The Golden Rail have deep within their genetic code a golden thread stretching back to bands in the eighties that have a particular Western Australian glint about them – think of the recent jangle pop of The Rinehearts and the glorious regimes of The Triffids, Scientists, The Hoodoo Gurus and The Stems. Now based in Melbourne, the band is the culmination of a 30-year writing partnership between principal songwriters Ian Freeman and Jeff Baker. The pair met and started performing in Perth in the mid-80’s running through a string of bands either together or as side players in The Palisades, The Rainyard, Header, Summer Suns, DM3, The Lazybirds and more recently with The Jangle Band.
Their new single ‘Silver Linings’ is a quiet, reflective track that has a certain ethereal grace about it: a melodic sweetness tempered by a degree of melancholia and yearning. The delivery is filled with emotion, augmented by the soft and subtle instrumentation with a poignant delicacy in the lyrics:
Over the earth, over the ocean
I need to sleep, in your sweet motion
I’ve been told
Your silver linings worth its weight in gold
Freeman describes the song, born, in a sense, from the deprivations of COVID isolation, as:
Another song about ghosts. Sort of. I was reading a book of letters by Maude Gonne to W. B. Yeats where they mention astral projecting to each other during their dreams. They had a spiritual/dreamworld relationship, which is pretty mad. They could never reconcile that relationship in real life, and it plagued them both for their whole lives. I just ran with that. We were all locked away in our little worlds for a time and I thought how cool it would be if we could astral travel, catch up with family and friends, have a nice cup of tea, then wake up in our beds still in pj’s. But then I thought no one is going to buy that as an idea, so I turned it into a straight unrequited love tune. Everyone can get on board with that, right?
The accompanying video is an exquisite work of art by Craig McLean: a series of beautifully shot monochrome vignettes that include the band in performance:
‘Silver Linings’ is the first single to be released from The Golden Rail’s imminent 3rd album ‘Songs from Empty Streets’, out through the imitable Cheersquad Records and Tapes, purveyors of the finest music. You can get it through the link below:
The Golden Rail are Jeffrey Baker, Ian Freeman, Dave Chadwick and Saki Garth.