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Howzat! Archive - October 24th 2012

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The album is called Quay of Sea. The latest single is called Vacant Sea. Deserters obviously like to go overboard when it comes to sea references. "I am certainly one for a play on words, that's all it is, really," singer Luke Thomas laughs. "Only pure coincidence that those titles both ended in sea." This is Deserters second album, following their 2009 debut, Pale Morning. But Luke says it was more plain sailing than "the difficult second album". "It was recorded over a long stretch of time, which is how we prefer to do it. It's a labour of love because it's not necessary for us to rush things. In the midst of it all, my first child was born, so I took a few months off to enjoy fatherhood."

When we first saw Luke, at the end of the '90s, he was a member of Brisbane band Lavish. Fronted by his brother Nathan, Lavish signed to Festival and released an album called Polaroid. The new album reunites the Thomas brothers - they wrote one of the standout tracks, Stars Burn. "We haven't written together for a very long time," Luke says. "Life gets in the way and all that, but I'm sure we'll do something together again. It's in the blood." Quay of Sea (on Popboomerang Records) is filled with sparkling songs and vivid imagery. What's Luke's favourite line on the record? "It's hard to choose something you've written yourself, but I do like the simplicity and visual imagery of my brother's lyrics in the Stars Burn chorus: 'The stars burn brighter in the rain, and the river runs deeper every day.'" Deserters launch Quay of Sea at the Empress on Saturday.

The Deserters album features a song called Thirty. Luke Thomas sings about growing old, declaring, "Thirty's just a number." But it's a very impressive number when it comes to record labels. Not many of 'em survive three decades. John Needham's Citadel Records - which has been home to some remarkable bands, including Died Pretty, The Stems and The Lime Spiders - is doing a special 30th anniversary gig at the Caravan Club on Friday, with The Domnicks, Deniz Tek and Penny Ikinger.

Sarah Humphreys has delivered one of 2012's most delightful records. Hello (on ABC Music) had Howzat! thinking of Angie Hart and Georgia Fields. It's cute, but not too cute; these are pop songs with depth. Sarah, from NSW's Central Coast, wrote some of the songs with Paul Andrews, the singer from our favourite Sydney band, Lazy Susan. They had never met when they collaborated - they hadn't even spoken on the phone. Via email, they crafted four classic songs - Boy Ghost, Why Don't We Just Stay Home, I Don't Have To Try and Looking For A Face. "The great thing about writing songs via email - basically just sending bits of half-finished songs or lyrics to another person to see what they can make of them - is you take the pressure off," Paul says. "There's none of that 'oh, we're sitting in a room together, what if we can't come up with something?' And you remove any feelings of being self-conscious." Sarah and Paul finally met when he turned up to Sarah's Sydney launch. Paul was already a huge fan. "At the risk of embarrassing Sarah, I think she's truly an exceptional talent. She has one of the best voices I've ever heard and her songwriting abilities flabbergast me. But don't take my word for it - my four-year-old, Daniel, says Sarah is 'the greatest singer in the world'. Who am I to argue!" Sarah says Hello this week, playing Wesley Anne on Friday, and Pure Pop (5pm) and the Elwood Lounge on Saturday.

After being under a rock for nearly 20 years, Nick Barker and The Reptiles have released their first new music since the 1992 EP, Loose. The single, Bend Not Break, shows the Reptiles as they always wanted to be - a blistering bar band. "I wrote it about four months ago," Nick tells Howzat! "Mushroom wanted me to write with Adam Eckersley, so I gave it to him and he wrote a few lyrics. Then I played it to the band and from the first minute it was great." As for the reunion, Nick says, "There's no grand plan it just seems like a real resolution on what was a nutty, confusing, crazy portion of our youth." If you caught The Reptiles at the Wheelers Hill Hotel earlier this year, you know they can still rock. They launch Bend Not Break at Cherry on Saturday, with special guest Dave "Larko" Larkin.

A Top 10 debut for Delta's new single.

Battle Scars GUY SEBASTIAN (number three)
Wish You Were Here DELTA GOODREM (seven, debut)
Rock Star REECE MASTIN (16)
Boom Boom JUSTICE CREW (24)

Guy Sebastian can't end Pink's reign.

Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (number two, debut)
Bless This Mess LISA MITCHELL (seven, debut)
The Sapphires soundtrack (eight)
Lonerism TAME IMPALA (12)
Smokey's Haunt URTHBOY (14, debut)
The Rubens THE RUBENS (17)
Leave Your Soul To Science SOMETHING FOR KATE (29)
Falling & Flying 360 (34)
The Temper Trap THE TEMPER TRAP (35)
All For You COLD CHISEL (36)
Follow The Sun EVERMORE (40, debut)

And I'll Sleep Tonight DESERTERS

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