Here at Backseat Mafia we are very proud to premiere the brilliant new track ‘The Dirty Art of Game’ from Sydney artist Jo Meares.

This is a stunning and mesmerising song – haunting, poetic and celestial in its tone. Foremost is the rumbling hypnotic vocals that weave an enticing tale of temptation and sin in a half-whispered tone, with serpentine synths swirling in the distance and brief hints of dirty, scuzzy guitars circling below the surface like sharks. It’s evocative, faintly threatening and absolutely intoxicating.

Stylistically it would be easy to note Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave whose lyricism can transcend the music. I also detect a certain insouciance of Serge Gainsbourg and Alabama 3: hints of decadence and liquor-soaked early morning decay and debauchery. The video, shot and directed by Meares himself, takes us on an endless night time drive, evoking a Nicolas Winding Refn air of dread and anticipation:

Jo Meares played in Sydney with Jo Meares and The Honeyriders before striking out on his own. He now collaborates with Melbourne musician Anth Dymke (Pony Face), matching Meares’s distinctive songwriting and vocals with Dymke’s musical and production skills. Of Dymke, Meares says:

Anth Dymke is, to my mind, one of Australia’s greatest bass players. He does not simply play the bass but create a whole mood and atmosphere with his playing. It was a great honour in 2019 when he put his hand up to play bass with my band. There was an immediately musical connection and the whole performance of the band was lifted by his playing and energy.

What I did not realise is that Anth is also a brilliant producer. I started to send him files of songs I was working on and he would turn those fairly simple recordings into something quite brilliant, but always preserving and expanding the aesthetic I had presented to him.

‘The Dirty Art of Game’ is epic, cinematic musical prose that has a satisfying air of a life steeped in indulgence, pain and joy. Utterly cathartic.

You can download/stream the single here or directly from the artist below:

An album is in the cards, which I, for one, cannot wait to hear.