The Laurels make an assured, bluesy return to the scene with Ex Sherpa, their first single since 2019.
If the name The Laurels sounds oddly familiar, you wouldn’t be the first to think so. Since forming in 2006, the experimental rock outfit found critical acclaim with two full-lengths, Plains and Sonicology, toured every nook and cranny of Austraila, and supported some music royalty including Tame Impala and The Black Angels.
The band recently found a welcoming home with Third Eye Stimuli Records, and are ready to crank out sonic goodness by the bucketload once again. Their return single, Ex Sherpa is finally here. So, let’s talk about it.
Beginning with a jazzy, three-chord organ loop and a synth whirl that reminded lyricist Piers of “R2-D2 from Star Wars”, The Laurels return to a hypnotic landscape in no time.
“The mountain peak gets further, every day feels like a blur, all I do is work work work work”, is sung in an intentionally repetitive manner, highlighting the mundanity of routine-heavy life.
Slowly building towards a chorus, the shoegaze soundscape trods along like it’s traversing a mountain, desperate to reach the zenith. There’s this intriguing meditation on both Eastern and Western Philosophies throughout the lyricism, as well as an emphasis on inside versus outside worlds:
“Work or activity that isn’t spiritually rewarding can manifest in ill health and inner/outer turmoil”, Piers acutely points out.
As the euphoric chorus finally hits, we’re treated to a generous serving of hats, Manchester drumming, a crescendo of chords, and hazy vocals, shrouded in careful harmony. While the soundscape is ambitious and dreamy, the hooks remain intact, giving the band another ripping single ideal for live performances.
There’s also some rugged electric guitar solos amidst the mountain journey for you psych-rock lovers to indulge in. Don’t get too lost now.
Ex Sherpa is out October 14th via Third Eye Stimuli.