City Calm Down’s ‘Television’ brings together and serves up the best of indie rock

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City Calm Down’s ‘Television’ brings together and serves up the best of indie rock

City Calm Down
Photo: Sam Wong
Words By Alexander Crowden

Melbourne four-piece City Calm Down still feel relatively new to the Australian music landscape.

They released their acclaimed debut In A Restless House just before 2015 was out, following up with Echoes In Blue last year. However, they’ve been a band for 11 years, and singer Jack Bourke said “it felt like it was time to shake things up and really get out of our comfort zone”.

Based on their first two albums, they didn’t really need to – what they had done so far was working. It’s what’s had them all over triple j and other alternative stations, playing big festivals and packing out headline shows. That said, after giving this album around 15 complete listens, makes their previous two fantastic albums feel pedestrian, because it is just brilliant.

Television is stripped back and offers a more traditional style of indie rock. It allows for more guitar hooks, thumping drums to tap your toes to and Bourke’s vocals shine in a way they haven’t before.

The title track is an absolute earworm, while ‘Visions of Graceland’ is a nostalgic affair that echoes with longing. ‘Stuck (On The Eastern)’ is a relentless tune whether you’re actually caught in traffic on the famous urban freeway or not. ‘Lucy Bradley’ reels back the years, recounting school days in a song that feels strangely both optimistic and heartbreaking at the same time.

Television’s main criticism is that it’s just ten songs and 35 minutes long. Multiple listens are not only encouraged but required, despite it being a hit on the first spin.