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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Charles Bonnet is out now!

Image: Supplied.

Perth-based indie-pop band The Washing Line Economy have shared their new EP, Charles Bonnet, produced and mixed by NickIreland (Spacey Jane, Dulcie, Butter). If you're loving the release and want some insight into each track, we've got you covered! The five-piece have treated MILKY, taking us through the EP track by track.

Sonically, the band set out to evolve their sound from their debut, setting their sights for something dreamy, weird and whimsical. It is made to be listened start to finish, building energy until an explosion of ‘mania’ then walking the listener into a technicolour sunset.

The 6-track concept EP delivers a psychedelic take on the discovery of philosophical thinking and combines this with commentary on modern issues such as the current climate crisis. Taking its name from Charles Bonnet Syndrome; in short, vivid hallucinations experienced before losing sight, the extended play offers a deeper look on modern society and represents a ‘vivid hallucination’ experienced when taking a mental step back society, an abstraction from reality.


This song got its name and drew some inspiration from the children’s film The Road to El Dorado. We started working on this track before the idea of Charles Bonnet was even a thought. We wanted to make a wobbly psych-rock song with some weird time signatures and lyrics that could mean something completely different to each listener. Our favourite part of this song is Nick’s synth solo in the final chorus which was a lovely late edition and features an Easter egg for all those music nerds out there!


This song was probably the catalyst for EP and inspired the philosophical and political ideas explored throughout it. Luminary deals with understanding that no one person is better than another and lyrically it started as a reminder to vocalist Robin to be more empathetic. We had heaps of fun writing this one and it was constantly growing on the lead up to the studio. Ethan’s guitar solo in this one is immense, and we had heaps of fun tracking it with two of us fiddling with a space echo whilst he was playing.


This track is the continuation of music and thought that follows Luminary. We wanted to continue seamlessly and represent a moment of epiphany. We got Miles to lay down some bongo and auxiliary percussion as well as the biggest drum fill in the whole EP, between the funky and half-time sections, which sounds huge. It was super fun to track this one and it’s also one of our favourites to play live.


This one keeps on rolling on from Realisation and these three tracks (Luminary, Realisation and Mania) really help to portray the Charles Bonnet Syndrome metaphor. It was made to be the sonic peak of the EP to represent the feeling after experiencing a perspective changing thought. Disorientation, excitement, confusion - Mania.


Mirrors is the moment of calm, measured thought after experiencing Mania. This one was written to express the idea that we all wear a metaphorical mirror “reflecting what you should” to fit into society. It also deals with doubts of capitalism and philosophy of the mind. We wanted to carve out our own version of weird and whimsical with this one, so we added in heaps of extra elements including some drum machine tid bits, wobbly synth lines and some silly guitar in the second verse. The music video that accompanies this track is one of our proudest works.


The final track is probably our favourite off the EP and is the soothing finish that Charles Bonnet beckoned for. Jarrad’s bass work in this one is particularly groovy, and the lyricism is by far the most poetic and poignant penned by Robin. A subdued approach saw this one come about quite organically and every part from the old Casio synth lines to the smooth drums just seemed to work. We wanted to call out politicians that continue to receive donations from companies in the fossil fuel industry and then proceed to vote against climate action. A twist on the old idiom, you made your bed now lie in it. To take a break from political commentary the chorus harps back to ideas relating to the philosophy of mind. This track draws a lot of inspiration from two artists we were listening to heavily during writing the EP, Crumb, and Loving.

Charles Bonnet is out now!


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