has led to radio play, a deal with Dew Process and the recently released Hello Anxiety EP which has seen good reviews from anyone that’s heard it. The band are currently on their first headline tour and I was lucky enough to get an interview with Sam Yeldham, the mastermind behind the entire project.

Electric Skeleton: How did Guineafowl start?

It started out as just me recording some demos in my living room, using my laptop as the only real bit of recording equipment. Some friends of mine heard the demos and urged me to put them online. Those demos got blogged about a bit and show offers started coming in. I realized that I couldn’t really play these songs by myself and so along with the help of those friends who urged me initially, we started a band.

ES: How would you describe your sound?

Indie pop. But to be honest I don’t think I am satisfied with one particular sound yet. Ask me in five years.

ES: How does playing in a group compare to playing solo shows?

It’s much better playing in a band than on your own. When you make a mistake on your own, everyone can hear it, your reaction is much more noticeable and pronounced, this is because you just have yourself to rely on. I realize this sounds like, it’s nice to have others to cover up your mistakes, but really it’s nice to rely on other people, trust them and know that you are not alone.

ES: How did the name ‘Guineafowl’ come about?

It was a nickname given to me in primary school. A teacher started calling me Guineapig because of the massive fringe I used to sport when I was a kid. Later that same teacher evolved it for no apparent reason to Guineafowl. When choosing a pseudonym, I just wanted something that meant something to me.

ES: You’re about to embark on your first headline tour. Can you tell us what to expect from your live shows?

Our live shows are pretty rambunctious. There are six of us, so we tend to crowd a stage and make a fair amount of noise. We are very excited about our first headlining tour as in reality we have only done two headlining shows before these ones!

ES: Do you have a favourite track from the Hello Anxiety EP?

People say naming your favorite song or work is like choosing a favorite child. I disagree, I think it would be much easier to pick a favorite child.

ES: You’re a relatively new band and you’ve already signed to Dew Process, been played on Triple J and released a very well received EP. Did you expect all of this to happen so early in your career?

Not at all, but we have a long way to go!

ES: Are there any local bands you think people should know about?

The bands that are supporting us on our E.P tour are amazing! We Say Bamboulee from Sydney and Kins from Melbourne especially are my personal favorites. But Readable Graffiti from Canberra and Goodnight Owl, also from Melbourne are Wicked.

Ernest Ellis @ The NSC 16/07/10

Photo: Jack Crane

When it’s a ridiculously cold Melbourne night you really only have two options for entertainment: snuggle under a doona or head to your favourite live music venue to catch one of Australia’s most promising bands. The crowd that gathered at the Northcote Social Club to see Ernest Ellis in their first Melbourne headline show certainly made the right decision.

The choice to have the headline act start after 11pm was a puzzling one and left Goodnight Owl playing to an almost empty room for the first half of their set. This didn’t seem to deter them however, as they serenaded the growing crowd with their brand of lush indie pop. Beginning with an impressive remix of Seekae’s Void, it showed how the band have come a long way since the release of their debut EP last year, with the most notable difference being drummer Eric Moore who breathes new life into some of the older tracks. Unfortunately he had to leave halfway through Goodnight Owl’s set, resulting in the slower songs being played last, making the set seem a little unbalanced. The electronic glitches from the single Maps and Compasses worked surprisingly well in a live setting and would delight any fan of the Postal Service. The band’s final song was Red Wolf, about singer Eddie Alexander’s dog that died last year. While it was a bit of a depressing note to end their set on it showcased Alexander’s great falsetto. Judging by the number of EPs that flew off the merch stand, there is no doubt the band earned themselves some new fans.

Gosteleradio features members from Plug-In City and TTT who are obviously very competent musicians however it became very clear that many members of the audience were bored during their set, with many fiddling with their phones or sitting on the floor.  Their psychedelic folk tinged rock seemed to fall flat and many of the subtler moments of their music were lost in the live setting, which often left them sounding like little more than an Oasis tribute band. At times it felt like they were playing one long continuous song. There were signs of what they can really do shining through, such as their use of looping and their single Guillotine but overall it was a disappointing set. Here’s hoping it was just an off night, because given the right setting, they have the potential to be amazing.

After a short wait, the members of Ernest Ellis emerged on stage, to the delight of the crowd. On their stunning debut album Hunting their songs boarder on the atmospheric folk-rock side of things, however from the moment the band launch into Want For Anything it becomes clear that tonight will be all about showcasing their indie-rock side. Ellis’ voice in often hiding under reverb on record, but live it is a completely different beast, ranging from falsetto to pained screams. This is most obvious in Pulse that saw him transition from calm to completely insane in under four minutes. The pulsing bass from Ben Morgan was definitely a highlight, as was the steady percussion from Mat Gardner. After telling us that he left his acoustic guitar back home, he performed a solo version of Valley Song on electric guitar, which left the entire room silent, hanging on his every work. Morgan joined in for backing vocals, making it something truly special.

