Music

Salvadarlings

Showing results for Salvador Dali: pretty much the biggest big-shot of this earthly realm in the field of Surrealist art. Master of the outlandish, the abstract, and all things far out, Dali crafted desert dreamscapes populated by visions of the transcendental imagination. He was also something of a mad dog obsessed with boning his mother.

Did you mean: Salvadarlings, the Brisbane five-piece that do a little bit of the same, a little less strange and with a few more effects pedals? Yeah, you meant Salvadarlings. This is a music blog. Let’s get acquainted.

salvadarlings

Floral, kaleidoscopic psychedelia for listeners who prefer their pharmaceuticals served on small cardboard tabs.

There’s not a whole lot of info floating around cyberspace about Salvadarlings. They hail from Australia’s sunshine state, signed to the Strange Yonder label with fellow Gold Coasters The Ottomans. They’ve played alongside psych-rock heavies The Growlers and Wolfmother. And they channel a pretty dreamy, psychedelic sound, blissing out in the same grassy meadow as flower children like Tame Impala, Stonefield and Deep Sea Arcade. Yet in spite of a relatively small online footprint, these guys (and gal) seem geared toward big things. From little things big things grow, as some bright fella once said—and that is a notion that’s manifest in Salvadarlings’ searing Light of the Second Sun.

The song rings in on a frail, breezy guitar riff and not a whole lot else. Minimalistic percussion splashes here and there and a female voice lulls gently in the space, singing of “winter winds” and “autumn leaves”. It’s quiet and kind of dark in a dreamy way, like drifting through a dusky twilight, soft hints of light glowing on the fringes, the bare instrumentation wending on its way and burning nice and slow. But Salvadarlings seem to like constructing their songs in the style of prog-ballads, breaking the track up into distinct but interwoven sections. And, like Breathe, this is only act one in a much bigger piece—the drawing of breath before the shout.

Said shout pipes up around the two-minute mark, as a fuzzed out guitar line stomps in the roof with a swampy pair of boots and the drums come tumbling after. This is the equivalent of Floyd’s On the Run interim, pacing along on the back of some upbeat cymbals and a quickening, wammy-barred riff that sounds a little like Steppenwolf riding his magic carpet into space. It’s only a short trip, and his destination, obviously, is a gig on the sunny side of the moon—or, in simpler musical terms, that whopping psych-rock breakout as ‘act three’ kicks in and vocalist Ashley Goodall starts telling everyone about that time she was “living on the second sun”. Spoiler alert: you may lose your absolute shit here.

Of the small handful of songs that Salvadarlings have released thus far, this is the dirtiest that their mitts get. But distorted, guitar-driven rock isn’t the only knife in their draw. Positive Energy rides a light, poppy groove through clean-cut guitar loops and a relatively straightforward song structure; Lemon Mirage has a taste of Unknown Mortal Orchestra; and Saturn Return sticks with the stripped-back aesthetic that started off Light of the Second Sun with a more passive, acid-trip vibe—the heaviest things get here is during the layered, reverb-soaked second act.

And then there’s their latest track, Deadman, which starts off in the vein of an organ lullaby, before one-stepping through a doleful opening verse and into a psychedelic, hall-of-mirrors carnival waltz. This is their darkest and most experimental moment yet, and one that demonstrates—albeit in a kind of creepy way—Salvadarlings’ willingness to keep shifting the kaleidoscope; keep mapping the Dali-esque deserts of their musical imagination in search of undiscovered soundscapes. Whilst they haven’t really broken any ground just yet, it’s an exciting kind of unpredictability from a band that you’d do well to keep your mind’s eye on.*

*Or just your regular eye.

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