Tuesday, November 14, 2017

“In This Modern Land” by City Calm Down – A Song Review

     Within the first ten seconds, “In This Modern Land” stakes its claim for the listener’s full attention, as a heavyweight guitar hook sits atop a less energetic but equally appealing synth. The track is about the irony of living during a time when communicating and interacting with others is nearly effortless, regardless of distances, and yet it is easy to fall into a feeling of being “half dislocated, dissociated” (quoting the song’s beginning).  

     We unsuccessfully searched for a video of City Calm Down performing “In This Modern Time,” since we questioned whether that opening guitar hook is achieved by processing the output of a single instrument or is a “tight” performance by two members of the band. The Melbourne-based quartet comprises Jack Bourke (vocals, guitar), Sam Mullaly (synths/keys), Jeremy Sonnenberg (bass) and Lee Armstrong (drums).

     City Calm Down excels at releasing tracks with majestically souring synth and power guitar hooks. At times the balance is tilted toward the synths, as it was in “Pleasure & Consequence” from the band’s “Movements” EP. The balance shifts for “In This Modern Land.” Still, the synths play a critical role and even drive portions of the track. The song, which also includes horns, will be on a 2018 album release via Australia's I OH YOU label. It will be the band’s sophomore album, following “In A Restless House.” In discussing the progress of City Calm Down, vocalist Bourke stated:
  “In producing this album, we wanted to introduce new musical ideas whilst retaining the many production qualities and melancholic tension present on ‘In A Restless House.’ It was difficult getting the balance right between stepping too far to the left and repeating ourselves. We certainly learnt a lot as a group.”

     “In This Modern Land” by City Calm Down 

CITY CALM DOWNNOVEMBER 2017 - Tickets on sale now via www.citycalmdown.com .
Thu. Nov 23 - Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen | London, UK 
Sat. Nov 25 - Supersonic | Paris, FR
Mon. Nov 27 - The Old Blue Last | London, UK
Tue. Nov 28 - Soup Kitchen | Manchester, UK
Wed. Nov 29 - Stereo | Glasgow, UK

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