We are inordinately proud to bring you an exclusive listen to the new single ‘Newtown Nights’ from the mysterious and criminally under appreciated Mako Bron. Mako Bron is the moniker of one Chris Brookman whose work we have followed assiduously now for years – his EP ‘Cloudbites’ making our list of favourite antipodean releases for 2021. Check out our earlier reviews here. Eschewing anything like management or PR, Brookman releases exquisite piece of pure indie pop with all the brilliance and shine of bands like The Lightning Seeds.
‘Newtown Nights’ is soaked in poignancy and memory with a trombone edging that is wistful and poised. The track is reflective and enigmatic, with a rousing, stirring chorus that is as dynamic and exciting as King Street on a Saturday night.
Brookman says of the track:
‘Newtown Nights’ recalls a period of time when I was living in Newtown, an inner-city suburb
of Sydney, the year after I turned 21. At the time I was writing a thesis on the dance party
scene in Sydney, playing in bands as much as I could, going out a lot and all too aware that I
was going to have to get my life together at some point.
It was such an unusual time; it was such a great year and an awful year at once. I was full of
rising anxiety and loneliness and yet more social than I’ve ever been. It was the year I very
nearly went in a very wrong direction and the year I went from one stage to another.
Brookman perfectly captures that element of nostalgia – the dichotomy many of us feel of a memory of our youth soaked in a bacchanalian excess of joy and discovery mixed in with the uncertainty, anxiety and regret that seems to become more crystalised and defined as you grow older. A bright spark in the timeline of life that just as quickly dissipates and gets reevaluated:
Newtown Nights and I feel alright,
‘cause I’m living free, and I’m burning bright,
Newtown nights and it slips away,
Like a wisp of smoke in the brand-new day,
The production is crisp and the song perfectly formed. Brookman says of the creative process:
I came up with the instrumental part in a dream. I was away from home at the time with no
access to instruments, but thankfully had a laptop with me so as soon as I woke up, I played
out the basic chord structure and melody. The rest of the song fell into place quickly around
that original melody. I was so happy with it – it’s so simple but I think it captures the dreamy
ambivalence of time rolling on.
Mako Bron continues to create beautiful pop songs that glitter and shine in the darkness, and Brookman deserves a much wider audience:
‘Newtown Nights’ is out everywhere tomorrow (Friday, 24 March 2023) and I am informed an album is on its way. Appearing on the recording are:
Vocals, Guitar, Bass: Mako Bron
Drums, Production and Mixing: Carl Bahner
Trombone: Carol Jarvis
Mellotron: Keith Coper
Piano: Michael Grubbs
In the meantime, have a listen to ‘Cloudbites’:
Note to Mako Bron: get a vinyl edition: this music deserves a physical presence.