Melbourne singer-songwriter Dinosaur Beard (aka Adam Finnegan) has today released the alt-rock single “Translucent Skin” and announced his debut EP A Mountain of Cotton Gold, due 14 October.
Written during Melbourne’s last lockdown, the track’s brooding melodies and poetic lyrics comment on the decline of political structures in modern society. Heavily influenced by the effects of the pandemic, the dark concept of the song is contrasted by underlying themes of hope and resilience.
““Translucent Skin” was the first song I wrote out of the batch of songs that made it onto the EP,” Dinosaur Beard explains. “I wanted to make a bold statement for the first single. Something dark, esoteric and a little different for me. Taking some cues from bands like The Cure, Interpol and The Smiths. I wanted something that encompassed the entire tone of the EP while still being a unique composition in its own right.”
The four-track project was recorded by Aaron Dobos (Ceres, Alex Lahey, The Avalanches) at Sing Sing recording studios in Melbourne. “Translucent Skin” was also the first track from the EP that Dinosaur Beard got fully involved with and carefully crafted to the result that we know.
“Demoing it at home before taking it to my collaborator El Paul Michel in his home studio in Pascoe Vale, where we really fleshed out the song with additional bass and synths. Using reverse guitar parts, off kilter bass loops and a myriad of other experimentation to create something truly unique and nuanced.”
Accompanying the single is a self-directed video that visually captures the song’s narrative. Filmed in the Yarra Valley, Dinosaur Beard also enlisted his friends to decorate his living room with branches and fabric to set the scene.
“I began shooting the clip a few months ago. Really yearning that connection to nature I had dearly missed in lockdown, I ventured out to the Redwoods Forest in Warburton. I spent the whole day filming just using my iPhone. I wanted to visually capture the feeling of transformation and alchemy that the forest can provide.”
In addition to the announcement, Dinosaur Beard shared five albums that influenced his sound with us.
Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
I remember hearing this album when it first came out. I was in QLD and became obsessed with it. It was such a stark comparison to being in beautiful sunny QLD and listening to this dark brooding NYC music. It moved me and I fell in love at how cinematic, atmospheric and passionate the music was. When I was in NYC a few years ago I went to a great exhibition called Meet You in the Bathroom which was a great exposé on the band and a lot of the other fantastic music that came from that era in NYC.
Snail Mail – Lush
I was obsessed with this album all throughout the making of this EP. In particular the song “Pristine” – it has everything I love in a song. Heartfelt lyrics, catchy choruses and an awesome punchy garage sound to it. It really moves me whenever I listen to it!
At The Drive In – Relationship of Command
I was lucky enough to see ATDI play as a teenager just before they disbanded. I remember being impressed with their super DIY punk rock approach to their music. The way they would set their own stage up and soundcheck themselves. Their live show was purely electrifying and was my first real introduction to punk rock. I’ve taken this DIY approach to all my music across the years, whether it’s putting together my own shows, making my own film clips, artwork or recordings.
Bjork – Homogenic
This album is amazing. Bjork is such a polarizing brilliant artist. I must admit it did take me a while to get into her music. It wasn’t until a long while after this release that I discovered it and became obsessed. The avant-garde nature of her music is so interesting, how she experiments and has made her own path as an artist is very inspiring to me.
Smashing Pumpkins – MACHINA/The Machines of God
This was one of those albums I hadn’t listened to in a long time and has come back around for me in a big way. I had it on heavy rotation throughout the writing of these songs. It’s such a dynamic album. I love the instrumentation and Corgan’s esoteric lyrics in this album. I would spend the morning watching live shows from this era and then go about the whole day writing and recording with the mood in mind.
To celebrate the release, Dinosaur Beard will be performing at Brunswick Artist Bar in Melbourne on Friday, 5 August, supported by Jordan Clay Band and Isabelle Skye. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated!