Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues has spent most of its lifespan churning out dreamy shoegaze – blistering soundscapes that encompass and envelop. Not content being solely a sonically gargantuan entity, Blonde Tongues has shifted gears considerably on its latest release – its debut studio recording. ‘Stephanie (Winter Version)’ maintains a lot of the dream-like sensibilities of past recordings, but strips back the layers of sound to its pop foundations. This song is a taster for the band’s upcoming sophomore album, which will assuredly feature more exploration of a refined pop aesthetic, paired with consummate musicianship.

It’s crystal clear that ‘Stephanie (Winter Version)’ is an earnest love song – pure and humble. Lead singer Cal Mateer has managed to succinctly convey genuine adoration for his partner, putting his intentions forward buoyed by a pristine melodic accompaniment. The tune manages to encapsulate the blissful characteristics of strong love, the support and nurturing having someone close by (“You always seem closer than my fears, dearest Stephanie”) and being able to give yourself over to them completely (“Take my hand and listen to my heart”) knowing they’ll support you through thick’n’thin (“You’re my water when I’ve had too much wine”).

This song is a joy to listen to. A tune this upfront and honest is a pleasure to play on repeat.