Allday’s new album goes from rap to indie, but does it stick to landing? – Music news


The road from rapper to independent pop star is not a traditionally traveled path. But then Allday was never a mainstream rapper.

Going back as far as his 2014 release “You Always Know The DJ”, he’s always been a pop star in hip hop clothing, always slightly ahead of the curve, picking up on rap trends just before they hit the road. are spreading among the general public.

Having always navigated his own journey through the genre, hearing him again chart a new course for his fourth and final album, Drinking with my smoking friends, shouldn’t be a surprise. But where he has already tried, this time he has fully embarked on a new stylistic change.

The lead singles “After All This Time” and the hazy “Void” signaled a determined relocation into a bright, guitar-backed space that the rest of the album occupies.

Sonically, DWMSF deeply drinks the music Tom ‘Allday’ Gaynor grew up on – The Cure, Pixies, Britpop Oasis Touchstones and The Stone Roses – and it’s familiar and familiar tunes everywhere, some of which were written with favorites Australian indie rock like Johnny and Matt of DMA’S, Hayley Mary, former Gang of Youths guitarist Joji Malani and Michael Tramonte of The Delta Riggs.

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The 34-minute tight-paced record has sonic traces of Allday’s past – ‘Door’ has the bars and cadence of rap, albeit with relaxed rock backing with woozy brass – but it mainly crisscrosses new territory for the 30-year-old.

‘Bright’ is the kind of slow-burning ballad that any self-respecting alternative rock album demands, while the latest track ‘Spin’ risks being a pending ‘Wonderwall’ lawsuit.

“I was writing songs on my rap albums that should have been guitar songs,” Allday told Triple J prophetically late last year. “Maybe now I can do a rap album which is a rap album and a guitar album which is a guitar album.”

DWMSF It might sound like a tough change in sound to casual observers, but for Allday’s long-term sidekicks, it’s best recognized as a few steps forward in a direction he’s been leaning in for years.

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It might not sound as you expect, but you can’t accuse Allday of not being himself on this album.

In retrospect, this is a better accusation in 2017 Speeding, who at times looked too much like Allday chasing the American market, only to end up drifting into Drake’s sad rap lane and languishing in the wake of the greatest rappers.

He’s a low-key director, and there’s no doubt his credibility has helped push attitudes toward the genre Down Under.

Think how much credit he deserves for bringing his friend and protected Mallrat to emo-pop greatness. Or how about delivering one of Splendor In The Grass’s greatest pop moments by bringing “Untouched” by Veronicas on stage, which allowed them to get a good run of festival bookings.

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His collaboration with Jess and Lisa at the Like A Version booth to flip a Joni Mitchell classic bolsters his reputation as an artist who refuses to be cataloged, an attitude he has taken to the softer, more catchy sounds of the album 2019 Starry night on the phone.

This disc was recorded in Los Angeles, but DWMSF was recorded in Melbourne on a temporary visit that ended up being a full-scale homecoming, and you can feel that influence on both Allday’s sound and lyrics.

The contagious ‘Cup of Tea In The Bath’ is ‘Melbourne’s most explicit song on record’, Allday says Junkee, while ‘The Parisian end of rue Collins‘is littered with references to cold weather, drinking green juice, art galleries and getting “Raised on MDMA at Bunnings”.

The vocal performance, performed in a singing style, hammers out that sense of Australian character – a turn pulled again between the crisp riffs of ‘Fast run“. It’s probably meant to be ironic, but it sounds like a half-baked Courtney Barnett and highlights one of the album’s flaws: the guitar-pop reinvention is compelling, but sadly, the vocal prowess of Allday are not.

By moving into a sound where singing matters more, it is inadvertently left exposed. The album is jam-packed with choruses worthy of a powerful singer, but Allday’s soft vocals don’t quite achieve the effect (without the liberal use of auto-tune) that these sharp hooks deserve.

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That said, it gives these songs a distinctly interesting quality, and while the melodies don’t always play to his strengths, Allday is still an excellent word smith.

He is able to evoke a lot with very little, to capture the melancholy in a simple sentence like “when you wash your clothes but they do not dry” or to tell stories through observation:

‘She’s pretty, she’s photoshoped by God
Drink a vodka soda / She walks with a bop in her footsteps’

This romantic streak feeds “Stolen Cars” and “Fast Ride” – conceived lyrics.

“We will sleep under the stars / We will drink stolen drinks, drive stolen cars”

Allday has been vulnerable before – often to winning outcomes (‘Protection’ and ‘In Motion’ come to mind) but the change in musical medium over DWMSF paint his reckless idealism in a whole different light.

He’s more like the guy who gently wins hearts in the park with an acoustic guitar than the guy who spends late evenings in the booth spitting out bars.

“I want to stop being so relentlessly dark in my music, why don’t I try to be a little optimistic?” Allday said of the album.

Drinking with my smoking friends it’s escaping from something and finding something new, whether it’s a place, a relationship or something else.

When it comes to exit strategies, Allday’s latest musical evolution is quite successful. He’s gone from a sound he’s been very successful at carving out a unique space for himself in the crowded independent guitar scene.

It suits him well, and ironically, adopting a new style, he sounds more like himself than ever.


About Dawn Valle

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