Sometimes, the music really does do the talking. For Australia’s psych rockers, Pretty City, that started from an incredible SXSW appearance in 2016, which saw them gain critical acclaim.
“…only a few more people were fortunate enough to squeeze in when the three from Melbourne started out their set. So much energy. So much talent.” Glamglare
“The boys of Melbourne’s Pretty City combine shoegaze and britpop to create power chord-heavy anthems that wouldn’t be out of place in Manchester, 1990.” Noisy
Following those performances their debut album, COLORIZE, continued to do the talking for them, as their album climbed the CMJ charts for 3 months, being added to over 150 stations and peaking at 70 (July, 2016).
“Strutting up and along some hazy rainbow made of stadium riffage and ’90s glow stick big pants dance while gazing down at their kicks only long enough to take in that rainbow, this Melbourne-based band sound as brash and ready as a new band can be.” CMJ
The band’s stadium, psychedelic sound was compared from everything from Britpop, shoegaze, grunge, and Psych but the strength of the music was in their ability to not be constrained to any one genre, due in part to the varied musical backgrounds of each member.
“It’s hard to pinpoint where we all meet musically as there’s a lot of diverse musical tastes and training, yet we have been able to focus all of that into one sound that is unmistakably us.” Johnny Rock
Canadian Music Week appearances followed in 2017 as the band started creating their sophomore release. Colorize continued to perform strongly internationally and at home with Canadian commercial radio spinning ‘Running Around.’
Back home, Colorize was spun on Triple J, Triple J Unearthed and Double J, as well as added to light rotation on commercial rock station, Triple M and smashed on local radio station RRRfm.
A tumultuous time for the band, constant touring and international focus had taken a toll. And pressures to outdo their last album made for creative differences to boil over. Personal relationships and lives creeping into the process only made matters worse as songs were recorded, re-recorded and scrapped again. In fact, more than a whole album was finished and scrapped all together, to be started again from scratch. Producers were fired and rehired, and for a while the band were doing everything themselves.
By the end of the process, the band had come full circle musically and emotionally. The motto, CANCEL THE FUTURE, was the album title from early in the process. Taken from a lyric of a song it was meant initially to symbolise the optimism and bravado about being able to write your own future by changing your now. By the end of the year that motto still rang true but was more of a reflection on the band’s strength to essentially “cancel their futures” by scrapping whole albums with no plan in sight, to then start again from the ground up and still enjoy music creation and performance.
CANCEL THE FUTURE is thus a combination of frustration, exuberance, confidence and introspection. And it speaks louder than the band could have realised when starting the process. The album came out in America in October and was number 29 most added to the NACC charts in its first week. The album also debuted at 172 and is steadily climbing with 7 songs already added to rotation on community and college radio.
As the album hits the US, the band are undertaking their first European tour with 23 dates across the U.K, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, The Czech Republic and Denmark. US dates and festival appearances are also planned in 2018.