There is one thing patently obvious when listening to Methyl Ethel’s new single ‘Neon Cheap’: this is a band forging it’s own aural adventure and the result is something that is quite unique and highly impressive. Sweeping along on an almost funky flow – gently splashing guitars and a off-beat rhythm – the vocals are energising and melodic with a chorus that is indelibly rousing. I can’t help being reminded of the vital and nervy timbre of Talking Heads or Phoenix: a danceable treat embellished by a sense of intelligence and sensitivity.
Methyl Ethel is the nom de plume of West Australian songwriter, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jake Webb. Webb’s description of the track is as esoteric and mind bending as the music:
Picture yourself scrolling, mind-numbingly at 3am. Now, instead of scrolling, you’re traipsing some vegas-like strip. All the events and people you’d normally read about are there as you walk around, inoculated, casually observing. For me, this is ‘Neon Cheap.’
This slightly surreal nature perfectly describes the music with its trippy aura and hallucinogenic vibe which the accompanying video, directed by Tay Kaka, perfectly reflects:
Western Australia has a long history of musical innovation, influenced perhaps by its isolation and beauty – think of bands like The Triffids, The Scientists and more recently the psych explosion spearheaded by Tame Impala and Pond. There something in the very pure air there that is magic.
Methyl Ethel has just signed to the very cool Future Classic label and is embarking on a series of gigs, so the future is very bright indeed. You can get the single here and catch the band at the following dates in Australia (including co-headlines with fellow Western Australian legends, Pond):
METHYL ETHEL IN THE ROUND HEADLINE TOUR
Tickets on sale Friday 16 April @ 9am AEST from methylethel.com
Thursday 22 July – Melbourne, VIC @ The Night Cat
Friday 23 July – Sydney, NSW @ Roundhouse
METHYL ETHEL X POND CO-HEADLINE SHOWS
Friday 30 April – Perth, WA @ Magnet House – SOLD OUT
Saturday 1 May – Perth, WA @ Magnet House – SOLD OUT
Feature Photograph: Xan Thorrhoea