You may not have heard of Venus II just yet, but you’ve almost definitely heard of the artists behind the psychedelic, glistening new synth-pop new project – Jarrad Brown’s previous musical incarnations included Eagle & The Worm and Dorsal Fins, while you may know Ryan Grieve from Canyons. As Venus II the pair have dropped debut single Inisde Your Sun, a feel-good track that harks back to free, uplifting 90s electro in a way that somehow manages to stay away from being overly nostalgic.
The pair are performing at The Tote in Melbourne tomorrow, June 16. We wanted to get to know them a little better first, so we asked them to share three albums that changed their lives.
B.A.D II – The Globe (Ryan)
Was one of my first purchases as a child, completely changed me and what I wanted to hear on an album. Everything else seemed quite bland after I heard this as a kid. Mick Jones goes everywhere here, combining great song writing from ballads to weirdo drugged out dance moods with a couple of number 1 hits in there. Heavily influenced by the early wave of Brits in Ibiza in the ‘80s and early ‘90s with a big dash of punk in there also. I still listen to this record often.
The Cure – Mixed Up (Jarrad)
Mixed Up was a super unique record for me. I was maybe 12, 13 years old when I first started listening to it. I knew it was an album by a band that had “remixed” its own music. I knew who The Cure was, because they were just a super huge band, and my Mum used to listen to them. Mixed Up was from my older brother’s record collection. Looking back, I don’t know how I knew or understood what “remix” meant, being so young… but I did understand. And I understood that Robert was the mastermind of the band. I loved the tragedy in Robert’s voice. I used to listen to it loud, and on headphones. A lot of the music I listened to as a boy, was rock music so hearing synths and strings and weird bass sounds was another world that a loved sinking into. Listening to it right now. Still love this album.
Donny Hathaway – Live (1972) (Jarrad)
This album just reminds me of endless summers house parties and stoned people “jamming”… and although that kind of sounds 100% horrible… the fact is, as a musician growing up as a bass player in Melbourne, “jamming” and experimenting with recreational substance is an unavoidable, rewarding rite of passage. Jokes aside, Most of Donny’s tracks give me chills. His cut of Young Gifted and Black (not on this live album) is one of my favourite all time pieces of music. Just go a have a listen. This “live” record is really really great. On this record- Donny’s version of Jealous Guy without a doubt rivals the original. Donny’s voice is probably my fave male soul R&B voice. Intensity and sincerity. But my fave on this record Voice Inside (Everything is Everything) … the Willie Weeks bass solo (the last instrumental solo the album) is one of my fave moments on any live record.