ALBUM REVIEW: Ball Park Music (BALL PARK MUSIC)
ALBUM Ball Park Music // ARTIST Ball Park Music
From indie ingenues to true formative forces in the contemporary Aussie scene, Brisbane's Ball Park Music have defied the odds while harnessing vintage elegance and modern-day sorcery on their impending sixth self-titled album officially due out tomorrow.
On paper, Ball Park Music are the stuff music industry dreams are made of; a group of young guns forming at university, before utterly captivating triple j, embarking on countless tours and festival appearances and a heap of ARIA nominations paved their pathway with the very gold they spin into their warm and winsome tunes. And while the effortless nature of Ball Park Music's charm may permeate their impending sixth studio album (aka the self-titled Ball Park Music), the journey wasn't all sunshine and lollipops, with bushfires, pandemics and unforseen challenges plaguing the band in the album's early days. But it's no accident this bubbly quintet have endured so heartily for so long in an increasingly volatile industry, and the end result for Ball Park Music is one that bridges the psychedelic tendencies of 2016's Every Night the Same Dream and the indie-pop pizzazz flexed on 2018's Good Mood into a sumptuous snapshot of polish and subtle evolution that's impossible to resist.
Laced with cheeky synths and percolating beats, Ball Park Music kicks off with the jaunty Spark Up stomping up a storm of swagger and bliss that hints at new sonic territories for the band while still retaining the trademark indie affability the quintet are renowned for. Up next, Head Like A Sieve grasps at some Britpop goodness, while Nothing Ever Goes My Way continues the woozy good vibes complete with organs, swooning harmonies and percolating percussion that would readily sit in a sun-drenched corner with The Strokes.
Continuing on, Ball Park Music builds on the vintage love letters previously flourished on the album with I Feel Nothing, before we take a grittier turn on the psychedelic Bedroom, embracing chaotic instrumentation and ever-changing time signature and the kaleidescopic instrumental segue Kitkat signals the official halfway mark of the album.
Sunnier tones arrive in the form of Bad Taste Blues (Part III), with a Beach-Boys-in-a-modern-indie-rom-com vibe washing over the charming serenity. And speaking of sun, the eternally luminous Cherub follows next with the intimate whimsy of The Beatles' Here Comes The Sun mixed with modern twinges the BPM bunch have sharpened to perfection, particularly present on the thunderous outro. The psych remains strong with the hazy Orbit effortlessly fusing catchy grooves with salient complexities, before the calm balm of Day & Age and Turning Zero bring proceedings to a serene yet buoyant close.
For a band with an unblemished record of rising to (and smashing) the occasion, it's unsurprising Ball Park Music's sixth full-length is a glossy triumph. But there's a reason why this lot are so revered with each passing release beyond the obvious lures of bewitching melodics and breezy vibes, and Ball Park Music could not be more aptly named with the group taking on every inch of the album's process, from recording, to producing and even releasing the album as the first on their very own record label Prawn Records. All in all, Ball Park Music is perhaps best described as a seminal coming-of-age moment for the band as they embrace their past pursuits while flourishing into their most assured and fanciful form yet. Part mixtape, part sonic therapy and a whole lotta good vibes; Ball Park Music is the hero 2020 has been waiting for.
BALL PARK MUSIC'S IMPENDING SIXTH STUDIO SELF-TITLED ALBUM IS OUT TOMORROW (OCTOBER 23) VIA PRAWN RECORDS. FOR PRE-ORDERS HEAD HERE, AND FOR ALL OTHER INFO HEAD HERE.
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BY TIANA SPETER