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    Founding member of POND.

    Over five albums fronting GUM, not to mention the nine he’s made as co-leader of psych cosmonauts Pond, Watson’s restless imagination has treated us to some of the most sonically diverse explorations of the past decade. On Saturnia, however, these visions have coalesced into the richest, but also the most coherent work of Watson’s career to date.

    When you’ve got the ability to merge any combination of sounds and moods that pop into your head, there’s a temptation to cram everything you can into each second of tape. The lesson for Watson this time was to realise that sometimes you have to strip away a great idea for the benefit of the song.

    Opener “Race to the Air” provides the perfect curtainraiser. Soaring into view like a gigantic interplanetary craft, it takes in a sparkling vista of cosmic disco all robo grooves and quivering strings, while “Would It Pain You to See?”, perhaps one of the most surprising songs on the album, is a glistening slink of sensual R&B.

    Indeed, one of the most rewarding things about Saturnia is how the songs pivot and change unexpectedly throughout, beginning as one thing before launching off into a completely different stratosphere.


    SIDE A:
    1. Music Is Bigger Than Hair
    2. Real Life
    3. Saturnism
    4. Would It Pain You To See?
    5. Fear Of Joy
    SIDE B:
    1. Race To The Air
    2. Muscle Memory
    3. Argentina
    4. In A Glasshouse (With No Light)
    5. It Lies A Lifetime

    Nicholas Allbrook


      Nicholas Allbrook is a Western Australian native and a highly-accomplished Australian songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Since the beginning of his artistic career in 2005, Allbrook has brought community and collaboration to the forefront of his artistic method.

      Whether it was in the poignant lyricism of his solo musical endeavors (Ganough, Wallis and Fatuna/Wabi - Sabi) or in the production style of his band POND’s latest album ‘9’, Allbrook shows a deep understanding of the human experience and the importance of art in modern society. He has collaborated with Australian and international musicians alike, from King Krule to Cat Le Bon, Holy Fuck and Cuco.

      Emotional, geological, psycho-geographical: this is the terrain of Manganese, Allbrook’s fourth album away from Pond life. A psyche-pop wonderland, Allbrook’s new solo album is the sound of a musician with a symphony in his back pocket, the Eighties history of Oz-rock in his rearview mirror and modern Australia in his sights.


      SIDE A:
      1. Commodore
      2. Babbel
      3. Manganese
      4. Jackie.
      SIDE B:
      1. The Endless Jetty
      2. Vale The Chord
      3. Mazda
      4. Round Round The Moon And All
      5.The Night Before You Flew


      9 (Deluxe Edition)

        In Pond’s universe nothing stays still for long. Although no one who heard 2019’s “Tasmania” could possibly describe its pulsating psych-pop as straight, Pond wanted to try a more spontaneous way of working for their next record. Taking a leaf out of krautrock outliers Can’s book, at the start of 2020, Pond embarked on a series of totally off-the-cuff jam sessions from which songs and ideas could be pulled out.

        Given the pace at which ideas whizz past your head, it makes for a dizzying listen. Opener Song For Agnes explodes out the speakers like an intergalactic rock opera, running a synapse-tingling gauntlet through bubbling synth pop, 80s hair metal and blissed out saxophone before you know what’s hit you.

        It’s an apposite curtain-raiser for an album that can encompass pounding techno (Human Touch), elastic hipped robofunk (America’s Cup), tripped out motorik (Czech Locomotive) and acres more besides without even topping for breath.

        Take lead single Pink Lunettes, which opens up thumping like ESG eight hours into a session at Berghain before climbing aboard a gargantuan synthship and disappearing off over the horizon. Lyrically, too, 9 takes Pond into uncharted territory.

        Allbrook’s songs here take a more impressionistic tack than before, resulting in both the hilarious one-liners within Human Touch’s gonzoid thrash (sample lyric: “she was jacking a car but she seemed quite nice so I let her use the toilet in my place”) and the social and environmental concerns of blissed out closer Toast, which addressed both last year’s bush fires and the appalling wealth divide in Allbrook’s childhood home in Western Australia. Above all though, what you get from “9” is a sense of creative abandon and just plain fun. If it was only a fraction as enjoyable to make as it is to listen to then they must have been having a hoot.


        Side A:
        1. Song For Agnes
        2. Human Touch
        3. America’s Cup
        4. Take Me Avalon I’m Young
        5. Pink Lunettes
        Side B:
        1. Czech Locomotive
        2. Rambo
        3. Gold Cup / Plastic Sole
        4. Toast
        Side C:
        1. Lights Of Leeming
        2. My Funny Serpentine
        3. The TAB Took My Baby Away
        4. Hang A Cross On Me

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