The Sugarland Express could be Sydney’s answer to The Beach Boys

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The Sugarland Express could be Sydney’s answer to The Beach Boys

The Sugarland Express
Words by Lucas Radbourne

At the cusp of this decade’s psychedelic renaissance, The Sugarland Express have just released their debut single What's the Matter (With the Music).

Oozing in a rainbow swirl, the track explores the current state of music, the boys’ love for a bygone era, and their dream for a musical revolution.

It’s a big subject for a debut single, but they tackle it with a refreshing and beguiling optimism that belies their relative inexperience.

What you need to know

  • The Sugarland Express are a brand new duo from Sydney
  • Sunshine-psychedelia with nods to The Beach Boys among others
  • They’ve just released their debut single What’s the Matter (With the Music)

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What’s the Matter (With the Music) marks our first foray into the world,” the duo say.

“We met playing in a band together from 2016 – 2020. This led to us realising we had an almost identical taste in music, and when Alex began writing and experimenting with his own music, he asked Liam to come along for the ride. We’ve been developing as a strong writing duo ever since.”

Their inspiration ranges through The Beatles (“of course, the reason we’re all here”), The Beach Boys, Ariel Pink, Babe Rainbow, Drugdealer, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and PAINT. 

Their first single is the thoughtful culmination of a long-term project – and decades of discovery – that nods towards their generation-spanning influences.

“Alex began writing this way back in 2019 while he honed the craft of recording from his bedroom,” Liam continues. “Everything was done completely at home to ensure we achieved the sound we heard in our heads, and this culminated with Alex perfecting the recording of the drums throughout 2021.

“The lyrics touch on a shared acknowledgement between us about how mainstream music has changed dramatically since the 1960s and 70s. 

“While there seems to be a massive love for that golden era, this isn’t necessarily reflected in what is considered mainstream today. However, in the chorus, the lyrics discuss our hope that this will change, with many bands now replicating that iconic psychedelic sound of that era.”

With a very catchy, feel-good debut under their belt, The Sugarland Express now have their sights set on making it full-time, recording every year, and testing their mettle abroad.

“Our main ambitions right now is to take our music as far as we can while sustaining our musicianship and creativity for as long as we can,” Liam continues. “Obviously, we would love for music to be a full time gig so we can write and record as much as we can; we would love to be able to release an album a year, signed or unsigned. 

“We also love a lot of bands from L.A. so the opportunity to spend some time stateside is also an ambition.”

First however, they’re hoping to attract a Sydney and Melbourne audience that share their passion, as they take off into the future, guided by the past.

“Written and recorded in our home studio, we hope to offer a taste of the past as we evolve into the future,” they say. “Join us as we journey through the new decade together as one.”

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