On July 1, local band Only Objects kicked the month off with the launch of their new single Chase the Sun at the Grace Emily. The song marks something of a change in style for Only Objects, a band already marked by its ability to try a variety of styles. Still very identifiably a part of their established “sound”, the song seems to stretch them to achieve new things.
Patrick Lang, writer of the quartet’s new song, acknowledges the band has always been eclectic and relishes new challenges. Of the song’s sound, he states he ‘wanted to write a piano ballad of some description, but I also wanted to allude to that neo-folk kind of feel’.
The song has more of the folk music feel about it which is perhaps unsurprising as Patrick says before he loved the trappings of electronic music, he was, ‘at heart, a folk musician’. The result is a happy marrying of these two genres that would surely appeal to the tastes of lovers of both.
This move away from the ultra-modern in the song is mirrored by the lack of references to modern life. As Patrick explains, ‘some human experiences are universal and transcend time and place’ and that he aimed to make the song sound like it ‘could have been written anytime in the last several hundred years’. He says that, to him, ‘it’s a melody in the folk tradition of something like Wild Mountain Thyme or The Parting Glass.’ He adds, ‘not at all to compare it to those absolutely timeless songs, but there is just a drop, a dram, a tiny part of that feeling in Chase the Sun.
Even the track’s accompanying artwork has something a little unique about it that sets Chase the Sun apart in the Only Objects oeuvre. A ship sailing in a glass bottle – the image (by Jesse Miles) – is simple and evocative. As Patrick says, ‘it’s both entirely unlike us and, in an odd way, entirely us.’
The timeless element of Chase the Sun permeates every element of it. The band embracing older methods, combined with the artwork, and even Patrick’s own statement of his previous leanings towards folk music, all conspire to ensure the track possesses a perfectly appropriate quality. The intention to create something very genuine and honest proves a thoroughly successful one.
And what of the experience of a different style? ‘A lot more stringed instruments than what we are used to, that’s for certain!’ Patrick adds that he ‘really enjoy[s] the recording process in terms of finding little hidden melodies and ideas in songs, and this was certainly no exception.’
Patrick offers particular praise for Matthew Vecchio, who produced the track for Only Objects, who ‘has a really lovely light touch as well’, helping to ensure the track played to its strengths and kept a clear balance. ‘Balance’ is perhaps the word best suited to this track that steers well clear of both the more large and bombastic, and the meeker of sounds – the track remains assuredly and earnestly in a place of balance, succeeding in the band’s effort to evoke a folky, stirring element to the listener.
Asked whether the band aims to try new things or whether new experiences are a by-product of their songs, Patrick told Tulpa: ‘It’s a mix, really! We often become fascinated by structural ideas, particularly from electronic music, and then try to work them into songs.’ The band has tried their collective hand at a wide variety (such as last year’s You Only Kill for Love) which could prove difficult in less sure hands.
Only Objects were preceded by Fleur Green who treated the crowd to a series of original songs, including a debut of a new one, a cover, and even a part of thousand year old Persian poem The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. All in all, a fairly standard Sunday evening in July. Fleur had the audience captivated and gave the audience an excellent performing of her own.
When they took the stage, Only Objects were generous in their own set. They offered a good sampling of their work and added a cover of a Frightened Rabbit song in tribute to the recently passed Scott Hutchison. Chase the Sun had penultimate place in the set list of the night and saw the highlight of a night of highlights as the audience joined together in song.
The night may have been for Chase the Sun – and truly that offered a great moment of the evening – but the night was filled with a celebration of music and generous offering for all who braved the cold of a July evening in Adelaide.
Words by Liam McNally.
Thanks to Patrick Lang.
Cover artwork by Jesse Miles.