It's been a while since someone's done proper sad music, and that's exactly what Brisbane alt-rock crooners It's Acrylic are doing. Their latest single 'Over' drops today, and it's quite a tug on the old heartstrings. 'Over' is a lovesong to the 2000's, with sleepless vocals and morose instrumentation. The track is just a melanchauliflower appetizer, with the release of their main course debut EP looming later in the year.
The song starts with immediate fairy tale piano, with some really nice phrasing, each finger letting loose random little jolts of emotion. These bursts come packaged with sleepless vocals, hanging in the air. The track opens up to an echo; a dream bursting into the vastness. Drums and strings take us on a build to a tender sparse section, which falls apart in the big emotional payoff and we are left with unresolved tension in the resolution.
'Over' features impressive storytelling and lyricism, and is for fans of old David Bowie tracks like 'Lady Grinning Soul'. We were lucky enough to catch up with the band and hear all about the new track:
Tell us about the band and the members!
Harry: "So, our line up started with 4 founding members who all went to Uni together to study music. First of whom Taya, our lovely Singer and songwriter who was a stand out in our degree and was definitely a cut above with his songwriting. Taya has influences ranging from bands like PUP and Smith Street Band, to softer acts such as Hozier or early Ed Sheeran (have to specify early). Taya mainly works tirelessly on the songwriting aspects of the band and is really glad to have the other members who can contextualise his lyrics through instruments and production."
"Next we have Lachlan Pilgrim another founding member who is our guitarist, resident engineer, co producer, sticker designer and band tradie. Again, Lachlan has similar influences so our friendship sort of fell into place at Uni. But he loves bands like Paramore and Thrice as well, which gives him a really distinct place in the influence he brings to the band. Lachlan co-produces all the music and has a passion for guitar tones and audio engineering in general. He absolutely goes OFF live, if you get a chance to see him play the last chorus of 'Over' you’d never think he had it in him."
"Next we have me, Harry. I’m the other guitarist and main producer of the music as well. Early days Taya and I were making music together for assignments before we considered making this a public band. We became best friends over our degree and I cherish our personal relationship as well as our writing and studio relationship. It’s kind of like the producers dream when you believe so much in an artist or writer and you just want their message to translate perfectly to recorded form. I’m also a working producer and work with various acts around Brisbane both mixing and production. I came from a more heavy background with music growing up on bands like Metallica and transitioning into progressive metal with bands like Animals as Leader and Periphery. I’ve since found a passion for the studio and translating artists songs into a recorded form."
"Cale is our bass player, keys player and resident synth and reverb wizard in the studio. Cale's influenced by a lot of Shoegaze, Hyper pop and dream pop recently but definitely has the same rock and punk background we all share. He’s so quiet and sweet and we love him."
"Lastly we have our brand new member, our new drummer Dylan Stewart. Dylan has just joined the band and our first show with him will be our upcoming single launch on the 26th. Finn, our old drummer has gone to America with Selfish Sons and him and the guys are killing it over there. Blessed to have Dylan on board now who also drums for Machine Age and all round killer player and is settling in nicely."
So your second single ‘Over’ is dropping today, that’s so exciting! What can you tell us about it? How long did it take to make? Did you try anything different? Are there any themes and emotions you really wanted to explore?
Harry: "'Over' on the songwriting side came about rather quickly but the production was a real uphill battle. It’s a sort of simple idea in general. It’s a break up song about feeling like you’ve been left out to dry by someone who can’t make up their mind. It’s like the other perspective of “should I stay or should I go”. So we explored these harmonic ideas of really bright chords and sort of blisteringly Hot sounds in the later sections in the song. But trying to contextualise these rather complicated unconventional musical ideas in a satisfying way was really difficult. I think in the final recording you can really hear that struggle and we’re all so proud of it."
"Just a little production tid bit as well We triple tracked the drums for the outro section. Which is so excessive and we love it."
The lyrics are so emotive. Do you find it easier to write from personal experience, or was it more about capturing the emotion and not autobiographical?
Taya: "For me it’s always going to be autobiographical to an extent. I feel like it’s important to blur the line between personal experience and a metaphor that I try to explore as a narrative. When I perform the song I see myself bleed between the story and my inspiration behind it."
"For 'Over', the metaphor is the desert purgatory between life and death, and I’m hoping to return to some place lush and green. The context is a time when my partner and I were going through a rough patch and ended up breaking up. We’re back together now, and have been for about 5 years since then. But it can be extremely painful when mutual love still exists even if two people feel incompatible.
What can we expect from It’s Acrylic next, coming into 2022? Do you have any future releases or gigs coming up?
Harry: "So in the immediate future we’ve got our Single Launch on the 26th at the Brightside. Which we’re so excited for, haven’t played in a little while. Then we are expecting an EP release for late March -early November. More exciting content dropping for 'Over' as well; We recorded a live version of the song at Plutonium Studios as well as a cover of the “The Modern Leper” by Frightened Rabbit. We’re very excited to be dropping more music and so keen for everyone to hear it."
I can really see 'Over' being used in a movie soundtrack, with its vast expressive tones and reminiscent, dreamy atmosphere. All the different influences are so present in the music, I really like how it has all come together in a song that perfectly balances bittersweet joy and windswept tears. 'Over' is out today, on Friday the 18th of February, and you can catch the guys on their social media below. Don't forget to chaperone yourself to The Brightside on the 26th and pop out some tears on the D-Floor with Brisbane's latest tearduct terrors, It's Acrylic.