With their latest EP Gristle, Melbourne’s COOL SOUNDS have crafted a fine collection of bittersweet indie pop. It was cobbled together by group leader Dainis Lacey following the sessions for the band’s upcoming second album. Gristle boasts a sound as instantly familiar and warm as a worn vinyl copy of any of Todd Rundgren’s early records or those well-loved d.i.y. vinyl seven inches from the 90’s that you keep close. The EP also marks a departure from the group’s more 80’s-inspired debut and finds them leaning further into singer/songwriter territory with even a few folk and country inspired moves lurking around the corners.
They open with the low key, yet hooky title track that sets the tone for the rest of the EP, boasting a spare, yet clean home baked production value with enough space in the mix to accommodate the group’s tastefully effected guitar leads and harmonies along with their various other pet sounds. There’s a certain air of sadness and introspection which permeates these tunes – songs that seem to dwell on paths not taken and people left behind. This air of melancholy is especially clear on the piano driven ballad “Velvet,” and EP closer “Grudge.”
Whether the direction of the band represented here is merely a stylistic experiment, or something more akin to a new approach for the group remains to be seen. Regardless of the motivations, Cool Sounds have delivered a winning EP full of hazy autumnal charm that has plenty of rewards for its listeners that slowly reveal themselves with repeated listening.
Head over to the Cool Sounds Bandcamp where you can download the EP free of charge. That should keep you occupied for now. Then keep an eye on Deaf Ambitions, who will be releasing the second Cool Sounds album sometime later this year.
DOWNLOAD the EP for free on Bandcamp
Cool Sounds on Facebook