Essendon Airport have a permanent place in the annals of the Australian indie music scene from the late seventies with their innovative electronic sonic canvases – founding members consisted of Robert Goodge on guitar and David Chesworth on Wurlitzer electric piano, along with a home-made drum machine bought from the Trading Post. Goodge went on to form the commercially successful I’m Talking.
Forty years ago, Essendon Airport collaborated with mysterious chanteuse Anne Cessna for the cult track ‘Talking To Cleopatra’ which went the equivalent of viral in the Australian music scene at the time. Now, they are all back together with a limited edition double A side single consisting of the tracks ‘Agua Por Favor’ and ‘Ten Thousand Steps’, and all is right in the world.
Paul Fletcher (artist, filmmaker and drummer in Essendon Airport’s later lineup) designed the single artwork and also made animated videos for each track.
The signature aquatic bubbling instrumentation is as febrile and hyperactive as ever in ‘Aqua Por Favor’, with Cessna’s vocals adding a dry observant style, poetic ramblings nestled amongst the electronic folds, that occasionally break into melodic diversions. The guitars are delicate and exquisite, intertwined with the motorik thrum.
‘Ten Thousand Steps’ is a more reflective acoustic based track, Cessna’s voice half talking, half vocoded with an air of mystery and enigma. Delicate guitars are subsumed by wispy aerated synths and atmospheric wanderings – dreamy and enchanting.
The tracks are available as part of a limited edition vinyl release through the marvelous Chapter Records:
Essendon Airport will perform live with special guests including Anne Cessna and “Evil” Graham Lee of The Triffids at Chapter Music’s 30th birthday celebrations Chapterfest 30 at Northcote Theatre on Saturday November 5 (alongside labelmates NO ZU, Laura Jean, Gregor, Sweet Whirl, Teether & Kuya Neil, The Cannanes and Native Cats). Tickets available here. What a lineup.
Robert Goodge – guitars David Chesworth – keyboards, electronics Anne Sanger – vocals, lyrics Robert & David – production Additional drums by Richard Andrew (Underground Lovers)
Feature Photograph: Guy Blackman