Melbourne's Pridelands released their critically acclaimed debut album, Light Bends last week via Resist Records in Australia and SharpTone Records for the rest of the globe. One of the most highly anticipated full-length debuts for those in the know of the Aussie heavy music scene, Light Bends sees Pridelands obvious potential fully realised. Mixed by acclaimed producer George Lever at G1 Productions, UK (Sleep Token, Loathe) and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic at Systematic Productions (Architects, Northlane, Periphery), Light Bends is a striking 11-song collection full of arrangements that are supple, lurching, unpredictable and exhilarating.
Upon first listen we were blown away by the sudden shifts in tone with serene moments invaded by unexpected but impactful sonic chaos. The undercurrent of unease the band conjures simmers menacingly below the surface, keeping true catharsis seemingly out of reach at all times. It is a truly immersive listening experience, forged by a band that finds inspiration in a myriad of ways and many places.
Following Light Bends release, drummer Joe Lipsham was kind enough to provide us with an in-depth insight into five things that influenced such a monolith of a debut album.
During December 2019, we spent three weeks in Tathra NSW constructing the foundations
of Light Bends. With all of us living in Melbourne at the time, Tathra allowed us to have the space to focus purely on writing the album without having typical mundane life things distracting us.
From what was meant to be just a writing session for the album almost turned into an emotional rehabilitation for us all, which is certainly reflected in the record. I believe you can hear the stress, the hurt and the healing as you progress through the album’s journey and we can credit a big part of that to those 3 weeks in Tathra.
Going into this album, we all had different art influences that were inspiring us. We were determined to incorporate all of these different styles of art in a way that would best represent ourselves, I guess.
For myself, I was listening to a lot of film scores coming into the writing of the album; there was something about the way certain production layers were used to influence the audience’s emotion that really stuck out to me. This was something that we really wanted out of Light Bends. We wanted a continuous body of music that could be listened to in full, conveying different themes of love, loss and anger. We worked extremely hard to capture that, and I feel it definitely paid off in the final product.
The Climate Of The World
During our time writing Light Bends’it was clear the world was going through a very changing time. From the Australian bushfires of 2019 straight into a world of isolation through Covid, there was a lot of opportunity for us to reflect on both ourselves, and the world around us. Our lead single Heavy Tongue is a good example of that coming out as we direct anger to the government’s mismanagement of the 2019/2020 bushfires.
As we went into 2020 and spent more time isolated due to Covid, it presented an opportunity for us to focus on completing the production of our record. The production was one of the most time-consuming aspects of completion, however it was what gave the record it’s ‘glue’. It was due to that isolation period that we were able to take it from eleven separate tracks to one whole cinematic journey.
I believe Light Bends is a clear example of what can happen when a group of people with various art influences can come together and create something unique. When writing this record, everyone involved contributed in a unique way which shaped how the final product was achieved. Beyond the band, choosing to work with the external people that we did such as George Lever, Kez Ellis-Jones and Pat Fox was one of the best decisions we have made. We were super comfortable to extend our full trust to this team to take the art beyond what we could have hoped. It was quite special to be able to present an album where you can see/hear a mixture of all of us and our team, which resulted in the unique record that it is.
We have been a band for a long time and I guess in that time period we have learned a lot of lessons. These lessons have absolutely shaped both the band, and us individually as we have moved through our journey. When creating Light Bends, we wanted to put each and every part of that journey into it, which is why for us it is so weighted. Reflecting on it, I suppose that’s why it has such an emotional and deep feel to it. We definitely knew how much was resting on this album and presenting an honest representation of ourselves and our journey was the most important priority for us.
Pridelands debut album Light Bends is out now via Resist Records/SharpTone Records
Listen to Pridelands Light Bends