Share “Saturday’s Ash”
From new album Little By Little out on 3 March
One-off London live date 24 March at Islington Assembly Hall
As part of Fortuna POP!’s 20 Years of Trouble shows
Listen to “Saturday’s Ash” here (feel free to share!)
Fri 24 March – 6.30pm – Islington Assembly Hall
The Butterflies Of Love + Sodastream + Flowers + Darren Hayman + DJ Declan Allen
Advance tickets – http://www.wegottickets.com/f/10555
2017 will mark twenty years since Karl Smith and Pete Cohen started up their homespun duo, Sodastream. Releasing four albums, four EPs, and a live record during their original lifespan, Sodastream left an indelible mark on Australian music. Now they’ve returned with Little by Little, their first album in a decade, continuing to refine their craft while sounding just as fresh and intimate as ever. Sodastream always ran deeper than most when it came to emotionally complex storytelling, and their new material thrives just as much on the play between darkness and light.
They’ve shared the new single “Saturday’s Ash” with For Folk’s Sake. Karl Smith says of the track:
“A few years back, after nigh on fifteen years living in the inner city of Melbourne, I moved with my family out to the country. We left behind the noise and grey concrete of the city and embraced the sense of space, the trees, and the abundant local wildlife in the hills. We’d watch kangaroos and rabbits hop around the property and listen to the birds singing in the mornings. But living out there I also got an understanding of the harsh realities of the Australian summer, of bushfire season. Every summer, as the temperatures began to soar, a familiar sense of anxiety would creep in.
There was one particular summer that had everyone on edge. It had been a good five years since the Black Saturday fires but the days were hot and the fire warnings kept coming. Every time the mercury hit the mid thirties and the wind picked up we’d go through the motions again – listening to the radio, looking out the window, and checking the fire alerts every ten minutes.
It was on those hot windy days, with bushfires burning on the surrounding hills, that we’d pack our things and get the kids out of the house. We were never in immediate danger, but each time we would head back into the city to spend the day in air-conditioned comfort with family. Thankfully, the fires never made it to our place. But over those months, when we were in and out of the car every few weeks, the people that were affected by the Black Saturday fires were in my mind a lot. Our place wasn’t far from where a lot of homes and lives had been lost, and we’d often visit those towns on the weekend.
I wrote the lyrics for Saturday’s Ash that summer. I guess it was my way of reflecting on what the locals had been through and trying to understand what it must be like to have to pull yourself up again after losing so much.”
Recorded gradually over three years, Little by Little immediately re-establishes Sodastream’s haunting clarity, both lyrically and musically. Working again with repeat producer and drummer Marty Brown (Clare Bowditch, Art of Fighting), the pair enlisted additional embellishment from J Walker (Machine Translations), Tom Lyngcoln (Harmony, The Nation Blue), and Kelly Lane (Skipping Girl Vinegar), among other luminaries from Australia’s rich field of independent musicians.
From the start of their career, Sodastream won over fans as prominent as radio legend John Peel and music icon Moby, who named their
1998 EP Practical Footwear “Single of the Week” in Melody Maker. Following in the footsteps of kindred spirits The Go-Betweens and The Triffids, the duo carted their respective guitar and upright bass around the globe, making crucial in-roads to Europe, continuing that strong tradition of Antipodean indie music abroad. The pair shared the stage with Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Smog, Low, and The Mountain Goats, while Belle & Sebastian personally invited them to play at the Bowlie Weekender (the first-ever All Tomorrow’s Parties festival).
At home in Australia Sodastream were even more revered, building on an incredibly loyal fanbase with each of their four albums: Look s Like a Russian (2000), The Hill for Company (2001), A Minor Revival (2003), and Reservations (2006), released domestically and internationally via labels such as Rough Trade, Darla, Trifekta, Candle, Drive‐in, Fortuna POP! and Acuarela Discos. During the band’s subsequent hibernation, their own legacy helped foster a flourishing Aussie guitar-pop scene that now includes Twerps, Dick Diver, and The Ocean Party – thoughtful, articulate pop bands that understand they don’t have to rock out to make an impact. Following a six-year break, during which Karl released an acclaimed solo album and both members immersed themselves in their growing families, Sodastream resumed with a humble few shows and the promise of new material.
Never ones to rush things, Sodastream have quietly bided their time since reconvening in 2013, working away at an album that could be their best yet. That’s not hyperbole – Little by Little honours Karl and Pete’s profoundly nuanced discography even as it stretches out into masterful new terrain.