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Tall Poppies is the first single from Melbourne foursome School Damage's self-titled debut album, due on Chapter Music on vinyl and digital in June 2017.
School Damage began as a bedroom recording project for Carolyn Hawkins (Chook Race, Parsnip) and Jake Robertson (Ausmuteants, Frowning Clouds etc). They released a cassette for Moontown Records in 2013, then were joined by Jeff Raty on drums and Dani Damage on bass. Taking cues from pop outfits such as the Vaselines, Particles and Young Marble Giants, School Damage's sound is defined by wobbly keyboards, weaving bass lines, and lyrical content focused on the anxieties of modern life and love.
About Tall Poppies, Carolyn says:
"I can't really remember how Tall Poppies came about, its a pretty old song of ours compared to others. But I can guess that I would have been feeling pretty down on myself when I wrote it. I'm the kind of person that is constantly comparing myself to other people and putting myself down because of it. This song is about being plagued by self loathing and the only way to get rid of it is to bring other people down with you. Not very nice, and I do hope I'm not actually like this, but I guess the dark side of me can relate. This song almost didn't get recorded - we learnt it pretty much on the day of recording - but I'm glad it do because its one of my favourites."
There is something about Australian 'indie' pop that is clearly unique and second to none when at it's best. Drawing on a long and proud history arguably beginning in the post-punk era of the late 70's influences such as The Go Betweens and early Triffids can be heard. There's also a deliberative nod to the Dunedin Sound of bands such as The Clean and The Chills.It's unassuming, jangly guitar with shared male & female vocals. Nostro
This LP is, as we say in Australia, a ripper. Perfect from start to finish with it's jangly sounds and melodies, but still with a fair bit of an edge to it. It's hard not to listen to it all in the one sitting, though at only 22 and a half minutes you pretty much can anyway. The short length of the album is the only fault I can find, and Chitter Chatter is, I reckon, one of the tracks of the year. No. 48 in my Top 100 Albums Of 2016 & Chitter Chatter No. 12 in my Top 20 Tracks Of 2016. Gavin Hellyer