Mallrat‘s development as an important and iconic Australian artist is never more apparent than in her exquisite new song, ‘Charlie’. With a formidable live show and a history of what may unfairly be called melodic bubble gum pop, ‘Charlie’ signals a maturity with its deep-felt sense of yearning and nostalgia way beyond Mallrat’s years.
Charlie is Mallrat’s family pooch, a symbol of unconditional love and trust throughout a hint of familial turmoil in her youth:
My Dad he worked out West, and he worked so hard,
My mum she smells like cigarettes and they broke each other’s heart
Indeed, the lynchpin of Mallrat’s songwriting is her lyrics. Like many of her compatriots such Courtney Barnett, Greta Stanley, The Go-Betweens and the Triffids, she captures a unique sense of Australian place and time – in her case the ennui of urban Brisbane – in an unashamedly Australian diction. She’s self-deprecating, earnest and true, unafraid to expose her deepest feelings:
I want coffee for breakfast
I want warm cups of tea
I’m gonna love you forever
I hope you warm up to me
Such gorgeous imagery is wrapped in the sweetest melodic candy. Mallrat writes such mind-engraving tunes that weave magically into your consciousness. ‘Charlie’ is slow burning and driven by piano rather than beats.
The accompanying video perfectly encapsulates the notalgia and sense of loss with its super eight sun-bleached style and even a Dad cameo:
‘Charlie’ will be on Mallrat’s forthcoming EP entitled ‘Driving Music’, out on 6 September 2019. You can preorder here.
She is on tour across Northern America (see dates below) in the coming months. Whatever you do, do not miss her live. I saw her in June at the Dark Mofo Festival and she was one of the highlights of the Festival: a set that had a full theatre pumping with exhilarating joy. Including a tired, worn out cynical old hack like me.
8/12 San Diego, CA @ The Music Box 9/18 // Chicago, IL // Subterranean
9/19 // Pontiac, MI // The Pike Room
9/20 // Toronto, ON // Velvet Underground9/22 // Montreal, QB @ Le Ministere
9/24 // Philadelphia, PA // Voltage Lounge
9/26 // Washington, DC // DC9
9/27 // Cambridge, MA // Middle East Upstairs
9/28 // Brooklyn, NY // Baby’s All Right
10/3 // Vancouver, BC // Fox Cabaret
10/4 // Seattle, WA // Barboza
10/5 // Portland, OR // Holocene
10/8 // Santa Ana, CA // Constellation Room
10/9 // Los Angeles, CA // The Echo
10/11 // San Francisco, CA // Rickshaw Stop
10/13 // Austin, TX // Austin City Limits Music Festival*
* Mallrat only