The last six months have been amongst the best of my time. A home base in Toronto and extensive travels about North America gave me the time and space to work on different projects while consuming Australian music through a more long-form process.
Each flight, cross city train ride, or 7 hour bus ride across great snowy landscapes lent itself to a more reflective consumption of music. In particular, new records from Beaches and Standish/Carlyon demanded my attention. But it was A Warm Reception, the new EP by I’lls that kept swallowing my thoughts.
What follows is a series of camera phone pictures accompanied by direct quotes from the stranger folks I met along the way.
It’s an essay explaining a visual and very personal story of a 6 week road trip circling the East Coast of the USA; driving from the fishing villages in Maine, stopping by haunted mansions in Savannah – to hanging out in dingy New Orleans jazz clubs and tourist-ing the maze of museums in DC. The colour, smell, sound and atmosphere of 5000 miles of the pure American dream…
Track 1: ‘Speak Low’
“I don’t drink coffee. Or drink that much. I’m not really addicted to anything…except, well, I’m a sex addict. Anyway, so you want to hear a haunted story?”.
Track 2: ‘Plans Only Drawn’
“I hear you like the Man From Snowy River? I’m a big fan. I’ve got an 8’ kangaroo whip. I’ll crack it for y’all if you like?”
Track 3: ‘Outright’
“I play a Benjamin Franklin glass harmonica for tourists on the freedom trail. I’ve pretty much learnt every national anthem so that if someone asks for the… Mongolian national anthem (she gestures with her fingers) I can play it.”
Track 4: ‘Sharing’
“Aren’t you two just a gorgeous couple? And on this lovely sunny day, that’ll be a pretty picture.”
Track 5: ‘To All The Blurred’
“Oh, hey… I laid some carpet in Elvis’ house. 6 weeks after he died. Man, that was a long time ago. Hey could you spare some change for a veteran with colon cancer?”
Track 6: ‘Mine’s Here or My End’s Here or Nineteen’
“My biggest fear is losing my special lady friend cause that’s what gets me through the night.”
I’lls Warm Reception EP available through Yes Please here.
Catch them launching the EP tonight at Yes Please’s 2nd Birthday:
July 18 – Melbourne
The Worker’s Club