Melbourne, Australia-based band Twerps have been making warm, retro-inspired power pop since 2008. Their new album, “Range Anxiety,” is currently available for pre-order ahead of its January 27th release, and they will be touring the US starting in March. Two members of the four-piece band, guitarist-vocalists Marty Frawley and Julia McFarlane, join us to pick some cool tunes for your next party…and to set your volume dial just right.
Marty Frawley: Hi. This is Marty.
Jules McFarlane: And, this is Jules.
Marty Frawley: We’re from the band Twerps.
Jules McFarlane: This is our dinner party soundtrack. If we’re setting up a dinner party, we’d perhaps have some delicious Tasmanian cheeses or some New Zealand cheeses, a wine or an apricot spritzer. Everyone’s invited, if they’re in the right hemisphere.
The Go-Betweens, “Right Here”
Marty Frawley: The first track I’ve chosen today is called “Right Here” by the Go-Betweens. The Go-Betweens are a Brisbane band from the 1970s, and they are a much-appreciated band, but I feel they didn’t get the worldwide attention.
Jules McFarlane: It was a band of two couples, predominantly. You think about the forces that led them to write those songs.
Marty Frawley: Jules are I are in a relationship, so I think that’s kind of cool. Builds tension. And you write songs about each other, or maybe not.
One of the reasons I chose this song is because I like the line in it “Right here, right now, whatever I have, it’s yours”. It’s a nice, warm sentiment about sharing and sitting around the dinner table and eating, even though it’s about a lover or a partner.
New Age Steppers, “Observe Life”
Jules McFarlane: Our second song is called “Observe Life”, and it’s by New Age Steppers. This would be ’83, I think? The first wave of punk. It’s broken, and people were turning to Reggae for inspiration.
A bit of a softer groove. Nice for a dinner party. It’s got a homely clutter sound to it, and a beautiful vocal take by Ari Up. Ari Up’s a pretty wild singer, and this is an example of her at her tamest. She’s more known for being a punk singer, but this is my favorite incarnation of her.
Marty Frawley: I feel like the evening has been set. Your record player is on in another room, at a nice, perfect volume.
Jules McFarlane: Oh, volume is contentious, isn’t it?
Marty Frawley: Volume is contentious because I’m very bad with volume. Julia loves to turn the volume down on things.
Jules McFarlane: I know, and it makes me sound like such a square. It’s like, I’m sick of hearing me pleading in defense of my volume control. I’m really not a square. I just want to hear what you have to say.
Mayo Thompson, “Fortune”
Jules McFarlane: I’ll confess to Marty that he went out last night, so I was at home scratching my head over this one. So, I got to choose two songs, which is a bit greedy. Our third pick is a song called “Fortune” by Mayo Thompson.
Marty Frawley: Mayo Thompson is an American songwriter from the 60s, who was also in a very talented, awesome band called The Red Crayola.
Jules McFarlane: Such a groovy, sort of soft, Laurel Canyon-y vibe to its instrumentation.
Marty Frawley: This song is a perfect interlude for coming down after dinner.
Jules McFarlane: I feel like it’s had a pretty good response at previous dinner parties. I’ll put it on and everyone will be like, “What’s this?”
Marty Frawley: Generally, Jules will turn the party down. I want to get the party going. Which brings us to our glorious track, named “Stranger.”
Jules McFarlane: For me, it was a sad song, but no one notices, you know? They’re just into the groove.
Marty Frawley: It’s the dessert.