Cub Sport's new single, featuring Darren Hayes, is a passing-of-the-torch moment
Featuring Savage Garden frontman Darren Hayes, the Brisbane band's returning song is a big moment.
What we already know about Cub Sport, is that they're an incredibly special band. In the last three years particularly, the Tim Nelson-led Brisbane group have proved that they're a multi-dimension force musically, having grown a lot since they became indie-pop darlings with their 2016 debut album This Is Our Vice. They're capable of moving between tender ballads not out of place on Frank Ocean's glistening Channel Orange to soaring, confidence-driven moments of pop like Sometimes, while their DIY shadings of their earliest work still shines through - a nod to their status as an entirely independent, self-managed band.
Cub Sport, however, are bigger than musical comparables confident pop. In the past few years, they've become a beacon of hope for the international queer community in some pretty trying times - the Australian same-sex marriage plebiscite, for example - and their "more love, less fear" mantra is something anyone could find comfort in regardless of their background or sexual preference. It's been a tough ride, no doubt - the relationship and eventual marriage of frontman Tim Nelson and keyboardist Sam Netterfield isn't your stock-standard boy-meets-boy story, let alone one visible to the public eye in the social media world of 2019 - but it's one that's proved incredibly important to an inclusive Australian music industry and greater community sick of constant battles.
At the end of the day, they're an act just being themselves and while it may not seem like much, it's in an industry where same-sex relationships were considered risky to commercial success, and this sense of authenticity is quickly drained away with tight media training and keeping up high walls. "It's an album that inspires, an album that comforts you and allows you to thrive along with it, an album that allows you to embrace yourself, feel free and feel confident in doing so," we said on their last record, this year's self-titled Cub Sport, for example.
In a way, they're a 2019-branded manifestation of a renewed Savage Garden: the 90s Australian pop duo (they disbanded in 2001, however) whose place in the queer music canon - thanks to their frontman Darren Hayes, who is today one of Australia's most celebrated musicians - was established long before that of the large majority of musicians today.
Darren Hayes' story was monumental to Australian music. He was one of the first, openly queer males to find commercial success in Australia, in a time whereas aforementioned, the idea of 'coming out' in the public eye felt more like career suicide than a moment of honest truth like that of Cub Sport's a few years ago. Hayes is critical in the success of everyone from Troye Sivan to Tim and Sam, and that's what makes Cub Sport's new single, I Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life, feel so important.
I Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life is a subdued moment of pop for Cub Sport that feels more like their ballad-esque R&B than their swirling pop, with a dizzying falsetto reflecting on the life Tim Nelson has brought around him; the cry mentioned in the single's title and chorus a celebratory one. "I remember being at home and looking over at Bolan, Miss and Eve on the couch - they all looked so beautiful and happy and I was filled with so much gratitude and happiness and pride for how far we’d come and how many obstacles we’d overcome to get to that point," Tim says.
Look outside of its musical composition, however, and you'll find that I Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life is a passing-of-the-torch moment between those who paved the way in the Australian queer canon - your Darren Hayes' - and those who are keeping his legacy alive; Cub Sport's international spread of hope, kindness and acceptance a new future shining brightly. Hayes appears on the song himself to pass that torch - in his first work in seven years, mind you - and with it, one of Australia's most important acts becomes a touch more incredible.
"I’ve been of a fan of Cub Sport since I first heard Come On Mess Me Up. At the time, I didn’t realize they were Australian, let alone from my home town. I just loved the songs, Tim’s voice, the production," says Darren on the collaboration. "A few weeks ago, I got a text from Tim asking if I wanted to be involved in I Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life. I listened to the song, and literally burst into tears of joy. I responded immediately saying yes. Tim was so generous, he offered me the opportunity to contribute in whatever way I wanted - whether that meant writing my own verse or doing a different take on it."
"I’ve never really been someone who works with other artists, nor have I ever really found an artist who I thought made sense with my voice and my writing style, but there was something very magical and serendipitous about my being invited to be a part of this single," he continues. "It feels like it was meant to be."
May Cub Sport keep that torch burning bright.
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