‘Pulled Down’ – The Crooked Doctor

The Crooked Doctor, a Melbourne-based band of an eclectic collection of musical styles, released its first single Pulled Down on June 1. Looking at their description of their music with mentions of ‘synthy goodness’, ‘arena rock’, and ‘synth funk’ makes the mind boggle at what one may be about to witness. It’s an interesting bunch of descriptions that is made nearly impossible to define when they add ‘a tinge of Nick Cave’ to the mix.

What the listener gets is a heady blend of tones positively dripping with style and atmosphere which proves the description of their music perfectly correct. Accompanying the darkly moody music is a vocal performance that lives up to the mention of Nick Cave in its near growl and in the nature of the lyrics themselves. It places the song somewhere between the bitter poetry of Nick Cave and the more open, broader elements of arena rock. It never loses sight of either and works well as the middle ground between these two styles.

Pulled Down is an extremely well-produced track that keeps its rugged heart. It seemingly grounded and ethereal. The result oddly fitting, strong track that marks an extremely confident and assured beginning for The Crooked Doctor. It’s the sort of track that arrives on the horizon fully-formed and definitive enough to establish a “sound” for the band.

 

Tulpa Magazine had the opportunity to put a few questions to Sasha Soibelman, an artist behind The Crooked Doctor and after the atmospheric experience of Pulled Down, we were sure to take the chance to ask about the song and the band’s future plans.

What’s the meaning behind the figure on the pictures?

The artwork was created by Jonty de Klerk ] and to me it represents that small part of all of us that just wants to do sit back, see the whole picture and live life the way we want to. He’s chosen the Crooked way of life and has no regrets about it.

 

Where to from here? Does the Crooked Doctor already have a next project on the horizon?

The Doctor has a whole EP recorded and ready for release very soon! It delves deeper into more synth-funk elements and has a different vocalist on each track including LA based singer Shelley Segal and Melbourne crooner Lewis Ciavarella. The Doctor likes to branch out!

 

What is the idea/theme that went to making ‘Pulled Down’?

‘Pulled Down’ is about someone compromising their morals so much that they end up in a place they don’t know how to get out of. They try, and the song has a few tips for them, but ultimately they have to fight their way out of that place. As they say, ‘run fast, aim low’.

 

 

Pulled Down can be found on Spotify and other services. The Crooked Doctor can be found on Facebook here.

 


Words by Liam McNally.

‘The Crooked Doctor’ image by Jonty de Klerk.

You Only Kill for Love

Only Objects will thrill the living daylights out of you with their new single

 

Recently Tulpa Magazine sat down with Patrick Lang, vocalist of electronic band (and self-described genre-botherers) Only Objects to discuss the band’s newest single, ‘You Only Kill for Love’. If the title brings to mind Bond films, you’re very much on the money. Created to evoke–but not emulate–the unique Bond sound, this is a perfect balancing act, and one the song achieves with aplomb.

In order to find the essence of the Bond theme, Patrick went back and listened to every Bond song again. He points to the Sean Connery era songs as an influence, acknowledging the significance of ‘Goldfinger’ and, despite his low opinion of the film, ‘Diamonds are Forever’ (both Shirley Bassey songs).

1973’s ‘Live and Let Die’ is another song Patrick refers to as an influence, as are the more recent ‘GoldenEye’ (1995) and ‘Another Way to Die’ (2008). The influence of all these songs can be felt in ‘You Only Kill for Love’ without ever feeling as though the goal is to imitate them. It is more a child of these songs than a clone.

Somewhat disappointed with ‘Writing’s on the Wall’, the latest Bond theme which accompanied Spectre, Patrick was moved to write something that felt more like what Bond is about. In the case of the most recent film, a song he considers a more fitting choice in Radiohead’s ‘Spectre’ was available but ultimately turned down, and released separately.

Asked about the less effective songs throughout the decades of the Bond series, Patrick alights upon the Roger Moore era as being one not graced by many memorable instalments in Bond’s musical ouvre. The late seventies and early eighties were a time of change in the nature of music production and Patrick theorises that the desire to keep up with these changes had an adverse effect on the Bond songs produced in this time.

Every era of the Bond series has produced a song that captures the essence of a Bond theme well, says Patrick. The Connery era had the memorable ‘Goldfinger’, the Moore era ‘Nobody Does it Better’, and the Pierce Brosnan era ‘GoldenEye’. In many cases, it is the first song of a new Bond that offers the strongest song, says Patrick, but he does not consider this to be the case with the Daniel Craig iteration. ‘You Know My Name’, the song accompanying Casino Royale, is a song Patrick considers a very good song but not such a good fit for the Bond series.

The process of making a song feel appropriately Bond-esque is a fine balancing act. A song such as ‘You Know My Name’ can succeed on its own merits but not quite fit the style of the series. There is an elusive essence to attain in order to ensure the song is sufficiently fitting. To that end, how did Only Objects bring together a song that matched the expectations of such a song? Patrick explains that he brought ideas and a demo to the band and they collectively workshopped it with their medley of instruments, including drum, keytar, keyboard, and synthesiser. Together, they managed to find the balance to work the style through the song’s components and ensure the song was one that played well on its own.

Due to the length of the song, a radio cut was a tough chore as the song plays like a spy film in miniature. It rises to a crescendo before the built tension is released by way of a dubstep drop standing in for the explosive action sequence, leading finally to the denouement.  The shape and essential style of a spy film, most particularly a Bond film, is present in the song in a smaller format.

Come the recording, Only Objects sought to make it as big and dramatic as possible, giving themselves full licence to kill. The size and scope of the song is to be marvelled at, layered with a rich musical background as it is. The influence of the Bond series can be felt in it but it is never derivative of a song. To this listener, the influence of ‘Another Way to Die’ and ‘Live and Let Die’ are present, but not dominant, the balance is kept well and the musical heritage this song taps into can be found should you only look for it – and there’s plenty to be found in a song for which the world is not enough.


‘You Only Kill for Love’ is released on November 18 on most online music services.

https://www.facebook.com/onlyobjects


Words by Liam McNally.

With thanks to Patrick Lang.


Only Objects

Patrick Lang – Vocals, synths

Cam Walters – Keys, keytar, backing vocals

Christopher Jazzcat – Bass, backing vocals

Gerard Spalding – Drums, backing vocals