Aubergine, the second EP this year from Sydney four-piece Green Mohair Suits,fits snugly on the shelf of second-tier country music, but manages to wriggle out of this framework through quality musicianship and songwriting.
With all the twangs, slides and flannel-clad guitar riffs expected of a band which hangs on the tails of Gram Parsons, what makes you sit down and take Aubergine seriously is the attention the Green Mohairs have given to their songwriting and harmonisation. Songs like ‘We’ll Pull Through’ provide a healthy dose of whisky wisdom, refracted through euphoric harmonies that are almost perversely joyful in exploring angst-driven themes of love, loss and family. The result is something like if Cat Stevens was given a banjo and some fluoxetine and put to work.
The winner of the record is ‘Seeds Sown’. Well-buried in the middle of the playlist and stripped down to only a piano, the boys’ barbershop blues harmonics take the stage, driving home a resolute message of a relationship soaked with regret.
Aubergine delivers a meaty, eggplant-coloured plate of garage-grass that is far more subtle and tender than it would have you believe at first, like a truckie who digs Brahms and bubble baths.
Aubergine is out now through Independent / Bandcamp.