Dancing is not something you would expect to see at an Ernest Ellis show, but it’s exactly what happened during Taking Shapes and it didn’t stop until the very end of the set. Triple J favourite Heading for the Cold was a hit with the crowd and saw the majority of people clapping along. It sounded even better with a full live band behind the vocals and was a much faster version than what we are used to hearing. Loveless lost some of its restrained charm in the live setting, but the crowd didn’t seem to care. Ellis told the crowd that there would be no encore but invited everyone up on stage at the end of the set, before launching into Bad Blood which saw the band rocking almost as much as the crowd, however nobody took up the offer of a stage invasion.

Ernest Ellis have carved quite a name for themselves in the Australian music scene and it’s easy to see why. Their live show is both entertaining and moving and despite many missing the last tram home, the crowd would be more than happy to have them back in Melbourne.

Goodnight Owl Release Maps and Compasses Video

You know what’s better than paying $60 to see the Temper Trap at *shudder* Festival Hall? Going to the Workers Club in Melbourne to see Goodnight Owl lauch their debut video.

Goodnight Owl sound like the lovechild of Josh Pyke and The Postal Service (and in case you wre confused, they have nothing at all to do with the greatly inferior Owl City). They released their debut EP last year and it’s one of those releases that still sounds good after the 13,oo0th listen. Suprisingly, the video for Maps and Compasses is their first, and it certainly fits well with their laidback and glitchy music.

The video will be launched on the 24th of July at The Workers Club. Until then, you check out the video below.

Note: The date has now been changed to the 31st of July. So now you really have no excuse not to go.

Best EPs of 2009

EPs are like a difficult middle child. They aren’t seen to be as important as albums and they don’t have the disposable and popular nature of singles. Instead they are largely ignored despite the fact that many of the are truly excellent. So to make up for this, I have decided to write a list of the best EPs of 2009.

5. Philadelphia Grand Jury-Going To The Casino

With four songs and none of them going over 4 minutes, the best way to describe this EP is short and sweet. Three of the tracks could have been lead singles and made their way onto their debut album Hope Is For Hopers. The only song that didn’t make to the album was the experimental and slightly dirgey Pitchshifter Blues which feels out of place. The first three tracks more than make up for it though.

Oh Mercy-In The Nude For Love

Like Philadelphia Grand Jury, Oh Mercy also released an album that made it to my end of year list. This EP was released after the album was recorded as a teaser of sorts. Aside from the brilliant title it has some great pop songs and two instrumentals. At 6 tracks it also one of the longest EPs on the list, walking the line between EP and album. If your like Oh Mercy and haven’t heard this yet, try to track down a copy.

3.Hungy Kids Of Hungary-Mega Mountain

How’s that for cover art? And the music isn’t half bad either. Hungry Kids of Hungary have some great catchy pop tunes and all of the four tracks here, including the slower number and single Old Money are impossible to get out of your head. While it is easy to hear who their influences are, it’s a great little EP.

2.Yae!Tiger- Songs From…Casualty of the Avalanche

One of the best things about blogging is coming accross great new music and I found both Yae!Tiger and the number one band  because they had been nice enough to send me their music. Yae!Tiger’s EP Songs From…Casualty of the Avalanche EP has some of the best packaging I have ever seen. The picture really doesn’t do it justice. Musically these guys have Los Campesinos! style pop songs with male and female vocals hidden under a layer of disortion. The EP also comes with a cute animated clip to their song Waging War At The Carnival. While this EP won’t change the world, it is extremely enjoyable.

1.Goodnight OwlGoodnight Owl

This EP highlights one of the downsides of EPs: the short length. Goodnight Owl is a beautiful EP that sounds like it was made by an accomplished artist rather than a group of musicians who were just starting out. Sounding like a mix between Josh Pyke and The Postal Service, the mix of electronic glitches and acoustic instruments creates an almost perfect EP. These guys should be huge.

Good Night Owl

When was the last time you heard music that blew you away?

For me it was last week when I received Goodnight Owl’s EP in the mail from their manager and music blogger Sabi.  As soon as I checked the letterbox, I ran upstairs, put it on and was amazed at just how good it is.

Goodnight Owl play lush folk music with electronic beats layered underneath. The result is something like a cross between Josh Pyke and The Postal Service but with a distinctly Australian flavour.

Goodnight Owl  is composed of main songwriter Eddie Alexander who moved from Central Australia to Melbourne, Joe Walker who provides all of the electronic work and Bella Walker on piano. All three members were friends in Alice Springs  and met up back in Melbourne.

Apparently Eddie Alexander used songwriting as a way to overcome the homesickness and other emotions that came from living away from friends and family and it shows in the heart-breaking yet hopeful nature of the music and lyrics.

Although acoustic instruments are mainly used on the EP, the use of electronic glitches though out the record blend everything together in a subtle and interesting way. This is particularly noticeable on the opener and standout track Maps & Compasses, which is probably the most electronic track on the EP.

Verandah is a delicate song about childhood memories in Alice Springs and I’m sure that anybody, regardless of where they’re from could relate to some of it. The final track Stale Bread comes all too quickly and is the least electronic track which draws attention to the lyrics. It is definitely one of the EP’s highlights and leaves the listener wanting more.

The only track that let’s the EP down is She Kept A Secret, which starts off well but tends to drag on towards the end, especially after repeated listens.

There aren’t many bands like Goodnight Owl, particularly from Australia. These guys should be huge, and in time, I’m sure they will be.