If Nick Cave’s nonchalant tones and the Andrews Sister’s forties sounds were ever experimentally mashed, you could point to the Broad’s debut album Vacancy, a blending of modern melancholic tinged lyrics, sweetened with a dose of harmonic slickness. Broads are a classy and creative Melbourne two piece comprised of Jane Hendry and Kelly Day.
Their album opens with Green Screen, a dreamy song setting the scene for each of the ten tracks – crooning to us that music doesn’t have to be complicated. Almost all the songs are plucked, strummed and sustained by a handful of guitar chords. Bliss bombs.
I can’t stop thinking reminds us of The Secret Sisters – the siblings from Alabama, USA, who sing of similar poetic confessionals with harmonic precision. This song’s seriousness is broken in the form of a favourite little party trick – a voice trumpet solo – the talented owner not credited in the album sleeve.
Nod off, dream is augmented and choir-like, with a slow and solemn tempo accompanied by ghostly drumbeats at heartbeat speed, not breakneck. The song Grace sounds familiar. “Times are for the strong … how I fit this song … I’m one.” Is it the Beatle’s Michelle … my belle, sounding notes and harmonies? Or is it just those simply structured cadence of chords and vocals.
The Broad’s music is bare of bass drums and showy guitar licks. There are no Grigoryan guitar moves either. In a world that is racing and overstimulated, Vacancy, written by Day and Hendry, with their lulling vocals and horse walkin’ rhythms, makes you stop, sit up and listen.