The Gaze shares debut LP, GREEN MANSION, a bittersweet mix of upbeat bangers and sorrowful slow jams: “I wanted to record an album as a scrapbook of formative memories.”
In GREEN MANSION, The Gaze occupies physical and spiritual spaces that have grown from the foundations of his memories within healing. The different stages of his life are used as a tool as the album shifts through a chronological sense of reflection.
Crawling from the gutters of pop punk, the opening track, Nature Nurtured kicks off with a crazy sense of joy that comes with reveling in teenage angst and childhood memories. Mixed by Curtis Hatton, who also provides the half-drowning distorted guitars, those angsty feelings of restlessness, naivety and bitterness are brought to the surface, and mixed together into a feverish bop.
Basking in pleasant memories of playing with his neighbours on the nature strip outside his family house, The Gaze wanted to celebrate these memories and his spatial upbringing through this track. Using the catchy chorus as an engine driven by upbeat guitar grit and drums, he swerves through existential mood flashes and a sense of dread. His startling, static thoughts hold a sense of bittersweetness as he approaches them, wide-eyed and unafraid.
The second track, Eucalyptus, was the first song The Gaze wrote whilst working on the album. It encapsulates the refreshing feeling of a weekend getaway in the bush, and what that experience can do to help recharge your mental battery. It also gives a nod to the ‘tree-change’ desire that The Gaze has become enthralled with post-COVID. The track begins with the sweet sounds of birds chirping, and a crispy spacious synth that pans in and out through the track, creating breathing room.
The Gaze softens the blow in this song through his whispery, distinctive Aussie accent, placed ever so lightly on top of the synths. With a crunch, the catchy vocal in the chorus grooves its way through with a slice of tenderness and a chunk of punchy pop, synchronized alongside the piano. Twisting and turning in the second verse, a sound of a can opening solidifies a calming wave which is then contrasted by The Gaze’s bags that are stuffed with attitude and mayhem. With the vocal lyrics “Better Days,” the song ends with chirping and a peaceful outro.
The Gaze made a super cute and fun music video a weekend away with some friends which dives into the camp retro vibe to the song and makes light of the desire to be seduced by nature. Drag Queen, Lemon Chiffon and actor/producer, Maria Angelico take over the video with their charismatic energy.
The third track on the album, 7 Beach Road is named after The Gaze’s nana’s beach house, which withstood the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 and holds a special place in his heart. The song brings immediate fluorescent and exuberant visions through its dreamy and ecstatic vibe. The soaring sounds of the guitar and the furiously-paced beat create a primal feeling as The Gaze encapsulates his desire to stay at the beach house. Marinated in vocal reverbs from feature artist, Satsuki, the chorus is soaked in positive affirmations, which The Gaze describes as “the warmth of the sun and the freshness of the air.” He uses those visceral textures to bring a dreamy vision that is strengthened through confessional lyrics and vocal overlapping.
Being the first love song that he’s ever written, The Gaze uses Monstera to explore and celebrate feelings of being contained and content within his lockdown experiences with his partner. The track refers to the experiences of retreating to spaces and people that bring us peace. Rushing through lyrical anxieties and senses of alienation, The Gaze crams these doubts of hopelessness and explores the beautiful concept of isolating to recharge one’s strength. Dragging through quick vocal phrases and low-end guitar sensations he uses this song to remind people to connect with nature and make space for the important things in our lives.
In a soul-testifying track, The Gaze takes a snapshot through Deepdene and lays out all of the pain that came with his childhood due to pressures of masculinity and his journey growing up exploring his queer identity. It is drowned in hurricanes of intergenerational trauma as he explores his lack of connection to Melbourne, where his dad drew up. Through his vocal outcries, “Where did I come from, from the soul, the earth….a diamond sky above the church,” and weeping melodic piano, he unveils all these feelings into sounds of despair. The chorus becomes an outcry anthem as an army of his emotions swan dive into layered vocals that sprawl around, bewitching listeners with empathy and oozing a ’90s/’00s Aussie Rock ballad vibe. A washed-up piano alludes to the effect this experience has on him as he trips over thoughts and croaks his sadness to the end.
With feather-light vocals and pulsating synthetic and electric guitars, A Grey Rock is about giving those aggressive people some emotion in return. It goes into the emotions that come with fizzling relationships. Plundering into the chorus, The Gaze expressively and tenderly moves through his vocal phrasing in such a breezy and smooth delivery. The soundscape of this track belongs to darker shades of sadness, but it is still mixed with eloquent pop-sweetness.
Frog Shrine is a nostalgic navigation of when The Gaze spent 12 months in a rural area of Japan. During this time of self-reflection and deep isolation, he found Shinto Shrines that celebrate nature as inspiration. Through dreamy piano, distorted guitar and breathless wonder, a stretchy bubbly beat guides this track. Through the chorus, he churns through memories and moments alongside sharp synth sounds that float through woozy vocals. In a tranquil ending, The Gaze glistens in these memories as a soundscape of laughter and talking and a drowned voice message restlessly moves under the synth beats.
Beer Garden is a track that is seduced by the urge to stay stuck in moments of simplicity and bliss. All about his enjoyment with sitting in a beer garden with a jug of beer, good friends and a bowl of chips, he romanticizes this heaven-like feeling. Unsuppressed by strangeness and sadness, he emerges through the fabric of space and time as a synth-pop pioneer and elevates his love for his relationships in fast-paced rapping phrases.
Produced and co-written by Venn x, the second-last track titled Solar Beam sprouted through his video game-playing days during lockdown, but later evolved into an empowerment anthem. Stirring with electronic beats, The Gaze dresses this track with moody sequences of vocal phrasing that get lost within virtual and bouncy spaces. The Gaze often connects with Pokémon evolution, relating to his identity as something that is always evolving.
Stream GREEN MANSION via Spotify below, and get lost in all the spaces.