A 10collectivist that’s past, present & future: Grant Wyeth

August 19, 2015 | By

Like David Brent at the end of The Office, Grant still insists on coming into the 10Collective office despite no longer working here. He has returned to uni to do a Master of International Relations in order to try and give some credibility to his pompous ideas. He spends his time in the office unsuccessfully trying to engage the team in conversations about Canadian politics, or attempting to undermine Lloyd’s self-esteem. The person most likely to begin his sentences with “When I was in India…”

And here’s what happened when we challenged him to tell us his Desert Island Discs…

Haha Sound – Broadcast

Of course, the entire Broadcast back-catalogue is essential, and it was a tough choice between the Haha Sound and Tender Buttons, but the Haha Sound gets the nod due to its complexity and density; the little nuggets of sound that continue to be discovered with every listen. Broadcast are musically a notch above all other artists. This is a simple fact. Combining the eerie early electronics of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, with 60s Girl Group vocals, and on the Haha Sound, complex jazz rhythms (Tender Buttons uses metronomic drum machines instead), they’ve created the most enticing of musical packages. For both chin-strokers and pop enthusiasts alike. Although Trish Keenan died in 2011, James Cargill will continue to release music under the name (as he did for the Berberian Sound Studio soundtrack).

Key Track – Minim

The Holy Bible – Manic Street Preachers

Every teenager needs an album that can consume them. An album that changes the game, one that opens up new doors, expands horizons, and renders them a sullen shut-in for several years. The Holy Bible is that album for me (and should be for everyone else as well). A highly political album, it provided the impetus for what has now become my primary interest and career. An angry, yet empathetic, gothic-post-punk look at the brutality of the 20th Century, it is also a warts and all exposure of the troubled mind of Richey Edwards (who disappeared, still without a trace, six months after its release). The album is such a part of my internal make-up that I was compelled to write a highly pretentious essay on it for its 20th anniversary last year.

Key Track – Archives of Pain

Random Spirit Lover – Sunset Rubdown

Spencer Krug has gained reasonable fame as a member of Wolf Parade, yet the songs he provided for that band are just the ones he would write in his sleep. Sunset Rubdown is where the man’s real efforts have gone. Random Spirit Lover is an album in the purest sense, it needs to be consumed as a whole (each track flows into the next), and requires at least 20 listens to start to unpack all its details. While it is architecturally complex, with the interplay between the instruments (and vocals of Krug and Camilla Ingr) being frequently spectacular, there are songs here as well. Great songs. Some of the best you will ever hear. Krug now records under the name Moonface, where he lacks all the components of that make this album (and its predecessor) amazing, but does have extraordinary moments.

Key Track – Trumpet, Trumpet, Toot! Toot!

Fear of Girls – Bluebottle Kiss

Too difficult for Triple J, but not cool enough for Triple R or PBS, Bluebottle Kiss existed in a form of musical purgatory. Yet to those who invested their time in the band the rewards were plentiful. I have no qualms in declaring them the best band Australia has ever produced. While frequently utilising enough molten distortion to frighten Kevin Shields, or descending (or ascending) into the waves of feedback that inhabit Thurston Moore’s dreams, there was also a sweet delicacy to the band that should not be ignored. Jamie Hutchings’ schizoid song-structures may freak some out with their dramatic maneuvers, but they are works of staggeringly beautiful art that should be adored more widely. Fear of Girls was their second album, and the one that introduced me to the band. It’s only fault being Hutchings’ inconsistent pronunciation of the word “can’t” throughout its songs.

Key Track – Won’t Forget

Skeletal Lamping – Of Montreal

Hooks flow out of Kevin Barnes as frequently as carbon dioxide flows out of others. It’s rare a year goes by without him releasing an album or at least an EP. Most of his output since the early 2000’s has centred around his (ridiculous) relationship with Nina Grøttland (a woman he has married and divorced twice). However, on Skeletal Lamping Barnes inhabits the persona of “Georgie Fruit”, a mid-40s black man who was in a 70’s funk band called “Arousal”, and who had a sex change to become a woman, and then another to return to a being man. The lyrical content is both X-Rated and absurd, and while the music shifts in several different directions within each song, the album is a pop delight bound to have you singing along (and get you put on a watchlist if you do so in public).

Key Track – Id Engager

Fetch the Compass Kids – Danielson Famile

The Danielson Famile are a group of brothers and sisters (plus a wife and a BFF) who make awkward, ramshackle, lo-fi indie-pop, accompanied by matching outfits and DIY videos. Led by the shrieking falsetto of Daniel Smith (aka Brother Danielson), they are not an easy listen, particularly if you have a knee-jerk reaction to their Christianity. But once you learn to embrace the band’s idiosyncrasies, the enthusiasm, heart and soul that they exude is infectious. Fetch The Compass Kids is the midpoint between their early (endearingly) clumsy sound, and their more polish recent albums. It is the album with both the songs and the spirit that best defines them. The documentary on the band – Make a Joyful Noise Here – is a beautiful portrait of a group of family and friends in love with life and endeavouring to make something unique.

Key Track – Good News For The Pus Pickers

Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Was Ok – múm

At this stage múm (pronounced “moom”) consisted of two Icelandic electro-bros and a pair classically trained twin sisters (indie trainspotters will note that the Valtýsdóttir twins appear on the cover of Belle & Sebastian’s Fold Your Hands Child You Walk Like a Peasant, and Kristín Anna went on to marry (and divorce) Animal Collective’s Avey Tare). This, their first album, and their second – Finally We Are No-One – are both exquisite and unique parcels of scratchy beats combined with delightful, technocolour melodies. The twins have since left and the band have expanded to a 7 piece, continuing to make some ok music, but this is definitely their peak.

Key Track – Awake On A Train

“This is Our Punk Rock” Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing – The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band (with choir). 

Off-shoot of Montreal’s mythical anarchist gloom-meisters Godspeed You! Black Emperor, A Silver Mt. Zion formed as a more subdued version of their behemoth parent band, however, have since morphed into a endeavour just as epic. While previous albums had no use for drums and limited vocals, this album exchanges previous subtleties for bombast, and also places Efrim Menuck’s pained and strained vocals (and choir) at the centre of the music. While his lyrics are of a knowing, or faux-dramatic, inclination, they are still indicative of the pronounced negativity towards humanity that has infected those of a radical political bent. But I will restrain myself from getting into this further.

Key Track – American Motor Over Smoldered Field