There seems to be a strange black hole in everyone’s calendar between 2020 and 2021 where nothing seemed to happen, and we all existed in a kind of void. Musically, while many bands lurked in studios and proliferated, some seemed to hibernate. However, like the light at the end of the tunnel signaling the end of a long dark period of horror, some are emerging back into the sunshine. Flowertruck delighted us way back in 2018 with their delightful debut album ‘Mostly Sunny’ (read my review here) and did release a couple of singles in 2020, but it is wonderful to welcome them back in 2022 with the single ‘Crying Shame’. Has their sense of optimism and innocence detected back then been affected by the times passed?
The effervescent bright bop attack remains firmly in place in ‘Crying Shame’, but there seems to be a darker theme in the new single, a little more shade in the fluorescent day-glo colours and expression.
Frontman to the four-piece, Charles Rushforth, says that ‘Crying Shame’ was inspired by a really shitty job I had in Broken Hill…
I was essentially lifting gravel all day and feeling sorry for myself… I used to get so worked up about it that I’d get teary, but then I’d catch a glimpse of myself looking like an 1800’s chimney sweep (albeit with hot pink Ruggers), and I’d laugh until it hurt.
What remains, however, is Flowertrucks’ firm place in the pantheon of legendary antipodean indie bands: an ability to describe the minutiae of life with an observational candour and clear-eyed innocence while delivering achingly beautiful songs bursting with indelible melodies. All in a broad unashamed Australian accent.
While sharing the same bed with contemporary Australian artists like The Goon Sax, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Courtney Barnett in this sense, the genes can be traced back to the old C86/Postcard Records era – Orange Juice, The Go-Betweens, The Apartments, Felt and their like.
Rushforth’s urgent, angular vocals, burnished by harmonies and a vintage synth sound coast over a rolling bass that create a sense of anxiety and restlessness. A brilliant return ahead of news of their second album set for release in the southern hemisphere Winter 2022 via Spunk! Records / Virgin Music Australia.
‘Crying Shame’ can be streamed and downloaded here. Flowertruck have an East Coast tour locked in for March 2022 to support ‘Crying Shame, and festival appearances in their sites in the second half of 2022.