Sly Withers reveal deluxe edition of ‘Gardens’, drop Coldplay cover and new song ‘Selfish’

The band are mere hours away from kicking off a national tour in support of ‘Gardens’

Perth-based rock outfit Sly Withers have a shared details for an expanded version of their debut album, ‘Gardens’, slating its release for later this month.

Leading the seven extra tracks are two new songs, ‘Selfish’ and ‘Tell Me Why’, both of which were minted after ‘Gardens’ first hit shelves back in July. The former landed as a single yesterday (November 5) – it’s a belting pop-punk anthem lacquered in the self-deprecating liveliness that Sly Withers are best known for.

Have a listen to it below:

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In a press release, co-frontman Sam Blitvich explained that nostalgia lies at the core of ‘Selfish’, writing the track after he’d reminisced on his formative years and the friends he’d made as a teenager. “I found myself reflecting on my high school years,” he said.

“It’s weird to look back on that time of your life in, having now spent time in the ‘real world’ gaining perspective. I think most of us cringe when thinking about how we were at that age, I definitely can see a lot of selfishness in my 16-year-old self, looking back.

“At the same time, you form this intense bond with the people you were close to in that formative period, then school ends and you naturally drift away from each other over time, but the connections you formed are still very present as an undercurrent through your life.

“It’s a bit like a ‘bonds formed fighting in the trenches’ vibe and it leads to this profound emotional attachment regardless of proximity.”

In addition to ‘Selfish’, Sly Withers previewed the deluxe edition of ‘Gardens’ with a cover of Coldplay’s 2002 classic ‘The Scientist’. The version shared yesterday (and heard on the forthcoming ‘Gardens’ reissue) was professionally recorded, but the band had previously covered the track for their appearance on triple j’s Like A Version segment.

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Have a listen to Sly Withers’ new cover of ‘The Scientist’ below:

The deluxe edition of ‘Gardens’ will land on November 19 via Dew Process / Universal. Rounding out the tracklist are acoustic versions of ‘Clarkson’ and ‘Keys’ (the former of which served as the lead single for ‘Gardens’), as well as the standalone single ‘Explode Into View’ and a piano-driven redux of ‘Sleep On The Weekends’.

“People respond really well to our acoustic versions that we post on socials, so we decided to record a proper version of our acoustic arrangement of ‘Clarkson’ from earlier in the year,” fellow frontman Jono Mata said. “We decided to throw the rulebook out the window for the alternate versions of ‘Sleep On The Weekends’ and ‘Keys’. They were super fun to do and led to some really unexpected moments.

“There were a couple of times where Sam and I would share a laugh about how many ‘Sly goes show tunes’ moments we were sneaking into this. Some of it is really different to what we normally do whilst still staying true to the core songwriting that’s gotten us where we are, and we’re excited about being able to mess around with this weird, alternate universe type of thing.”

‘Gardens’ received critical acclaim upon its release, and was also supported by the singles ‘Cracks’ and ‘Breakfast’. Sly Withers are mere hours away from launching it onstage, with an 18-date national tour kicking off tonight (November 6) in Darwin. The stint will roll on until next April, with Teenage Joans and Noah Dillon locked in to support the full run.

Sly Withers scored three nominations at last year’s West Australian Music Awards, earning nods for Most Popular Live Act, Best Rock Act and Best Single (for ‘Cracks’).

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