It can take time for Australian bands to make their mark in the UK. Sons of the East, consisting of Sydneysiders Dan Wallage, Nic Johnston and Jack Rollins, certainly deserve to be more well known than they are right now so hopefully their new album Palomar Parade will do it for them. On a worldwide scale, they’ve racked up an impressive 300 million streams, touring extensively across the globe selling over 30,000 headline tickets and performing to an estimated 100,000+ people to date.
Palomar Parade is their debut album. Although Sons of the East have been together for a few years, they’ve not got round to putting a whole album out until now. Say the band about this crop of songs, “Palomar Parade is all of our favourite songs written over the last two years. Some came to us in a day, some came to us over the course of a year, but all of them shone in the sometimes-brutal process of making a record.”
The album’s name – Palomar Parade – is the name of the Sydney-based studio where the boys recorded most of the tracks, in between coffee breaks and checks on the surf situation. Style wise, Sons of the East draw on folk and country traditions, mixed with blues. Their material exudes warmth and a passionate love for their craft. Their vocals are rich, emotive and textured, the instrumentation is enveloping and perfectly balanced.
Palomar Parade’s soulful opener Hard Playing Hard to Get has a distinctive feel of the late J J Cale around the vocal delivery – and the lyrics too – and that’s never a bad thing. Second track You Might Think is another beauty. This introspective, shoegazey ballad, which reminds me of The War on Drugs is propelled along by its driving beat and whispery harmonies.
Another Night is set to be another rousing number played live, with uplifting banjo and piano instrumentation adding euphoric foot-stomping joy. No One To Blame is a lush country-infused ballad which makes full use of the band’s skilful harmonies on the chorus. The way the album switches styles as it moves along through all twelve tracks makes for a well-rounded listen.