Taken from their upcoming release Illegals in Heaven, River of Longing is a song that sounds like Brisbane quartet Blank Realm could have recorded and produced it in their garage. Like their previous work, it has a certain sort of amateur charm, a sort of never-quite-finished quality that is instantly reminiscent of youth. This reminiscence results in a track that bears a vibe as nostalgic a vibe as Mac DeMarco, with none of the lethargy. Instead, it’s joyous and unbounded, packed with simple uplifting melodies.
The band’s mishmash of influences is clearly evident in this song. There’s the warped, reverberating guitar line that harks back to dream rock and psychedelia, and the half-shouted vocals that places them just within the realm of noise pop, and the more pop-inspired melodies with a foot-tapping drum beat. All of this is underscored by the bluesy production and sibling singers Daniel and Sarah Spencer waxing lyrical about lighting candles on the windowsill and falling asleep on the ‘mountainside’ – whatever that may mean. It makes for a track that is suitably captivating from the very first crisp guitar tones to the cacophony of layered sounds at the end. Blank Realm spirits us away on a journey of adolescent discovery, replete with platitudes urging the other to ‘take my hand’ and ‘meet me on the other side’.
It’s a song that messy and unabashed, and in much the same vein as their previous critically acclaimed full-length effort Grassed Inn. Their LP Illegals in Heaven is out September 4 via Fire Records. Check out the tracklisting and pre-order the album here.