Botany Bay: summer dreams, music noir, trippy ambiance…

Once in a while you tend to stumble across music accidentially, music which seems way out of the genres you usually deal with… and yet, it works. Something like this happened to me when discovering Botany Bay on jamendo.com, a platform I have been frequently using the last couple of years for various reasons. Reading tags like “pop”, “triphop”, “postrock” or “folk” weren’t really what I was looking for, but I decided to listen to it nevertheless, and, after listening to “inhale” and “moon child”, I knew I wouldn’t be likely to get this music out of my player anytime soon. Ordered both albums (as I didn’t want them to be in my collection “just” as mp3 files burned to disc), enjoyed the cover artwork, enjoyed the music, even though, as my musical tastes tend to differ, I can’t listen to the same stuff all the time…

… so in the end it took me a while to, finally, deal with “stupid summer dreams”, their latest output released earlier this year, more in-depth. And, actually (not surprisingly?), Botany Bay once again managed to be “better” than on their previous outputs. Much to my interest, they manage to excel in something I didn’t expect to be difficult, a while ago. Now, while the internet is overflowing with interesting experimental, intellectually challenging music, creating acoustic art seems not that much of a problem anymore compared to the idea of making deep, intense, demanding music which still is in accessible, melodic, in some way even “pop” in the best meaning of that term. Right this is what Botany Bay are really great at: The former twopiece which, by now, seems to have grown into a collective of inspired and active musicians, made “stupid summer dreams” an album which one can easily listen to, an album not really disturbing and, in some way, an album that seems to suit a summer day indeed… And yet, taking a closer look (listen), the music seems more dark, dense, intense than Botany Bay appeared to be ever before. Not too much different in general style, somewhere in between Pink Floyds “Division Bell”, Queensryches “Promised Land”, Alphavilles “Prostitute”, Airlocks “Symptomatic” and a whole bunch of other inspirations, “stupid summer dreams” generally seems a little more “trip-hop” than ever before, and, reading titles like “keep breathing”, “nineteen years later” or “take cover” (or the album subtitle “…an epilogue”), eventually also way more melancholic than ever.

Balancing between pop, rock, between reminiscences of soundtracks Angelo Badalamenti used to make for David Lynch movies and popular musicals (both in “take cover”), Botany Bays “stupid summer dreams” is something I like to think of as “music noir” – maybe a collection of tracks, of music made from images of dreams and visions guiding an imaginary main actor in an imaginary movie through a strange and thoughtful night, ending up knowing that it’s still some hours for the new day to rise. Overally, “stupid summer dreams” is an exceptionally strong musical performance, done by musicians who definitely know what they’re doing, and, in many respects, way better than anything wearing the “pop” label on the mainstream market these days. As the album is freely available on jamendo.com (CC-licensed), checking it out definitely is worth it… maybe buying the “physical” CD that comes with a visually very appealing cover inlay, too. 🙂 Great album, for sure making one look forward to all the things to come in the world of Botany Bay.

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