Good things take time, so we can't begrudge Melbourne noir-country duo Broads too harshly for taking a few years to follow up their 2014 self-titled EP — but, damn, have they made it worth the wait.
Vacancy is the debut studio full-length to come from the pair of talented musos, known individually as Kelly Day and Jane Hendry, and it arrives on the heels of an extensive national tour in service of lead single Nod Off, Dream.
That track, which you'll find at No. 2 amid the album's 10-strong set list, is a hushed, evocative and deeply dynamic slow-burner that showcases the two-piece's talents for constructing intelligent, alluring yet undeniably darkened country tunes.
This is a strength that rears its head across the entirety of the album; from the hushed minimalism of opener Green Screen, the gentle, infectious amble of I Can't Stop Thinking and the twang-and-slide of midpoint Dear John to the ever-so-ominous Trophies, the lilting six-eight of Kerosene Dream and beyond, this is a mellifluous collection of songs utterly drenched in enticing melodies and harmonies.
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The record also features guest performances from fellow Melburnian musos Alex O'Gorman (bass), Sarah Galdes (drums) and Matt Dixon and Dan Lethbridge (electric guitars), all helping to create to a simply gorgeous, often haunting, always sublime inaugural full-length outing that you'd be silly to skip just because of its musical ties to the unfairly dreaded C-word (no, not that one, you filth-mongers).
Understandably, Day and Hendry are exceptionally proud of the results, as they should be, saying of the debut: "Vacancy is our first full-length album, and first venture into a denser, more orchestrated sound than our original duo. We stole some of our favourite Melburnians to join the two of us on the record, and explore the possibilities of turning it into something quite cinematic.
"In saying that, the sounds we've put together are still fairly sparse. The album turned out to revolve around ideas of emptiness, or hollowness, and you can't tackle that without really making use of space. That will always be a big part of what we do, and we're thrilled to have managed to keep that feel with a full band involved."
If you'd like to experience the magic in person, you won't have long to wait — Broads have plans to hit the road in support of the album in March and April, and you can bet that we'll be jumping on that bandwagon the second it leaves the… station? Do bandwagons have stations? Are they kept in garages? Are they even still a thing? ...Whatever, we digress.