The southwest portion of Western Australia holds gorgeous green spaces rolling over lush landscapes. But hidden in that tranquility rests a dark subculture of substance abuse. Green Pools wrote “Albany” to explore the contrast between the peace and the unease that comes from that same peace.
With quiet, graceful piano chords, they open “Albany”, the first track on ReCollect EP. A steadily growing synth strings tone lifts the emerging harmony into the first lyrics. Like a muted Aaron Copeland through the lens of Sufjan Stevens, the scenery emerges from the notes.
But a sourness lurks in the gentle melody. Surprising minor notes and chords dip the otherwise buoyant lines into a tainted tone, mirroring the song’s theme.
Even the pared-back lyrics, a series of sentence fragments disjointed and reframed like Tiffany glass, build layers into each lightly sung word. Lines like “stain our mouths” and “burns so nice” get repeated, a literal nod to a double meaning hidden behind the beauty.
The sparse harmony leaves a lax and lackadaisical space for meaning to swirl and create the contrasts Green Pools sought to explore. So when the mildly chaotic instrumental outro starts, it feels just as jarring as the substance abuse realization would be to anyone new to the scene. They have beautifully broken our tranquility.
Stream “Albany” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.