We are very pleased to be able to bring you an early listen to the new single ‘The Pearl’ from one of the most exciting bands coming out of Sydney at the moment, The Nagging Doubts, out through the brilliant Scenic Drive Records. Last year’s EP ‘Autocalm‘ made my list of favourite albums of 2021, where I described it as an achingly beautiful collection of songs. It is great to see the band back treading the boards and as exciting as ever.
Spidery guitars commence the track with a motorik beat sideling up to launch into a very soulful, funky beat. Expressive, earnest vocals float over the top, breaking into a dreamy melody resting nonchalantly on a floating synth bed. This is a beautiful expressive widescreen epic: stately and yearning with a presence and stature. The vocals of Joe Wilks bring to mind a cross between David Byrne and Mark E Smith – sometimes exhorting and urgent, sometimes yearning and melancholic.
Augmenting the sonic delivery, the lyrics are intelligent and poetic. According to the band, the themes are about the dangers of greed and how easy it is to succumb to once you get a taste for wealth and the freedom that it brings.
In the story a poor family living in a village on the outskirts of a big city are searching for a way to pay for their child’s treatment after they are stung by a poisonous scorpion. As fate would have it they find the ‘great pearl’, a local legend in the village. Immediately after they inherit this wealth more options become available to them in life and they expand their scope of ambition well past their child’s treatment. As a consequence they bring different types of challenges into their life and find themselves with many enemies that come out of the woodwork, scheming to take what is theirs. Ultimately ‘The Pearl’ addresses how hard it is to really achieve class mobility when you are coming from poverty and suggests begrudgingly that perhaps contentment with where you stand and what you have is the best way to live.
There is an expressive and lyrical beauty imbued with intelligence and danceability: a wonderful combination.
Officially out tomorrow, you can download and stream the single here.