It's a curveball in the time of psych, with a weird electronic cacophony Bus Vipers has announced a debut album, a music video and a free download.
Four years or more is considered an impossibly long time in between releases, but BUS VIPERS wants back into the fold. So, they’ve done the responsible thing and come back with gifts – an announcement of a debut album, a music video and a free download of the single. It’s a sneaky underhanded trick but you’ve got to love them for it because Bus Vipers haven’t been gone; they’ve been watching, waiting and creating.
For those unfamiliar with Bus Vipers, he is Daniel Ahern, a Sydney-based multi-instrumentalist who first rose to attention with singles ‘Lonely Ghost’ and ‘Orby’ which earned him a spot as a Triple J Featured Artist. He makes a self described ‘sunny garage pop in his not-always-sunny Canberra bedroom’ but his latest offering, ‘CSIRO Weeds’ put out by Future Classic, the wonderful taste-makers behind Flume and Fortunes. definitely shows off much bigger production. Oddly named (assumably) after the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, ‘CSIRO Weeds’ is an oddball of a track. To a degree, it could slide right into the mountains of psych-tinged pop dominating the airwaves at the moment, with the falsetto tone over a plethora of effects but there is something else about it. Simply, it’s weirder, noisier and not about a chill time. The track is chock full of effects and noises that distort and flurry. It’s got a solid structure so that you are never lost in the storm of sound, as even the hook ‘CSIRO Weeds’ becomes easily ingrained and stuck in your head.
In all honesty, a clear meaning is near lost but that doesn’t shuck the fact that the song has an odd addictive quality about it; it’s titillating, it’s fascinating, it’s got its very own stride. It’s somewhere around if Architecture in Helsinki got to reinvent your favourite psych revival band out of love. It's a wonderful release and this is all before talking about the music video.
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The music video is directed by Madeline Purdy with artistic direction by Prue Stent and Honey Long whose vision is truly amazing. Taking advantage of Australian landscapes, simple colour and texture compositions – the duo had Ahern being chased by three grey faceless figures in slightly disfigured suits. Fleshy masks of Ahern make multiple appearances, in sand, ponds and menacingly held by the three grey figures.
The video clip is balanced and beautiful, it’s expertly shot in that it truly has taken a landscape and formatted it just right. Of the clip, the duo said, “ All the works were made in landscapes which we felt conjured a sense of the surreal, allowing elements of Dan and his music to exist in a dream like state.” They entirely captured this; the landscapes, while familiar, possess an innate otherworld quality – you know they could exist, but not in the way that Honey and Prue see them. That’s their keen ability to create the dream-like state. The clip itself focuses on Daniel’s past identities, his grey figures chasing him down, the never-ending slog away from who you once were. It’s a beautiful and wonderful companion to track, it contextualises the hullabaloo of the track and shows a deep understanding between Madeline Purdy, Bus Vipers, Prue Stent and Honey Long. Excitingly, it doesn’t sound like the first music video was their only work together – hopefully, we will get once Federal Highway is released, further singles and music videos.
Federal Highway is set to be released by Future Classic in July and features Bus Vipers' journey through identity and toxic relationships - and if this first single is the beginning, we have a hell of a lot of good fun coming our way.
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