Sydney’s Dappled Cities have really not stopped. One of the most steadily rising bands on the Australian indie rock scene, it’s hard to believe they could release an album better than their third, Zounds. Well, believe it or not, they have! It took four years, but highly anticipated Lake Air was more than worth the wait.
Lake Air is a beautiful amalgamation of more experience, excellent song-writing, and incredible talent. Tune after tune is catchy, memorable, and lovable. The opener, and first single, “Run With the Wind”, is an epic rock song, parts here and there almost reminding me of Queen – timeless. “The Leopard” and “Real Love” both incorporate some great harmonies, lead vocals, and a driving beat, whereas title track “Lake Air” is more laidback and quiet, with a brilliant, vocally lush chorus. Similarly, “Love Connection” is one of the less-rock-more-indie tracks on the record, and both show Dappled Cities’ versatility, performance and writing-wise.
Every time I hear the opening of “Born At The Right Time” on the radio, I have to forcibly stop myself from yelling out ‘I FREAKING LOVE THIS SONG!’ – but it’s the truth. I loved it the first time I heard it, and I haven’t stopped loving it. A solid verse, an absolutely killer chorus, and a whole lot of attitude (also, great use of falsetto) all combine to make this song a total winner, and easily one of my favourite songs of the year so far.
“Waves” is a moody ballad, quite early Rufus Wainwright-esque. “Work in the Mould” and “Icecubes” are toe tapping soon-to-be hits. Earlier this year I saw Dappled Cities support indie rock heavyweights, Death Cab For Cutie, and listening to this album, it really becomes apparent how perfect a match these two bands are. Closer “Weekend”, particularly, is quite reminiscent of early Death Cab material in the verse sections, but in the chorus it really evolves into a signature Dappled Cities tune.
All in all, this is a brilliant album by a beyond talented band that makes me proud to hail from Sydney. Hot tip: catch Dappled Cities live in a smaller venue before they take over the world. It’s inevitable, at the rate they’re going.
Review score: 9.2 out of 10