Art-damaged country blues, brooding tropical keyboard flourishes and icy synths collide.
Chris Smith’s hazy 2020 album Second Hand Smoke is a cloud of exhaled influences. There’s his rusted on, man-out-of-place-and-time vocals; samples of news reports on Melrose Place actor Heather Locklear; and a suite of instrumental guitar tracks that build on each other, slowly filling the room in a thick fog. Since playing in Geelong noise-rock outfit The Golden Lifestyle Band in the mid ‘90s, Smith’s live and recorded output has been slim. At this rare performance he plays a set of improvisational electric guitar pieces accompanied by film projections before diving into the songs on Second Hand Smoke with a full band.
Also from Geelong, and also appearing sporadically, is Lost Animal—whose now 10-year-old album Ex Tropical remains a singular achievement in Melbourne’s 21st century musical canon. Ostensibly the solo project of Jarrod Quarrell, Lost Animal plays songs off that record and 2016’s You Yang.
Rounding out the night is OV Pain, the darkwave duo of Renee Barrance and Tim Player. The pair—originally formed in Dunedin, New Zealand—wrangle synths, drums, sax and samples into icy walls of sound, soon to be heard on their forthcoming album The Churning Blue of Noon.
8PM — Doors Open
8.30PM — OV Pain
9.30PM — Lost Animal
10.30 — Chris Smith
“[Second Hand Smoke] plays like outsider art, snaking along disparate paths while looking stubbornly inward.”