When I first wrote about Max Chillen (the pseudonym for musician Darcy Rhodes), he was an intrepid solo artist that was creating some irreverent and engaging art-punk out of sonic scraps, drawing it all together with his unbelievably deep and charismatic voice. A lot has happened in the past year and now Max fronts a fully-fledged band known as The Kerbside Collective, a grouping of musical misfits that have helped take Max’s sound to a new level and transform it into a consistent gigging outfit around Brisbane. ‘Goodbyes’ is the newest track to come forth from the band, seeing the mood drop to a more subdued level of new wave melancholy while still retaining a gripping quality.
‘I’m afraid that you don’t love me, I’m afraid the feeling wanes, I’m afraid there’s no god above me and I’m afraid of growing pains’. This opening lyrical fragment puts Max in a worrisome and contemplative mood, dwelling on fears both superficial and real, as love and life tug at separate halves of the mind. ‘Goodbyes’ places us in the midst of Max Chillen’s internal monologue as explores his fears surrounding emotional disharmony, relationship impermanence and perceived insignificance of the self – lingering on these fears, praying they don’t become real because as Max says, he’s ‘not very good at goodbyes’ (we all gotta say them sometime, kid). This song is great because the sentiments are real and relatable. Everyone loves, everyone loses, everyone swings, and everyone misses once or twice. The song doesn’t break any boundaries sonically, but it doesn’t have to in order to convey the treacherous landscape of heartbreak and the emotional fallout.
Banner image: Savvy Creative