Review Summary: Something for Kate cannot do a thing wrong.
Something for Kate has had a densely casted enigma surrounding their movements for the last 6 years. With the meteoric rise to success of front man Paul Dempsey’s solo album, Everything is True
, it was unsure whether Dempsey would continue his success with further follow up LP’s or Something for Kate would just become would be a glorified backing band to whimsical musings of Dempsey’s musical direction. Though, Dempsey had always enforced that Something for Kate would reform and create music collaboratively again. And reform they did, spending the past northern hemisphere summer locked up in a studio in downtown Dallas, TX, Clint Hyndman, Stephanie Ashworth and Dempsey set to work on what has become Leave Your Soul To Science
. It is the 6th studio release from the band, and with it they bring everything you’d expect plus a forefront of the unexpected.
Leave Your Soul To Science
comes off different to any Something For Kate record before it, with a heavy 80’s synth laden guitars, pulsating bass and a touch of electronica which in all, correlate to a more grittier sound as the band seems to have found a rejuvenated aggression that has possessed the bands writing. On the track ‘Back to Normal’ Dempsey yelps “Do you think you can just stroll through my head like you own the fuckin’ place"”
It’s this intensity and wrenching that shows that musically the band is showing the timelessness in the sound they are encapsulating, without the feeling of being dated. This is exemplified in the climax of opening track ‘Star-Crossed Citizens’, with the sweet falsettos of Dempsey being juxtaposed by a heavily distorted guitar, crunching bass and crushing drums.
A growing fuzz of self doubt seems to be a poignant centre point for Leave Your Soul To Science
lyrical focus, as Dempsey weaves in and out of current world issues as well as seemingly vague personal thoughts and the uncertainty that the consequences of certain actions that they pertain. It seems that Dempsey beautifully asks more questions than he answers in his cries, and it is on show here, take the lead single, ‘Survival Expert’, So take a camera from the pile / and if it speaks less than a thousand words, yeah / if it tells a lie / you’re still right / you’re always right”
. ‘Survival Expert’ is the one track on the album that could easily slide into any previous Something for Kate records, with the slick soaring melody of vocals backed by a conservative rhythm section while the following track, ‘Private Rain’ couldn’t be more distant to the typical Something for Kate sound, which dredges through a melancholy psychedelic feel into a huge percussive half time climax that brings to the fore the emotive of the songs centre.
Something for Kate are out to prove that as a cohesive unit their writing is something that escapes the reaches of Dempsey’s solo work, and has grown into something authentic and organic to the group themselves. Leave Your Soul To Science
is a record that breathes a breath of fresh in the Australian music culture that is stuck in the monotony of mindless indie fickle. It articulates the importance of strong song writing and how a group of old dogs can certainly pack a punch with some brand new tricks. The grit, the poignant song writing, the endearing sentiments and the vibrancy of Leave Your Soul To Science
make you relinquish any doubt that in fact, Something for Kate are in essence the underpinning of the modern day Australian music culture.