Indie rock is becoming a difficult beast to identify. We’ve long moved past the simple notion of a musician being ‘independent’ to count as indie. What correlates with this genre now is the sound. You know what I’m talking about. The pretty, clean guitars. Bass lines that tip toe and swerve. Drums that are all scattering hi-hats and snare. It was a sound brought to prominence over ten years ago by the like of The Strokes and pre-Alex Turner is a sex symbol Arctic Monkeys. As the genre has evolved and adopted new formats we now have a plethora of bands trying to fit the mould. Enter Hibernia.
More often than not indie rock can be the go to formula for most bands. Sydney’s Hibernia is no indie rock mystery, but they look to stand out with the dream pop infused Bermuda.
The Sydney five piece band I mean, not the Latin name for Ireland. Here is a band with who reach for the indie rock mantle, a goal they achieve with mixed results. They have all the above mentioned requirements to qualify that indie rock sound and for what it’s worth it sounds pretty good. Their latest single Bermuda is a good place to start. The star are the guitars; more gorgeous than a newborn babe and as delayed as a Sydney Trains timetable. They creep across the track without any fuss and give the song a defining edge. The drums switch forth between the usual scattering and enter tom thumping territory, giving the track so much more space to breathe. If you have a soft spot for Art of Sleeping then you’ll get on famously with Hibernia.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/202174698″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
It’s prudent to mention that whilst they identify as indie rock, Bermuda shows shades of dream pop as well. Which work in the band’s favour, Sarah Azzi’s vocals are light and breathy providing that dream pop atmosphere. It’s quite similar to Phoebe Cockburn of the now defunct Snakadaktal. She’s neither a belter or a crooner, which works fine in this context. She’s one of those singers who pour plenty of emotion and grit into their words which is engaging all the same.
If I was a betting man I’d wager that these guys were influenced by the pop-punk and emo-pop movements of the 00s. Early single Broken Bottles definitely has a little into emo in it. It’s a little too reminiscent of high school groups playing battle of the bands comps, but judging from the difference between the two songs it seems Hibernia has matured considerably. Hopefully the band continue down the path we’ve seen them take on Bermuda and play to their strengths rather than emulate what has come before them.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/184002744″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]