You can be forgiven for thinking Pond are just a side project from the monumental success of Tame Impala. Two of the current Pond line-up have at some time also been touring members of Tame Impala, and from 2012 onward, mastermind Kevin Parker has produced every album. But Pond are far more than just the middle of some Australian pysch-rock Venn diagram.
A fantastic band in their own right, Pond successfully combine their Perth-born psychedelia and goofy sense of humour to give way to funky, synth-soaring anthems courtesy of an arsenal of talented musicians. Tasmania is their eighth record but only the fifth to be released outside of Australia and it truly boasts their individuality.
The shimmering single ‘Daisy’, released mid-January, opens the record with an unsettling melancholic string section and the echoes of lead-singer Nick Allbrook’s nostalgic musings. Just as you’re slipping into the rabbit hole of the escalating, dizzying sonic mess, a swift drum beat and the punchy line, “nobody heard me crying in my sleep” brings you out of the haze. Matched with the accompanying video, the track feels energetic and dreamy in the wake of springtime. The bittersweet lyrics allude to an underlying darkness in the song which sets the tone for the whole album.
As Pond take us on a Tasmanian tour through a world of deep synth textures and groovy bass tones, the next stop is the title track which comes complete with jangly melodies entwined with hushed vocals and an ethereal, enormous chorus. Not forgetting a shredding guitar solo to see the song out.
‘The Boys are Killing Me’ follows suit as an epic power ballad. Get sucked in by warped soundscapes and a hook so enchanting it will be relentlessly floating around your brain for days.
Ranging from glittery glam-pop to 8-minute kaleidoscopic masterpieces, a lot of ground is covered. The lengthy “Burnt out star” may be a slow-burner, but it really does glow with cosmic intensity. The album fades out with the remnants of the eerie closing track, leaving you with the lingering ghost of the record.
It won’t be long before you delve back in and experience the record again from its majestic start to its haunting finish. Tasmania has proven to be an important addition to Pond’s colourful spectrum of a discography.