It is a genuine privilege to premiere this here new track from a group that is comprised of members of some stellar South Australian acts. Presenting Workhorse, and its latest single ‘Defeat’.
For the uninitiated, Workhorse is an amalgam of some of Adelaide’s finest. Spearheaded by primary songwriter Harriet Fraser-Barbour (Wireheads and Fair Maiden) and fleshed out with members from Rule of Thirds, Bruff Superior, Hydromedusa and Old Mate, Workhorse has a fine pedigree – readily evident by this single from the band’s forthcoming self-titled cassette. The song in question features work by Liam Kenny on drums, Dieter Striech on guitar, Hamish Baird on bass, backing vocals by Katie Schilling and violin from Tom Spall.
‘Defeat’ is a lush composition of languid, drawling guitars and dusty drums – moving at a relaxed pace but never ponderous. Harriet’s lyrical exposition conjures images of rain falling on your face, blood in your mouth and mud on your knees. One would think by that descriptor that this song is about a schoolyard fight. This is untrue, but it certainly details being put through the ringer emotionally, if not physically. Harriet’s hazy intonations communicate the inner turmoil that forms after being rebuked, refused or roughhoused, and how such a defeat leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth.
That being said – there’s something oddly affirming about taking knocks (to the body, to the ego) and staying standing. Workhorse pairs the feeling of deflation and despondence with something soothing. The (gorgeous) musicianship never gets bogged down – it keeps things light. It’s a brisk breeze on your face as you walk downcast with your eyes cloudy with welling tears. Busted lips and broken hearts – these are the results of taking a loss. Those things heal. Lick your wounds, accept you’ll get new ones down the line and keep on keeping on.
Workhorse will be releasing its self-titled cassette through Brisbane’s treasured label Tenth Court on Thursday April 13.