Stevens

Day 2 of PopLib’s Unofficial Australian Music Month series comes to you from the state of Victoria (again) & a band called The Stevens on fabulous Melbourne label Chapter Music.

I have no idea where ‘Turpins Falls’ is, even if it is a real place. But it sounds fun, so let’s visit for 2 minutes:

The Stevens have some NZ connection. Not just because their influences – scruffy Flying Nun jangle (mostly early Clean/ Bats/ Great Unwashed) jostles playfully with Wire and Guided By Voices ideals – but through Travis MacDonald who I think has some tenuous parental lineage to NZ & the 2nd wave of Flying Nun bands.

Anyway ‘The History of Hygiene’ by The Stevens is a great album – a modern-day classic in fact, and something to brighten the darkest dreariest day.

‘The History of Hygiene’ has 24 tracks, many under 2 minutes, all packing melody, invention and casual wit. No two tracks sound the same, every recording & production and mix seems different. That all helps the album flow like a compilation of your favourite underground bands. If your favourite bands are The Clean, Wire and Guided By Voices (and why on earth WOULDN’T they be?) chances are you will love this. It isn’t totally in thrall of those influences, but there’s definitely some stylistic inspiration taken from elements of those bands and then built upon with their own back-country psychedelic pop world-view. Charming stuff.

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