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4) Australian Animals
Footy return after a significant hiatus with their third album Flora Fauna. Joined for this by the sublimely-talented Evelyn Ida Morris as a multi instrumentalist, the album was recorded over a weekend at the late and lamented Bank in Preston, by the inimitable founder and curator of that space Liam Barton. Mastered by John Lee, the record’s cover art is by Mladen Milinkovic of Lalic.
The ambient drift, rousing drone-like climaxes and duelling keyboards remain a feature, but Morris’ percussion, sax and keyboard work lifts the material into territory that is new, yet still familiar – there are resonances of the heavy psychedelia that permeated jazz, rock and roll and krautrock in the 1970’s, but also a sensibility that speaks clearly and directly of Australia in the late ‘10s.
The tracks develop slowly but remain focussed, as intricate syncopated rhythms, cinematic themes, jazz inflections and undeniably Australian vocal musings combine to create a cohesive sound world, as transporting and transfixing as we have come to expect from Footy – “the signature Footy sound of feeling simultaneously drawn in while drifting away” (4ZZZ FM).
Vocals appear only on ‘Australian Animals’, the most overtly political song the band has released.
This one has been a long time coming, but it’s been worth the wait.