I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the acclaimed Perth, Australia-based sych pop act POND over the past few years. And as you may recall, the act, which is led by its mastermind, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Jay Watson, along with Nicholas Allbrook, Shiny Joe Ryan, Jamie Terry and Jamie Ireland released three albums — 2009’s Psychedelic Mango, 2010’s Frond and 2012’s Beard, Wives, Denim — that found the band’s moving from straightforward psych rock to a decidedly pop-leaning sound.
Since then Watson and company have released a series of critically applauded albums, including 2017’s The Weather. Interestingly, The Weather continued the band’s ongoing collaboration with Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker — and a run of trippy yet accessible pop.
Released earlier this year, the Perth-based JOVM mainstays latest effort Tasmania was conceived as a sort of sister missive to its immediate predecessor. Thematically, the album is a dejected and heartbroken meditation that touches upon planetary discord, water, machismo, shame, blame, responsibility, love, blame and empire. And while accurately capturing the undercurrent of the restless, anxious dread that many of us currently feel, the material rather than wallowing in self-pity, encourages the listener to celebrate the small things of life — frolicking in the ocean, rolling around in the grass, the sweet feeling of being in love and so on, while we still can. Over the past couple of months I wrote about, the expansive, Pink Floyd’ “Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V and VI-IX”-like “Burnt Out Star,” and the shimmering, synth pop-led power ballad “Daisy,” a track that’s emotionally centered on the idea of bitterly retreating and licking one’s wounds before everything gets completely fucked up.
“The Boys Are Killing Me,” Tasmania’s latest single continues on a similar vein as its most immediate predecessor, as it’s a slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around some dramatic and forceful, Phil Collins-like drumming, shimmering synths, plaintive vocals and a soaring and infectious hook. But at its core is an overwhelming sense of crushing defeat and an inability to move forward from it. The recently released video for Tasmania’s new single was filmed by the band’s Jay Watson on Super 8 film while test band was touring across Sweden, the UK and France — with the video’s coda filmed by Julien Barbagallo and edited by Jamie Terry and the band. Interestingly, the video manages to be both trippy and contemplative, which evokes the eerie vibe of the song.