EP Review: Major Leagues EP ‘Dream States’
Major Leagues, Brisbane’s answer to hazy surfer rock, have released their latest EP ‘Dream States’. Together since 2012, their debut EP ‘Songsofloveandliveinbetween’ showcased an indie-pop potential and preppy lyricism that tickled Brisbane’s, and then Australia’s fancy. They have since played BIGSOUND three years straight, kicked off last year’s Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie, and toured with Canadian indie darlings, Alvvays.
‘Dream States’ is a sun-speckled offering of alt-rock and charmingly troubled shoegaze. Produced and engineered by local sound shaman Miro Mackie (John Steel Singers, Crass Creatures), with mixing by Brooklyn-based engineers Jacob Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Blouse) and Fergus Miller (Bored Nothing), the EP is awash with youthful distain and dripping with nostalgia.
“Like Girls in their self-titled debut album, the endearing sulkiness of the vocals and breeze-like wares of guitar in Someone Sometime paint a picture of some fruitless attempt at a summer fling.”
Warm and jangly, Raymond Carver opens the EP. The breezy strumming patterns and nonchalant backing vocals are a possible nod to influences like their tour buddies Alvvays, Real Estate, and Surfer Blood. The lyrics float low and steady, a humid atmosphere where regret and miscommunication wrestle, “You said I was alright/ But I want to rewind”. A shimmery, playful riff grounds the track, a constant in a song about change.
Like Girls in their self-titled debut album, the endearing sulkiness of the vocals and breeze-like wares of guitar in Someone Sometime paint a picture of some fruitless attempt at a summer fling. The chorus is defiant, shakily punctuated by a sleepy bassline and at its core has a “heart heavy like a stone”. Major Leagues keep melodies sweet and simple. The airy lifts and dips in vocal tone add to the overall feeling of premature heartbreak.
Released in March, the EP’s lead single Better Off is a ballad dedicated to the acute state of ennui experienced by any young person, anywhere, ever. The chord progressions lazily grind and pop like feet dragging on pavement. The relatable restlessness of this song is all consuming and head-bop inducing. And you known it’s a Brisbane banger when the lyrics reference good ol’ Ric’s. What a premium establishment, what a premium tune.
A dreamy intermission of a track, Leave seems a softly textured pit-stop in a soundscape of jangly, indie tunes. The EP’s mixers Portrait and Miller have textured the guitar and vocal layers on this track with a softness that warrants it the title of quiet achiever. Leave showcases sensitivity and clarity that Major Leagues’ previous releases, such as Teen Mums of ‘Weird Season’ (2013), were yet to realise. The lyrics seem to announce a road trip away from the stitched up expectations of suburban life, preferring to hitchhike in the ‘dream states’, “I’ve packed my bags, I’m going to each and every state”.
“Bunbury‘s lyrical repetition, looped guitar riffs, and careful volume swells project a sensitive maturity.”
With adventure in mind and emotional baggage in hand, Get Lost signposts the EP’s return to the haze-rock highway. Directed by a percussive push and shove, the track is a further example of Major Leagues’ efforts to excel at shoegaze pop. Get Lost is a vague ode to new experiences. The opening verse remarks that “every scene, every block is unfamiliar so I just walk around to get lost” and by the chorus celebrates how “I’ve never, ever felt like this before” . Much like The Drums and Craft Spells, Major Leagues toy with melancholia while operating smoothly in surfer rock territory.
Bunbury‘s gentle hold as the EP’s closing track can be attributed to Major League’s thoughtful use of whip-like drums and soprano harmony. The track’s lyrical repetition, looped guitar riffs, and careful volume swells project a sensitive maturity. It’s fair to say that Bunbury is a reflective, yet demanding conclusion to this six-song daydream.
Major Leagues salute a fading Australian summer with the release of ‘Dream States’. Thoughtful and sun-kissed, the EP is out now! The Brissy outfit will complete a three-show tour in May, supported by Sydney band FLOWERTRUCK. For tickets and dates, see below.
Major Leagues Tour Dates
SAT 7 MAY
Newtown Social Club, Sydney
SAT 14 MAY
The Foundry, Brisbane
SAT 21 MAY
Get Tickets HERE