There’s something about listening to Major League’s melancholic slacker-pop that transports me to Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s fictional Californian nightclub and watering hole The Bronze, which hosted fierce, feminine-fronted acts in the cult show’s early years, including The Breeders, Bif Naked and Cibo Matto. “I’ll definitely tell Vlada [Edirippulige, bassist] you said that because she is a huge Buffy fan!” says vocalist and guitarist, Anna Davidson.
“The Breeders are probably the biggest influence for me. They have attitude and killer songs; they’re just all round a great band,” she says. “My Bloody Valentine inspired us to get more creative with our guitar sound and Steven Malkmus [of Pavement] is definitely one of my biggest lyrical heroes. Those bands are all big influences, all for different reasons.”
The band’s debut album Good Love is tied together with dark thematic threads and upbeat rhythms, making Major Leagues a genuine standout when compared to the fuzzy, summer-soaked bands that tend to stick to light-hearted lyricisms.
Major Leagues is one thing that has been a constant in my life, even when everything else has turned to shit.
That said, while their music can be heavy-hearted, they’re not a one-dimensional band. When Good Love’s first track ends, someone abruptly and comically belts out a theatrical introduction: “Welcome to the Major Leagues album, track two coming up next”, an addition so bizarre that I had to double check it was really in the track – and this moment perfectly captures the foursome’s cute and silly nature.
“I think Good Love is lots more cohesive than our previous releases,” Davidson says. “I think it’s probably because Jaimee [Fryer, guitarist] and I collaborated a lot more in the first stages of writing the songs. Previously we would bring our songs nearly completed to each other and the band. With Good Love, we sent each other parts and collaboratively built the songs from the bottom up.”
The title track starts with an ear-catching, glittering riff and repeats the lyric, “If you wait good love is on the way” until they become mediative. “Jaimee wrote that one,” Davidson offers. “It’s about a conversation she had with a friend of ours who was going through a really rough time.
“She had been through some shitty relationship stuff and was feeling like she’d never find someone that would really love and appreciate her. I guess in the song Jaimee is telling her that things will turn out; it will just take some time.”
When asked what drives her to make music, Davidson answers quickly. “It’s a way to express how I’m feeling. Or sometimes it’s just a good way to get out of my own head. If I’m feeling stressed or upset about something, making up a story and writing a song or even just messing around on guitar usually helps take my mind off things.”
Major Leagues sprung out of the same Brisbane music scene that fostered the growth of punk and indie acts Babaganouj, Velociraptor and DZ Deathrays. “The best thing about the scene is how supportive everyone is of one another’s bands,” Davidson says. “The worst thing is that it can still be a total boy’s club, and I still see lineups that are all bros. Things are getting better as people become more aware of how this is problematic, but we still have a long way to go.”
In the meantime, Major Leagues will just have to do what they have always done: find their support in one another. “We’ve been through so much together; the really bad and really good. Major Leagues is one thing that has been a constant in my life, even when everything else has turned to shit. We are best friends and it’s an amazing bonus that we get to travel around together doing what we all love.”
Major Leagues play Sad Grrrls Fest Sydney on Saturday November 18. For more information, head here.
While you’re on a Major Leagues kick, read our review of the band’s EP Dream States here.