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Since their debut EP Weird Season back in 2013, ripe Brisbane quartet Major Leagues from have been mashing up some indie slacker surf jams true to the Queensland mantra of leisurely living. After unwavering support from Australian local radio for Weird Season across 2013 and 2014, and a year of constant touring in 2015 with stints alongside the likes of San Cisco and Canada’s Alvvays, the highly anticipated Dream State is here. And it’s guaranteed to satisfy your youthful nostalgia cravings right down to the last candy bracelet in your bag of pick n’ mix.
Raise your musk sticks in the air and reminisce on juvenile romance and bittersweet loneliness with Major Leagues’ new EP Dream State.
The EP was recorded in Brisbane with local producer Miro Mackle at Plutonium Studios, and mixed by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s and Bored Nothing’s Fergus Miller. Dream State is the perfect title for such a collection of audio imagery of fleeting summer romances, bike riding, and daisy crowns amongst other innocent pastime shenanigans. It is an ode to all the daydreamers out there wallowing in boredom or unrequited love carried with a humble sense of vulnerability as if taken from the pages of a schoolgirl’s private journal. It will have you reliving your first big crush and days of “he loves me, he loves me not” petal picking (don’t pretend you never did it).
Raymond Carver opens the EP with that characteristic ML sound: an ecstatic guitar-twanging tune that establishes the breezy aura of Dream State straight away. This jam will have you cringing back to old childhood crushes that became embarrassingly obsessive, however ML turn painful clichés into poetry as a far more mature reflection on past loves: “And when your name is on my lips, I can’t see what else there is”.
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The opening guitar riff for Someone Sometime is vexingly tangible and repetitive – like an insect clicking over your skull in the best way imaginable. The choral harmony “I can’t get what I need, someone to take care of me,” is needy and liberating in a subtly demanding way. The EP as a whole feels like it’s told from the private conscious of a teenage girl, revealing her inner thoughts on a 6-track journey of wavering emotions.
The compilation detours from romantic notions of infatuation and longing at the start to more introverted themes of loneliness and isolation on Better Off and Leave. Better Off is carried out in a strangely uplifting manner that conversely discusses conditions of depression: “And I can’t think straight but I’m better off – is what they said at the hospital.” It’s eerie and emotional – a little reminiscent of The Smiths. Leave deals with similar connotations of isolation in lyrics like “Don’t time get slow, when you’re alone”.
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Get Lost presents a three and a half minute break from the slow emotions with a return to the schoolgirl crush theme that juxtaposes the series of isolation: “And I’ve never ever felt like this before… a boy who understands me when I’m lost” before Bunbury finishes us off with unrequited love and twisted nightmares: “In the making of a human attachment, there is something to give up, when there is unrequited love… Trying to keep it down but you’ve had too much too drink, and the floor ain’t sitting still, you can’t stop dreaming of falling teeth.” It is incredible the wave of emotions we must follow, diverting from bashful catch-a-kiss games to shooting heroin into your eyeballs.
The breezy guitars and harmoniously mellow vocals across Dream States are flat in a way that will leave you feeling like a deflated balloon after indulging in a soothing elixir of liquid gold. The quartet dabble in universal emotions, yet managed to avoid clichés with their uniquely timid delivery that is as easy listening as it is infectiously catchy. It is repetitive in a playful way like a hand-clapping game, yet a dark kind of innocence is constantly present as a form of natural pragmatism.
You can catch Major Leagues this month on their co-headlining tour with Flowertruck:
Sat 14th May touring w/ Flowertruck @ The Foundry, Brisbane
Sat 21st May touring w/ Flowertruck @ Shebeen, Melbourne