Adelaide born but now Melbourne resident Allday (the moniker of Tom Gaynor) magnificent album ‘Drinking With My Smoking Friends’ has been anticipated by a series of stunning singles that have indicated the presence of a special artist. Known more for rap, this album is a new turn – melodic dream pop that is sparkling.
Opening track ‘Void’ is a melodic and lush single with just a hint of yearning and crisp instrumentation based on an acoustic guitar brush: reflecting a deliberate shift by Allday to move away from his rap origins towards an indie pop style. After working with producer Japanese Wallpaper on ‘In Motion’, a track that appeared on his 2017 record Speeding, Gaynor felt compelled to further explore more open, sentimental melodies:
“I came back to Australia from LA and I was working out what comes next. My music has always been somewhat varied: there’s different types of rap, really pop songs, house-y stuff. There was an element, with songs like In Motion, where the tough guy facade came down. So then I thought, ‘Why am I still holding on to that?’
The result is a clear illustration of Allday’s songwriting craft, a beautiful delivery imbued with a dreamy wistfulness and clarity:
‘Cup of Tea in the Bath’ is an euphoric, anthemic track with a thrumming bass, sparse instrumentation and Allday’s voice a velvet cloak over the muscular rhythms. The synths in the distance have the richness of M83, the guitars chime and ring out.
In ‘Stolen Cars’, tales of illicit undertakings never sounded so smooth and melancholic: there is a delicious timbre to Allday’s voice – infused with a dreamer’s innocence yet laced with a touch of knowing experience. Allday says of the track:
Stolen Cars is about two people who think they can get away from everything and start over. I think it’s sort of a universal feeling, most people have been inside the weird dream of young love before. It doesn’t always last, but the optimism of that moment is something to hold onto. Most importantly, I think the song is great to dance to in the living room.
This theme of rebirth or renewal is indeed universal: and the yearning tone imparts that sense of innate optimism and hope. The accompanying video is similarly filled with a sense of youthful freedom:
‘Door;’ is a smooth liquid track with Allboy’s rap genes showing through the splashing guitars with his smooth flow, a jazzy feel compete with horns. Allday’s Australian tones are unadulterated and evocative.
‘The Paris End of Collins Street’ (a common description of an upmarket part of Melbourne) has a Go-Betweens style observational wry humour with jangling guitars and Allday’s gorgeous evocative vocals: overflowing with a melancholic and melodic air.
Here you come in the icy rain, wearing a very big jacket for a very small lady, we were standing at the Paris end of Collins Street at the bloody end of capitalism…
Breathtakingly and achingly beautiful.
‘After All This Time’ continues this stream of epically beautiful tracks: flowing on crisp acoustic guitars and a relentless sparkle and jangle that is reminiscent of the best indie music from the eighties. The lyrics are romantic and beautiful:
and after all this time
i’d do it all for you once again
it’s always you and i
and that’s the way it’s gotta be
and that’s the way it’s gotta be
Celestial jangling guitars and sweeping strings create a fast pace with a recurring riff that buries its way into your head.
‘Fast Ride’ is beefier with a hint of fuzzy, scuzzy guitars and a thundering rhythm section. Allday’s spoken verses have a dissociated tone but are wrapped in sky-scraping choruses.
‘Smoking With My Drinking Friends’ is an intoxicating album of perfect dream pop: achingly beautiful throughout with a magnificent poise and presence. There is not a weak spot in this album: it is filled with impeccable songwriting, a bouquet of sparkling jewels that glitter with a melancholic romanticism, delivered with world weary bittersweet vocals.
There is an incredible dream pop scene in Australia at the moment – Allday stands with other single named artists such as Mallrat, Rinse and Hatchie in producing some of the most monumental, atmospheric and beautiful music at the moment, and it is an absolute joy.
Allday has announced a series of dates to promote the album in August (tickets and details here):
Saturday, 7 August – Metro City – Perth
Friday, 20 August – Enmore Theatre* – Sydney
Saturday, 21 Aug – Thebarton Theatre – Adelaide
Friday, 27 August – The Forum – Melbourne
Saturday, 28 August – Fortitude Music Hall – Brisbane
*Licensed All Ages