Band Of The Week #0091 - City Calm Down
This week’s Band Of The Week is Australia’s City Calm Down, who have just released their album ‘Television’ which is out now via I Oh You Records. The band took a moment to talk to us about the release.
Your album is called ‘Television’, does it hold any sort of meaning?
The secret thing about the album title is that it's also the title of the lead single from said album (laughs). The word 'Television' represents many different things to different people, but in the context of this song, it speaks to our short attention spans and the need to be constantly entertained. Why we turn to the screen and what that can do to different people is something I’ve always been moderately fascinated with! That idea extends across the whole record in the sense that it is looking at consumerism and materialism.
Where was it recorded? Any behind the scenes stories?
It was recorded at The Grove Studios which is inland a little bit from the New South Wales South Coast. Recording there was honestly an incredible experience. You’re up in the hills, out in the bush, living at the studio, swimming everyday, working on the songs, playing and recording for 14+ hours a day, for weeks at a time. Everyone working at the studios was just the best human - but I have a particularly fond memories of stumbling out onto the patio after totally loosing track of time in the studio (everyday) and just sinking into the couches outside, listening to the crazy hum of frogs and other nature scurrying around in the pond and forrest beside the studio. Being away from home, out of the city, it was just a really nice ‘zone’ and headspace to be in whilst recording. Nature (and a big pool) helped you reset after each day and get ready for tomorrow's endeavours.
When writing the songs for the album, what did you use for inspiration?
A lot of the themes of this record draw on childhood experiences - they're not strictly autobiographical though. Many of my favourite moments on this record draw child like sentiments into the adult world - for example, Visions of Graceland is more or less about the child like antics of some of the politicians in Australia (and abroad). That's not to say we should try and escape our inner child - we're all for that - but there's a time and a place for it and parliament is probably not one of those places!
When people listen to the album, what do you hope they take away from it?
When we first sat down with Burke Reid (our producer), we mulled over many of those typical ‘tough’ questions regarding the record’s identity and what what we wanted it to sound/feel like...By the end of our chat, we’d collectively agreed to something along the lines of “We’ll be happy if these songs sound like something you would want to bust down a door and listen to if you were hearing it through the walls (in another room) at a house party. Weird, but simple. We wanted to write something more immediate. Shorter. Snappier. To the point.
The summer is coming to a close now, what have been your highlights?
We have actually been locked down in Melbourne winter! It hasn’t been too cold this year so no complaining, but we’ve been trying to keep busy (and warm) by bunkering down in rehearsals, working up all these new songs for our live set. The winter highlight was definitely the first set of shows we played for the ‘Television’ single tour in both Melbourne and Sydney - big celebrations were had post-show.
You hit the road this September and October, what are you looking forward to the most? You are going to countries such as Germany and Belgium, do you have a favorite country you are looking forward to visiting the most?
We are all just looking forward to enjoying whatever we can of the very tail end of European Summer! Every time we have travelled over to the UK and Europe it’s been amazing. The reception we received in Germany last year when we played there for the first time was just crazy though. Such wild fans - and wild times! The Netherlands (Amsterdam) is also on our ‘can’t wait to return’ list - it was just jaw dropping last time we rolled in - such a beautiful city!
In celebration of the album's release, they will also be heading over to the UK for a headline tour in September 2019, including a show at London's Electrowerkz.
The full list of dates can be found below, tickets are on sale now via www.citycalmdown.com
25 - Oran Mor | Glasgow, UK
26 - The Cluny 2 | Newcastle, UK
27 - Brudenell Social Club | Leeds, UK
28 Sept - Soup Kitchen | Manchester, UK
30 - Electrowerkz | London, UK
1 - Botanique Witloofbar | Belgium, Brussels
2 - Supersonic | Paris, France
3 - Paradiso | Amsterdam, Netherlands
4 - Privatclub | Berlin, Germany
5 - Molotow Musikclub | Berlin, Germany
6 - MTC | Cologne, Germany