Grand Prismatic – Footscray and Fancy Free

Taking their name from a large hot spring seems quite fitting as the Grand Prismatic’s latest effort Footscray and Fancy Free is a big pool of warmth to immerse yourself into and float away.

grand prismaticThis wins for best EP cover

The Melbourne-based four-piece offered up their first EP Sad Seagulls and Sleaze-Gaze (a self-appointed genre styling) back in 2010, a compilation of low-fi pop with shades of psychedelia, drawing comparisons to Augie March, Wilco and The Drones. They followed it with their debut LP Birds and Beasts in 2012, exhibiting a more refined, spacious sound before releasing the dark yet euphoric Smoke that Thunders/Soul Rip two-tracker last year. Footscray and Fancy Free is another fine showcase of the mixed bag Grand Prismatic like to serve up.

Opening track God Feeling is a twangy psychedelic-ish tune that is only a touch on the other side of an instrumental piece, with droning hums and the choral repetition of “I’ve got that god feeling” being the only vocal contribution. It leads into the title track which, after a horn-laden intro, exhibits a touch of a David Bowie vibe, with singer Brendan Clarkson presenting a similar sounding character atop a folksy trot that develops into a rousing sing-along.

Standout track Oh My Life is lighter song, with Clarkson’s eclectic voice this time digging deep into the vocal register, soon accompanied by Ema Dunstan’s (of the Autoportraits) tender vocals that bubble to the surface, bringing a warmth that, when all combined, is reminiscent of The National. The back end of the EP gets a little txt-speak with the titling, with She’s Lying to You bringing back a more upbeat folksy vibe complete with handclaps, and closing track Swimming Thru Sand is the rockiest of the collection, with the vocals this time more washed out and the distorted guitars and bass line take control until a chilling fadeout.

Despite their sleaze-gaze self-descriptor, the guys bring elements of rock, alt-country, folk and psychedelia to their musical pool and throw it all in. Clarkson’s vocal chords bring the heat and it simmers away, creating a washy atmosphere that you just want to bathe in. Dive into it on their Soundcloud page, and check out their earlier stuff on Bandcamp.