WORDS BY THOMAS FREEMAN
Brisbane indie rock trio Sweater Curse are back with a brand-new EP called ‘Push//Pull’. This is the follow-up to their 2019 debut EP ‘See You’, which received a lot of critical praise, and also included songs like Can’t See You Anymore getting full rotation spots on Triple J. Their latest singles, especially Close, continued this with the songs getting the same type of love from listeners on Triple J and Triple J Unearthed. The band has also been making a name for themselves, going on national tours with numerous artists, including WAAX in 2019.
The new 4-track EP shows the band in a more experienced state, as this release showcases Sweater Curse being more proficient in their song-writing, production and construction, making for a pretty great and cohesive release that definitely shows that the band knew what they wanted to achieve. The band really opens up with a lot of honesty and personality in the songs, diving into past relationships and experiences, and expressing it in a way that’s not only raw, but also empathetic and relatable.
Wish I Was A Better Person Sometimes opens up the EP with a really nice crunchy riff, setting the tone of the song and EP super effectively. Lyrically, it’s one of the more raw and honest tracks, filled with relatable and deep reflections about a stage in your life where everything just seems to be going wrong. I thought that the message came through really well, and that listeners will be able to connect and emphasise with what the band is saying. The reverberated vocals also stand out in the song, as I thought the production was some of the best that I had heard from the band.
Close was the first single from the EP, and was co-written with Alex Lahey, which really shows in the chorus of the song, showing her distinctive relatability in her writing, and making for possibly the best track off the new EP. It continues the self-reflective tone from the previous song, with really strong flowing lyrics that are expressed with personal regret, like in the chorus:
“I never meant to let you go, I didn’t want to leave you
I thought that it was all for show
You mean so much to me you know
I thought that you would see that
I’ll always want you to be close, close”.
I also really love the way the guitar comes in during the chorus, as it really adds a fuller sound to the song. The hook also gives off the same feeling that I felt with Can’t See You Anymore, which is probably why I did resonate with Close so much. Production wise, the song sounds pretty great too, balancing a sound that feel like a mixture of DIY and professionally done, something that suits the band and the EP well.
All the Same, the other single released prior to Push//Pull, is one of the more instrumentally playful songs on the EP. Similar to WIWABPS, the track opens with a really fuzzy riff, but it’s one that is a lot drier than the opener; and contains some pretty deep and distorted vocals that feel like a blend of Foals’ ‘Black Bull’, City Calm Down’s ‘Decision Fatigue’ and a dash of The Cure’s Robert Smith in there too, but it’s also something that still feels apart of their own style, which really helps All the Same become one of the more unique sounding songs from Sweater Curse’s discography. The drumming really stands out on this track too, and I think that this song in particular really does show the band becoming better at making their own music. The sarcastic tone and contrasting lyrics throughout the song are also nice additions, and also add even more personality to the track.
The closing track Best Interests recaptures the messages of the EP, continuing with the concept of ‘not being able to help a struggling friend whilst also trying to keep the relationship afloat’. It has a big Modern Baseball vibe all throughout through the lyrics and production, making for a solid closing track to the release. I was a big fan of the use of rhetorical questions throughout the song too, especially in the second verse:
“What if I get too busy looking out for everyone’s best interests but forget about myself am I best off?”
Push//Pull is definitely a great release to get behind, and does what a follow-up release should do, which is to expand on what an artist is capable of creating, and Sweater Curse have delivered that from the opening note all the way until the fading atmospheric sounds at the very end. The honest lyrics and crunchy riffs really tie the reverberated production and self-destructive themes throughout the whole EP together really well. And as I said at the start, definitely get behind Sweater Curse and this new EP; I cannot stress that enough!