If there’s one Australian band on the tip of everyone’s tongue – and on the brink of international success – it’s City Calm Down. The Melbourne four-piece has been simmering away locally since forming in 2008, with its brand of retro-tinged electro-indie-pop. Last month the band released its long-awaited debut album, and was signed to London-based booking agency Coda, whose impressive artist roster includes Disclosure, Bon Iver and homegrown talents Flume, Tkay Maidza and Eves the Behavior.
In a Restless House is an album full of forward-momentum: pulsing verses, rousing choruses and singer Jack Bourke’s distinctive baritone throughout. Similarities to The National are undeniable, but notes of Chvrches, Empire of the Sun, the Horrors and Joy Division slip in, too.
Catch the band this New Year’s Eve if you’re heading to Falls or Lost Paradise, or book tickets early for an album tour show in April.
Broadsheet: How do you construct a song together as a band?
Jeremy Sonnenberg: There are no hard-and-fast rules as to how we go about constructing a song, and the beginnings of a track can come from anywhere; a vocal melody in isolation; a repetitive bassline; a drum loop; some chords on the synth… we will take any singular or combination of inputs and find ways of trying to flesh them out into something more substantial (and hopefully something we are all vibing).
While the making of In A Restless House was quite a drawn-out process, the actual coming together of many of our ideas and final songs happened over an incredibly prosperous six-to-nine-month period where we escaped to the countryside or beach over a series of long weekends.
Thankfully we came away with an album (or three)’s worth of substantiated songs that we all felt really good about!
BS: Apart from music, what inspires you?
JS: I find it beneficial to consume a lot of visual material: be it photography, painting, digital design or architecture. Beyond material created/compiled by humans, nothing else pushes me to create like spending time in and among nature. We are really blessed in Australia to have some pretty freakish and amazing creatures and plants on our back-step, and I’ve definitely grown to appreciate the influence of these elements in my creative process over the past few years.
BS: Fantasy support slot – any band, anywhere, any era?
JS: Sheesh, tough one! But I would happily “settle” for a Prince tour support. The Era would have to be mid-to-late ‘80s for a European and Americas – it would have been madness: the man at his biggest, best and most ostentatious.
City Calm Down plays Falls Festival Lorne in December and Lost Paradise. Tickets for the album tour in April available here: