POND are known for their psych-pop grandiosity, but their newest album ‘9’ was created with more than just their psychedelic sound in mind.
Photos by Olivia Cummings
POND, the sister band of Tame Impala, set their own terms as trailblazers of the psych-pop genre with Nick Allbrook’s sonically charged vocals. They have been gaining their own momentum in the ever-growing Aussie music scene since their debut release Hobo Rocket via Spinning Top Records in 2013.
Lyrically, 9 takes POND into uncharted territory. Allbrook’s songs here take a more impressionistic tack than before, resulting in both the hilarious one-liners within "Human Touch’s Gonzoid Thrash" (sample lyric: “she was jacking a car but she seemed quite nice so I let her use the toilet in my place”) and the social and environmental concerns of blissed out closer "Toast," which addressed both last year’s bush fires and the appalling wealth divide in Allbrook’s childhood home in Western Australia.
Above all though, what you get from 9 is a sense of creative abandon and just plain fun. If it was only a fraction as enjoyable to make as it is to listen to then they must have been having a hoot.
The Perth natives have always had the perfect infusion of fuzzy psychedelia, electro pop, and Krautrock but you’ll never guess what they pick up on our newest installment of Shoplifting.
"We're in a nostalgic mood today. For years we’d do these things and try to show everyone how we are super into music that wasn't rock or modern music or whatever. Now we are just going back and choosing stuff we used to listen to, it’s funny." - Jay "GUM" Watson
Jay “GUM” Watson - Vox, guitar, keys, drums, synthesizer
I've never heard this, really, but it's a live album by The Groundhogs. There was another Road Hogs in there, but that was from 1987. This was a better year for The Groundhogs and I know half of the songs. I really like the two albums Split and the one before it is Thank Christ for the Bomb and I used to listen to them heaps when I lived with Joe in our share-house. And I don't know, it's just a really unique kind of rock music. There weren't any other bands that sounded like them from that time frame. Not deliberately weird, but just kind of like odd heavy rock music, late 60s, early 70s stuff. I still really like it. Like lots of the bands I used to listen to back then, when I go back and listen to them, they don't blow me away anymore. But I still really like listening to these guys, especially that album Split. “Cherry Red” is on that album. And also Split Part Two is really good. I'm just keen to hear this. They're one of those bands where their records are pretty much just them playing live anyway, so It's cooler even than the albums here. They just remind me of the early days of POND when I lived with Joe and Nick. This is the sort of stuff, this is pretty much the only sort of stuff, we used to listen to.
Jethro Tull - This Was
Shiny Joe Ryan - vox, guitar, bass
Another classic high rotation record from our share-house with Nick, Jay, and myself. Funnily enough, we kind of used to dress like these guys on the back from all the op-shop [vintage store]. We would just get stuff atl the op-shop all the time. But, yeah, a classic album. “Song for Jeffrey” that's a hella good one. The whole album's pretty bloody good, though. That's it just a classic sharehouse, high rotation record from the past. I still listen to it every now and then.
Nick Allbrook - vox, guitar, keys, bass, flute
I chose Pieces of Man by Gil-Scott Heron. It’s one of my favorite albums. It's probably taught me a lot about actually playing music. I've been trying to learn Brian Jackson's flute solo from “Save the Children.” It's going pretty well. I mean, obviously I can't do it because he's amazing and I'm not, but yeah, I love it. It's beautiful, it's touching, it's hardcore.
Jamie Terry – keys, bass, synth, organ
Well, to be honest, I mostly chose this one because I wanted it and I want to take it home with me because I have been listening to it on the reg and I love it. I think she is one of the most exciting artists in the pop world. But I feel like the pop music she makes is pushing the boundaries. It's very interesting sonically, and the mix of more traditional Catalan or Spanish music with modern production sensibilities is very groundbreaking and very interesting. When she was just sort of on the come up, she played after POND on the same stage at Glastonbury. So this was probably five, six years ago and I tried to convince the other boys to hang around and check it out, but they hadn't heard of her yet, and they didn’t, but I did. And it was mind-blowingly good. I know that they regret it. Great cover, too. Can't wait to see what she does next. And seems like she wants to push it, which is very important.