INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK

After releasing their debut album two years ago, country-tinged rockers The Broken Needles moved from Townsville to Melbourne, picked up two new members and added a collection of strings and even the odd synth to their arsenal. The result is a richer, more mature sound onHoly Coastthat still retains the distinctive rough touches of the tropical north.

Lead single ‘Bound To Fade’ is an absolute highlight, and calling it one of the better local tracks of the year would not be unworthy praise. A duet between lead singer Michael Galloway and guest vocalist Laura Morgan, the song rides on a soaring string section that matches the highs and lows of the narrators’ rocky relationship. Their vocal interplay is particularly excellent, Galloway’s deep rumble a perfect counterpoint to Morgan’s angelic lilt as they trade verses before uniting in the chorus.

Elsewhere, the ramshackle ‘Cemetery’ is the band at its most visceral and electric, ditching the strings and country touches for some drunken, guitar-fuelled garage rock. ‘Headstream’ brings the country vibe back, evoking a clear image of life in northern Australia.

All in all, Holy Coast is a good record from a versatile and maturing band, and is elevated by a knockout lead single.

4/5.

Holy Coast is out now on Bandcamp.

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