Alpine – “Come On” (Stereogum Premiere)

Australian indie-pop crew Alpine craft pop songs with manicured precision, nudging every sound into exactly the right place. They made some waves a few years ago with their still-great single “Gasoline,” and they’re returning this summer with sophomore LP Yuck. Following the breezy “Foolish,” second teaser track “Come On” is an effective exercise in restraint, a track built around a thudding rhythmic heartbeat and dual frontwomen Phoebe Baker and Lou James’s beautifully harmonized vocals. Needling pinpricks of guitar dance around the edges until all of the song’s elements finally swirl together, igniting briefly and suddenly before simmering back down just as quickly. Listen.

Also, here’s some insight from the members of Alpine. First up is guitarist/album co-producer Christian O’Brien:

This is my favourite track on the album. It’s not a single but it really sets a scene which is why it is the opening song. I wrote this sparse instrumental with a big cluster of notes on the one beat and some noodling guitar and I had no idea where it was going to end up. Phoebe sings the hook “kindness seems to be getting me nowhere” with a swing that kind of reminds me of a southern work song. Really wild combination. The first chord you hear on the piano in a 10 note Ebm11, I was playing round with some chords from 4 hand piano scores and I really got into the sound of single chords spread over four, sometimes five octaves. Then piano is then mushed into this stab from a 30s big band combined with these huge Chinese toms. And then me noodling on my telecaster on top.

Vocalist Phoebe Baker:

Vocally, it’s a very powerful song to sing, almost operatic. I remember it just pouring out in the studio and feeling very cathartic. It sings with this strong sense of longing or of force. As if you are feeling both immensely fed up and totally ready to push forth. People are always told they are the captain of their own ships, but it doesn’t always strike a chord. This song to me, captures the very first time you realise you’re looking after yourself, and you can capture as much or as little opportunity as you will. That moment can be kind of exciting and stagnant at the same time, hence the line “Come on, I can move my own life.”

Yuck is out 6/16 via Votiv. Pre-order it here.


Tags: Alpine