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A bold, harmonified pop miracle of an album from Perth that has built vastly on the strong melodies and arrangements of the two formative Bank Holidays EPs Good Looks to Camera and Day For Night. Produced under the masterful ear of J. Walker (Machine Translations), the result is brilliant and blissful — a spacious, wondrous, shining pop record of the highest order.
1) The Voice I Hear When I’m Alone
2) Oh Daylight
3) This Elated Height
4) Cheating Cheating
5) Folded in Half
6) Consolation Prize
7) First Things First
8) Like a Piano
9) Teaching Pupils
10) Pits & Gravel
11) Tread Easy
12) There is a Room on Hold
Outstanding indie-pop from Perth four-piece
Melbourne indie kingpin J Walker oversees this new album from WA quartet The Bank Holidays, a crisp, rather stately collection of prettily arranged indie-rock with elements of all kinds of melodic pop music, both new and old. Teaching Pupils and This Elated Height share The Shins’ brand of classically angular songcraft, while there’s gently harmonic folk pop in Folded In Half, and sweeping Brian Wilson melancholy in Consolation Prize. James Crombie and Bekk Reczek share lead vocal duties, but they sound particularly inviting when they sing together, their smooth, appealing two-part harmonies enhancing the album’s lush and atmospheric pop songs." Matt Thrower, Rave
It must be frustrating for a band like the Bank Holidays, with all their effortless talent and charm, to watch the culturally effulgent east coast spawn artists who, almost by protocol, manage to gather momentum and interest by sole virtue of exposure in the ‘big’ cities. You know, those cities where all the reputable indie labels are, where all the most forceful writers, announcers and lifestyle spruikers are. It’s probably extreme to paint Perth bands as outsiders – victims – but to an extent it is true. Most Australian musicians already understand the limits of our geographical predicament. Imagine living in Perth.
Still, with the opportunities for exposure and career-fulfilment being slimmer in Perth, there’s probably an instinct for the bands to work harder, or to play to their own strengths rather than the benchmarks set by others. The Bank Holidays is one of a handful of Perth bands at the moment that seem incapable of failure, if you ignore circumstance and concentrate solely on their efforts. In essence, As A Film is a marvellously consistent, lyrically thoughtful, emotionally provocative and seasonally specific (i.e. summer, i.e. now) album brimming with sincerity and melodic hooks to die for.
It’s an album for pleasure – an album replete with songs that mark moments like musical milestones. The lyrics are infused with the type of pop wisdom that we all take for granted but like to have reinforced in song. Take ‘Teaching Pupils’, where in the first verse a rather undesirable group of friends ‘tip your bag out on the lawn’ and ‘pin things to your uniform’. Following these accounts, sometime vocalist James Crombie warns us that, in order to save face and dignity, you’ll need to lie and ‘teach your pupils not to dilate’. Anyone who has ever forced back tears to save face will understand and cherish the sentiment.
Of course, being pop music it’s got a large capacity for nostalgia, and the strength of the melodies and harmonies involved here echo certain oft-referenced Californian luminaries, but if charisma and endearment are both essential ingredients for a good pop album, As A Film is a quiet classic." Shaun Prescott, Mess & Noise
Mr. Mailman delivered the latest Spin magazine and I always find it condescending when a headline is something like "The Bands You Must Hear Now!" I also hate anything that says, The *Number & Noun* You Need To *Verb* Before You Die. Well, pardon me all over the place, Mr. Magazine. I look inside and see that they feature Margot & The Nuclear So-So's. So like, where were you two years ago? Geez.
That's why there are blogs, where real music fans go to find new music.
Thus, it brings me to The Bank Holidays, the brightest, happiest Australian residents to come onto the scene since The Wiggles. Gone are the primary color sweatshirts and in are a four-piece band who know how to stick a melody into your head. When you sample their music on MySpace, you would have thought James Mercer left The Shins, went to the land down under and started a Monkees tribute band with Kevin Barnes. It's great pop music for the well-versed music fan. I want to know how they got that time machine because they recreated that mid-60s California sound perfectly.
Here's their deal as they put it: "It begins in the small Norwegian fishing town of Stavanger, as two members of The Bank Holidays spend their days playing badminton, enjoying fjords, and hanging out with Norwegian grandparents, all while listening to Norway's favourite musical sons' Kings of Convenience. These factors result in a song, and the idea for a band whose primary occupation is vocal harmonies and melodies of the highest order. Back in Perth, Western Australia, a few months have passed, but the idea has become a reality as The Bank Holidays play their first gig."
The group released their debut album, As a Film, last October after producing a handful of EPs. Luckily for us, you can get it all on iTunes.
As an interesting note, the band's female member, Bekk Reczek, did the female vocals for Peter, Bjorn & John on their Australian tour. The band as a whole supported Belle & Sebastian on their last tour." Music Snobbery