There’s a lot going on for City Calm Down right now. The Melbourne group are currently touring Australia as part of the indie taste-making St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, and that’s just the start of it.
This week, the quartet announced their sophomore record, Echoes In Blue, will be released on 6 April via I OH YOU. With it, the band gifted us with the brilliant fourth single from the forthcoming record, ‘Joan, I’m Disappearing’.
A feature of City Calm Down’s dynamic is the linearity of their songs. Generally, the Melbourne band’s compositions begin slowly, before building into a crescendo of booming drum patterns, guitar riffs and head-bopping bass lines. ‘Blood’, the first single from Echoes In Blue, is the greatest embodiment of their sound.
City Calm Down’s latest track sees the group revisiting a different, rarely-sighted version of themselves. On the second single from the new album, ‘Blame’, the band embarked on a slow-burning four-minute odyssey about impulsively laying blame on others.
While ‘Blame’ struggles to kick from first gear, ‘Joan, I’m Disappearing’ again has the collective saturated in anguish. This time, however, there are those trademark City Calm Down sharp drum bashings and swirling synths that drive the track throughout.
The first line of ‘Joan, I’m Disappearing’ sets the scene from the outset: “It turned to shit on April 18.” That date may have a profound meaning to the band, as it is the title of the fifth song on Echoes In Blue. Or maybe it’s ‘April ‘18’, the release date of the album… We’ll find out in due course.
‘Joan, I’m Disappearing’ is front-man Jack Bourke’s most aching and emotional vocal performance yet. Singing about “coming to terms with the dissolution of a long-term relationship and how neglect ultimately led to its breakdown,” Bourke sounds genuinely fractured by the experience. Although, it adds an extra layer to the gloomy beauty of the song.
Not only is it City Calm Down’s most emotional performance yet, ‘Joan, I’m Disappearing’ may also be the band’s most accomplished. Through Bourke’s painstakingly heartfelt vocal hook and ensuing chorus lyrics – “Should have begged for you to stay / Joan, I’ve loved you since I was 17 / And I’m lost without you” – the song comes together incredibly. It hits agonisingly hard.
I thought ‘Blood’ was masterful. But ‘Joan, I’m Disappearing’ has City Calm Down raising the bar once again. Echoes In Blue is going to be something special.