"A bit of a weird one for us."
It’s been a huge month for Brisbane indie pop outfit Nice Biscuit, who, after stunning audiences at BIGSOUND, dropped their debut album yesterday.
To celebrate the release of Digital Mountain, they’ve given us an exclusive track-by-track. Here’s some insight into the LP via Ben Mulheran (guitar, keys, harp, vocals), Grace Cuell (vocals, guitar, percussion, keys) and Jess Ferronato (guitar, vocals).
Ben: This song came from a very Neu, Can and Hawkwind inspired place. I had the main bass and guitar parts rattling around for a while before I forced myself to sit down one day and turn them into a song. The aim was to try and keep it fairly simple in terms of instrumentation, to try and keep all the parts straight to the point and give the whole thing a rhythmic pulse, kind of like a dance/EDM song. It’s about the prevalence of seemingly indispensable technology nowadays remembering that you’re still very capable of being in control of yourself and what’s going on around you.
FAIRFIELD OF DREAMS
Ben: I think this song’s a bit of a weird one for us. It got worked on and changed around for what seems like a long time before we ever played it live. There were times where we totally went off it and stopped playing it, right around when we were mixing it so we’d heard it a billion times. After we rested it for a while we came round to it again and have been playing it since. It came out of the same writing period as Captain and I think the similarities are there. They both focus on rhythm but where Captain is punchy and to the point, Fairfield Of Dreams is more like paddling a canoe down a river
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Jess: This song is quite an outsider in the album. It began with a simple guitar idea that slowly progressed into a ‘finished’ demo. It's one of our darkest tracks on the album and draws a bit of inspiration from bands like Oh Sees. I've always liked the idea of having different rhythms that continually go in and out of phase with one another, so all the elements have quite a rhythmic purpose.
OUT OF SIGHT
Jess: After making a schloppy demo and showing the rest of the band, everybody seemed keen to give it a go. We refined it, with everyone adding their own pizazz. The song essentially has two main sections, which weren't originally intended to be put together, but we thought it might be a fun idea. The recording process had an element of spontaneity and ended up coming out a lot heavier in comparison to the demo, which is cool!
Grace: I wrote this during a time when I was listening to a lot of Jonestown and feeling a bit bluesy. The lyrics tell a story of our earth and the effects of climate change. The track begins with a high energy blues progression that evokes a feeling of scattered intensity, before landing in a post-apocalyptic haze in the final slow section of the song. The ending is quite haunting, and this was definitely intentional.
DIGITAL MOUNTAIN SPARROW
Ben: This is by far the dreamiest song on the album and probably my favourite. I had the opening 12 string melody stuck in my head one day so Jess and I took it and pretty well structured the whole song one afternoon. Billie came in and weaved her magic the next day and wrote most of the vocal parts to it. The sound is pretty heavily influenced by '60s surf rock and Western music which meant we could apply reverb liberally. I actually really liked and wanted to use the demo for this song but luckily I was talked out of it. It turned out better for having thought it out a bit better and having everyone add their nuances and style to it. It also got the dreamy, washy sound that it originally didn’t have which I think helps it get its point across a bit better.
HERE ON THE GROUND
Ben: This song came out really quickly and was 90% done in the space of an afternoon. It was written the day before we went to the farm to finish the last of the recording and we thought it fit the rest of the songs better than some others we were originally choosing from. It’s about having your head in the sky and how unpleasant it can be when you fall back down. I like this song, maybe just because it’s newer but it also kind of feels like a lazy afternoon walk which is always pretty nice.
Jess: Having continually listened to bands like Wooden Shjips and Minami Deutsch throughout the year, I thought it'd be fun to play something that goes for longer than four minutes, treating it as more of a jam. We hadn't previously intended to put it on the album, but after performing it a few times we decided it would be well-fitted and a fun tune to end the album with.