(Artwork by Julian Hocking)
The theme of celebrating their nearest and dearest continues on the upcoming album, which is equal parts character study and adoring homage. The album, Bittersweet Demons out June 25th via esteemed indie ATO Records, shares a collection of songs reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on their lives, the saviors and hellraisers and assorted other mystifying characters. The most personal and boldly confident work yet, the album sets that storytelling to 11 infectious tracks written mostly on piano, lending a greater emotional intensity to the band’s restless and radiant brand of garage-rock. What emerges is a beautifully complex body of work, one that shines a light on the fragilities of human nature while inducing the glorious head rush that accompanies any Murlocs outing.
With their lineup including two members of the globally beloved King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (Kenny-Smith and bassist Cook Craig), The Murlocs recorded at Button Pushers Studio in Melbourne with producer Tim Dunn, dreaming up a prismatic sound that pinballs from sunshine-pop to blues-punk to wide-eyed psychedelia. Naming John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Harry Nilsson’s Lennon-produced Pussy Cats among their key reference points, the band adorned their songs with many unexpected details: woozy Wurlitzer melodies, Brian May-esque guitar harmonies, playful atmospheric elements like the whoosh of summer rain, caught by a microphone dragged into the street mid-storm. The result is an album both exuberant and heavy-hearted, a dynamic that wholly fulfills Kenny-Smith’s mission of “always aspiring to write songs that have a bit of twisted positivity to them.”
The Murlocs hope to have some North American touring plans to share sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we can promise that Bittersweet Demons is a dizzying delight of cracking songs, all set to provide some superior sonic sparkle for the summer.
Watch The Murlocs Perform for Seattle’s KEXP in 2019
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