Features

Love Letter To A Record: Second Idol’s Maxine Gillon On Laughing Clowns’ ‘Everything That Flies…’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become. 

In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Maxine Gillon, Second Idol – Laughing Clowns, ‘Everything That Flies… (1982)

Ed Kuepper’s colossal oeuvre is so diverse and prolific. He’s an enormous inspiration to me as an Australian artist who has consistently made varied and compelling work throughout his entire career. Most famous historically as a founding member and guitarist in The Saints, his next band directly after their breakup were Laughing Clowns. They are simply put; as good as it gets in terms of music, in terms of art, in terms of transfiguration into a different realm of consciousness.

They are truly one of the most idiosyncratic bands of the post-punk era (worldwide) and have unfortunately been a bit lost in the annals of history. They blended elements of experimental jazz, post-punk, and Kuepper’s own hypnotic style of song writing; but there is no clear way to describe the end result in writing.

This EP contains my favourite track of theirs, ‘Everything That Flies (Is Not A Bird’. This song encompasses everything I admire and aim to achieve in music. The instrumentation is so sprawling and tense, manically careening around ominous horns, skittering drums, bounding bass and the discordant/serene menace of Kuepper’s guitars. The lyrics; an absurdist pre/post-civilisation pantomime. A surreal cinematic landscape is immediately conjured before your ears at the hands of their collective musicianship.

It’s the type of music that sounds completely removed from immediate reality; that encompasses a metaphysical otherworldly atmosphere. It’s deeply captivating because every member is as distinctive as each other; no one is in the background or merits more focus than the other. This is something I find incredibly inspiring and is at the forefront of my mind as a musician.

Second Idol are a Sydney based alternative-rock quartet who’ve just revealed their earnest debut EP ‘Defence Mechanisms’ – produced, mixed and mastered by Nick Franklin (Peking Duk, Polish Club, CLEWS).

Listen & catch their list of celebratory tour dates below!

SECOND IDOL – TOUR DATES

SAT 19 JUN | CHIPPO HOTEL, SYDNEY NSW
SAT 31 JUL | DICEY’S SATURDAYS, WOLLONGONG NSW
SUN 1 AUG | SIDEWAY BAR, CANBERRA ACT

Latest on Music Feeds

Load more