Words: Axel Carrington
Video launches are always curious things – not a tactile item, or a complete or even incomplete overview like an album or an EP, more of a snapshot in time, a collaboration between artists and forms, more of a celebration of where a group is at and how they'd like to be visually represented in another's purview of their art: maybe. It's also a good opportunity to do a thing and throw a party – this was a pretty good one! Edie Green launched their latest video collaboration with Tulusa Pictures for Sliding and this guy was there to take some mental notes and consume too many hoppy beers.
Undecided and hungry, yet also desiring not to feel bloated, I ate a bunch of chips and corn while simultaneously gorging on the feast of Mung Dahl (very sorry for bad food puns), who were first up to a growing room. These guys are one of my favourite bands in town right now – Sam Rocchi's guitar playing is deft and weightless, his voice peering through the cracks in the light, lifting up song after song with grace while Oscar van Gass prods and jabs these tunes into form with such control and verve on the skins – but it's latest addition Lana Rothnie on the synth that really lifts this group into the next level, providing textures and ideas previously unavailable in the traditional rock three-piece set up. Their use of rolling dynamics and swirling song structures sounds closer to something Germanic and 70's in origin, maybe not entirely new but definitely close to Neu! - with each passing show, this group edges ever closer and closer to greatness.
Unfortunately, not all bands are created equal, and perhaps maybe that corn wasn't a good idea, so while Marmalade Mama are very capable musicians, I personally couldn't really gel with the ideas being thrown around – think pretty familiar psych rock tropes, lots of wah guitar and stompin' rock anthems. I was expecting something maybe a little weirder or more left of centre, so while this kinda stuff definitely had a place, I was venturing out to gasbag and piss around for a little while.
Psych isn't necessarily a bad thing however, when these touchstones are arrived at and moved around to different places – Em Burrows and the Bearded Rainbow have this in spades. Burrows' songs have lots of little flourishes and touches beyond most, a hit here or an extra bar there, quietly leading the group side of stage like a very gentle commander in the most positive way through their paces, pun definitely intended - she's also drafted a whole crew of whizz-bang kids to assist her in her quest, with particular props to Chris Young on the axe (also in every other band in Perth right now) and Mark McAndrew on heaps of synths and slicked-back hair for providing lots of instances of my cranked neck going 'huh, that's cool', during the set. Perhaps, there's still more refining to be had, but these songs are so assured and well placed that with more shows and more chances for the whole group to stretch out, that they will go many places indeed.
Edie Green seem to have only gotten more fucking cool and more fucking weirder since last time I checked in with them. Their sound is hard to define – Sophie Wiegele's lead vocals, guitar playing and general approach to song craft seems drawn from a well of folk music, with Tyler Mitchie's rod straight yet loose fly-by the seat of your pants drumming is clearly influenced by jazz and improv – and I still can't figure out what Conor Brian is doing on the guitar – it's like a strange concotion of Hendrix-like lead breaks, Freddie Green jazz comping and chomping and Kottke like fingerpicking: hell tasty stuff, there.
Their set was excellent, with a great balance in dynamics and flow, effortlessly traversing through lots of different moods while also being extremely tight as a unit. What then, of their new video? I thought it was kinda odd to break off their set mid-way to premiere the clip, but it then made sense afterwards – 'Sliding' is a little bit of a bent track, never settling and compulsively pulling and grabbing at air, a strange little beautiful mess of a thing. The clip was no different: filmed by Tulusa Pictures, the same group of creatives responsible for the last clutch of great Childsaint clips, it's a trip through the mind of perhaps one's dying moments, if one's mind in their dying moments includes a whole room of people doing the Macarena and also a suggestable mime and scarecrows trying to fucking kill you. It's shot with bracing light, great attention to form, detail and complete with killer dancing by mannequin people.
From then on, the set seemed to go into some sort of fever dream, overdrive and any sort of other mangled metaphors: to put it plainly, I was fucking blown away. That little break was necessary as it seemed to up the intensity and desire tenfold, the group winding the crowd up into a fever and back again – when they dropped their last single New Heavy at the end of their set, it was like I had become weightless and had fallen, crumpled into a heap, just in complete awe. Really good stuff.
I then drank many more hoppy beers and talked complete shit for a bit and left. Edie Green are a great band with a great video and great things will happen to them – perhaps it's best to slide in line so you don't slip and miss them.