- RELEASE DATE /7 October 2022
- CATALOG /CRT094
- LABEL /Cheersquad Records & Tapes
- FORMAT /limited edition translucent orange vinyl, black vinyl and digitally
A FEW WORDS
‘Songs from Empty Streets‘ is the third album by Melbourne based indie-pop band The Golden Rail. The band has deep roots in the Perth jangle pop tradition, and has garnered international acclaim for their previous albums.
The album is available as a limited edition, translucent orange vinyl, on black vinyl, and digitally. All vinyl comes with a digital download card.
Continuing an endless quest for the perfect chord, preparations for the third album were under way in early 2020 with a new batch of material rehearsed and sessions booked with producer Nick Batterham. A global pandemic saw sporadic sessions, often months apart, before a completed release was finally scheduled for the end of 2022. The band see this as their Winter album, following a seasonal progression from the first two, but the lyrical themes are more simply a quiet contemplation on friends, family and relationships past and sometimes lost. With the very able assistance of Batterham the band have been able to flesh out and realise their major songwriting influences: from Carole King to Jimmy Webb; Burt Bacharach to Paddy McAloon with a touch of mid-70s West Coast cool thrown in for good measure.
“The perfect marriage of sophisticated melodies and soulful lyrics performed and sung by an equally soulful voice. The Golden Rail have risen to the top of the perfect pop charts with songs that Jimmy Webb would be proud of.” – Dom Mariani (The Stems, The Someloves, DM3, Datura4)
Old friend and fellow Melbourne-based Perth ex-pat Kim Salmon says, “The music of The Golden Rail evokes my teenage years like no other band. Deserted Perth suburbs in the summer. Boans Morley. The Purple Ear record store. The Golden Rail brings it all back. This is what Joni Mitchell was really talking about with “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”. The sense of lost love as Ian Freeman imagines a ship that might bring his love back looking out from Wireless Hill is palpable. Thing is, he’s strictly northern suburbs. Golden Rail’s music speaks of a kind of loneliness that a boy growing up in the northern suburbs of Perth could know. We had The Triffids to bring us South of the River, but The Golden Rail speaks to something else. Equally specific and paradoxically universal. Add to this all the gorgeous melodies and arrangements, and I never really had a chance!”
The partnership of Ian Freeman and Jeff Baker goes back to the 80s, and The Golden Rail is the culmination of a 30-year writing partnership between them. The pair met and started performing in Perth in the mid-80’s running through a string of bands either together or as side players in The Palisades, The Rainyard, Header, Summer Suns, DM3, The Lazybirds and more recently with The Jangle Band.
By 1995 the pair we’re touring separately with different acts around Australia and overseas and the songwriting was put on hold until the early 2000s when both found themselves settled in Melbourne and looking to pick up where they left off 10 years earlier!
After playing and recording with several other West Australian ex-pats including Dave Johnstone (Ammonia) as The Lazybirds and in the cross-continental combo The Jangle Band with fellow Perth pop luminary Joe Algeri, Ian and Jeff formed a new band, taking its name from an infamous Perth CBD watering hole The Golden Rail. With a couple of line-up manoeuvres, the band settled as a 4-piece, with former Header guitarist Dave Chadwick on bass and Saki Garth on drums. The sound of the band today is a reflection of the longer musical and life experiences of its members, with the flash of those golden Australian indie pop years.
The band released its first album Electric Trails from Nowhere in 2017 and followed it up in 2018 with Sometimes When. On the back of those two albums, The Golden Rail garnered critical acclaim here and abroad and have built a cult following in underground guitar pop/jangle pop circles.
A classic rock/pop combination of guitars, bass and drums with some generous harmonies and occasional keyboard flourishes. It’s a reading of 60s and 70s pop sounds through an indie-rock prism with a subtle Australian bent. (Think The Triffids, Died Pretty, the Falling Joys or The Apartments).
Somewhere in the Western Australian Art Gallery you’ll find the painting “Perth Roofs (suburban Perth)” by Harald Vike. It captures a resolute stillness that epitomised Perth – a country town of a city on the edge of a continent. There is no need to document the time of day or day of the week pictured in that painting. You might safely assume that the erstwhile residents of 1939 were constantly secure beneath their roofs, with private lives played out behind closed (but always unlocked) doors. The streets were empty and quiet, bar the occasional worker on their way to or from. It’s an internal life just like that – tragic, joyful, plain or otherwise – that The Golden Rail have documented on their third album ‘Songs from Empty Streets’.
“Another excellent album from this wonderful band!” – Crispian Winsor, 3PBS Radio City