Music

The Evening Cast – Questions

The image fronting The Evening Cast’s 2013 Lake EP shows two slender white arms reaching upward from the dark surface of, presumably, said lake. It’s unclear as to what’s going on here. Below the surface things are blurry, and those arms could either be celebrating life or fighting for it, either raising the proverbial roof or clinging panic-stricken to the rafters. This is The Evening Cast, and this is their debut release: a seven-track recording of beats with glowing surfaces and murky depthslight, carefree harmonies bubbling over more serious and emotional lyrical undercurrents.

The semi-familial Melburnian five-piece released the Lake EP through indie label Catch Release Records in 2013. Since then they’ve surfed the airwaves of FBi and Triple J Unearthed radio (among others), raised the curtain for the likes of Oh Mercy and Clare Bowditch, and cut loose at a bunch of their own headline shows and festival slots around the country.

the evening cast

Whilst occasionally dipping some of their fifty toes in the aesthetics of folk and rock, The Evening Cast primarily paddle about in the indie-pop gene pool, drawing fairly clean comparisons to bands like Grouplove (Surprise) and Hungry Kids of Hungary (‘Smoke and Fire’).Their finest and most memorable moments, however, are when they dabble in the darkness and channel those sounds more reminiscent of The Drones or Manchester Orchestrathe former in their old single, Factory; the latter in their new single, Questions.

Questions first saw the light of day through the scratched windows of a peak-hour tram, in an exclusive and unplugged performance for Melbourne’s Tram Sessions. It’s similar to the band’s older music insofar as it marries a relatively light sound with somewhat darker subject matter: buoyant indie-pop melodies anchored in a turbid, brooding undertow. Vocalist Joel Cooper hints at this brackish and confusing contrast and the way that it informed the track, reflecting that “Over the last 12 months I have seen disaster and tragedy, and I have seen the most glorious happiness and success… I have… so many questions”.

Going on to describe the song in a live setting, he uses the word “vulnerable”and yet Questions is the most confident and accomplished sound that The Evening Cast have produced thus far. Its hook is sharper, its verses snappier and more refined. The lyrical content is candid and serious as always, fittingly steeped in ambiguity and turmoil, but the lofty chorus lifts the track out of the mud and into a triumphant resolve. It’s more mature, more inspired, and, on the whole, the band’s most vigorous single material to date.

If ever there was a track that could break the dam for The Evening Cast, Questions is it. For your listening pleasure,the band will be wearing it in at a bunch of shows going down around eastern Australia throughout June and July. Deets below:

Saturday June 7th – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Thursday June 19th – The Lass, Newcastle, NSW

Friday June 20th – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW

Saturday June 21st – OAF, Sydney, NSW

Friday June 27th – The Brewery, Byron Bay, NSW

Saturday June 28th – Ric’s Bar, Brisbane, NSW

Saturday July 12th – The Grace Emily, Adelaide, SA

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