The Haze We All Want To Independent
Back in August 2012, I described the second album from Brisbane band We All Want To as messy in the best way possible. While Come Up
Invisible was a good record worthy of 3½ stars, there’s a lot to be said for cohesion, a trait that its follow-up, The Haze, demonstrates admirably. Energised by a couple of new band members, songwriter Tim Steward — whose pop pedigree was established with Screamfeeder in the 1990s — has put his formidable musical mind to a taut collection of 11 songs that err on the side of catchiness. Central to the band’s appeal since day one has been its shared malefemale vocals, and here Skye Staniford continues to contrast well against Steward’s distinctive delivery. Musically, the quintet is firing throughout, offering interesting melodies and rhythms aplenty. The Haze builds on the twin canons of pop and indie rock while sounding fresh and inspired. Lyrically, Steward draws on memories, nostalgia, change, regrets and wondering about the lives of others. Party
Girls, for example, is a frank examination of musicians who embrace hedonistic excess. It precedes Wish You Didn’t Go Straight, a curious narrative counterpoint that questions changing life priorities through the eyes of one of those same party girls. Staniford’s sole lyrical contribution is Remove the Arrow, a sober look at a failed long-term relationship. In terms of sheer accessibility, it’s hard to overlook the melodic punch of second track The Deep End, which is among Steward’s finest work. Releasing three quality albums in five years is no small feat. We All Want To deserves acclaim.