Exciting news emerged last week from Blank Realm, arguably Brisbane’s best band. The group are on the cusp of releasing a new album through Fire Records and Bedroom Suck in September titled Illegals in Heaven and have kicked off proceedings in the run up with ‘River Of Longing’. Having had the pleasure of seeing Blank Realm perform a bunch of times this year, it’s cool to hear new material only hazily remembered from live shows in pristine recorded form.
Much ado has been made over the past few years about Blank Realm’s gradual transition from abstract, free form psych-rock to a more “accessible” sound, and I suppose that trend is set to continue thanks to the pristine sound of ‘River of Longing’. It’s always struck me as a natural progression for Blank Realm to gradually add new soundscapes that would otherwise be lost in low fidelity fuzz, and the group’s decision to record Illegals In Heaven seems like a logical step. Room40’s Lawrence English is highly capable of pinpointing minute details while handily wielding expansive sounds – I’m sure his thumbprint will be recognisable yet not overwhelming on Illegals.
The song itself has been described as joyous, gloriously messy and exuberant – all fitting descriptors. It seems to me that the group is breaking the shackles that tether them to the earth and are celebrating rapturous ascendance. I hope Illegals In Heaven continues this celestial trajectory, giving us glimpses of everything golden that Blank Realm gaze upon from above.