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Sydney-based art rock collective, Eunuchs, is set to unveil their sophomore record, Harbour Century, and Big Takeover is stoked to host the premiere of the single “Estuary of Dreams”. Marking the culmination of a musical journey that began in primary school when childhood friends, Linus Hilton and Kristo Langker, initially bonded over stumbling through AC/DC covers. Reflecting on the band’s evolution, drummer and writer Kristo Langker shares: “We’ve known each other since a young age. Over the years, more session musicians were lucky enough to write for a wider variety of instruments, which led us to make decisions on what instruments we like the most, which at the point of recording was harp and saxophone Quartet”.
The accidental emergence of a theme led to the album’s title – Harbour Century. Each song delves into symbolic stories of lies, ruses, scams, tricks, and boat crashes, drawing inspiration from the band’s impressions and interpretations of Sydney’s landscapes and characters.
Harbour Century is a manifestation of the odd personalities Eunuchs encountered in Sydney and the truthfully ambiguous stories they’ve embraced. Lead singer Linus Hilton recounts: “I went to a fortune teller who urged me to release 55 minutes and 55 seconds of impressive music within the next year for great luck over the next 55 years.” Motivated by this revelation, the band embarked on 55 days of intense music writing, capturing the essence of Sydney. In a way, it reflected with lush arrangements, incorporating dozens of instruments like harp, vibraphone, and horns.
“We were trying to combine the harmonic density and rich orchestration of 20th-century classical composers with the intensity and focus of modern pop production.” – explains Kristo. While textural work was influenced by band’s guitarist, Enzo Legge and his experience of working as a bush regenerator and landscaper. “No forced lyrics will ever beat the inspiration you get from coming across a very short man dressed in robes in the outskirts of Sydney.” – jokingly explains Enzo.
In a unique twist, the band drew inspiration not only from musical sources but also from the built environment around Sydney Harbour, local businesses, and memorable characters. As Kristo Langker elaborates, “We recorded some parts of the record underwater in Sydney Harbour, using a hydrophone.”
“Harbour Century” is a sonic exploration of Sydney’s depths, bringing crooning and maximalism back with a backdrop of stormwater drains, dimly lit back rooms, and mossy rock pools. Pre-order ‘Harbour City’ coming out April 5, 2024 via Bandcamp HERE.
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“Estuary of Dreams is the softest, folksiest song we’ve recorded yet and is somewhat of a departure from our usual more aggressive style. It was written and recorded on a cheap nylon string acoustic guitar and inspired by the folk rock of Sufjan Stevens, Nick Drake and Paul Williams. After the song was written on guitar we tried to write an arrangement that was rich but didn’t overcrowd the song. We realised we’d have to employ some fairly novel instruments to achieve this. The song includes some very high trumpet lines, we had to get a piccolo trumpet for these as a normal trumpet would sound too harsh in that register. The lyrics are a reflection on the time we went to the house of a local sword swallower to purchase props. When we were there the sword swallower insisted that he used to keep saltwater crocodiles under his house, a house that sits on a very polluted estuary in urban Sydney. Apparently the local council forced him to get rid of his crocodiles to his great anguish. We thought about this story for years so it felt like only a matter of time before we’d write a song inspired by it. We’re still not sure if the entire story was a lie but if so the sword swallower spoke of his crocodiles with such sweet earnestness that it didn’t matter to us.”
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