The Cannanes : Small Batch
No-one ever said popularity, or its cashed-up cousin, commercial success, was an exact science. For every artist plucked from obscurity by the forces of an exploitative and cynical marketing campaign, or thrown into the public domain on the back of a cheap gimmick, there’s a thousand unknown acts, desperately clambering for any form of public recognition. Such is the unforgiving life of the artist.
So where does that leave The Cannanes? In fact, have you even ever heard of The Cannanes? If you’re one of those obsessive punters whose entire social discourse revolves around obscure lo-fi pop records from the recording bowels of the independent music industry, then you probably already know they’re one of Australia’s most renowned, and anonymous bands. Celebrated by Kurt Cobain, exalted by the New York Times, championed by Greil Marcus, The Cannanes make The Go-Betweens seem like Kylie Minogue in comparison.
Small Batch is The Cannanes’ latest record. Featuring just six songs, it’s a taste of why The Cannanes should be on everyone’s play list. Bumper is an exercise in perfect pop simplicity: a basic melody, a catchy rhythm and just enough ‘60s orchestration to make you feel good all over. Crawler is a different beast; this is a song to chaperone you through the moments of emotional darkness we’ve all been confronted with, and take you to a better place. Basics is the light on the new wave hill so many ‘80s bands missed due to outrageous consumption of cocaine and fellating of egos. The stripped-back electronica of Zones is sly and insidiously attractive; Molecule haunts you like the memory of a moment lost in time.
The EP ends with Tiny Compartment, like the album’s opening track, a picture-perfect pop track. The Cannanes are a band like few others; it’s just that hardly anyone in Australia seems to know it.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Bumper
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: CALVIN JOHNSON, NEW ESTATE and anything decent from OLYMPIA, WA in the last 25 years
In A Word: Underappreciated