Album Reviews Music

Album Review: ‘Television’, by City Calm Down

By Kate Waldock

 

The Australian music scene strikes again. City Calm Down are about to release their newest album, ‘Television’, on the 23rd August. The band is composed of vocalist Jack Bourke, Sam Mullaly on the keyboard, Jeremy Sonnenberg on bass, and Lee Armstrong on the drums.

They have already released the singles, ‘Flight’, ‘Stuck (on the eastern)’ and ‘Television’ from their album to come. The tracks give a feel of the album to come. They certainly make noise on their first track, ‘Television’, a critique of the media. ‘Stuck (On The Eastern) is set to be one of the band’s most popular tracks, amassing over 60,000 plays on Spotify already since its release. The tracks that are already out show City Calm Down’s desire to remind listeners of the music of bands like The Smiths and The Clash. Jack Bourke uses a vocal reverb reminiscent of Talking Heads, accompanied with catchy riffed up choruses.

Lyrically, the tracks on ‘Television’ are melancholic. Bourke questions the ‘Weatherman’ about the seasons, his voice calling to mind The Cure. ‘Mother’’s opening chords are an ecstatic memory of the 80s. Again, the lyrics are melancholic despite the major keys that the band play in. Consequently, the song feels like it should soundtrack an 80s teen movie. The band was influenced by the Smiths in their creation of this album, perhaps this is why there is that bittersweet mix of positive keys and melancholic lyrics.

‘New Year’s Eve’ is a hybrid of acoustic and electric. The track is a nostalgic banger, an instant hit, and the acoustic strumming pattern has a Joy Division vibe. The synthesisers are used in perfect moderation, and the vocals are strained with emotion. Jack Bourke’s desire for ‘the songs to carry the same intensity they’ll have when [they] play them live’ is ever-present throughout this song. Again, the track feels as though it should be the closing track to an iconic romance.

Other songs on the album, including the slow rock of ‘Lucy Bradley’, the bass/ synth fuelled ‘Visions of Graceland’, and ‘Cut the Wires’, another acoustic track, encompass the theme of the album excellently. City Calm Down has managed to produce an album nostalgic of of older eras. The album is a nod to the band’s favourite music of the past, with the problems of the present underlined lyrically throughout.

 

The album comes out on the 23rd August.

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