Posts Tagged ‘Pop Filter’

Pop Filter

Ok, here goes, the last review of the year and then I’m going to get a week of rest before 2021 kicks into gear.

With one great album from Pop Filter on the books for 2020, the second only seems like a bit of a year end gift. The band, which pivoted from their previous incarnation as The Ocean Party following the tragic passing of member Zac Denton, brings a more subdued set that might actually fit better under their previous moniker. The record is certainly dredging up some of the raw heart feelings that The Ocean Party often toyed with. While Banksia found joy even in times of turmoil, Donkey Gully Road is the faded flannel underside to that record. The songs here hit like sighs, as if the first album was putting on a brave front but with the second they’ve let the pop veneer slide to better heal through melancholy saunter. Like their days in The Ocean Party, the band don’t force hooks forward on DGR, but instead let them work their way under the skin with a subtle twist of the knife.

There’s a feeling of last call hovering around the album — a walk out into the streetlights that’s concurrent with the nagging feeling of not wanting to go home. That said, the album’s not as downer as I’m making it out to be. Its comforting all the same, ambling and finding an inner peace somewhere between the pangs that hit the heart without warning. By the end they’re even back to their almost upbeat selves, with the plucky swing of “Checkin’ Out” wiping a few tears from the eyes. This record feels more like a companion piece to Banksia than a standalone follow-up, and with the close proximity it might be well to treat it as such. Both records work as a cypher to opening the other up more fully — a pop choose your own adventure worth embarking on to be sure.



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Favorite Albums of 2020

Here’s the year end list. I’m not gonna wax on about how this year was rough, we all know it was a shit year and even more so for artists. It was, however, a great year for recorded music, and I had a hard time not making this list about twice as long to show love for all the albums that lifted me this year. I’ve long been against the whole idea of numbered lists, so once again things are presented in quasi-alphabetical style (I always mess one or two up in creating this, but you get the point). I’ve included Bandcamp embeds where they exist, so if you have the means and find something new, please reach out and support the artists here. Looking forward to 2021 as another year that music makes getting through easier.

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Pop Filter – “Big Yellow Van”

The Ocean Party spent quite a bit of time on the turntable here, but after the tragic passing of member Zac Denton, the band has dissolved and reformed under the name Pop Filter. The same breezy bounce is in place here, through Zac’s songwriting is missed among the stars that have cropped up in pre-album singles. “Big Yellow Van” is rife with nostalgia for the road, the past, and another time that’s been lost forever. With bittersweet harmonies, a crackerjack bounce of drums, and chipper keys, the band nails this wistful tune to the wall for all time. There’s quite a bit of heartache in between the bars, but I’m smiling through the tears over here. The Aussie band’s debut record Banksia is out August 21st through Spain’s Bobo Integral.





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Pop Filter – “Laughing Falling”

Kinda loving this new cut from Aussies Pop Filter. A low-slung jangler that employs a New Wave beat, “Laughing Falling,” is an instant charmer. The song attempts to wrangle the fuzzy delight of being a bit buzzed and walking around and its got a nice take on that out-of-body delight wherein you can almost watch yourself having a good time while simultaneously being sad that its going to end. That curdle of sadness ripples underneath, and in the sunset hues that streak the song, but mostly its a romp. The band takes a nice stab at the distanced video with a steampunk exploration that’s not just band members playing parts in different houses — a trope that’s already worn too thin. The song sidles alongside previous single “Romance At The Petrol Station,” and both will appear on their album Banksia in August.



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