Saturday, 16 May 2020

The Great Divides - Face The World, Again

There’s a side to the Australian underground that gets overlooked: the sense of longing magnified by distance. It’s what happens when the sound of the suburbs is amplified by being nowhere near anything.

It’s the tenets of indie music swelled to bursting, imagining the only way love will ever find you is by washing up in a message in a bottle. But you’re nearer to the desert than the ocean.

It’s why, recently, we’ve had Interstate Forever by Dick Diver, Nullarboor by Lower Plenty and Mainland by Foxy Morons.

And it’s why nature is closer to the Australian songwriter’s spirit. The Great Divides “hear the sound of galahs in the morning”. This feeling never leaves some Australian musicians. Like Grant McLennan, writing Bye Bye Pride in London:

A white moon appears
Like a hole in the sky
The mangroves go quiet

Or David McComb, whose Wide Open Road is a metaphor for the isolation of his now empty bed. The Great Divide’s Let Them In plays a similar musical trick to The Triffids by bending American country rock into Australia’s brutal tropical heat with cavernous resonance.

Mainly, though, The Great Divides play jangly indiepop with strong, playful basslines like Jeanines or The Lucksmiths (you know, their name might be a play on the Luckies song The Great Dividing Range, or riffing on Australian geography and loneliness). Whichever way you look at it, this is a really strong debut and The Great Divides are a band to watch.


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