The Laurels – Homecoming
Words by Oscar Byrne
Following a few release setbacks in the face of the pandemic, Sydney based garage rock four-piece The Laurels are back with their first album in six years, ‘Homecoming’. Straying away from their DIY approach to recording, the outfit laid down the ten tracks off the record at Parliament Studios in Leichhardt with the help of producer Lachlan Mitchell.
“Lachlan essentially became a fifth member of the band with all of the structural changes and melodic ideas he was throwing our way ” (Lead singer Luke O’Farrell)
With a live focus in mind, Luke O’Farrell (Guitars/vocal) and Piers Cornelius (Guitars/Vocals) pre-recorded demos and ideas that were then developed with the whole band before heading into the studio. What culminated was an atmospheric guitar driven record that’s infused with swirling elements of garage rock, baggy Madchester rhythms and shoegaze.
Tracks like Ex-Sherpa ooze with attitude, and swagger with baggy rhythms, anthemic choruses and floating vocals. Throughout the album you can hear how much influence the outfit draws from bands like the Charlatans and the Happy Mondays. A shift towards dreamier synth laden sounds is heard in tracks like ‘Ten Thousand Years’ and ‘Soul Candidate’ where O’Farrell’s entrancing vocals are put on full display.
On the albums theme of home O’Farrell says,
“We realised that a lot of the songs kept referencing “home” in the lyrics….It feels like we’ve come to the end of a journey and things have come full circle with this record, so it felt fitting that this idea of “home” kept finding its way into a lot of the tracks.”
Homecoming is an album that was well and truly worth the wait, displaying the bands ability to present an amalgamation of sounds spanning a unique range of influences. “Homecoming” ultimately showcases their maturity and capacity to continually present quality guitar driven music.