Holy Models – Lessons (Falcon Punch Remix)


We *suffered* through about three weeks of incessant rain in Colorado until the calendar turned to June. The whole vibe of the city was unusually bleak and low-key (yes even more chill than usual).

No one was motivated to do much, and everyone I spoke to was just down in the dumps. Then June came, the sun decided to pop out, and instantly girls traded their rain coats for skirts and stopped wearing bras while guys traded pants for shorts and sandals.

Needless to say, Denver both feels and looks a whole lot better right now and the vibe is getting moist at the right time. When this spring/summer convergence hits, there’s nothing like a slice of smooth, yacht music.

And the Holy Models, an Australian outfit that produces balearic pop, has the sound of this season. Our old bud Falcon Punch placed his usual ethereal vibe on top of the original, and the result is a topless dream:

Covers Music

New Navy – Breathe


As catalogued before on this very site, I am a nut for Australian bands. A recent find is New Navy, a duo from the Sydney area (as opposed to the far-away Perth, home to the Tame Impala/Pond/endless associated projects scene). Their sound is close to Two Door Cinema Club, though it leans more acoustic.

I don’t think New Navy will make a big splash any time soon, though I hope I’m wrong for their sake. They just aren’t different enough from their more successful sonic peers to make an impression live or on radio.

“So why are you writing about them?” you ask. One reason: they covered Télépopmusik’s “Breathe.”

“Breathe” was my teenage years. It’s minimal, funky house was (and remains) the ultimate song to drive, smoke and fuck to. And growing up in Los Angeles, I did plenty of driving 😉

It isn’t often that a Scottish folk singer-songwriter living in California pairs up with a live-performance French house trio to produce a global hit, especially one so utterly different as “Breathe.” Even now, you won’t hear anything like it on your local radio station (unless it’s a college station or KCRW, which all EMPT readers should be listening to online on a regular basis).

New Navy’s cover stays true to the original’s roots as a chiller, but is otherwise a complete pop-rock update. Tropical guitars flutter over a cowbell-driven beat as the vocoded vocals maintain their proper place in the background, and you can’t help but nod  your head and reach for your sunglasses.

If you dig, I recommend checking out New Navy’s label mates on the Future Classics label (including EMPT favs Flume and Jagwar Ma). Labels like FC are responsible for most of the good music you hear these days, as the big boys are focused on paydays above all else (see: ArtPop controversy). Some other fantastic labels: Ninja Tune, Stones Throw, Modular Recordings, Friends Records, Fort Knox Recordings…I could go all day.

But I’ll stop here, so you can get to listening.

New Navy – Breathe (Télépopmusik cover)


The Presets – Ghosts

The Presets Ghosts

Australia has been hot (accidental pun alert) for the past few years, sending a wave of artists across the blogosphere and into festival lineups the world over:Tame Impala, Empire of the Sun, Gotye, Nick Cave and more.

The distinguishing factor that unites Aussi exports is “uniqueness.” These bands all sound different from anything else in their genre (you know I hate that word…) and stick because of it.

The Presets are an electronic music duo that swing from emotive power pop to metal-tronica in the span of a few tracks. Their evolution over eight years and three albums is remarkable, with a completely new sound that is still pure Presets. Live shows are required for people who like to dance. Basically, they fucking rock.

“Ghosts,” the lead single off their most recent album “Pacifica,” is unlike anything the band has ever put out. It is a twisted ballad, a military dirge with an uncertain message, that rides on a bed of soft synths. If that sounds like a dissonant match, you aren’t wrong, but it works here.


“Once I was a very young man, and very young men are none too clever

Sailed across to faraway lands, and faraway towns of tin and terror

Ran amok in a strip called love, lost my mind in streets of neon

Now, I’m coming on back

Help me up move right, left foot forward.”


The Preset’s unique quality comes via singer Julian Hamilton’s vocals, which are truly unlike anyone else gracing the airwaves, and producer Kim Moyes’ insistance of building unrelenting tension that never leads to a drop. WAIT WHAT NO DROPS? WHAT WILL THE KIDS THINK?

This is electronic music for the intellectual, albeit the intellectual who wants to fight hordes of moshers in a strobe-lit pit. No drops, no jokes, pure power.

The Presets – Ghosts


Enerate – Unstoppable

Australia’s brought us another lovely acoustic synth pop group that caters to the bounce and cheer that we all need. This song is their pre-release single and the colors of the above image match the way the tune plasters itself to the walls of your brain. It’s hard to not love.

With a futuristic sound and spacey vocals, one might feel as if human flight is in fact possible. Maybe it is, just for today. I’m drawn to the breakdown actually which happens around the two minute mark. The bass, the synths that climb up and down, the zoom to the finish line where the vocals re-enter the picture. It makes for such happy music.

I guess I talk about happy music a lot, and I can’t help it. I think we all turn to music for different reasons, mostly for comfort and knowledge that someone else is creating something that is potentially fueled by an emotion that you are currently experiencing. And that’s great, for them and for us, because we can take solace in knowing that we are not alone. Our emotions are valid and justified, especially if someone else created a song that really truly embodies that emotion for us. It’s like poetry in the most sonic sense, because even if a song is absent of lyrics, we still get a certain mood from it. And you can’t help but imagine that the creator had that in mind — channeling your mood, as if moods were types of audiences that could be accessed. Some are better accessed than others. For me, happy songs resonate quickly, but sometimes it’s the sad songs that resonate longer. Actually, all the time. I rarely write about sad songs though. They’re just harder to talk about, because they’re different from person to person and case to case.

Let’s all just take this one and be happy about it, yeah? Enjoy.

Enerate – Unstoppable


Jad & The Ladyboy – Closer

If you’ve been lacking mojo, this track has got the goods to get your “sexy, sexy moves” back. Inspired by old school R&B and laid back grooves, Jad & the Ladyboy has got the “seductive vibes” thing down pat. Basically, if I was making a playlist for the annual “Player’s Ball”, their tracks would feature heavily on it.

It’s no surprise that Jad & The Ladybody operates down under and has also loaned his sultry touch as a member of EMPT favorites Mitzi. The lesser known side-project has a more downtempo, late night feel to it with equally lushness.

“Closer” is a subtle, serotonin booster with nothing too crazy going on with the production, just lots of feel chill funkiness–Breakbot and Shook styles–grooves jiving in and out coupled with some enticing vocals.

There’s never a bad time to have pimpin, velour, and feathery hats on your mind, and Jad Lee ensures that you can make this a sonic reality. The whole EP is out December 10th on Gazeebo, and its the right elixir to share with your sweet thang on a cold, winter night.

Jad & The Ladyboy – Closer


Jad & The Ladyboy – Soft Cocks