In any other context, the name Cool Sounds would probably come off as preposterously self-confident, but when it comes to this Australian seven-piece, it serves as a tongue-in-cheek reminder of the group’s roots as a sort of joke band. Since their recent EP ‘Gristle’, though, the band, whose sound evokes the increasingly popular psych-pop tinged indie folk of acts like Mac DeMarco, has grown and matured, experimenting with electronic elements and earnest lyrics. Our first taste from their upcoming full-length album, ‘Cactus Country’ is one of the most refined and interesting songs the Melbourne outfit has put out, a sign of great things to come.
We caught up with Cool Sounds to talk about their new song, album, and future plans.
Could you introduce yourselves?
Hello, we’re Cool Sounds. We’re a pop band from Melbourne, Australia. There are anywhere up to 7 of us on a good day and we’re soon to be releasing our second full length album ☺
You once described your sound as “jazz gaze”. It might be a bit self-explanatory, but can you explain what you mean by that?
That’s a good question. That genre / term was something our previous record label came up with for a press release and it kind of stuck. I don’t really know what they meant by it, but I guess we were listening to heaps of Destroyer when we made our last record, so there is some slightly Jazzy saxophone on it.
In what ways do you feel that you have evolved since you first formed Cool Sounds?
We started as a bit of a joke band I guess, so we’re taking ourselves slightly more seriously these days. We’ve added to the line up a bit over the last few years to try and come to a more distinctive sound. Hopefully we’re writing better songs and playing our guitars a bit better than when we started out 4-5 years ago.
What were some of the influences that went into writing your new album?
Some 70’s soft rock stuff like Something / Anything by Todd Rundgren had some influence on this record. Dain was also listening to a fair bit of country music during the writing too, so there are some twangy elements as a result. We love contemporary bands like Sam Evian, Drugdealer and Big Thief too.
The title track goes into all sorts of unexpected directions for the band, from the manipulated vocals to the lyrics and the overall vibe. What inspired this experimentation, and is it something we should expect from the rest of the album?
This one was the only song we didn’t live track in the studio. It wasn’t initially going to be on the album, so we just recorded drums and bass in the studio, then Dain spent ages at home messing around with guitar overdubs and adding weird electronic percussion. He got pretty carried away with it and I think was just enjoying manipulating things in ableton. It’s got a bit of a Cass McCombes feel to it.
It’s not super indicative of the rest of the album, but the blend of acoustic and electric guitar and some of the general themes carry out across the record.
What are you most excited for in the near future?
It’s really exciting releasing records. We’ve been sitting on this for a little while, so we’re just excited to have people start hearing it.
The full album is out on October 26th, we hope you like it.