The Clever References – Tell Ben Kate

Another quality tune from the land down under. Straddling between the UK and the US, musically, not geographically (obvs!), our Oz friends have been combining the best of both. This confusingly titled ditty has the some of the vocal inflections of a band like Blink 182 and a fair degree of US garage-band kick-about hubris. Yet there’s hints of puckish playfulness that is decidedly not American and not strictly British, either.

The rhythmic chop-and-change and adroit blend of instrumentation easily dismiss the gauche simplicity of a pop tune dressed in indie garb (I’m looking at you Blink182!), and is far more inventive and authentic.

Lyrically The Clever References are going beyond the expected too, getting a little spiritual, existential even: “The song is about loneliness in the modern world,” explains percussionist Evan Keith, “…and the way we try to connect with one another yet always end up losing part of our own personalities in the process.”.

Or how about a little bit of socio-political philosophy? Bassist Mélisande Ricou: “It’s an ironic critique on western society, the superficiality of our aspirations…”

Probably best to draw your own conclusions by having a good listen. It’s top stuff.

Terri Lee