LP Walkthrough: The Mackerels - Driving Under
The indie-rock outfit takes us through the thoughtful catchy songs that make up their dynamic debut album release.
Photo by Daniel Grant
Last month we premiered The Mackerels epic indie-rock track To The Water, a single taken from their debut album Driving Under that celebrates its release today. Several years in the making, the album showcases main-man Andrew ‘Goldy’ Meredith’s knack for thoughtful and catchy songwriting, each member illustrating their musical abilities in a way that radiates a beautiful cohesiveness that comes from friendship and mutual respect.
The album’s humble beginning comes from Goldy’s solo material, originally written for a “summer album challenge” that takes place between some of the familiar WA independent music faces. From there The Mackerels were born and the ball was rolling on a release that explores friendships and the complexities that arise as the years pass by. With a range of ear-worm melodies that weave through short, sharp, upbeat Summery jaunts, to more reflective, slower and contemplative compositions, giving a snapshot of the dynamic diversity this indie-rock group have to offer.
Sonically captured by multi-award winning engineer Dave Parkin (Spacey Jane, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Tired Lion) at Black Bird Studios in Perth, the release sparkles with a delightfully rich and polished sound - impressive for a debut LP. Keeping to the theme of local, the group enlisted music photographer Daniel Grant to visually capture a “full-band photo” reminiscent of album covers from the 60s, and indie heroes of the 80’s to be the cover of the release. The result: a candid polaroid snap that represents the band’s down-to-earth and spontaneity perfectly.
With WA tour dates announced - including a launch at The Bird on April 1, buckle up for some live Mackerels goodness this April and May (see details below).
Out today, hit play on this new release and get to know each track of Driving Under intimately as The Mackerels walk you through below.
A bit of a steady build and climax to kick things off! This one's all about renting life. I wrote it towards the end of a 10 year share-house that had become a bit of a revolving door. We were trying to keep it together and living under the thumb of the property manager… I think I was reflecting on the whole vibe and experience and boy, did we have a time!
Side of the Road
This is a tidy little pop number with enough twists to keep things interesting. The lyrics have a bit of a surreal thing going on and they don't make a heap of sense… really it's about wasting time trying to impress someone who's got way too much class for you.
Can’t Blame the City
I don’t think it’s so much the case anymore but people used to get pretty down on our li’l town! I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this (see track 7) but I wrote this for anyone repeating the “there’s nothing to do” mantra, while missing all the great stuff that’s going on around them.
Things kick up a notch here, but to me this one’s always a sobering reminder to check in on your mates. It’s easy to leave it up to someone else (who?) but it’s not worth it.
A pretty jaunty number, but it’s not exactly about fun stuff. It has a bit of a carnival swing to it but it’s all about conflict, toxic relationships, trauma, codependency and lost-limbs...
Probably the most rockin’ song on the album, this is a half tribute to one of my favourite films, Martin Scorceses 1985 black comedy After Hours (really went out on a limb naming this one…). I’m not sure exactly how I worked it in but the song’s about the risks vs. rewards of stepping out of your comfort zone.
I Wanna Change
The title kinda says it all! It’s an anthem for being bored and wishing you were doing something else, anything else! Or at least avoiding doing the dishes...
Not Gonna Be
This is a bit hard to describe because it sounds so happy, but the words are pretty bleak! I think that’s because I was frustrated with taking on too much and being unable to achieve it all. I feel like I’m writing a self help book here, but it’s nice to let things go sometimes!
To The Water
A more expansive sound for the penultimate track, and probably my favourite song on the album. It features a bunch of imagery and vibe reflecting some outback travel I’d been doing, but it’s all about feeling you should’ve done more to keep friends together when you could see them falling apart.
Don’t Want to Be the One (to have to let you know)
A strummy pop song to round things out! Sometimes people do shit that drives you crazy but you let it slide ‘cos you think it's not worth the trouble. That probably true a lot of the time but I’ve definitively misjudged it plenty!
Friday, April 1
The Bird, Perth w/ Gap Year and Teen Angst
Saturday, April 9
The Fires Station, Busselton
Sunday, May 15
Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough
Friday, May 20
Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle
The Mackerels debut album Driving Under is out now.