There’s a loveable charm about Sydney psych outfit The Lazy Eyes. In a video documenting their debut EP, vocalist Itay Shacar anxiously floats an idea over the phone, “Hi Mum, think I’m gonna buy a bass on Saturday… and it’s $2000”. These Aussie teens are blazing a fresh path for psych-pop with a mesmeric throwback sound – and as that dialogue might suggest, they’re not cutting any corners.
Despite having only dropped their first single ‘Cheesy Love Song’ earlier this year, the high school formed band have quickly established themselves as one of Australia’s most promising names. Their blend of vintage instrumentation and explorative feel-good rhythms has lead to comparisons in Tame Impala and King Gizzard – including from NME. Sure, these names are flung at every new group in their field, The Lazy Eyes debut EP does encapsulate the magic of such heavyweights, packing all signs of another psych giant.
A vast amount of ground is covered in this swirling and sharp three-track release. Opener ‘Tangerine’ brings an instant summer vibrancy with off-kilter pacey basslines and snappy abstract lyricism in lines like, “Tangerine quarantine / My breakfast club’s waiting for me / They’ll do it without me / Marmalade Kool-Aid grade” – you wonder what they’ve been taking and how quickly they can get you some. At the half-way mark, the track breaks down with slowing drums and lurches deep into sludgy stoner-rock territory. It’s an elegant gear shift from dazed-out pop into gritty old school rock’n’roll.
‘The Seaside’ prefers a more reclined groove. There’s cosmic traits and deep production at play here – be it the distant sound of waves crashing against the shore or silky guitar effects. At six-minutes-long, the track lends itself nicely to a meandering and delicate jam, with a crunchy guitar squall to liven things up.
‘Cheesy Love Song’ – fittingly titled – closes as a bells-and-whistles piano ballad. The song flits between pastiche and sincerity, building on the outlandish playfulness of seventies revivalists The Lemon Twigs. Such dizzying romance also bears stark similarity to the sweetened Lennon imitations of Tobias Jesso Jr – it’s all in the execution though. There’s a maturity that suggests this band have been working hard on building on those influences, not solely depending on them.
Dusting off such well-loved old-school sounds can be risky for any band but The Lazy Eyes don’t dwell on imitating the past for too long at any point here. Perhaps it’s their youthful drive – but with an array of psychedelic soundscapes, they seamlessly find fresh joy in old methods. This vibrant introduction easily lives up to some of those heroes they’ve been compared to against – though they’re rightfully too busy having good time to worry about such expectations.
- Release date: June 19
- Record label: Self-released