Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Low Key Crush Prove Subtlety Isn’t Dead On Latest EP

Melbourne, Australia is often ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities. 

With its endless bars, immaculate coffee scene, insane sports culture and temperate climate, Melbourne is held aloft by many as being the ideal cosmopolitan experience. 

Listening to Low Key Crush, made up of Timothy Haines and Taycian Lord on their latest EP ‘Bats Over The Eastern Freeway’, you get the sense the pair are comfortable in their surroundings as inhabitants of one of Australia’s great cities. 

EP opener and title track finds the band feeling good about heading home over one of the areas main commuter highways. The opening slow strumming guitars lull the listener into daydreaming of their own homecoming as Haines mellow vocals add to the airy nature of the track before reverbed surf riffs kick the song into a sound reminiscent of The Smiths. “Bats over the Eastern Freeway / I’m coming home” sings Haines, in what is surely one of the most charming openings to any release heard this year. 

The dulcet tones continue on ‘Night Time’, a track that delivers an almost mantra like chorus, giving the song a folk-gospel vibe whilst a surprising synth solo breathes fresh life into a track that to some may have teetered on the edge of one dimensional without it. Yet, the intricacies of the production and the gravitas given to Haines’ earnest lyrics through the wonderful production of Finn Beane always allow the songs to feel both weighted and transcendent at once. 

The emotive centrepiece of the album comes on the superb and melancholic ‘Long Lost Friend (Graeme’s Song)’. As Haines tells the age-old story of a childhood friendship that has scattered into the winds of time, his vocal delivery once again perfectly encapsulates the nostalgia he is trying to convey as you can hear both the grief and joy in the reciting of his dearest memories. “I want to hear your voice / It’s been too long since I was over watching all those things we like” he strains as the emotional centrepiece of the track centres around the regret of the singer as he asks “Why did this happen?”. It’s a relatable masterpiece of one of the hardest stages of grief, where you don’t know whether to look back with happiness of what happened, or with a sadness that it ended, so all you can do is glance backwards before powering ahead. 

Closer ‘I Want You To Stay’ has an intro that takes a surprising turn. With slow pulsing bass over eery guitar tones you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d switched over to U2’s classic 1987 hit ‘With or Without You’. Even as Haines' by now trademark vocals have kicked in, the track feels different as he is joined on harmonies by Bec Sykes. It’s no shock that in a recent interview with Analogue Trash the duo listed Brian Wilson as their dream collaborator, as the final track of the EP leans heavily into the falsetto harmonies that made The Beach Boys famous.  

As ‘I Want You To Stay’ evolves into a crescendo of drums, synths and guitars, it dawns on you that it’s the first time the music hasn’t felt sufficiently airy to allow the lyrics to breathe. However, as the music fades into nothing it becomes apparent that the past four tracks have been the perfect foil for the beauty that can be found in Haines voice. From the sparse drums of Lord to wonderful mixing from Beane, the whole EP allows the true charm in the songs to shine through. 

James Ogden 

Image: ‘Bats Over The Eastern Freeway’ Official EP Cover

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Here;