Melbourne indie rockers City Calm Down definitely know a thing or two about hype. After signing to local label I Oh You and delighting us with their Movements EP three years ago, the boys took a minor sabbatical and left fans pining for more broody bravado.
Finally, after three long years, City Calm Down have delivered killer tracks like Rabbit Run and Wandering in the lead up to their debut album, and if the band’s sold-out Newtown Social gig last night was anything to go by, it’s all well worth the wait.
Unified in suave black button-downs, City Calm Down kicked off their Sydney show with their debut album’s title track, In A Restless House. Although it might have been a first for the crowd’s ears, vocalist Jack Bourke immediately captivated, while a stripped-back synth intro led to a distinctive City Calm Down crescendo.
Humbled by the eager turnout, Bourke thanked the crowd as he wrapped his mic cord around his shoulder, “It’s fantastic to see so many of you tonight.” To everyone’s delight, the boys then pegged it back to 2014 with Pavement. Darting around the stage with a level of Peter Garret enthusiasm, Bourke calmed the chaotic synths with his commanding baritone, while the crowd mimicked his every word.
Peppering their set with a few tracks off their upcoming debut album, each unknown song offered a mix of clean guitar licks, swelling drums and hints of ‘80s Aussie rock.
Phones were a flurry during both Rabbit Run and Wandering as a sax and trumpet joined the small stage. With both tracks now radio regulars, punters shoulder-snapped to every beat and echoed the chorus between sips.
City Calm Down’s freshest single, Son, rounded out the night before the band triumphantly closed with their energetic 2012 track Dare.
Both tight and unpretentious, City Calm Down’s solo Sydney gig was a satisfying and cohesive amalgam of new and old. Similarly to I Oh You lads DMA’s, City Calm Down are undoubtedly destined for big things, and with their debut album drop just weeks away, it’s safe to say we’ll be hearing a lot more from these moody Melbournites.
City Calm Down close out their national tour in Brisbane on Friday, 30th October. The group’s debut album ‘In A Restless House’ is set for release on 6th November.
Listen: City Calm Down – Son