With 5 albums, 6 appearances in triple j’s Hottest 100 and sold out national shows under their belt, Ball Park Music have well and truly succeeded in capturing the hearts of fans who crave the bands trademark indie rock/pop sound. Since forming in 2008, BPM have toured with the likes of Boy and Bear, The Jungle Giants and Cub Sport, and played sets at Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival. Fronted by Sam Cromach (guitar, vocals), the rest of the band consists of Jen Boyle (bass, backing vocals), Paul Furness (keys, trombone), Dean Hanson (guitarist, backing vocals) and Daniel Hanson (drums, backing vocals), whom met whilst studying music at the Queensland University of Technology. Their new LP (released February 16th, 2018), is sure to put you in a Good Mood as the title suggests, and keep you there for months after listening as the catchy melodic hooks continue to swirl around your mind.
With a soundscape ranging from lyrically poignant ballads to punchy and anthemic chorus hooks, the band have captured a collection of 10 songs leading on from their previous release, ‘Every Night The Same Dream’ which they stated as “the old one in our catalogue’. The band failed to place in triple j’s Hottest 100, breaking a 3 album streak, leaving them to rethink the direction and signwriting of their sound. The result is some of Cromach’s best song writing, with the stand out being lead single ‘Exactly How You Are’. A definite crowd pleaser, it is easy to picture the cast of Glee belting out the chorus whilst dancing and holding hands (admit it – you’d watch that episode). Other memorable moments include the angry and feisty track ‘Hands of my Body’, which uses relatable lyrics ‘I didn’t like my tongue, I never did / Said nothing but anxious shit’ and could be used in a high pursuit chase scene for a movie, along with closing track ‘I Am So In Love With You’, a loved-up slow dance ballad written by the bands guitarist Dean Hanson, which triumphantly brings the album to a finish.
There are a few minor let downs – the overuse of auto tune on three tracks is confusing when taking into account Ball Park Music’s DIY approach to their image and sound. Sure, artists like Kanye and Charli XCX may be guilty for using auto tune but it feels wrong for BPM to be indulging in this effect for three whole songs. ‘Frank’ is the definite example for overkill on auto tune, while ‘Dreaming of America’ would shine without the bells and whistles of vocal enhancement, instead allowing the message and raw emotion of the song to carry though.
The good (mood) outweighs the bad enormously; there is not a single dull moment in the entire LP. The production is absolutely schmick and you can certainly appreciate the many hours that went down creating the many layered sounds in the bands DIY studio (nick-named “The Bunnings Warehouse”) to pull together such a beautifully crafted album I will certainly have on repeat for a long, long time.
By Nancie Schipper