Sometimes, if you’re after some quiet little insights, it pays to indulge your darker, moodier self. Particularly if you’re Oakland, and you’re penning your first album. Tired Eyes is the Perth quintet’s emotive, reverberating second single and is taken from their debut five-track EP Into The Sea. The EP was released in mid-July of this year, and comes entrenched in dynamic layers of guitar and driven by rich, melancholy vocals.
Oakland deliver a most simple and intimate accompaniment to their moody new single Tired Eyes with a solemnly-lit live performance at Perth’s Debaser Studios.
The band are famed for their relentless gigging – something you’re never going to catch us complaining about- with an archive that recently includes supporting Gang Of Youths. If you delve way back when, Oakland hold their roots in indie-pop and pop-punk, and the band members even have a history of metal punk in previous bands and folk in solo performances. That said, Tired Eyes is good old alt-rock – the real stuff, the kind that genre used to sound like before it got drowned in three too many synths and peddled out on limited-edition cassettes.
The track is the result of some therapeutic songwriting and, like many great tracks, is a tale of love and the fear of commitment: that age-old problem that never gets old because it always rings true. Tired Eyes explores how easy it is to spend your existence sleepwalking through life, drifting through out of fear of what could be, desensitised to your surroundings.
You won’t need to get more than about, say, 40 seconds in, without noting a nod to The National – there’s that distinctive Matt Berninger tone of the dark and dour laced in there and the instrumental sections of Tired Eyes develop and drop, oozing Graceless. Multiple constructions of guitars are stitched together in great layers, abuzz in the kind of evocative reverb that sinks you deep into the base of a canyon, ushered along by drummer Chris Paterniti.
These tiers are stripped back, then built right up again to construct an multi-textured wall of sound, delivering the kind of disarming intimacy that finds you playing it over and over in order to dedicate a separate listening to each different layer. But ultimately what hooks Tired Eyes together are the raw and brooding vocals of Alex Cooke, who delivers moody lyrics out to pierce your soul like: “I can sleep through anything darling / what makes you think you can wake me up.”
The accompanying video comes performed live at producer Andy Lawson’s (Basement Birds, Eskimo Joe and Tired Lion) Debaser Studios, which provides an understated little insight into band life, with the fivesome positioned in a circle. Full of nudging glances between the bandmates, smudged lights and bokeh effects, close-ups of guitar strumming, gentle head nods of concentration, beard scruff and lamp shades, the whole set up lends an intimate edge which pairs beatifully with the tones of the track.
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