Australia’s Blue Arcade should not remain a secret. There are too many people out there who I’m sure would fall hard for their blend of crystalline, jangle goodness.
Here are two more gems beamed from the other side of the world, where it’s winter in May.
Funny, when I heard both songs I thought, are these scenes from the same life? Thanks to Eva’s impressionistic lyrics they feel like observations made from a distance or stolen from the pages of a surreptitiously read diary. Now I can’t claim my insight kudos, because the press release confirms it. The extra wrinkle is that the songs take the same person into wildly differently locales and lives while taking some imagery inspiration from Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’, which shamefully I haven’t read yet.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I love lyricists taking their imagination out of the vanilla world so many inhabit. I get the feeling of autopilot when listening to far too many songs, almost like a person is trying to write what they think a ‘song’ should sound like, rather than digging deep or thinking wide.
A plea: It’s a world of infinite viewpoints and inspirations please use it!
‘Champagne on a Boat’ deals with issues including big city wanderlust and the practical challenges of wearing high heels on a boat in a situation involving alcohol. Tom’s choppy opening chords give way to a gorgeous Johnny Marr-like fluency, think something like the Smiths’ Girl Afraid’.
Highlight? Maybe the point at around 1.54 where bass and drums hold back and we spiral off into the ether before coming back to earth with Eva’s high-note hitting plea for someone to take her to NYC.
On the other side of an imaginary seven inch single, the eye-catchingly titled, ‘Devil Wears Prada’ seems to trade in small town anxieties, questions of identity and thwarted communication. Musically stripped back, all the better to let the melody wash over you.
Unbelievably this music was the product of a three day period of writing, recording and producing. Clearly this approach works because it feels as fresh as the proverbial daisy.
It’s time to share the secret.