pop

The Haze We All Want To In­de­pen­dent

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - An­drew McMillen

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.

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