BMA Single review by Vince Leigh
Shoegazing but make it ambitious
Queensland-based music artist Alex Edwards has released Brisbane Ramblings, a teaser for his Fantasia Fugue album due early in 2023. Recently a finalist for the esteemed Billy Thorpe Prize in 2022, Edwards has established himself as one of the notable emerging voices up north. Yet, he is more than a mere singer-songwriter; he is also an accomplished writer, earning a national literature award in 2021 for his short story, The Psychotic Mind, and authoring two books.
Brisbane Ramblings is an aptly titled track for more reasons than one. On the one hand, we have the cyclical, guitar-cloaked sound that blends 90s indie shoegazing style with an amiable diverse rawness. On the other, we have an ambitious streak that compels the listener to note the lyric, not just for its opaque veracity but its ability to come off as natural and ingrained to the melodic choices as the surrounding sonics are to the fluidity of the groove. This mix of ambiguity with a solid indie-rock musical base seems to work, guiding us along Edwards’s fragmented narrative and unbridled meter.
An example of Edward’s penchant for pop experimentation is evident in lines such as, ‘Arrested, love was on a bloody tether there where way down, there he waits / Was annulled by the sunspot’s sully and annoyed by the soundscape’s letter’. One can only appreciate this reach, subverting the personal and dousing the dense colouring across a backdrop of freewheeling jangle and the occasional burst of musical dexterity.
Alex’s musical outings began with the release of his debut album, Flight Frost, a collection of twenty songs that fused singer-songwriter and folk-indie genres. This album paved the way for his 8-track sophomore EP, Fealty Fjords, which attracted international attention and praise. Modnoe FM in Saint Petersburg succinctly encapsulated the artists’ work with the comment, ‘Beautiful songs, sensual voice.’ Subsequent albums, Flown Frosted and Freedom Fiesta, further solidified Alex’s notoriety, with the track I Have Schizophrenia, the most familiar.