Between Here & Everywhere is out now!
Image: Jeff Fribourg.
Australian duo Death Bells have today dropped their third studio album, Between Here & Everywhere. To celebrate the release, the duo are taking MILKY through the release, track by track!
The musical project of Will Canning and Remy Veselis, Death Bells paints an alternate picture of life in California, shying away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood and exploring Los Angeles' expansive scene with intrigue. Continuing their exploration of indie-rock, entrancing vocals ring above glistening and beguiling soundscapes, that drives the albums unfurling narrative.
With Passerby being the opening track on the record, we wanted to make a pronounced impact. It strays pretty far from our usual sound, with lush additional instrumentation courtesy of our friends Laena (Myers-Ionita) and Jeff (Fribourg). Lyrically, it speaks to stagnation and taking on the role of casual observation, which I think sets up the encompassing themes of the record quite nicely.
I know that Remy had been sitting on the opening guitar line of Hysteria for a second, because we recorded the album in two blocks, with a tour in between. When we had a chance to sit down with Colin (Knight), who produced the record, he came up with some really solid drum parts that punctuated the brief pauses in the verse nicely. Real heads will recognise some of the vocal melodies as being lifted from ‘Perfect Skin’, one of the first songs we released. I’m quite happy to resurrect old ideas when the context suits. There’s something nice about reinterpretation, and nothing we’ve done in the past is sacred to me.
We sketched this song out as a demo before recording ‘New Signs of Life’, and it didn’t quite sit with the 80s, pop-leaning sound of that album. For ages I thought I had lost the session, but found them on a USB that was hiding in my jacket pocket. We re-did the drums, guitars, and trimmed a lot of extra parts down. I’m quite pleased with how it came out. The words (and the song’s title) refer to a now-defunct “group awareness” program which garnered a very nefarious reputation in the 1980s.
I’m really proud of how Intruder came together. I’m a big fan of contrast in music, and I think we did a good job of combining menace and beauty in the same tune. I bought a Fender resonator last year and got into slide guitar for fun, and layering in some of that sparkle helps keep it moving along. The song is about hippies, occultism and psy-ops. I recently lent a David McGowan book to a friend of mine which is a good point of reference for anyone who wants to deep dive into that, it’s called Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon.
A BETTER RESOLUTION
We were listening to a lot of T-Rex last November whilst we were on tour. With A Better Resolution we’ve very unashamedly tried to capture a bit of that magic. I like the break in pacing that it gives the record, it’s the last dark song on the tracklist and slows things down a bit with its casual, strummy balladry. I went to a Catholic school, and the chorus of this song sees me trying to imagine rapture (which feels relevant, as I think we are swiftly pirouetting to our demise as a species).
When I showed a couple of friends the rough mix of Last Days they told me it was the best song that Remy & I have ever written. I obviously have my own opinions about that, but I’ll take it. Mike (Kriebel), who I tracked vocals with really pushed me on the harmonies to make it all sit right. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s a dreary, forlorn love song.
SPACE WITHOUT A NAME
Colin actually wrote the foundation of this song in late-2020. I think it was one of the first tunes we started on after ‘New Signs of Life’ had released. This is really where the record opens up a bit, finding some optimism and a sense of propulsion towards the end. I love writing bleak music but appreciate the importance of sonic diversity on any album.
I got heavily obsessed with this Love & Rockets song, The Light, as we were finishing vocal tracking on the record. This of course sounds nothing like Love & Rockets, but I stole their lovely idea of stacking octave vocals to create a bit of depth in the verses. The chorus of Eternity Street might be one of my favourite moments on Between Here & Everwhere. Laena and Jeff again contributed some really magical string and synth arrangements to create the closing passage of the song.
HERE & EVERYWHERE
Here & Everywhere, the album’s closer, was a total pain in the arse to get over the line. Mike and I spent maddening hours deliberating over where each harmony should go. At the end of the day, I’m not used to singing ballads, and stepping up to that was tough. All this is to say that I’m truly very stoked with where this song landed. After re-listening to the album again and again to the point where I feel desensitized to most of it, this one still gives me chills. I don’t consider myself ‘gifted’ or innately talented musically and I work very hard at it, so whenever we pull something ambitious off my gut reaction is always “bloody hell, we made this?!”.
Between Here & Everywhere is out now!