Every cropped-jean wearing kid in your neighbourhood is blasting Winston Surfshirt on Spotify at the moment and that’s because – believe it or not – they have good taste. The Sydney-Siders are about to release their debut album on Friday and oh boy, it’s a killer! A healthy dose of soul, hip-hop and pop – with a sprinkling of rap – these new tracks are about to get some serious airtime over the speakers in your bedroom.
The 6-piece underground soul group have found a cult following after their first tour sold out nation-wide, and after collecting some real heat from Triple J after doing a Like A Version of ’21 Questions’ by 50 Cent. But their new 16 track LP is really what’s catching the ear of so many, with tunes about love & lust and lust & love. It’s one hell of a steamy record, the kind that makes you dream about that cute bartender at your local. It’s been heavily injected with silky bass, pastel edit drum washes and 90s RNB brass riffs.
By dipping your toes in with two huge singles already, ‘Ali D’ and ‘Be About You’ will prepare you for the juicy tunes to follow. If a deadly cocktail of De La Soul and Cold War Kids sounds like something up your alley, this will most certainly be your poison. In ‘The Moments’ you’ve got a rolling-down-the-avenue track with off beat loops and Winston leading an imaginary choir of ‘baby, come on, come on, come on’, all the way to end of town. ‘On A Lock’ is yet another track worth your sexy time, lots of echoed whispers, guitar picks and a bass line straight out of 1997 – it’s succulent, baby!
A rather present factor when listening to Sponge Cake is that every track rolls into the next, without hesitation or closure. It’s incredibly easy to put on and not notice that 9 tracks have passed until you remember that you need to wash your hair or find a way to buy tickets to their next national tour later this year. Everything is formatted, measured and scaled in such a way that lets you pick any song and enjoy it because it’ll be in the same vein as the last one. Not in a ‘this sounds exactly like the last one’ kind of way, but instead ‘the quality of this is fantastic, they render so much goodness in each track’ kind of a way.
‘TwennyFive (ft Eric Biddines)’ and ‘Slip (ft Pop)’ have a thick hip-hop vibe throughout, throwing in some searing lyrical wisdom into Winston Surfshirt’s otherwise soft vocal sections. They’re not just simple, each song is fun to listen to, a new house party every 3 minutes. The success is balanced through the beats and voices – sometimes you want to sing along and other times you hum the rhythm bass parts. ‘Same Same’, a new single off the record is kinetic, pulling muted trombone out of nowhere and making teens everywhere want to buy yellow raincoats and download Garage Band immediately.
Back on the sultry sensation, ‘When You’re Ready’ will do all the talking for you “I got the key, you got the hole, opening up and unlocking it slow” … I mean, it’s smooth right?! Other than a slow turn around of Frank Ocean or Oh Wonder songs, the clear winner for lush bedroom jams is Winston and his gang of musical love makers. Like that playlist titled ‘Study #2’, you’ll add some tracks to it before realising that you can’t concentrate on ‘studying’ when what’s playing is ultra-consuming *multiple wink faces*
On a whole, every song on Sponge Cake is a winner in it’s own right, all the way up to the glorious finale of ‘Cast In Stone’. You’ll have a party, you’ll accidentally sing along in public walking to work, you’ll dance skin to skin on your loved one. From the dusty living room of one slick muso to his best brass-wielding friends, Winston Surfshirt have managed to cultivate some of the most tantalising, playful, throwback style tunes that we’ve seen in a fair while. Now excuse us while we go boogie and drink Mojitos in our vintage slouch cap while peeking their Facebook page for updates on new tracks.
Label: Sweat It Out Music
Release Date: 29th September 2017
Rating: 9 / 10