Dark Cloudy Mood Music
When one thinks of Australia, music is not the first thing that comes to mind. Sure, they have had some great bands in the past, ACDC, INSX and genre-redefining Bee Gees, but all of them have been so spaced out across the decades and genre that they never really had a defining sound—like the classic Britpop—that they never had one defining musical pop sound as a culture. Instead, Australians seem to Americans as a happy-go-lucky people that keep kangaroos as pets.
The newest Australian band to appear in this decade, Nite Fields is no different. Hailing mainly from Brisbane, the quartet owes most of its sound to the dark sonic aesthetic to the post-punk Manchester bands than to Men at Work. Their debut album, Depersonalisation, shows off a melancholy that seems out of place for people who may have surfed at Bondi beach.
From the opening and title track it is clear that the album will live up to its name. This is above all, an album of production. The vocals, melodies and lyrics play second fiddle—quite literally, as the vocals are often affected or deliberately in the background—to the echoing, delayed guitars that are often accompanied by crashing symbols. This makes it seem as though grey cloud hanging over their music that might have been taken from Joy Division or New Order. Coming along with is grey cloud, is a grey few of the world, as the opening line of “Come Down” goes, “When I feel like moving on / There you are to prove me wrong.”
Despite all of this gloom and doom, the album some how manages to be cohesive and warm. This is thanks to the guitars and sometimes sitar, as on the beginning of “Fill the Void. Nite Fields is trying to fill the void in you. They don’t always succeed, but they make you feel less alone.