The more I listen to ‘Leave’ – the latest offering from Sydney’s dream pop five-piece, Ultracrush – the more I like it.
Sunny and warm, it pivots slightly from their debut single ‘Swimming’ – which sparked the interest of blogs and radio stations upon its release in late 2018 – which made End of Year lists by some of Australia’s most notable tastemakers and secured them supporting slots for rising dream pop act Hatchie and Los Angeles’ Girlpool.
Where ‘Swimming’ feels more delicate and doting in nature, ‘Leave’ has a detached gusto about it. Somehow managing to tread the space between youthful idealism and the cynicism that comes as it fades. There is a resigned sadness to this track which is really quite beautiful.
“You’re floating above a lake
When you’re on top
Does all of this look open?
Well I’m underneath
And I find it hard breathing in”
Recorded by the band at home and mixed by Clay Segelov (Shady Nasty, sleepmakeswaves) at The Brain Studios, ‘Leave’ retains a hushed and intimate quality to it. Driving rhythm guitars and timeless sounding lead lines – reminiscent of Snail Mail – sit parallel to the vocal track, which are filled with warmth and a sense of ease, and implore the listener to really lean in and discover them. The synths are cinematic and surging, evoking images of a youth spent kicking round the arcade.
The whole project (‘Ultracrush’) itself has a real Stand By Me or – for a more current reference point – Stranger Things vibe to it. Bathed to bursting in nostalgia both musically and aesthetically, their imagery managing to evoke the same quality visually as their songs do, and if ‘Leave’ is any signifier for the future I would say that Ultracrush is a project to keep a close ear (and eye) on in 2020.
‘Leave’ is out now – available to Stream/Purchase here.