The Removalists is the spawn of Liam Halliwell, a resident of Osbourne St. I use a geotag rather than list his many bands because for guys like Liam, geography is probably a more relevant way of placing him in some musical context. He plays with different folks who hang about Osbourne St and this is his latest personal recording output. We should see some live stuff when he gets together with fellow Melbourne friends to put together a live set. The Removalists have released two EP’s on Bandcamp and Semi-professional will see a limited physical release real soon.
It’s hard to step back from a sound that has saturated my brain for a week or so. After being strangely confused by the artwork on these (Liam did mention he wasn’t pregnant), I reached an even deeper sense of confoundment when I played them back a few times. The Removalists’ crackling phone-sampled/ heavily overdubbed, home recording should sound like this but it’s fair to say I had a sonically muddled head-space after listening to Local News . Semi-Professional sunk in a lot faster and I’m running a track from that EP called ‘Better With Age’.
It has an upbeat pop melody that is undercut by a vocal that is equal parts bleak, critical and desperately honest. It opens “every opinion that I state, contradicts the former one as soon as I hear the words come out of my mouth. You keep repeating and confirming that there’s nothing new under the sun, your self-fulfilling well of wisdom is weathered, cracked and running dry”. It’s the accent in the lyrics, the way they’re not just spat out but bled over and over and the urgency of the tracking is a little suffocating which makes it even more addictive. This is really effective and despite it falling near a slacker sound it comes across more heartfelt. It’s a sound that is Australian and part of what’s happening with these jangle-pop bands but at the same time this crushing despair sung with hope is how this guy distinguishes himself.