Island of the Dogs

by Blackbirds FC

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about

Melbourne band Blackbirds FC mark their return to stages and the airwaves in 2021 with a brand new single ‘Island of the Dogs'


In 2019 the Victorian quintet released their debut album Field Recordings, its collection of alternative country rock songs receiving acclaim from respected Australian music journalists and broadcasters such as Stuart Coupe, Noel Mengel and Paul Gough.


“A great song lives beyond your time and mine. You can find 12 of them on Field Recordings, a record to treasure when many of this year’s next big things are forgotten”
Noel Mengel (Music Trust E-Zine)


Now in 2021 they’re back in the studio recording their second full-length album and the first fruits of their labour have arrived in the form of the lush melodies and chiming sounds of single ‘Island of the Dogs’. Inspired by the teenage memories of songwriter Jeremy Gronow, the song transports the listener back to summer nights at Phillip Island in the 1980’s.

“My family would go to these cheesy yacht club dinner dances at a motel called Yackatoon in Cowes. The entertainment was always provided by a bloke with a big Lowry organ with a very primitive drum machine,” Jeremy recalls vividly. “Basically the guy’s set was playing show tunes and working through the various dance rhythms – the Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Salsa and so forth. It was incredibly kitsch and absolutely torturous for me as a young music fan just starting to get into alternative stuff.”

“I’d sneak out of the motel and go across the road to the Isle of White Hotel beer garden. I’d stand there listening to the older, cooler kids partying to ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ and ‘Come Said the Boy’ and desperately wishing I could get inside. After the pub closed there would be people doing burn outs in Sandmans and utes out the front until the cops came,” reminisces Jeremy. “I thought it was all the best thing ever.”

Musically, the band continue to weave nuanced and intelligent indie rock into their cosmic and baroque, country and folk-rock sound. Jeremy also reveals that "on 'Island of the Dogs' we were also drawing from a mutual love of The Police, Talk Talk, The Pretenders and XTC. All bands we never left behind from the 1980’s."

From the same decade, one can also hear the ghosts of bands like The Triffids, Prefab Sprout and The Go-Betweens exchanging sonic pleasantries with current contemporaries such as Halfway, The Church, Paul Kelly, Iron & Wine and Wilco. The rhythm section chops and tumbles with precision and a gentle pulse, while the guitars jangle with dreamy verve as Gronow explores the sounds of personal and cultural nostalgia.

lyrics

ISLAND OF THE DOGS J.Gronow 23 January 2021
Verse 1
Take down, your fences
Call off those, pretenders
Are we all, just luminescence?
Floating in the wake of our obsessions?
Chorus
Back on the Island of the dogs, they’re laughing, at the foolish dreams we make
Hear them every night, calling, young lovers to the break
And I tried, I tried to tell you how the whole damn thing would play
Cats eyes and day light shows the way ahead
Verse 2
Late night, Skin crawling
When you get home this morning?
You made plans, I did not
Somewhere in the crossfire I forgot
Chorus
Back on the Island of the dogs, they’re laughing, at the foolish dreams we make
Hear them every night, calling, young lovers to the break
And I tried, I tried to tell you how the whole damn thing would play
Cats eyes and tail lights show the way ahead
Bridge
At night the island comes alive, black ash garden of delight
They all want to make their own way, home
Verse 3
Half-light, still water
Come to me, take me over
Everything that you said
Everything is louder than everything else
Chorus
Back on the Island of the dogs, they’re laughing, at the foolish dreams we make
Hear them every night, calling, young lovers to the break
And they tried, they tried to tell you
It was always gonna be this way
Cable ties and dank lies show the way ahead.

credits

released February 10, 2021
Song by Jeremy Gronow
Production and mastering by Cameron McKenzie
Artwork by Phil Campbell

Blackbirds FC are:
Phil Campbell: Drums, percussion
Julien Chick: Bass
Jeremy Gronow: Vocals, guitars
Gina Hearnden: Vocals, guitars
Bec Long: Cello
With special guest Cameron McKenzie on lead guitar and backing vocals.

Recorded at Station Place Studios, Glenhuntly, January 2021.

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about

Blackbirds FC Melbourne, Australia

BLACKBIRDS FC

Featuring members of The Hollowmen, Helvelln, the Vanda’s and Flicker, Blackbirds FC play their own brand of alternative country rock inspired by the Go-Betweens, The Church and Wilco. 

Formed in 2017, the band released the EP Life Sciences in 2018 and their debut album Field Recordings in 2019.

After a quiet 2020, the band are working on their second album.
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