Words: James Frostick
After a breakout year that cemented them as one of the country’s finest proponents of earnest and insightful guitar pop, Melbourne’s The Stroppies are striking while the proverbial iron is hot by releasing a brand-new album called Look Alive! Lead single Holes in Everything immediately ranks amongst the band’s catchiest songs, capturing the enlivening (and terrifying) nature of romantic infatuation.
With a lifespan that stretches just over four years, The Stroppies have utilised every opportune moment to work and create. Since their formation in 2016 they’ve amassed a decent collection of short and long-form releases – each imbued with a sense of considered and grounded control, reflected in sublime jangly pop that isn’t overwrought or obtuse. From the humble DIY leanings of their early work to the fuller studio-recorded sound of their well-received 2019 LP Whoosh, The Stroppies have proven themselves dependable – crafting new (and remarkable) music at a steady clip, never leaving us wallowing through periods of extended inactivity. The band has once again wasted no time in crafting a follow-up record to Whoosh, assembling a collection of tour-written musings and home recordings into Look Alive!, an eight-track record released on May 1 through London-based label Tough Love Records.
‘Holes in Everything’ is the first cut to be offered from the forthcoming record, a peppy number that boasts a snappy mix of strum, sticks and synth, all of which sound worn in and comfortable. Perhaps this a result of the group finding their groove creatively or simply a return to their home-recorded origins – the track is the sonic equivalent of soft leather, smooth timber, a thumbed-through and dog-eared book, a comfortable t-shirt. It’s something I turn to when I need to level myself. Here, Angus Lord endearingly dissects the nature of affection – how on one hand he wishes he could dissipate into the atmosphere if only to surround the object of his affection all the time. A few breaths later, he catches himself in the midst of this flushed-cheek fantasy, remarking on the absurdity of his thoughts and the effect his flame has on his psyche. That’s the thing about love though, it blurs your edges and makes it easier for you to seep out of yourself, puddling around the feet of the one you adore.
Look Alive! will be out officially on May 1 via Tough Love. You can pre-order the record by clicking here.