Poison Oak’s ‘Therapy’: A nuanced 90s-inspired exploration of aimlessness and wasted Days

Poison Oak’s “Therapy” is a track that truly showcases the band’s lyrical prowess, as they delve deep into the theme of aimlessness and the feeling of being stuck in a rut.

Poison Oak have released their latest single Therapy. Taking a turn from the Townsville band’s consistent indie pop numbers, Therapy is defined by a more chilled-out atmosphere of melodic vocals and sing-along refrains — which emerge as rich sonic territories for Poison Oak to explore.

The 90s alt-rock influence is undeniable, with the raw and emotive vocals perfectly complementing the driving guitars and pounding drums. The song is a powerful and relatable exploration of the struggles we all face at some point in our lives, and a testament to Poison Oak’s ability to create music that truly resonates with their audience.

Poison Oak

Atop a late-90s inspired bassline and bright guitar tones, Poison Oak sing of wasted days and “drawing circles through my mind,” marking perhaps the band’s most introspective lyricism to date. 

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Therapy’s chanted backing vocals and knack for catchy hooks retains all the anthemic qualities you’d expect from Poison Oak. Towards the end of Therapy, bandmates James Balthes, Ray Pearson, Chris Reiterer and Adrian Tarca combine their efforts for an ascendant final chorus, before an instrumental break and repeated refrain fades the track to black. While the song is flanked by signature feel-good sonics, the songwriting sees Balthes at his most vocally raw — with some truly compelling results. 

In a press release, Poison Oak rightfully described Therapy as a “relaxed ditty.” They continued: “With chanting chorus’ and guitar melodies that you can whistle along too, Therapy is just another vibrant step in the band’s catalogue.” Meanwhile, when explaining the song’s origin, Balthes revealed that Therapy was years-in-the-making, and arose after a eureka moment in the studio. 

We worked on this more than a year,” Balthes said. “Never ever satisfied with the end product after each session working on it. Eventually after one rehearsal we just got it, it was just of matter of changing up a few things, to capture that vibe.” Therapy follows previous singles Around My Head and Found Myself as the latest taste of Poison Oak’s upcoming debut album. Set for release sometime this year, the project will serve as the follow-up to the band’s two EPs The View From Here and 1996. 

Poison Oak

Poison Oak will celebrate the release of Therapy with a launch party at Townsville’s Otherwise bar on April 21. Elsewhere, the band forms part of the lineup for Townsville festival Tropic Sounds, which takes place next month and is headlined by Tones & I and Illy, among others. Poison Oak sung their praises for fellow Townsville band’s with an ultimate local playlist for Happy Mag. Check that out here, and head below to listen to Poison Oak’s new single Therapy.