Words by Paul Maland
Photos by Eleanor Johnson-Firth
Yewth is proud to exclusively premiere the latest release from Adelaide's own synth-pop quartet Only Objects.
Combining pop hooks with the structures and language of dance music, all performed with a full live band, Only Objects "create tunes to tug at both your feet and your heart strings," the group says of their newest release.
Their latest double A-side single 'Black Lipstick & Broken Hearts' / 'Sway' (feat. Alice Girl) showcases two very different, distinctive sides of their musical personalities.
"I think of 'Black Lipstick & Broken Hearts' and 'Sway' as two sides of the same coin, or two similar ideas expressed in different ways, which is one of the reasons we released them as a double single," says vocalist Patrick Lang.
"'Black Lipstick' was written after the fact, and is about trying to put yourself back together again. There's some anger mixed in there, sure — 'I know I was wrong, but I have also been wronged' is the key message of the chorus, after all — but mostly it's about trying to work out where you are," he says of the inspiration behind the lyrics on the double release.
"The idea of home is really important to me, and a lot of the song is talking about trying to find that sensation again. When you've lost someone and, without them, your house doesn't feel like your house, your bed doesn't feel like your bed — no part of your life feels right, you know?
"It's like you've fallen into some strange parallel dimension where everything is just a little bit off. 'Black Lipstick' is very much about a yearning to find your home again, when you can't even locate yourself just yet," he says.
It has the bright, shiny exterior and emotive chord changes that recalls New Order circa Brotherhood, but wrapped around production that feels furiously contemporary — with all the filtered sweeps, house bass lines and dramatic stops.
Meanwhile, ‘Sway’ (featuring Adelaide songstress Alice Girl), is a far more introspective tune, telling a tale of complex relationships in Patrick's rhythmic vocal style.
"'Sway' was written at a time where I was trying really hard to save a relationship that had become very complicated,
"It's about working out the things that are important. That, despite all the complexities and difficulties of life and love, sometimes the simplest things, the most intuitive things, are what matter — like standing in the dark, holding someone's hand and swaying together while music plays." he says.
"Ultimately I think it's a hopeful song. The coda is 'I don't know if we're gonna make it, but I will try', because when things are uncertain, sometimes all you can do is just try,
"It's the song of ours that people comment on the most — it doesn't really sound like anything else that we play, and it's obviously quite personal to me. In the end, I couldn't save that relationship (despite really trying), so the song has become a strange sort of requiem for that part of my life," he says.
With sonic nods towards U.K. trip hop and an intriguing coda that nudges the tune toward drum and bass territory, ‘Sway’ is a puzzle box of a song, revealing additional layers
with each listen.
The single is also complemented by a series of remixes from Adelaide’s finest producers. Tim Whitt, Nox and A-Duff tackle ‘Black Lipstick’, bringing down-tempo, dub-step and DnB variations respectively, while Aletro, Mader and Louis Bullock turn in future-pop, dream-pop and drone versions of ‘Sway’.
1. Black Lipstick & Broken Hearts (4:17)
2. Sway (feat. Alice Girl) (4:13)
3. Black Lipstick & Broken Hearts (Tim Whitt Remix) (5:09)
4. Black Lipstick & Broken Hearts (NOX Remix) (4:10)
5. Black Lipstick & Broken Hearts (A-Duff Remix) (4:15)
6. Sway (feat. Alice Girl) (Aletro Remix) (3:16)
7. Sway (feat Alice Girl (Mader Remix) (4:07)
8. Sway (feat. Alice Girl) (Louis Bullock Remix) (5:30)
Only Object's double single 'Black Lipstick & Broken Hearts' / 'Sway' (feat. Alice Girl) is available now.
You can stream it on their Soundcloud, or purchase it on Futuresounds Adelaide's Bandcamp.
You can also catch Only Objects live at The Metro on Friday night.