ONE unfortunate byproduct of the pandemic, depending on personal taste, has been the proliferation of melancholy and introspective songwriting.
Over in the relatively COVID-free sanctuary of Western Australia, Perth indie-rock four-piece Great Gable took a completely different tact when writing their second album On The Wall In The Morning Light.
They wanted an album bursting with positive vibes and live energy. An album made for raucous live shows.
That's especially true on the infectious opener Dancing Shoes and the energetic surf-rocker Hazy.
"We're all positive people, so we wanted to make sure we put that point across, and to be honest, it makes it so much more fun to play live when they're upbeat and happy songs," frontman Alex Whiteman says.
"That's really important to us, having a live set that takes you up and drops you down for a little bit."
Great Gable released their debut album Tracing Faces in 2020, after a series of promising EPs in GG (2016), Modern Interactions (2017) and Lazy Bones Tapes (2019).
Despite being unable to tour Tracing Faces nationally, Great Gable's indie-rock and psych-pop sound - reminiscent of fellow Perth band Pond and Sydney's Sticky Fingers - continued to find new audiences.
For On The Wall In The Morning Light Great Gable stuck with the formula that proved successful on Tracing Faces. That included linking up with indie-folk star Matt Corby and producer Alex Heriksson.
Great Gable's Whiteman (vocals, guitar), Matt Preen (guitar), Callum Guy (drums) and Christopher Bye (bass) spent a month in Corby's Rainbow Valley Studios in Sydney recording 30 songs for the record, which was cut down to 12.
In between recording Great Gable would play competitive games of table tennis and corn hole with Corby and Henriksson.
"Alex [Heriksson] is really good at seeing the bigger picture of the album and the songs," Guy says.
"Corby is really good at honing microscopically and pinpointing bars and sections of the song and the arrangement that might need work-shopping. With us, it just works really well."
Whiteman says Corby is very much a "big brother" figure to the band. The 31-year-old has recorded a No.1 album and won multiple ARIA Awards, so his advice carries serious weight.
"Matt has done a fair bit, so you can't help but listen to his advice," Whiteman says.
"He's been in our shoes before, when he was real young as well. It's cool to have someone who's a few steps 'up there' to tell us what's going on."
Great Gable release On The Wall In The Morning Light on Friday. Their national album tour visits Volta, Ballarat (October 14); Barwon Club, Geelong (October 15); Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour (October 26); Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (October 28); Uni Bar, Wollongong (October 29); The Northern, Byron Bay (November 5).
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