Two years after breaking onto the Aussie indie scene through Triple J’s Unearthed High, dreamy five-piece Snakadaktal have dropped a debut album through Melbourne’s I OH YOU records and once again find themselves at the fore of our musical attention. With the help of producer Dann Hume, who has previously worked with fellow local heroes Alpine, Sures and Lisa Mitchell, the band have crafted a wonderfully coherent yet constantly surprising album that belies the years of it’s youthful creators.
Chances are most of the people reading this will recognise the name Snakadaktal, even if they’ve never heard one of their songs, and for good reason. Aside from the uniqueness of naming your band after a half-snake half-pterodactyl monster, these kids have been seriously busy this past year and this unusual name has popped up all over the Australian music radar. Among a brief tour of the UK, late afternoon slots at both Laneway and Splendour in the Grass, as well as landing a gig as support for the quirky british heavyweights Alt-J, the band found the time to record Sleep in the Water, an impressively sophisticated 13 track LP.
Channelling the same ambient vibes as acts like Chromatics, Wu Lyf and The Antlers, the record strikes a near-perfect balance between broad instrumental space and a sense of immediacy and presence. The clean, reverb soaked guitars create intricate textures and delay patterns without succumbing to repetitive post-rock noodling and tremolo picking, especially in the more restrained latter half of the album. Similarly impressive is the vocal interplay of Phoebe Cockburn’s dream-like whispers and Sean Kelly’s gliding wail, which weave hypnotically together in a style reminiscent of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim of The XX. These stratospheric melodies drift effortlessly over discrete semi-electronic beats and solid bass, making Sleep in the Water a record equally at home playing in a stoner kid’s bedroom or on the trendy dancefloors of inner Melbourne.
Perhaps most impressive is the way that these kids have exceeded any and all expectations that music fans could have about a teenage band with a silly name – even the poppiest songs on the LP are still masterfully layered and display a sonic complexity so rare in young bands with the amount of buzz that Snakadaktal have managed to gather. Music fans should have no hesitation in giving this substantive record a good listen, and should strongly consider seeing them tour the album in August/September. The national tour starts tonight in Geelong, so jump on oztix and get your mitts on those tickets quickly!
FIND OUT MORE ON
Fri Aug 23 – The Wool Exchange, Geelong
Sat Aug 24 – The Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Wed Aug 28 – Bar On The Hill, Newcastle
Fri Aug 30 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Sat Aug 31 – Uni Bar, Wollongong
Thu Sep 5 – Newport, Fremantle
Fri Sep 6 – Capitol, Perth WA
Sat Sep 7 – Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River
Fri Sep 13 – The Gov, Adelaide
Fri Sep 20, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane
Sat Sep 21 – The Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay