Sydney act Nantes have just released their brand new debut album ‘Beingsbeing’ and I will be upfront, based on their previous EP it was very different to what I was expecting from the lads.
Having been a huge fan of the breakthrough track ‘Fly’ and the EP track ‘Charlie’, both more bouncy guitar driven indie rock, it was a bit of a shock to see Beingsbeing have a strong synthetic undertow to it. Ok, so it wasn’t a total shock with the already popular Triple J played singles ‘Avid’, ‘Drones’ and ‘Unsatisfy’, giving some inkling that Nantes were expanding their sound. But it the effectiveness in which the guys had incorporated their synth done so that was the real surprising pleasure.
The album builds on the bands indie rock roots and as mentioned mixes things up a good variation of pop and heavy bass/synth vibes. The surprises were the tunes ‘Alice’, which is a little reminiscent of a Phil Collins number with brooding atmospheric drums and hazy vocals, and Awayke Dream which incorporated some interesting sampling. ‘Beingsbeing’s more predictable poppy tracks included the radio numbers ‘Avid’,‘Drones’, bouncy key number ‘Potrisis’ and my personal favourite the percussion laden ‘Lost Children’. Yet, you did get the impression that somebody had been drinking too much whisky and listening to too much Phil Collins, as throughout the album there was a real reliance on slow churning bass lines and synth overlays, which did give some tracks a bit of a similar sound. I guess I was still pretty surprised at the defection from melodic indie rock the guys had undergone.
After several listens you also cannot help but decide there is an element of melancholic disappointment, or perhaps a stoned punkish anger seething through the album. The happiness of their EP has been replaced by a slightly more intense emotional vibe, perhaps a realisation of the difficulties of cracking the big time. Nonetheless, Nantes have definitely honed in and enhanced their sound and despite the aforementioned emotional intensity ‘Beingsbeing’ is an album that grows on you with every listen.