Initially formed as a quartet featuring founding members and primary songwriters Husky Gawenda (vocals, guitar), Gideon Preiss (keys, vocals), Evan Tweedie (bass, vocals) and Luke Collins (drums), the Melbourne, Australia-based indie folk/indie rock act Husky quickly achieved national acclaim after winning Triple J’s Unearthed Contest and playing at The Push Over Festival, one of Australia’s biggest and most highly-regarded music festivals. And adding to a growing national profile, the band opened for internationally known acts such as Devendra Banhart, Noah and the Whale, The Shins, and Gotye.
As the story goes, after spending several months the material, which would comprise their 2012 full-length debut Forever So, which Sub Pop Records would later release, the members of the band spent time researching and leaning how to soundproof rooms YouTube videos and other sources, found a bunch of old recording gear and set off to an abandoned bungalow that was located at the back of lead vocalist Husky Gawenda’s house to record their debut album. Interestingly, while Forever So came about from a lovingly DIY set up, the gorgeously lush material possessed the uncanny self-assuredness of old pros paired with Gawenda’s dreamy falsetto singing deeply introspective and thoughtful lyrics. As a critic, I’d argue that the band’s ability to sound both unlike anyone else while nodding at folk and 70s AM rock was what captured attention internationally across the blogosphere, including this site; in fact, I wrote about several singles off the album and the album itself landed at number 11 on this site’s Best of 2012 list.
Since then, the band has become something of a mainstay here as I wrote about several singles off Forever So‘s follow-up, Ruckers Hill, an effort that further cemented the then-quartet’s burgeoning reputation for incredibly crafted songs that paired Gawenda’s introspective lyrics with uncommonly gorgeous melodies and anthemic hooks. However, some time has passed since I’ve last written about them. As it turns out, the band not only has gone through a massive lineup change from a quartet down to a duo featuring the band’s founding members Gawenda and Preiss, the duo of Gawenda and Preiss spent last year in Berlin. Upon their return to their homeland, the duo inspired by their experiences overseas began writing the material that will comprise their forthcoming third full-length album, slated for release sometime next year — and that material includes the duo’s latest single, “Late Night Store.” Interestingly, the new single reveals a change in direction thematically and sonically for the band. Whereas their previously released material was more acoustic and melody- driven, “Late Night Store” is subtly atmospheric and much more hook-driven with keys and electric guitar being prominent while thematically, the song captures the sense of danger, adventure, reinvention and loneliness that comes from being far away from home — and in some way, evoking wandering around day and night from café, to bar to club, observing everything, meeting eclectic people, falling in love and being lost and found, and lost and found yet again. And although about the duo’s time in Berlin, the song may remind some of the blur of activity and people that’s New York.
As Lucy McCallum of Third Ray Productions, the recently released video’s direct explains in press notes “‘Late Night Store’ feels to me to be about disconnection between inner and outer experience. The lyrics tell a loose story of a messy night out punctuated by moments of lucid internal revelations that are at times existential, then immediately personal and cryptic.
“I wanted to capture this feeling of disassociation by compiling found archival footage that was intimate and nostalgic with images that were more grandiose and universal. I tied the two themes together with abstracted overlays that contain both natural and artificial lights, particularly contrasting stars with fireworks; a kind of spectacular and tacky human imitation of cosmic magic that feels both beautiful and sad to me and gives the video a hazy and hypnotic feel. Hopefully there is a sense of subliminal narratives running concurrently through the video that can’t necessarily be pinpointed. The clips were all chosen carefully and they each mean something to me in relation to the song, but I definitely wanted to keep it a little messy and dreamlike so that viewers can interpret the images for themselves. “