We live in an obesogenic environment. It’s a world of fast living, sedentary jobs and leisure activities, labour-saving devices, and an overabundance of cheap, accessible, energy-dense, nutrient poor, highly-processed foods. It’s also an environment where a growing majority of people are overweight or obese and those who succeed in shedding weight will often find themselves regaining it (and possibly more) in the 12 months after the fact.

NeuroSlimming looks to address some of these problems and get people to really stop and think about how and why they eat, rather than getting too hung up on what they consume.


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The John Steel Singers may be one member down, but their sound is as big as ever.

The band now sees its five founding multi-instrumentalist members taking on more specialised roles in what has ultimately resulted in their most diverse collection of music to date.

Their second studio album, Everything’s A Thread, has fewer brass instruments than their previous worksIt is also an assembly of strong grooves, quirky melodies, and crystalline harmonies, and was lovingly put together at Luke McDonald’s parents’ place on the Sunshine Coast.

The group wanted complete control over their sound so that they could follow their instincts and let the music take them on a journey – one that was not necessarily “technically correct”.

For better or worse, they hoarded new instruments, listened to records, and studied photographs of old studio set-ups. Almost like magpies, they chose the aspects they wanted to emulate.

The title track is a perfect introduction to the album as it sounds like a few different songs played at once and in an absolute frenzy.

The album includes some catchy pop tunes like “Common Thread”, and hints of their old sound in “MJ’s On Fire Again”.

But as the tracks continue, the layers of synth and guitar get denser. “The Marksman” sees a catchy bass line played alongside spooky melodies, distorted walls of sound, and that sublime feeling of basking in the sunshine.

In “State Of Unrest” the band sing about a chaos that’s not dissimilar to what they’ve created on this particular baby.

At its best, Everything’s A Thread is creative, quirky, and experimental. It’s a confident and upbeat mass of melody, chaos, and disarray. But there are moments where things are a tad overdone, and there’s just too much fat left to chew on this bone.

Originally published on 8 November 2013 at the following website:

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It was the same producer and recording studio. The line-up remains unchanged but you can tell the members have grown up a little bit. Welcome to Junip, the eponymous sophomore album from the Swedish trio and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut from 2010, Fields.

Junip is perhaps best known as singer-songwriter, José González’s “other” group. He has joked that they sit “Somewhere between a German jazz band and an African pop band”. And whilst the trio do fuse motorik beats with psychedelic textures and some odd tribal, percussive elements, it is González’s beguiling and bittersweet vocals that prove a real driving force. Once again, the music is of the indie folk variety which means it is not a big stretch from their previous trip through the fields.

Single, “Line Of Fire” in particular starts off like it could’ve appeared on their debut thanks to its Beatlesque melody and stirring, acoustic format. The lyrics are again rather direct and question the listener. Consider: “What would you do/if it all came back to you” and “What would you say/if you had to leave today”.

“So Clear” continues in much the same vein but it is the following, “Your Life, Your Call” where the most noticeable differences begin to occur. The latter twinkles and boasts more of an eighties-feel and this is partially due to some programmed drums courtesy of keyboardist, Tobias Winterkorn (who had been listening to a lot of New Order at the time). González has said that Winterkorn’s strength is his love of tinkering with analogue synths while drummer, Elias Araya tends to drive the mood of the song and enjoys playing bizarre beats. Naturally, Messer José is concerned with matters of the heart including emotions and relationships (without letting things become too soft).

The Black Keys may seem like an odd source of influence for this group but it is a rumbling blues and garage feel that is obvious on “Villain”. This is Junip’s biggest step away from the expansive, pastoral folk for which they’re now known. It’s not long though before “Baton” offers some more of the latter along with a whistling accompaniment and “Beginnings” offers some dreamy material.

Junip are once again offering intricate, reflective and wistful sounds with their new record. There is a dark undercurrent to these fluid love songs and while it’s apparent that the musicians have matured as people and as artists, they are still offering something that successfully builds on the haunting work of their debut, without changing things too drastically. These dense sounds are rewarded by multiple spins and do possess a slow-burning charm, but this means they’re just as likely to impress the old fans as it will garner some new ones in the process.

Originally published on 22 April 2013 at the following website:

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