Being that I am sat here scribbling away whilst looking out at the midday traffic flowing along one of the main routes through downtown Swindon, the mystery and logistical majesty of the infamous Magic Roundabout just out of view but not earshot, it is easy to see why my ears prick up when I hear the echoes of this town’s other icons, XTC, in The Silverbeets’ latest single.
I’m not saying that these Australian indie art rockers are plunderers or plagiarists, far from it, and they are just as likely influenced by more home-grown purveyors of discerning pop as Split Enz or Crowded House. But it is in such bands that you can always find those perfect collision of pop and rock, beguiling charm and Byrdsian chime, groove and melody, accessibility and alternative sonics, and you find all that, and more, right here.
Channelling the idea that the powers that be seem to have lost all respect for the man in the street, they marry this poignant message to some cool pop riffs delivered via raw edged rock guitars, indie grooves and spacious, and indeed soulful, licks. We Mattered (Once Upon a Time) comes ahead of Halcyon Days, a forthcoming full length album to follow and if these mellifluous power-pop tones are anything to go by, it’s going to be eagerly snapped up by those who appreciate that part of the sonic Venn Diagram where pop, rock and indie all intersect. It’s a small spot, but it is a sweet one for sure.