The Australian four-piece share the video for their latest single ‘Blood’.
The track marks their first single since their 2015 debut album In A Restless House and sees them build upon their retro-infused indie-rock sound. Millions of Spotify plays later and the band are gearing up to release their next effort, but not before they whet our appetite with a series of killer singles. We caught up with vocalist Jack Bourke to find about more about their latest track, what went into creating the visuals and what they have planned for 2017…
We really got into your recent single ‘Blood’! Can you tell us a little about what inspired the track?
The lyrics for ‘Blood’ are essentially a melodramatic take on a stand off I had with a boss about taking time off work for touring. I ended leaving my job. After I resigned, I remember standing in the elevator thinking “you fucking idiot!” but I also felt pretty relieved.
There’s a feverish energy to the track. Do you feel that you try to bring an emotive energy to all of your music?
With ‘Blood’, we were really trying to capture a sense of mania and chaos in both the instruments and vocals to tap into the lyrical content. The emotional character of our music varies song to song but with each song we write we want to feel something ourselves. We’ll always preference the emotional weight of a song over other aspects (if we have to choose.)
You’ve just debuted the video for it too! There was an interesting mix of visual effects incorporated; was it fun for you to shoot?
Yeah, it was a lot of fun! The visual effects were all done live. We had a cinema screen and projector and ran a camera into an effects processor and then into the projector, so we were projecting warped footage of ourselves onto ourselves, which created some of the feedback loops you can see.
All of your videos have a strong visual theme, eg. the background characters of ‘Rabbit Run’ seemed oblivious to the band and ‘Son’ was shot in black and white and incorporated dance. Do you enjoy the opportunity to get creative when it comes to your music videos?
It varies from clip to clip. On a number of occasions we’ve had directors put together an idea which we’ve been really happy to run with and on other occassions we’ve had our own ideas that we’ve taken to directors. We’re always pretty open to hear how people outside the band see visuals fitting with our music.
You’re preparing to release your next album soon; what can you tell us to whet our appetite?
Musically, the album feels a bit darker than In A Restless House. It also feels a bit more considered – we were able to spend more time experimenting to find the sounds we wanted, which can always be a lengthy process. Lyrically, the songs are more focussed. When writing the lyrics we were trying to capture more defined characters and places. The album as a whole explores the various perspectives and thoughts of a couple and their friends before, during and after the break of a long term relationship.
Your previous album In A Restless House spawned five singles and gained you millions of Spoify plays. Did you feel as if there was any pressure when it came to writing album number two?
The main pressure we felt was the pressure to improve as songwriters but I think we would have felt this irrespective of the success of In A Restless House. Of course, it’s great when people respond positively to the music we make but first and foremost we just try to satisfy ourselves, which is hard to do, but it’s a fairly simple objective! It’s a lot simpler than trying to write with an audience in mind.
You’ve supported Bombay Bicycle Club, alt-J and Chvrches in the past. Are you touring again any time soon?
We’re touring Australia in August and September and we’ve got plans to head to the UK and Europe around the end of this year although we haven’t got any dates to announce yet.
What else do you have planned for this year?
We’ll be mixing the record as well as recording a few more videos. On top of touring this will keep us busy enough!
City Calm Down’s single ‘Blood’ is available now. The band play the following dates
- 25 Aug The Rosemont, Perth
- 26 Aug Mojo’s, Fremantle (sold out)
- 1 Sept 170 Russell, Melbourne
- 2 Sept The Gov, Adelaide
- 8 Sept Metro Theatre, Sydney
- 16 Sept The Triffid, Brisbane
- 30 Sept Yours & Owls, Wollongong
City Calm Down pick their favourite videos below!
“These clips are quite different from one another but all of them tap into the mood and pace of the songs they’re set to. We’ve always found thats the hardest but most important element to get right.”