The Tsars… hmmm… Historical rulers of imperial Russia or local indie band? Apparently both. This talented foursome have been playing the Sydney scene for two years, building a strong following as a result of their hypnotic tunes and niche sound. Unable to disassociate these guys with images of old Russians in fur hats, I spent a weekend immersing myself in their music and in doing so discovered two important things.
Wander the plains of ya brain in a big yellow jeep with The Tsars awesome new video for Blown.
The first is that I have found a soundtrack to which I can put together a piece of absurdly named IKEA furniture without wanting to gouge out my eyeball with an Allen Key, and the second is a very beautiful blending of instruments and vocals. Catchy 60’s inspired guitar melodies complement simple bass beats and whirling organ riffs. With such a simultaneously well developed and understated sound it is unsurprising that last year these guys were chosen as a feature on Triple J’s Unearthed program or that The World Bar has described their gigs as having, “the isle (sic) jammed with obsessive fans”.
The Beatles-era sound combined with simple yet well-constructed lyrics and harmonies, reminiscent of old Beach Boys outtakes played underwater, enables a mental wandering on the listeners part. Their songs suck you in and capture your attention with familiar chord progressions and catchy, sharp, clean drumming before graduating you to, what feels like, a higher mental state and setting you free to drift within nostalgia. Changes in tempo keep you on your toes and the seemingly organic arrangements would suggest these musicians have genuine talent and passion for composition.
With an album promised for release some time within the year, the boys have been working on getting some videos out – most recently for their track Blown. Sticking to their trademark of catchy and uncontrived (bucket hat excepted, who started that anyway?*) the video features the band making music, traveling and chilling out, on what looks like a family property, as well as some great footage from recent gigs.
Edited into a dreamlike sequence (props to the cross fade) the footage perfectly complements and further contributes to the song’s mystical atmosphere. It would be nice if the fellas could confirm an album release date, but until then check out some of their tunes on Youtube and allow yourself to drift.
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*Editor: Blame DMA‘s. They didn’t start it, but blame DMA’s.