We are cryogenically frozen with excitement to give you an exclusive listen to the new single from the brilliant Jo Meares, ‘Faster Than A First Kiss’. Meares to me is one of the most prodigious talents summering below the surface in Australia: his profundity and eloquence comes across as the love child of Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, his deep sonorous voice painting bleak but breathtakingly beautiful portraits of the world. It is a voice that evokes an aching sorrow that in actuality acts as a salve: a world that is as cinematic as it is intimate.
‘Faster Than A First Kiss’ is Meares at his very best: a floating drifting smoky haze over a percussion free and immersive bed of strings, synths and sorrow. Meares’s vocals are half spoken, drifting and distant, poetic and elegant. As the percussion kicks in with etchings of shimmering guitar, the pace quickens, the slow majestic pace briefly blossoms before a sudden end. Tribute must be paid to Meares’s partner in crime, Anth Dymke (Pony Face) who has collaborated in the musical streams of sorrowful joy that has emanated from Meares over the past few years.
Meares sings evocatively:
When was it I learnt they would put coins on my eyes
He explains that in this track, he is:
…ruminating on those fleeting moments of joy and experience that pass way too quickly and the idea of various masks and forms we take as we move through life.
The track catches that sense of ephemeral, fleeting beauty, the transience of our very existence as brief sparks in a continuum of life across the immeasurable line of time. Meares has that jaded worn expression soaked in whiskey and absinthe, reflecting his global wanderings and his acute observations of the minutiae of life. Think of the brittle beauty of bands like Tindersticks and the sonic majesty of Sigur Ros that evoke a sense of melancholic euphoria:
This is at the forefront of the Marrickville Sound: a unique explosion of raw and visceral talent that has evolved from the inner west of Sydney over the past few years utilising guitars, maturity and intelligence. ‘Faster Than A First Kiss’ is out tomorrow on Tuesday, 11 October 2022 via Bandcamp, streaming services.
Meares has also announced the release of his new album ‘Dream Hotel’ on 11 November 2022, complete with some of the shining gems we have reviewed over the last year (‘Reasons‘, ‘The Dirty Game of Art‘ and ‘Just Dreams‘. This is going to be something quite special.