London summers are short. We get maybe 2 - 3 weeks of glorious sunshine once a year, and then that's it. Lights out. Let the grey-ness commence! On days like today, when the sunshine is attempting to break its way through the clouds, but not really getting anywhere fast, I often daydream about sitting on a beach back in Australia. Coincidentally, as soon as I pictured the beach, something popped up on my Facebook news feed about Sydney band OXBLVD recording new material, leading me down a whole other road of nostalgia.
On one of my trips back to the land of Oz last year, in fact it could very well have been earlier this year, I was sitting on Shelly Beach in Manly, with two of my dear friends, talking about the planning of our upcoming showcase at SXSW. Somehow or other, we ended up on the topic of local Aussie artists, and as always happens on Sydney's Northern Beaches, my friend Paul and I discovered that we had mutual friends/friends of friends in this great band OXBLVD.
Fast forward to the night of our showcase at SXSW, and myself and the band were all laughing at this series of 'small world' events that had lead us to them playing the closing spot for the night. Their energy was perfect, they had the late-night crowd up and dancing, and as the show drew to a close, I was overcome with this great sense of pride that this talented bunch were representing my hometown at our event.
I remember playing them for Lauren and one of our immediate thoughts was how much their sound fitted in to the southern bluesy rock genres you'd expect of a band from Austin, not suburban Sydney. Singer/lead guitarist Ed Worland's powerful, husky voice is backed by drummer Rob Turner; guitarist Jake Farriss; and bassist Josie Leicht, who all bring their own element to the overall swampy, soulful sound.
They are currently in the studio with acclaimed producer Tony Buchen (The Preatures, John Butler Trio) finishing up the mixes on their next release anticipating a single for October 2014 and a full EP January 2015. Be sure to catch them on one of their upcoming tours around the US, Canada and Europe, and have a listen to their self-titled EP below.