Get to Know Bored Shorts, and their stunning debut album, ‘Way Off!’
Last Friday, beloved Sydney via Illawarra indie outfit Bored Shorts shared their debut LP, ‘Way Off!’. On the record they create the perfect balance of indie-rock catharsis, while creating music that is singular to their sound. With their lyrical abilities they toe the line between familiarity and absurdity, creating an infectious and light hearted, debut album affair. In the 3 years between their debut EP, ‘Looking Up’ and now their debut album, ‘Way Off!’ the band has cultivated a strong core fanbase with their unique brand of East-Coast indie rock, and their mainstay presence in their local rock circuit.
Speaking to the album’s focus track, vocalist Will Blackburn shares “Sutherland St. is about breaking a long-standing promise that you’ve made to yourself, and learning to accept yourself and who you are after that point. Those somewhat misguided, grand scale promises you make to yourself, usually when you’re younger, and the realisation that once you break them it’s probably not as big a deal as you thought. There was a house on Sutherland St. where one of those big life promises was broken. Afterwards, I had to accept that maybe I wasn’t going to end up being the exact pillar of moral strength I told myself I would be when I was 12. All I can do now is learn from the experience and keep moving forward, and that’s kind of just fine. Instead, life just keeps going.”
To get to know the band better, we spoke to them about their creative process, their internal personal relationships, and their overall impact as artists.
If you had to describe your music based on pure feeling, how would you describe it?
A pain in the gut, but like, really deep. Arms feel ok though. Great even.
When in the creative process for your forthcoming album, ‘Spunk!’ was ‘Common Connections’ created?
Common Connections was created during a period of deep existential paranoia, spurred on by a heady combo of a relationship breakdown, graduating university with few job prospects and the constant pull of possibly returning to WA to work in construction. Exactly when that happened, I don’t totally remember. Some time between 2015 and 2016. We would always bring Garageband demos to the practice room and this is one of the tracks I thought we would throw away, or just put in the “if we get round to it” pile. But the rest of the band thought otherwise – they all loved it. So I had no choice but to finish the damn thing.
What makes ‘Common Connections’ the perfect teaser for ‘Way Off!’?
Common Connections is a song about split identities and the tension between them. The album was written over a long period, and each song is a timestamp for different moments in our lives, highlighting the different people we have been. This is definitely one of the more “fun” songs on the record, a time stamp of a period where there was lots going on, but we could get away with doing very little about it. It’s a party song fuelled by ambivalence. But, you know, a sad party.
How important is your personal friendships within the band, including Dom and Will’s 10 year friendship in meeting in the middle of creative decisions when writing music?
Bored Shorts is such a fun band to be in. We are all good friends and it’s always a great time playing shows and recording songs. Having such a long friendship with Will takes all the pressure off when it comes to creative decisions and writing the songs. Charles, Ash and Nick are all so talented, basically everything they add when we bring them songs improves them infinitely.
How important has sharing the live stage with the likes of Rolling Coastal Blackouts Fever, Alex Lahey, The Goon Sax, and Body Type etc been in your evolution as a band?
It’s always a very formative experience playing with amazing Australian musicians, especially when they are your favourite bands. It’s always a good time to learn something about being a musician, both on and off the stage. Sharing stages and backstages with these guys taught us a lot about the importance of being respectful and friendly to everyone. With green rooms this small, there’s no room for anyone’s ego to be stinking up the place.
What are you most excited for listeners to experience in the album record?
Hopefully this album brings as much enjoyment as was put into making the album. We can’t wait for this album to be a soundtrack for people when they are walking to the train, grocery shopping or in the background while making dinner. We want the song to have already finished before people realise they liked it. For them to go “huh, what was that song that was on before?”, but for it to not be so important that they can be bothered to pick up their phone and check.
That’s the dream.
Words by PARRY TRITSINIOTIS