Premiere: Perth's Cloning tackle feelings of helplessness with new single, Messed Up

Premiere: Perth's Cloning tackle feelings of helplessness with new single, Messed Up

The WA band's reflective new single is their first for 2021, coming after a kick-ass year behind them.

We're not going to give the usual spiel about how 2020 was a difficult and strange time for musicians - we all know that by now, it's something we've talked about a lot the past twelve months - but instead, we're going to skip forward to explaining how Perth-based outfit Cloning used the opportunity to strive, rather than fall back. They shared a six-track EP titled Pillars of Salt at the tail-end of 2019 and doubled down on it right away with the release of a new single All Rise early on in the year, back in February 2020.

From about here is where things went mad, but rather than sit by and watch everything they've worked towards float away, they instead went straight to it. They shared another single Defeatist later in the year, followed by two others: Everygrow and Past In Our Pockets (the latter of which also coming with a stripped-back variant). They played a few shows where they could, and to showcase their locally-renowned live show to those outside of the west coast, they played little one-off songs to tape for social media; each one showing their craft even without the audience that typically eggs them on.

Now, in 2021, they're keeping that energy going - with hopefully the world not against them, this time. They kick it off with the premiere of their new single Messed Up today, the off-kilter new single premiering on Pilerats ahead of its official release tomorrow, January 29th. It's another charming three-minutes-something of indie-pop but presented in a way that stands away from much of their past work, whether it be through the warping squeals of the guitar that dances amongst the single, or the use of the ronroco - a mandolin-like instrument commonly found in South American music. 

"I’d wanted to buy a ronroco for years since hearing composer Gustavo Santaollala use it for the soundtrack on the video game The Last Of Us," says the band's guitarist Bevan Green. "I finally caved and got one when there was a half-price shipping deal. We’d used a mandolin on tracks before so we were keen to experiment with more unique tones and ranges. The ronroco is cool because it sits pretty much right in between the mandolin and guitar. I used the ronrocco for the fast picking parts during the outro of the song and just before the first chorus."

Going deeper into the theme of the song, you'll learn that the driving sense of urgency underlying the single's rush comes from its influence on instability and hopelessness, felt by basically everyone last year thanks to the flow-on effects of coronavirus (on top of the usual trials and tribulations of life, too). "I was influenced by COVID induced global instability and financial uncertainty, which a lot of my friends (and myself) were feeling," says vocalist Felix Parker. "The song is about navigating these kinds of social pressures and trying to make the most out of a generally bad situation."

In line with the groups' hopes to dominate the year ahead, they've also let slip that Messed Up is the first single from their forthcoming new EP, with interstate touring on the cards providing everything goes well in the next few months. Until then, however, you can take a dive into Messed Up as it premieres on Pilerats below, and catch them launch the show at Indian Ocean Hotel on January 29th, and an all-ages show at Leederville's YMCA on February 12th. 

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