Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heavy Rotation: Washington

I heard an interview a few months ago with a girl that was referred to as "Washington." Like Cher. Or Madonna. Or Prince. Or....Wait, I'm getting distracted. Anyway, she was interviewed, and then they played this cute, boppy song that I couldn't get enough of.

So, it turns out that this Washington girl was Megan Washington, of the band Washington. Born and raised in Papua New Guinea, Washington moved to Brisbane with her family in 1997, where she studied jazz at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. After moving away from jazz, she performed with a variety of ensembles before launching the band Washington in 2008 and releasing an EP, Clementine . They won Triple J's unearthed competition in November 2008 and things really took off, performing at Big Day Out and releasing a second EP, How To Tame Lions, in 2009. In July this year, Washington released their debut album.

May I present to you I Believe You Liar by Washington.
First of all, I find this cover art a little....weird. I don't think it matches the tone of the album at all, but that's a minor complaint and I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with me.

Anyway, like I said, I heard this boppy song that was infectious and fun and just really, really great to listen to. So, I did that weird thing again - I went into a shop and bought the ACTUAL CD, and popped it into my car stereo. That was about a month ago. People, it has not left my speakers since that day. I play it constantly.


Upon the first listen, it seems so carefully crafted. The arc of the songs seems so polished that if you didn't know anything about the band, you could be mistaken for thinking it was a second or third studio album. But after the second listen, then the third and about halfway through the fourth rotation, you may stop yourself for a split second, realising that you've lost yourself completely in the music. And not in an intense, geeky way like a uni student trying to impress the girl he wants to ask out. In a real "holy crap, this music is addictive and I don't want it to stop" kind of way.

Washginton's style jumps around a little bit, but the sampling of different styles, from some 1950s and 60s soulful guitar to the crackalicious pop songs, every song is a three minute rhythmic hook, sucking you in in less than five seconds. The lyrics are open and honest, sometimes even carefree, which makes a nice change from the overwhelmingly annoying earnest wailings of some Australian female singers, like, oh, say Missy Higgins or Kasey Chambers. The slower numbers are interjected in between the energetic songs, and it really is very much like listening to the emotional journey of a woman in her early twenties.

Some of my favourites include Rich Kids, Clementine and  How To Tame Lions, but my absolute favourite (and the boppy song I mentioned earlier) is by far Sunday Best:
Seriously, how awesome is this clip? And how catchy and fun is the song?

In conclusion, I highly encourage you to purchast this album. ASAP.

In a word: fantastic
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