This is a real find, this one. A cd by a young Adelaide band called We Grow Up. We thought this was going to some sort of goth/emo outing with a name like that and black and white hippy artwork. Well, weren’t we in for a shock when we discovered an entire album of fully focused and well thought-out pop songs that come straight out of the School of Colourful Whimsies - whose first graduate was the Beatles and last one Darren Hanlon. That might give you a little idea of where We Grow Up are coming from.
We also have to mention here that this cd isn’t a demo, it’s a proper album (even charted in Adelaide) and all that’s missing is the barcode.
It was halfway through the second listening of Night Kitchen that Half A Cow had visions of tagging along with We Grow Up on a psychedelic world tour, gold albums and strawberry champagne and promptly emailed the band offering proper distribution…and a barcode! After some email tennis, the band said they were talking to another label. Then the trail went cold. Either way, this cd deserves to be heard by a lot more people.
We Grow Up are a five-piece band who formed in 2006, led by singer-songwriters Jonathan Mortimer and Anthony Golding. They are joined by bassist Prudence Hart, keyboardist Jakub Tengdahl (who drummed on the album) and new drummer Tom Mackay. The band won a Triple J Unearthed competition in 2007, supported Missy ‘milkcrate’ Higgins in their home town and some regular Triple J airplay has helped create greater awareness of the band nationally.
There are so many great tracks on Night Kitchen. Even the more left-field ones, such as ‘Fingernails’, are incredibly beautiful songs. The band aren’t afraid to try something different with the arrangements and the whole thing comes across like a pop merry-go-round. Love the extra ‘Celia’ refrain, the folk-pickings in ‘Office Christmas Party’ and there are memories of the Rain Parade in ‘The Girl Who Threw Her Man Towards The Deep’, which has a great little gnarly guitar riff appearing throughout. The final track ‘Feathers’ is a psychedelic gem, complete with whispery vocals and a great Triffids-like guitar (or cello?) line.
If you’re a fan of any of the bands mentioned above or the best parts of the Candle label (will have to mention Darren Hanlon again, who the vocalists sound a lot like on more than a handful of songs) or Belle & Sebastian or Crowded House – then We Grow Up is for you. It’s that good. Go to their website to purchase your very own copy. In the meantime, Half A Cow is going to work out how to kidnap 5 indie-rockers and set them up in our loungeroom for a private concert. - ND