Stay Tuned is the latest release by Australian act, The Silverbeets, and is their first full length album.
Prepare yourself to be taken on a journey. From the opening soundscape ‘All Cool People’ through to the last dying guitar notes of ‘Sunshine in a Glass of White Wine’, Stay Tuned evokes memories of a bygone era when radio was the shrine to which the avid listener came to worship. This is a nostalgic look backwards at how albums were once crafted as an entire piece to be cherished in one sitting like an 11 course meal, slowly savoured and fondly rememberedafter many years.
Stay Tuned flows and ebbs, taking the listener to places they weren’t expecting to find themselves. Employing the layered textures of multiple instruments that are never gratuitous, Stay Tuned weaves a web over the listener. The journey begins slowly through a laid back suburban soundscape instrumental piece before tempting and inviting us to get off the couch and start enjoying life through And I/You Thought, rather than being afraid of it, and then taking you away on a rollercoaster ride leadingyou through a Parisian Street Market complete with apropos accordion on the song Famous and Dandy. While employing elements of upbeat rock, the album is reflective and looks at life from a mature perspective as is displayed in Split Window Kombis which takes the listener through the internalisation of growing older and of not wanting to leave this earth, just yet. But this is not a journey for the faint at heart. A tasteful pastiche of sound was employed in the making of this album; manic, expertly played drums dominate and drives The Calm Before the Super Solar Storm, a song for those with insomnia; while Wake Up & Realise is more melancholic and slow, allowingthe lyrics to take centre stage, over layers of cello and guitars, before a cacophonic maelstrom is unleashed out of nowhere, taking the listener well out of their comfort zone.
The album ends like a choose your own adventure book. What better way to end a journey than to choose to sit back, whileWatching the Sun disappear, with good friends, beers in hand ready for the final rays of light to peer over the horizon or you can choose to listen on bringing you continuing the aural experience with a strum of a harp among reversed guitar and affected synthsbefore saying adieu withthe sadreflectionof waving goodbye to a lover with the beautifully titledSunshine in a Glass of White Wine. But like a good book, a well-crafted album makes you want to just put the needle back on the first track of side 1 and start the journey all over again.
Influences abound in this album. There are references to Pink Floyd, The Byrdsand David Bowie as well as modern contemporaries such as Radiohead, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and Elbow. Yet, The Silverbeets have their own sound and approach to an old art form. As much as there is nostalgia on this album there is also a modern feel – a combination of old and new, the known and the unknown. This is an album for music lovers. It is an album for those who love alternative music, and for those who may be looking forsomething outside of the mainstream. But mostly it is an album, not a collection of random songs thrown together.
Some listeners will not get this album, some will think it is brilliant and some may just enjoy a song or two and ignore the rest, but if Stay Tuned was to go unnoticed,the musical world will be poorer because of it.