Remember the first time you heard Clap Your Hands Say Yeah? I remember my friends (and pitchfork) introducing them to me in high school and my first thoughts were “how can you listen to this? his voice is way off”. Knowing my opinions would be met with disdain and scorn, I kept it to myself and sat through the entire self titled album. Slowly, I came to appreciate the caterwauling vocals and understood its place in American music – it’s origins in country music, it’s rebirth in the 60’s folk movement and it’s evolution from the 90’s into what we classify as Americana.
That same feeling of “what the fuck is going on with this guy’s voice” struck me when I hit the play button on East Brunswick All Girl’s Choir‘s new single. Dirty Bird starts with a big fat sustained wail and a dirty uneffected guitar. I have no idea what, if anything, the vocalist is trying to say, but that doesn’t matter – his voice is an instrument, not a device for imparting meaning. The Americana influences here aren’t blatantly obvious, but are all there when you think about it – the rough guitars, the snare heavy drumbeat, the 3/4 time signature and the final breakdown that sounds more at home on Hotel Yankee Foxtrot than on the first single from a band from Melbourne. It’s a song that laments the present and heralds impending doom or biblical end times. Haunting, harrowing and utterly unique, EBAGC have struck upon a vacuum that the Australian independent scene has been wanting for a long time. Dirty Bird is folk with balls – no acoustic guitars, no capos, no sitting on stools while playing and definitely no scarves or fake spectacles.
It’s worth pointing out too that none of the members are from East Brunswick, and only one of the members is actually a girl. They’ve been through 7 drummers in their time together and have aptly named their upcoming LP 7 Drummers, due to be released in April 2014. Check out Dirty Bird below and tell us what you think!