The latest single from Canberra’s Slow Turismo may be titled Falter, but there is nothing hesitant about their newest offering. Holding on to the indie stylings that characterised their self titled EP earlier this year, Falter does quite the opposite of its namesake and seems to move purposefully forward with all the hallmarks of a band growing in confidence and maturity.
If Slow Turismo was a dreaming, sun drenched slice of indie pop, then Falter sees the band igniting a sense of energy and even urgency underneath their already solid foundation. The track still lives wholeheartedly within an ‘indie’ sound; but classic rock influences are arranged with precision and melded with electronic elements along with the soulful feel of 80s alt rock.
Canberra’s Slow Turismo ignite a fire in their sound for latest single Falter. Urgent and energetic, the band have taken their craft to a new level.
While so much ‘indie’ – be it pop or rock – can be lost in a fog of arty yet forgettable melody (once heard and thereafter forgotten) Slow Turismo seem to have an unerring ear for hooks. Even previous slower tracks like I Sit Down As Soon As I Get Up needle with ear worm melodies and interjections, and Falter is just as rife with catchy riffs.
Resting on a straight shot beat that cuts through the instrumentation with just enough bite, the melodies are allowed to wander a little and swing with more zest than your average indie muso might be cool with. Launching with a tropical feel riff, it goes hand in hand with a chord pounding synth. It echoes a similar bright feel to early Foals songs with their math rock precision, and also in Sam Conway’s sliding falsetto vocal along with the measured bursts of backing vocals.
Though Conway’s croon isn’t without bite, and the broken sentences left hanging in a richer baritone have an air of Morrisey’s heartfelt heartbreak and nonchalance. Coming up in the relatively small Canberra music scene, Slow Turismo would be no strangers to reaching a little further for their inspiration and taking in the kind of cross pollination that occurs; “One thing that is particularly great about the scene being small is that everyone knows one-another. This often leads to some great collaborations, crossing genres and scenes.” Maybe it’s this slightly claustrophobic circuit that pushes Canberra bands to expand their horizons and push their sound?
The tidy instrumentation across Falter is jostled by a healthy swell of swirling, electronic effects as well as a layering of sound that is undoubtedly far more complex than the effortlessness of the song implies. Talking about the recording process, it seems that the ease of the sound is actually the result of some fairly intensive labour on the band’s part. Having worked with celebrated producers in the past, like Magoo and Aaron Dobos, for this one Slow Turismo wanted to try and keep it in the family, as it were, with the whole band working as a collective. “Not having a single person that we all deferred to in production and mixing meant that we had to try everyone’s ideas. For some reason we all had pretty different pictures of where the song should be taken, which meant tearing it apart and re-writing it several different ways.”
That said, this blending of ideas seems to have landed Falter in something of a golden spot. The band have already proven themselves as expert architects of soundscapes on their previous releases. But with each listen to Falter, the complexities of production and arrangement unfurl further. It’s a wealth of sound and each element has a velvety feel against the ear. In a return to their sunny feels, plugging into the single is a little like basking in the warmth of Slow Turismo’s luxurious sound. Their name might be a spin on a popular racing game, and whether slowing things down has allowed the band to concentrate on the journey, Falter sees them picking up the pace with some fresh gas in the tank.