Track: Bitter Defeat – Long Lash

Bitter Defeat caught our eye earlier this year with the single ‘The Light That Shines‘ – I described it as an effervescent slice of classic New Zealand indie pop mixed with a Buzzcocks swagger and a rousing chorus. Their new single ‘Long Lash’ proves that this wasn’t an aberration.

The story behind the lyrics is hilarious – the challenges of ageing and the odd freak occurrences that happen to our bodies. Yes – a strange long lash in this case. A middle aged malaise indeed, but one wrapped up in chiming shimmering guitars and a deadpan delivery that exudes humour and wit. Simply another great pop song from this band. Main songwriter Rob Shirlow knows this is not the stuff of youthful rock’n’roll:

The song started life as a riff back in 2016 when I was trying to write some songs for the first time. The lyrics came quite quickly and are based around a freak eyelash that I woke up with one day. It had grown to about 10cm long overnight, which sounds like absolute bullshit but is totally true.

I started to lament the weird, mildly annoying stuff that starts to happen when you get older but which doesn’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things, like grey hair, cracking knees, needing naps and so on. Hardly rock song material really, but you know.

The accompanying video, shot around the band’s hometown of Kirikiriroa Hamilton, is aptly laconic and droll: perfectly capturing the band’s louche relaxed style and self-deprecatory humour:

The pop sensibility and raw lo-fi approach contains within it a magnificent genetic link to legendary bands like The Clean, The Bats and The Chills: a powerful collection of prodigious New Zealand talent that just keeps on giving. Magnificent.

You can get the single through the link below or through all the usual download/streaming sites:

The band will be doing a couple of live shows before the end of the year:

7th November 2020: Sclerotica: MND Gig for Dean Ballinger, Hamilton, NZ
18th December 2020: Hamilton Underground Press Xmas Party, Hamilton, NZ

Oh for a travel bubble to be there.

Bitter Defeat is Rob Shirlow (Guitar, Vocals), Ben Manning (Guitar, Vocals), Kathryn Thompson (Drums), Ian Duggan (Casiotone), Julian White (Bass).

They have played a string of shows with the likes of The Bats, Hamish Kilgour, and John Davis of Folk Implosion, and plan to release two more singles online in the coming months, followed by the first physical release, an EP via Kirikiriroa-based Gravel Streak Records.

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