The Slingers’ bittersweet nostalgia is enchanting

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The Slingers’ bittersweet nostalgia is enchanting

The Slingers

The band proved why Sentimentalism blew us out of the water live at The Espy on Friday night.

From Northcote to St Kilda, Melbourne can’t get enough of The Slingers, spearheaded by Robert Mahon’s exceptional lyricism that captures a shared experience of Australiana that’s buried so deep in your average Melburnian’s subconscious that until witnessed live on stage, it’s all but forgotten.

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Brandishing a blue singlet and straw hat, but singing soft refrains about the age of loneliness, Mahon is a symbol of fragile masculinity. There is such depth and versatility to The Slingers, you feel like their live experience is just another piece of a puzzle you could spend months recreating.

“We really wanted the album to be about love,” Mahon told us recently. “We do really love and care about our music. We also wanted it to be about this Age. About now, rather than taking refuge in some false nostalgia.”

It’s no surprise that Sentamentalism took the group “fucking ages”, they span country to folk, grunge rock to ballad, Australiana to Americana, acoustic and spoken word to electronica. They pare it all back live, brief flashes of joyous instrumentation colouring in an experience that’s less defined by production than by its lyrical content, chronicling with a blend of comedy and tragedy the lives of ordinary people living and struggling through our current age of loneliness.

The Slingers are such an important presence in Australia’s contemporary music scene, it may be a long time between drinks for Melbourne, but they are not to be missed.

Tickets to the Sentimentalism album tour are on sale now, with more dates to be announced.