Today we launch our new album Faux Wave to the world. You can find it on most of the usual online platforms.
What a crazy year, and to think that this is a small consolation prize for all the upheaval of the last several months. We were lucky to record this album just before the lockdown happened around the globe.
Faux Wave is probably our best album. I say ‘probably’, because you can never tell with the midsts of time what is ‘the best’. It somehow feels like a renewal even though it’s a continuation. There is something special about it which doesn’t make me flinch when I hear it, and also gives me that feeling of “Why didn’t we try this earlier?!” It’s a collaborative effort, all of us bring something to this album that gives it a unity unlike before.
On about Day 4 of recording, I asked John Lee (who recorded, mixed and mastered Faux Wave) what kind of genre he thought we were. “Are we post-punk or art rock? What are we?” After some back and forth, John thought we had a No-Wave vibe to what we do. That was a high compliment in my book even though I’m thinking we’re nowhere even approximating Teenage Jesus and the Jerks or The Contortions. But, what would I know…. Later, in the evening when we were having dinner I was reflecting on the genre conversation again. Jessica Moore, without missing a beat simply added “No-Wave? More like faux wave!” We were simultaneously thrilled. The name stuck.
The title Faux Wave is interchangeable as our newly defined genre, or simply it is the encapsulating theme of this new album. And well, what an age we live in. The age of ‘fake news’, the age of products with shorter and shorter lifespans, of short-termism, environmental distress, more plastics, of reckoning with colonial heritages, upheaval, upheaval, upheaval. The list could go on and on….
So….let’s hear it for our favourite waves – ocean, sound, micro, blow, tidal, x-ray, radio and faux.
And, may this Faux Wave find you safe and well.
Okay! Today we launch a new single Banker On TV. It is a short faux wave ditty about a never-ending story we all know – money, wealth, the empire of greed, swiping right with consequence.
We’re multi-taskers alright, so of course the subject matter is an arterial spray of constant vigilance. Actually, the song contains many of the sort of topics we get really excited about at The Stress of Leisure. None of this “Do they love me?”, “Who am I?” mumbo jumbo. We’re hardcore realists/fantasists!
‘The times are now interesting enough for Interesting Times’ — Jane Elliott, 2020
Today marks the release of our single, Interesting Times. We recorded this song during the Eruption Bounce sessions with Darek Mudge and thought it a bit serious at the time to include on that album. Jessica Moore, however, never forgot it and has lobbied for its release ever since.
The video that accompanies the song was made in a lockdown fever by Pascalle and Ian.
Thanks to the excellent Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie zine for premiering the track – Bianca’s collage is excellent!
This world is weird right now, we hope that you and your loved ones are all safe. We hope to see you on the other side of this with a renewed appreciation for how vulnerable we all are.
‘They knew now that if there is one thing one can always yearn for, and sometimes attain, it is human love.’ ― Albert Camus, The Plague
In February, The Stress of Leisure decamped to Melbourne for a week of recording at Phaedra Studios (located in Coburg). We worked with John Lee who has recorded many fave artists of ours – especially the Laura Jean Devotion album, an album we played a lot in the van whilst touring. We’ve also dug the albums of other artists he’s worked with including Lost Animal, No Sister and Beaches but to name a few.
We didn’t know what to expect but came away pretty happy with it all. Over five days we worked towards recording ten songs and we mostly got there, bar a few overdubs. Not only was working with John a great experience for us, he also drew out our more punkier artier sensibilities. We were feeding off the energy of the songs. No click tracks. There was a feeling amongst all of us, that things were working out a bit too easy. What was the catch? When were things going to fall in a heap? Ian was complimented by Pascalle for being patient during everything. What was going on!?!
Amongst it all we even managed to catch a couple of live sets from one of our favourite Australian acts – Dave Graney and the MistLY. They played the Memo Music Hall down in St Kilda on a Thursday night and were absolutely on fire. We were lucky enough to play a couple of shows with them in 2012 – one at the Miami Shark Bar which Dave would probably love to recall – and hadn’t seen them play as a foursome since. Such a great band in full flight.
We’re hoping to mix the album soon and maybe, don’t wanna jinx it, it’ll probably come out later in 2020. What does it sound like? Good question. It definitely feels more political than our other albums as a lot of the lyrics were written during the horrendous bushfire summer of 2019/20. It definitely feels looser and punkier too. Some killer bass lines. John compared us to a few no wave acts which was very generous of him. Jessica Moore, our resident millennial drummer (and early adopter of technology), said we’re more like ‘faux wave’. Maybe Jessica’s onto something here?
Whatever it sounds like, we look forward to releasing it someday. The above collage is some photos taken during the recording week. Good times.
The Stress of Leisure is playing at The Tivoli on Sunday 27 October as part of Regurgitator’s weekend-long 25th birthday celebrations, The Quarter Pounder Tour. Starting at 3pm, the line-up also features Shonen Knife, The Fauves, Screamfeeder and Koko Uzi. Tickets are available here. Amazing artwork by Jhonny Russell.
Spiral Stairs, aka Scott Kannberg, co-founder of the legendary band Pavement, is playing Brisbane Easter Saturday (April 20), and The Stress is proud to be joining him and band on the night. Also on the bill are those non-excitable top notch types Eyes Ninety and the emerging Electric Zebra. This is going to be better than a date with Ikea and what’s more, it’s in our old stomping ground of Stones Corner.
Hark back to the early nineties and a younger Ian listened to Pavement almost relentlessly, lots of lyrics basically being imprinted on Ian’s cerebral cortex. Have loved seeing both Spiral and Malkmus play out since their Pavement days. So much great music. The quality continues.
We can’t wait to play this one. We’re ready to be hyp-no-tized!