We are honoured to premiere the new single ‘Sailor’ from nipaluna/Hobart trio Verticoli: an atmospheric enigmatic gem that sparkles intensely with a slow burning fuse. It has the driving energy and poise of something by The National with an ominous edge redolent of Interpol, Nirvana or early The Cure: a guitar driven undercurrent with yearning vocals coasting across the surface.
Sam Hunn from the band says of the track:
The first draft of ‘Sailor’ was something that was knocked up in about 45 minutes, and wasn’t a song that a lot of thought went into initially. It was a demo that would have sat dormant in the list of potential ‘B-sides’ if producer Jon Grace didn’t get his hands on it. I think he saw more potential in it than we did. Throughout the sessions for our album ‘The Echo’ it went from being really an after-thought track to a favourite for all of us. It was a case of a song really shaping up into a different and beautiful beast in the studio. It’s musically very simple. I think we all have a soft spot for it because the whole team, including producer Jon Grace and engineer Cam Hull, were involved in turning the song from a raw demo into what it is now.
Lyrically the song is essentially about failure being in the eye of the beholder. It was inspired by learning about the difficulties someone close to me had experienced in their younger years, which wasn’t kept secret per se, but certainly wasn’t readily shared. Knowing this made me feel less alone and self-critical, and started thinking ‘God I wish I’d known this earlier!’. That’s really the gist of the song.
There is a gracious, imperial movement to the track: a melancholic sheen on the elegiac pace set by the instruments and vocals.
Like local contemporaries EWAH and the Vision of Paradise, Verticoli seem to capture an icy Antarctic post punk edge in their music that is flavoured by the environment in the southern island at the edge of the world: raw, visceral and fresh.
The accompanying video by Creative Grit (Dane Meale) perfectly captures the breathtaking coastlines of Lewisham in Tasmania (just outside Hobart) with the band members small figures rowing over an expansive glittering ocean and landing on a beach. Hunn says of the video, which has an acute sense of place:
We were really keen to have Tassie as a feature of the video. It’s where we all grew up, and we love the place. Being out on the water and using those big wide shots from the drone showed it off. Sitting in a boat playing musical instruments while Jez rowed for an hour was also a good laugh! I guess the three boys in a boat on a journey towards the top of the dunes just kind of sums up the song lyrically (vaguely admittedly) and being in a band. The camaraderie, the sometimes difficult journey, the chance for failure, the video is less a ‘story’ and more a metaphor for trials and tribulations.
It is an enthralling and immersive video reflecting the song’s inherent power and stature:
‘Sailor’ is out tomorrow and you can pre-save it here. It is the third single from Verticoli’s forthcoming album ‘The Echo’, which is set for release in November 2022.
Verticoli will be launching the single at gigs in Hobart, Launceston and Melbourne in September – details and tickets here.
Feature Photograph: Jack Pitt