MASSAGE – ” Oh Boy / Lydia “

Posted: July 2, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Massage is five friends who live in Los Angeles. Massage is a band that meets up on Monday nights to bash out songs that crudely approximate their heroes, past and present. Massage is guitarist Alex Naidus, formerly of Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who moved to L.A. in the winter of 2013; furniture designer Michael Felix, who got Alex singing and writing songs when he said he wanted to learn the drums (they didn’t know any covers so they needed something to play together); their friend Andrew Romano, a journalist, who invited himself to their second practice (and now shares singing, songwriting and guitar duties); bassist David Rager, a designer and childhood friend of Michael’s, who tagged along that night, too; and visual artist Gabrielle Ferrer, Andrew’s sister-in-law, who was soon playing keyboards and singing harmonies.

These are two separate singles, but I fell so in love with both them, and I could not just mention one here. Massage could be your next favourite finds this year. They mention several fine influences, – The Go-Betweens, The Feelies, The Lemonheads, Twerps, bands from Sarah Records and Flying Nun Records. Instead of going too deep into their influences, like many indiepop bands sadly do, Massage do their own thing. They sound fresh, and although their inspiration is in the 80s and 90s, they sound very much 2018. Their guitarist Alex Naidus was once a member of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

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The second single from Massage’s debut LP Oh Boy, coming July 2018

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Part of what inspired us to start Massage was this new generation of Australian bands like Twerps and Boomgates and Dick Diver, who are ostensibly doing a very retrograde thing – I mean, they’re mostly white guys playing guitar rock – but somehow finding a sweet spot that Americans, who tend toward the muscular and melodramatic, always seem to miss: messier and more casual, but also catchier somehow. ‘Oh Boy’ is our California version of that ramshackle vibe. When I wrote it, I was listening to a lot of ’16 Lovers Lane”’-era Go-Betweens – ground zero for today’s Aussie scene – and I think their influence may have come through in all the droning chords and the domestic imagery. The last lines of the song were dummy lyrics that stuck. I realized what they were about – how honest they were about things I hadn’t even realized I was feeling; about family and fatherhood and settling down and ambition – and the rest of the words were written in response. Sometimes a song tells you what it wants to be.

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