There once lived a great band name. It was disyllabic and strong (think Gotye). It was exclusive in as much as only the initiated knew how it was properly pronounced (think Gotye again) and most importantly it told a story.
Fine, I’ll admit that the story it told was “The Epic Tale of The Lead Singers Last Name” but I still think the first two points should be enough. Sadly for the music scene of Sydney that band name, burdened with the weight of the crown of greatness on its head, was riddled with insecurities and sadly took its own life. Lest We Forget. RIP Cogel 2014. Which is why I sit here and present to you Why We Run’s first single Comfortable Lie.
The freshly minted Why We Run create precise, beautiful indie rock. Their dedication to intricate melodies and dreamy vocals set them apart from your typical indie rock.
Formerly a five piece with the country’s best band name, Why We Run are now a 4 piece having traded in their violinist for a more stripped back approach. While Comfortable Lie doesn’t exactly fit the bill of minimalist stripped back indie, if shown in contrast to their early work (aka Cogel) you’d think that at any given time you’re only so far away from a sweeping violin line or some grand crescendo. Instead here we have a beautifully restrained piece of indie rock. A song of casting yourself out into the world, into the unknown. Listening you can’t help but get a sense from this music that these guys are comfortable in their own skin; they know who they are and they know what they have set out to do.
Working with Wayne Connolly (Boy And Bear, Cloud Control) has brought something new out of these boys. The guitar work here is precise and sharp allowing all emphasis to fall onto keys and voice. Nic “Best Last Name Ever” Cogel delivers a dreamy vocal performance which really emphasises a beautiful sadness to this song. While there is a bit of a crescendo to this track it’s not a “running through the forest throwing coloured powder at each other” cliché of the ghost of indie past. There is something more haunting to it, something more honest.
Now if there is one other thing that these boys do well its visuals. Having seen these guys play live it is no wonder that they were hand picked for a pretty amazing opening slot for an incredible Aussie artist at his prime (if you were thinking Gotye again, you’d be right!). From phenomenal clips to using face-paint and blue lights on stage to the point where you think you’ve got an army of Orcs from Lord Of The Rings performing for you, these guys know how to bring a unique experience. Comfortable Lie’s accompanying clip is another such unique experience. At this point I will throw my hands up and say I know very little about this technique called Camera Obscura but the resulting work is wonderful to observe especially knowing that what you see is what you get. No post, no grand CGI, just some dudes, a truck and some post it notes. There is an accompanying “making of” clip online as well which is well worth your time. These guys care.
While this should be an article on the artistic merit of their latest release (and there is a lot of it) I can’t help but come back to our fallen brother, Cogel. A simple google search for the word “Cogel” returns a top three results of three of Cogel (the band’s) video clips, all of which are well worth your time exploring. A Google search for the words “Why We Run” return countless pages dedicated to a book by a dude called Bernd which is a shit name. Have I become too pragmatic in my (not even close to) old age to expect everyone to be making all life decision based on appeasing the god of SEO? Maybe artists are revolting and are picking band names based on an aesthetic and not on searchability.
So why should you care about Comfortable Lie? Well that’s easily answered and I’ll repeat myself here. Because Why We Run care. Because the level of detail here amounts to a captivating musical experience. Because these are mature (don’t read old) musicians who know their craft and care about their output. They’ve got two Sydney shows coming up, go see them live and you’ll understand further. They care about their instruments and can play. They care about you and put on a show. They care about music and create some pretty beautiful stuff.
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