We are madly overjoyed to be able to bring you the premiere outing of the new track ‘Creative Frenzy’ from the newly formed Sydney band Victoria. You know you are in for something special when you have a combination of legendary producer Wayne Connolly’s label Scenic Drive Records, a band consisting of members of seminal bands Youth Group, The Vines, Smudge and Songs, and which is named after a Kinks song.
Displaying all the antipodean low-fi charm that can be traced to the Dunedin Sound (think The Bats and The Chills) and that dappled sunshine sound from Queensland (the Go-Betweens and The Apartments), ‘Creative Frenzy’ has a naïf charm in the altogether too brief two minutes it takes to traipse delicately through your brain.
The bass forms a steady spine with the drums, and the guitars lay a gold filigree over the top. while layered vocals deliver an indelible melody.
Sung and written by Patrick Matthews – with his fine and admirable history playing bass in the The Vines and Youth Group – there is a witty bite to the lyrics, capturing the vicissitudes of everyday life and the big questions of existence, in a dry and sardonic manner. According to Matthews, the lyrics were inspired by the forgotten Russian writer Daniil Kharms, and a short story of where the protagonist struggles with noisy neighbours, the sun, rival writers and the existence of God. Matthews notes:
Something about it struck a chord with me.
The tune itself was born from a desire to create a simple structured pop song:
Earlier in 2021, when Victoria were able to play gigs, I wanted to add another 3-chord song to our set. By secret ballot we agreed on the three chords and away we went. Lyrically it started life as a Courtney Barnett-style day-in-the-life song but along the way it took a turn down a dark alley.
And we all know anything more than three chords is just jazz.
This is an exciting portend of things to come. The video is set in the charming inner west of Sydney during lockdown:
‘Creative Frenzy is out on Friday, 4 March and you can pre-order/save it here.
Victoria is Cameron Emerson-Elliott (Youth Group), Alison Galloway (Smudge), Patrick Matthews (The Vines, Youth Group) and Max Doyle (Songs), and they amusingly came together, according to Matthews, because:
We felt that there was a bit of a dearth of indie rock bands making catchy songs with an overabundance of words at the moment. So, we thought we’d give it a go.
You can catch them giving it a go in the flesh this Sunday (6 March 2022) at the HiWay in Enmore, along with the inimitable Alannah Russack, whose new single ‘Tend Your Fire’ we premiered here yesterday. Details of the gig can be found here. See you there.
Victoria join the ranks of the phenomena I bang on about all the time – the Marrickville Sound: the rise of guitar-based indie bands consisting of members from iconic eighties and nineties bands, collecting together in the shadows, mostly in the inner west of Sydney, and fomenting a heady concoction of creativity. And as I always say, there is no use-by date when it comes to creativity.
Feature Photograph: Maclay Heriot