Words: James Frostick
Image: James Frost
After a few years living and creating in Montreal, Hobart-born skuzz-pop outfit Heart Beach have returned to our snow-bereft shores, releasing a series of tracks composed during their sojourn abroad. ‘Elastic’ is an ode to the unforgiving nature to reality, where good times are best enjoyed before life forgets its pliant nature and snaps back in your face.
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from beloved Tasmanian-born poppy punk group Heart Beach, but from the looks of things they haven’t been idle. Around the time of writing, recording and releasing the most-recent Heart Beach LP Haircut the two-piece of Claire and Jonathon McCarthy were based in Montreal, imbuing their work with the kind of inner heat that could only have been conjured while sheltering from Canada’s winter chill. Returning to Australia in 2018 (basing themselves in Melbourne), it seems as if the group have been slowly amassing a new collection of songs, a few of which have been surreptitiously dropped online without a ton of fanfare. In November 2019 the band released subdued guitar squall-filled dirge ‘Cliffhanger‘, following it up in early January 2020 with sparse and tender offering ‘Together‘. Both tracks differ stylistically from each other, but succinctly showcase the group’s knack for conjuring moods using different tonal configurations. Over the weekend Heart Beach dropped ‘Elastic’ the third track released from the group’s newest collection of work.
More nimble and driving, ‘Elastic’ sees Claire and Jonathon (plus drummer Chris Campbell) writing from a pensive standpoint. Driving forward at a steady clip, ‘Elastic’ pairs tightly wound guitars with a composed but forceful drum beat, overlaid with the group’s signature harmonious speak-sing vocal delivery. Lyrically, we catch Claire and Jonathon at the precipice of change – they’re in the midst of some good times, pushing the elastic of life to get the most out of every moment. They also sense the snap of reality, something will soon arise that’ll bring them back down to earth. Perhaps ‘Elastic’ was written in the afterglow of their fleeting North American existence, and the forecast of crushing monotony in Australia has them filled with foreboding unease. Although slightly downcast in tone, ‘Elastic’ is all to relatable, a reminder of the ephemeral nature of everything and how there’s always something looming around the corner. Speaking of what’s to come, I’m not sure if these loose tracks are tasters for an album on the horizon, but new Heart Beach is always welcome.
Give ‘Elastic’ a listen here: