Australian duo Mess Esque have announced their second studio album for release this coming October.
The band – composed of Dirty Three guitarist Mick Turner and McKizko vocalist Helen Franzmann – will release the self-titled album through Courtney Barnett‘s independent label, Milk! Records. Mess Esque were previously linked to Melbourne label Bedroom Suck, and will continue to be distributed internationally by independent Chicago label Drag City.
The duo have also shared the video for a new single, ‘Take It Outside’. The song’s clip was directed by Turner, who also works as a visual artist. Watch it below:
In a press statement, Franzmann explained how her vocal takes for the song were largely recorded in the middle of the night.
“Mick received a lot of warts and all recordings from me because I would get up at 2am, give it a couple of passes, press send and fall back into bed,” she said.
“[I] had the sense I could trust him pretty early on.”
Turner, meanwhile, notes that the acapella vocals Franzmann had sent him were “in between keys A#+7/12 or something”, meaning he had to “retune [his] guitars by ear to fit.”
“It came together quickly,” he said.
“I was feeling The Slits and X-Ray Spex, two of my favourite bands from the late ’70s, but of course it came out sounding like Mess Esque.”
The duo was formed in 2019, with both members sending ideas back and forth between Turner’s home in Melbourne and Franzmann’s home in Brisbane.
Due to the pandemic, Mess Esque recorded the entirety of their debut album without meeting in person. The end result, ‘Dream #12’, was released in March 2021.
The band then made their live debut in May 2021 – coincidentally, performing at the Milk! Records shopfront in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg.
‘Mess Esque’ is set for release on October 22.