ARTIST: Squid Fishing
REVIEW BY JAMES DOMINKO
I’ve definitely made a lot of mistakes in my musical time. Missing Squid Fishing play Night 3 of Till The Wheels Fall Off 2019 in light of getting some dinner is definitely one of them. Thankfully, I managed to catch them supporting Tiny Moving Parts on their recent tour of Australia.
I was blown away by their raw emotion and duelling vocals between Ethan Groomsbridge & Zena Mohamad, their voices just worked so well together.
Shitty Weather had just been released, so when the new single “Elevator” was announced over the weekend I was over the moon, ready to see what the band could come out with next. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Where “Shitty Weather” was more of a light, groovy guitar having, laid back singalong tune, Elevator is a much more brooding sounding entry into the Squidies discography. As I come to expect from any of their songs, the lyrics are incredibly honest, sometimes confronting but always comforting when acknowledging that life isn’t always easy. However, I’ve identified a theme throughout previous tracks is a sense of hope and optimism. That acknowledgement that life is tough but the hope that it can and will get better. It’s a trait that I personally appreciate when it comes to emo songs.
The elephant in the room here is, Ethan’s vocals won’t be for everyone. If I’m totally honest, it wasn’t for me when I first found the band pre-Till The Wheels. But the more I listened, the more I loved. So if you listen to the track and it’s not for you at first, I wouldn’t write it off. The verses have a droney, bass heavy feel you would expect from a basement song, but Ethan’s trademark aussie drawl makes Elevator away from any sort of uncreative, straight Basement ripoff. The chorus stands out the most to me. Like always, the balance between Ethan’s raw and gritty vocals and Zena’s beautiful harmony is next to none. The band manages to take a sound that has been done a lot over the years – the droney, emo/indie sad song and completely make it their own and run with it.
Elevator touches on a topic that I personally (and a lot of those around me) struggle with quite regularly. The point when you start to accept and acknowledge adult life and the responsibilities associated with it. Constantly trying to hold onto what makes you happy but accepting that there are sacrifices to make, whether to keep a roof over your head, food on the table or your head in a somewhat positive place. The line that sticks out most to me is “I hope when things get better, my friends they’re still around” because at the end of the day, life (with or without this pandemic can be tough), but having the loving support of your friends by your side can make it so much more enjoyable.
Squid Fishing was set for a big year, with a number of shows announced (and subsequently cancelled), but with the response from the crowd I saw on the Tiny Moving Parts tour, I have no doubt that when the gears start turning in the world again, Squid Fishing will jump back on board and absolutely smash it like they were, flying the flag high for their home state of Tassie.