– by Aliza Caruso
There are a ridiculous amount of talented musicians in lil’ ol’ Perth (P-town’s got tha goods). You’d be damned if someone ever gave you the impossible task of listing them all. But I think most people would agree with me when I say Felicity Groom would definitely be one of the first to come to mind. This lovely lady of song released her greatly anticipated sophomore album Hungry Sky last Friday, so be sure to snap up a copy for you and ya mum asap!
With all the clever, groovy song writing found on her late and great Gossamer, Hungry Sky is possibly even cleverer and groovier. Departing from the charming alternative folk rock tinge of her first album, musically Hungry Sky takes a much more beats based approach to sound production, launching you out into a dark, enchanting, sci-fi dreamscape somewhere in outer space. However, the album is very much grounded on Earth lyrically, asking the big questions and commenting on modern issues like climate change, social interaction, and the media’s impact on everyone and everything across the globe (no doubt influenced by the many TED talks and Q&A’s Groom’s spent a lot of time watching).
So I guess it’s fair to say the name of the album is pretty well apt, with Groom crediting fellow muso and partner Andrew Ryan for coming up with the bold title. “I just really liked it… The whole [album] is quite science-fiction and science based… and that title just encompassed the whole thing about us being under this big, hungry sky.”
Groom found she had a bit more creative control for album number two, through operating a lot more musical software and tools herself, and found she had much more freedom and flexibility in making this album without a set band. Felicity Groom holds the reins in what is a much more collaborative album, featuring “a more diverse range of musicians” from song to song, including Andrew Ryan, Steve Summerlin, and Mike Jelinek, and with bits and pieces from Spinning Top label buddies Kevin Parker, Jay Watson, Cam Avery, and Julian Barbagallo.
Latest single, Higher, Higher, Taller, Taller has big sound, for a big voice. A dense layering of velvety pulses and textured beats wash over you like an immense wave swallowing you whole, absorbing itself into your skin. It’s a truly sensational track, with lyrics seemingly inspired by the some of the largest skyscrapers in the world: Groom stating in a recent press release, “The tallest building in the world is in Dubai – called Burj Khalifa. It’s 830 metres high…or 500 people stacked up from head to toe. This song, it took a few people. Not five hundred, maybe five. Actually, four from ground zero to completion.” Whoa!
The title track, Hungry Sky is like a silky, dreamy exploration of space. I imagine it accompanying a film in which the entire human race has to evacuate the perishing, fiery Earth in spaceships. But then again, that’s just me. Perhaps you might imagine clouds with teeth, or an alternate version of that animated film where food falls from the sky, or flower fields, or Bruce Willis’s face. Better Days acts as the uplifting part two to my post-apocalyptic daydream. In this part of my film, after years aboard the spaceship, the humans finally land on their new planet and begin to work together to rebuild their lives on a different Earth. A glimmer of hope appears!
Oh Jesus is bewitching, as Groom uses her exquisite voice to coo and soothe and hail hypnotically, “Please hear me.” Houses Are Gone is wonderfully melodic; not only will you find yourself grooving a little, but you’ll be humming along before you even realise you’re doing it. It’s very groovy and very, very catchy. 11/10 for catchiness. Groom comments on how the poppy single Move Your Muscles was a reaction to technology and how the usage of social media is shaping the way we think and how we interact with each other (for better or for worse? Something for the world to think about, perhaps.)
Overall, beyond the faintly spacey and sci-fi musical feel of the record, Groom states, Hungry Sky is an album “all about everything… and all the issues at the forefront of everyone’s brains.” Whether grounded on Earth or beyond our atmosphere, there’s a little something in this album for everyone.
Keep a sneaky eye ‘n ear out for Better Days video and tour dates announcements coming very soon.
Aliza’s fab 3:
Higher, Higher, Taller, Taller