One of the major musical stories of the year is the rapid rise of Paradise Daily Records. The fledgling label has become the major source of some of the most vibrant sounds emanating from Australia right now, with a roster that features the likes of Sex Tourists, The Rangoons, Dry Finish, WEET, Aloha Units and many more. This year has seen this label take great strides in its output, and one could feasibly create a blog reviewing just the output from this label (shotgun). One of the key figures of this little subset of creators championed by Paradise Daily is Ela Stiles – a name familiar to many thanks to her own solo work and as a member of numerous bands over the past few years. It’s her solo work that is getting me typing today – a new single from her forthcoming 12” LP due out (through PD, of course) in September. This follows on from some cassette experimentations with ‘Black Metal’ which surfaced in February.
‘S.B. Mantra’ is the name of this track, a stunningly otherworldly song that does a lot with a few key pieces. An echoed, hollowed, rustling, beat forms the groundwork of the track, overlaid by a contemplative and ghostly progression of synthesiser sighs. Washing over these elements is Ela’s own vocals, which are urgent but full-bodied. I had a bit of trouble deciphering what is being said – something about keeping the beast down, and something else about a ‘sanctimonious bitch’ (the titular S.B.?) – but mostly the vocals harmonise and mesh with everything else to create a cohesive listening experience. This is a poised and potent song that stirs up emotion, regardless of your knowledge of the intent and meaning behind the words. Just listen – maybe it will come to you, anyway.
‘S.B. Mantra’ was recorded by Jack Farley and Ela, with some mastering work done by Mikey Young. Keep your eyes on Paradise Daily for more.