New Estate : Recovery
The contemporary phenomenon of the outer-suburban real estate development – described conveniently as a ‘new estate’ – is at best a planning abomination, and at worst a dysfunctional planning and architectural monstrosity. Beneath the utopian rhetoric of these contrived communities exists the disturbing reality of a lack of public infrastructure and isolation from the surrounding population.
Melbourne band New Estate, on the other hand, is a paragon of dishevelled pop genius. The band’s fourth album, Recovery, is everything that grass-roots independent pop should be. The title track is as light and delicious as a bowl of organic bircher muesli on a crisp autumn morning; Get Out is a clear-cut candidate for the finest independent pop song since Smudge metaphorically fellated Evan Dando into a state of ecstasy 20 years ago.
The emotional weight of Ghost In My Room straddles the line between reflective and remorseful before exploding in a hail of Sebadoh-like lo-fi excitement, Diamonds makes you want to cry with tears of sheer pop joy Can’t Do Without You blends the slick '60s styling of Dusty Springfield with the slacker attitude of Olympia State College circa 1991.
And it just keeps getting better: No Use In Cryin’ is textbook emotional pop therapy for the troubled of heart and pure of mind, the thin waterfall of feedback that falls over Two Into the Valley, the stripped back classical aesthetic of Whiskey Spider and the West Side Story cartoon pop of No Hedgehogs. Add to the mix the invigorating whimsical wonderment of Parallel and the sparse shoe-gazing edge of Flowers In Your Hair and you’ve got nothing to complain about. This is the metaphorical antithesis of everything that’s wrong with the average new estate – in the perfect musical form.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Get Out
If You Like These, You'll Like This: CALVIN JOHNSON, PANEL OF JUDGES
In A Word: Uplifting