Travel is an essential part of life. I’d go on record saying that you’ll live your best life seeing as much of the world as you can. And once we figure out Stephen Hawking’s worm hole theories (RIP, you genius)—see as much of the galaxy and time span that you can. Immerse yourself in all of it. If travel isn’t in the cards or you fear train hopping, thankfully we live in a wonderful time. Our parents had to pay for long distance phone calls, and never thought they’d see or hear of anything from Australia other than Mel Gibson … and that is definitely no way to live. We’re lucky that tastes of the globe are accessible today, and stalwart label of indie persuasions, Sub Pop, is helping to save us the trouble of digging through heaps of garbage to get there.
The label is releasing one of Australia’s finest bands surrounded by buzz in recent years, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. With a collection of EPs under their belts, Hope Downs is their debut full length. Being released in the summer months (at least where the label is based: Seattle, WA) feels appropriate as the album has a swaying rhythm throughout. Chords fade in and out of tracks like “Sister’s Jeans” in a way that you could perfectly synch with waves under your floaty, inflatable dingo raft. Feel that warm sun on your cheeks and bobble back and forth with the jangly riffs.
The noodly notes are the centerpiece of the album. They feature a range of effects lightly dusted in distortion and repeating playful paths against a sharp snare beat. Guitars hover over one another as they drift out. The result expands the space of their sound, and perhaps that’s why it reminds me of summer. It makes me want to go outside and see what’s up in the world.
Visiting the band’s page, I find this feeling has resonance with their recording process. From their Sub-Pop band page, “With recording sessions largely taking place in the Australian winter of 2017, the band escaped the Melbourne frost and headed to drummer Marcel Tussie’s hometown in Northern New South Wales. ‘We were right at the foot of this beautiful mountain next to a creek,’ says White. ‘We could play out into the bush through the night’.”
A relaxed recording session out in nature is evident here. Hope Downs has a laissez faire attitude that will be best enjoyed on a loop this summer.