Brainbeau – Infinite Ways
Listen to the introduction of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 single ‘Got To Give It Up’. The loose chatter, the casual clinking glasses. It feels like a party. The sound effects continue throughout the song, acting like any other instrument to put across a feeling of happiness and joy, of something bright and something fun. The Beach Boys’ Party! likewise.
In a life defined by mandatory isolation, the half-heard noises of Brainbeau’s ‘Earworm Frunk’ take on a different meaning. Heard in the midst of a viral pandemic, the sounds of the ninth song from the Brisbane duo’s new album Infinite Ways do not evoke cheer or familiarity but loss. Context is everything and music’s context has changed.
The world is full of sounds taken for granted. As the clamour of a people coming together shifts out of the reality of everyday life it becomes a mournful fantasy. Recontextualized in a world of restrictive isolation these sounds take on a new kind of emotional gravity, one of loss, nostalgia, and desire. Nothing could be more unreal than the sound of togetherness.
[Writers Note: Brainbeau are in trouble. They need your help. “We’re in a pretty shitty situation,” Kat Martin writes in an email accompanying the pre-release sound files of Infinite Ways, “with no income and no financial assistance from Australia.” Martin and the second half of Brainbeau, Chelsea Charlton, are stranded in Turkey. “We can’t even afford the flights back to Australia on our own,” Kat continues. “We’ve lost all our upcoming gigs in the UK and Germany, and our flight out was cancelled. No way to busk which we were absolutely relying on. So now we really need people to buy this album and support us on Patreon for cash to live, maybe even hopefully get home.” Make a donation here.]