|Cedarsmoke, indie-rock/ folk band hailing from Meanjin/Brisbane, is rolling out its sophomore album, The Great & The Terrible. The album releases on Friday, July 14, and will take listeners on a captivating musical journey filled with introspection, change, and the enchantment of storytelling.
Led by frontman and singer-songwriter Jon Cloumassis, Cedarsmoke has garnered widespread acclaim with their lyric-driven pop and unique blend of dark-humoured observations and moody charm.
Building upon their already impressive back-catalogue, ‘The Great & The Terrible’ exhibits Cedarsmoke’s musical prowess and versatility, showcasing a range of genres from indie-rock to heartfelt acoustic folk-style ballads and piano-driven tracks. With minimal embellishments, the album’s instrumentation comprises a selection of instruments including piano, acoustic guitars, organs, pedal steel, and harmonica.
Drawing inspiration from the iconic story of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the album weaves allusions and references to the characters, scenes, and famous locations from the beloved tale. Each song introduces characters at different points of change, whether it’s the beginning or the end, delving deep into the transformative power of these moments.
Cloumassis shares, “‘The Great & The Terrible’ is an exploration of change in all its forms and manifestations. Inspired by the mythical journey of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, the album captures the essence of characters in flux, accompanied by a select orchestra of instruments and tones reminiscent of 1970s folk-rock.”
The album opens with the powerful and evocative track ‘For Real’, a musical journey that pays homage to Bruce Springsteen’s classic ‘Thunder Road’ while forging its own path of self-discovery. The infectious energy continues with ‘Ready To Go’, a contemplative song that navigates themes of death, spirituality, and the diverse objects of worship.
Other standout tracks include the hauntingly beautiful ‘Oil & Water’, featuring the mesmerizing vocals of Amber Rose, and the poignant ‘Amy at 13’, which delves into the complex relationship between a father and his teenage daughter grappling with mental health issues.
‘Know You’re Mine’ is an upbeat indie-pop gem propelled by a captivating surf-rock guitar riff, chant along choruses and features duelling harmonica and electric guitar solos. The song beautifully captures a love story that unfolds across the four seasons of the year and the doubts and uncertainties in that time. ‘Go Easy’ follows and unites five thematically connected verses, showcasing a heartfelt folk-rock ballad with another powerful sing-along chorus.
Further showcasing their musical range, Cedarsmoke presents the emotionally charged and narrative-driven ‘Come Around Here’, a song that unfolds through different intervals in a character’s life. ‘Strangely Familiar’ captivates with its gentle and mystical exploration of déjà vu while the album’s lead single, ‘Goodnight Marianne’ with its lively pop-rock sound, jaunty melodies, and playful lyrics, exemplifies Cedarsmoke’s ability to craft relatable stories filled with quirky charm and witty banter.
‘The Way We Once Were’ stands as a poignant duet about divorce, offering a nostalgic look back after a breakup. Complemented by twangy, dusty, and lonesome guitars, the country-inspired musical backdrop perfectly aligns with the stark lyrics.
Closing the album on a hopeful note, ‘Emerald City’ and its companion piece ‘Emerald City (Epilogue)’ bring a return to the full spectrum of colour, celebrating the transformative power of change.
‘The Great & The Terrible’ has Cloumassis at his best, crafting compelling narratives through his unique indie-rock and folk sound. The thought-provoking and emotionally rich experience bleeds joy, pain and a bluntly honest outlook on the highs and lows of life, just as the album title suggests.
Start the fire and weather the storm with Cedarsmoke’s new album on Friday, July 14.
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