Sunset at the Grace Emily: Chase the Sun by Only Objects

On July 1, local band Only Objects kicked the month off with the launch of their new single Chase the Sun at the Grace Emily. The song marks something of a change in style for Only Objects, a band already marked by its ability to try a variety of styles. Still very identifiably a part of their established “sound”, the song seems to stretch them to achieve new things.

Patrick Lang, writer of the quartet’s new song, acknowledges the band has always been eclectic and relishes new challenges. Of the song’s sound, he states he ‘wanted to write a piano ballad of some description, but I also wanted to allude to that neo-folk kind of feel’.

The song has more of the folk music feel about it which is perhaps unsurprising as Patrick says before he loved the trappings of electronic music, he was, ‘at heart, a folk musician’. The result is a happy marrying of these two genres that would surely appeal to the tastes of lovers of both.

This move away from the ultra-modern in the song is mirrored by the lack of references to modern life. As Patrick explains, ‘some human experiences are universal and transcend time and place’ and that he aimed to make the song sound like it ‘could have been written anytime in the last several hundred years’. He says that, to him, ‘it’s a melody in the folk tradition of something like Wild Mountain Thyme or The Parting Glass.’ He adds, ‘not at all to compare it to those absolutely timeless songs, but there is just a drop, a dram, a tiny part of that feeling in Chase the Sun.

Even the track’s accompanying artwork has something a little unique about it that sets Chase the Sun apart in the Only Objects oeuvre. A ship sailing in a glass bottle – the image (by Jesse Miles) – is simple and evocative. As Patrick says, ‘it’s both entirely unlike us and, in an odd way, entirely us.’

The timeless element of Chase the Sun permeates every element of it. The band embracing older methods, combined with the artwork, and even Patrick’s own statement of his previous leanings towards folk music, all conspire to ensure the track possesses a perfectly appropriate quality. The intention to create something very genuine and honest proves a thoroughly successful one.

And what of the experience of a different style? ‘A lot more stringed instruments than what we are used to, that’s for certain!’ Patrick adds that he ‘really enjoy[s] the recording process in terms of finding little hidden melodies and ideas in songs, and this was certainly no exception.’

Patrick offers particular praise for Matthew Vecchio, who produced the track for Only Objects, who ‘has a really lovely light touch as well’, helping to ensure the track played to its strengths and kept a clear balance. ‘Balance’ is perhaps the word best suited to this track that steers well clear of both the more large and bombastic, and the meeker of sounds – the track remains assuredly and earnestly in a place of balance, succeeding in the band’s effort to evoke a folky, stirring element to the listener.

Asked whether the band aims to try new things or whether new experiences are a by-product of their songs, Patrick told Tulpa: ‘It’s a mix, really! We often become fascinated by structural ideas, particularly from electronic music, and then try to work them into songs.’ The band has tried their collective hand at a wide variety (such as last year’s You Only Kill for Love) which could prove difficult in less sure hands.

Only Objects were preceded by Fleur Green who treated the crowd to a series of original songs, including a debut of a new one, a cover, and even a part of thousand year old Persian poem The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. All in all, a fairly standard Sunday evening in July. Fleur had the audience captivated and gave the audience an excellent performing of her own.

When they took the stage, Only Objects were generous in their own set. They offered a good sampling of their work and added a cover of a Frightened Rabbit song in tribute to the recently passed Scott Hutchison. Chase the Sun had penultimate place in the set list of the night and saw the highlight of a night of highlights as the audience joined together in song.

The night may have been for Chase the Sun – and truly that offered a great moment of the evening – but the night was filled with a celebration of music and generous offering for all who braved the cold of a July evening in Adelaide.

 


Words by Liam McNally.

Thanks to Patrick Lang.

Cover artwork by Jesse Miles.

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