Initially based around Queensland, Australia-born, founding members and twin siblings Toma Banjamin (vocals, guitar) and Andy Banjamin (drums), the up-and-coming psych rock/psych pop quintet Tempesst completed their lineup when the Benjamin Brothers relocated to London, where they eventually recruited Eric Weber (guitar), Kane Reynolds (keys) and Blake Misipeka (bass) to fill out the band’s lineup. The Australian/British quintet’s 2017 debut EP, Adult Wonderland was released to critical praise in the UK — and as result of the growing buzz surrounding them, they wound up opening of the likes of The Veils, Temper Trap, GUM, and Albert Hammond, Jr., and they played showcases at The Great Escape, the NME Awards and Live at Leeds, as well as sets at Bushstock, Southsea Fest, and Hackney Wonderland.
Slated for release later this month, the band’s Doomsday EP is slated for a July 27, 2018 release and the effort, which was tracked over the course of a breakneck 4 days earlier this year reportedly finds the band expanding upon both their songwriting and sound, adding instruments and layers to the proverbial sonic palette. While maintaining elements of the 60s and 70s sound that won them attention across the UK, the Australian/British outfit manages to subtly modernize it, with subtle nods to contemporary psych rock and psych pop, as well as folk and indie rock. Interestingly, the EP thematically finds the up-and-coming band dealing with an increasing awareness of their own mortality. As the band’s Toma Banjamin says in press notes, “I have been caught in a ‘meaning of life’ spiral, which I guess is pretty normal in your 20s. It’s the first time that I’ve felt so aware of my mortality and it probably doesn’t help that the Facebook and Netflix algorithms keep feeding me documentaries on the topic.” In some way, that sense of mortality shouldn’t be surprising in a world that seems to be inching towards annihilation.
The EP’s latest single “A Little Bit of Trouble” is a decidedly 70s AM rock-inspired song centered around a jangling and shimmering guitar line, a stunningly gorgeous string line that emphasizes a soaring hook, and an easy going yet shuffling groove, but underneath the breezy vibes is a song that’s deeply rooted in a sense of regret and shame. There’s the sense that the song’s narrator repeatedly finds himself in similar, ridiculous situations — and that he has the awareness that he’s only doing it to himself. And as a result, he’s resolved to clean up his life, stop the foolishness and grow up. Interestingly, the song as the band’s Toma Banjamin explains was inspired by a real life incident, “The week we started writing the instrumentals for the track we had a bit of an incident at a pub in East London. Some guys were giving Andy a hard time about his jacket or hat or something and everyone was pretty drunk. The song was written to capture the memory for eternity.”
The recently released video follows a male exotic dancer as he confidently struts to the strip club, like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever but as the video progresses, it’s clear that the dancer’s confidence is a superficial facade, as he performs in front of a drunk and generally listless crowd, who are daring him to impress them — with something other than what he’s actually doing. Yes, it’s tongue in cheek but it manages to point out a larger absurdity that any performer should immediately recognize.