Five for Friday: Darren Cross, Gold Class, Lanks, Mere Women, Fascinator

Five for Friday: Darren Cross, Gold Class, Lanks, Mere Women, Fascinator

by Jonny Nail | September 9th, 2016 1:17:PM EST

From the new tacts of genre-sampling veterans to skittish new avenues for the creatively restless — via everywhere. Here's our five-pack of fresh new local music from the week:

Darren Cross "Highway Lights In the Night"

From backpack-wearing electro-pop rascals Gerling, to raving-and-regret bedroom project, The E.L.F, to his most recent outing as part of alt-country duo Jep and Dep, Darren Cross has done it all. Except that is, perform under his own name.

For his solo Darren Cross debut, he disrupts his DIY-drum machine footing with a more nostalgic synth-folk tilt, with just enough of his own murmured, lonesome vocals left in tact to make it unmistakably his own. At times on "Highway Lights In the Night" he even swings close to the tone of E.L.F's brilliant 2010 reflective comedown Plankton Icke and Tina Turner David City Limits. Do yourself a favour and (somehow) track that one down.

"Highway Lights In the Night" features on Cross' first solo-proper full length, _Xantastic, out today via No Drums and being launched tonight at the Petersham Bowling Club, details here.

Gold Class "Kids On Fire"

Gold Class' captivating, crooning strut is their key drawcard, but it's a presence equally backed by an anxious underlying panic, reminiscent of dance-rock trailblazers The Bravery. A balance well illustrated on new track, "Kids On Fire", that matches the Interpol-ished vocals of Adam Curley against grittier — occasionally distorted — elements, sliding the song away from the video clip's stylish setting and closer towards the song's underlying message of temporariness: "no take backs, no yesterday".

"Kids On Fire" is set to feature on the band's follow-up to debut It's You, expected later this year.

Lanks "Holla"

Partnering skittish byte-size samples side-by-side with soulful plateaus, the new track from Melbourne's Lanks is as dancefloor frenetic as it is invitingly embracing. Weirdly, it's a juxtaposition that actually works, not just because of the sheer volume of instrumentation weight here, but also the way in which a structural sensibility is carved through the chaotically collaged jungle of blips and blaps.

"Holla" is set to feature on Lanks' new EP, Viet Rose, due October 14th and set to feature collaborations with Big Scary's Tom Iansek and Airling.

Mere Women "Drive"

While introduced via accompanying press as a fantasy of "leaving the city to find a simpler, more fulfilling existence", the latest from Sydney's Mere Women (pictured) strikes first as a tale of helplessness. "Drive" is a beautiful, pulsating mess that further exploits the band's unique formula of unhinged and hypnotic, landing equally between despondent and — as the title itself suggests — determined.

Ahead of supporting the Nation Blue in Sydney next month, Mere Women will launch the new single at Blackwire Records on Tuesday, September 13th, alongside USA's Creative Adult.

Fascinator "Skin Within"

Around a monotonic bass measure, Fascinator (aka Johnny Mackay), dives off into a sampling of genres on new track "Skin Within", with a revolving cast — including psych-rock, disco and robotic techno — all taking to the stage for their spotlight moment. It's the unstructured approach we've come to expect from the experimental Melbourne-born, Brooklyn-based musician, and with a newly-formed production partnership with Midnight Juggernauts' Andrew Szekeres, we suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Rolling Stone