Gypsy & The Cat : Gilgamesh
I feel a little ashamed for really liking this album. It reminds me of MGMT and Empire Of The Sun and other bands of that ilk that I liked for a short amount of time but quickly grew sick of once their music oversaturated the airways and, really, any audible space available.
It’s got that dazzling pop aesthetic that ties in ELO and The Bee Gees and Hall And Oates with synthesised drums and savvy production, and none of those things are bad, but part of me fears it growing old quickly and the little shivers disappearing into the ether.
But let me say now that the second track The Piper’s Song is enough to give me chills even after a few good listens. It’s not a lyrical masterpiece and it’s not much more than a well-crafted pop song, but there are those moments when the bass line and drum beat work in tandem with the falsetto-based chorus to just shine. It’s the kind of melody that has been crafted by people who understand the reasons why melodies stay in your head. The chorus lifts you up and spins you around, combines with countermelodies and explodes again and again with effervescent happiness. This is good. This is something I like, and something everyone likes – it’s a universal anthem for the beauty of pop music, a beautiful ands simple thing that brings people together.
Gypsy & The Cat recorded most of this album by themselves and had some expert touches added to it in London, which is an interesting thing to know when you listen to it and realise how the genius of the writing really just comes from two music-obsessed Melbourne boys. The Epic Of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest stories of time dating back to Mesopotamia, and for Gypsy & The Cat, it seems that the story of pop music is as epic and important to society.
The single, Time To Wander is proudly poppily thrown right at you on the first track – there’s no need to ease you in. Welcome to melody.
Jona Vark (a play on Joan of Arc) has the Empire Of The Sun vibe, with guitars that sound like Time After Time, really, or at least the idea of it. Human Desire takes the Bee Gees-style falsetto vocals and melodies and gives them a bit of contemporary attitude. Parallel Universe, on a slower groove, may employ some overused lyrical refrains (“You’re so faaaaaaaaaaaaaar away”, “One day I’ll find the words to say”, etc.) and perhaps there’s a little overkill with the epic reverb on the drums, but in some strange way, this album exists in a strange middle ground between ironically catchy contemporary dance-influenced indie pop and devotion to dorky music from the ‘70s-‘90s.
So even if this is like if Ashes To Ashes came in costume to a non-dress-up party, even if the lyrics if Watching Me, Watching You and Breakaway are about as bad as their respective titles suggest, Gilgamesh has got itself in my head, synth handclaps and all, and it ain’t going anywhere any time soon. I might get sick of it super quickly, but at the moment it’s like crack.
Gilgamesh is out now through Sony