Opening an album or a track with radio feedback is one of the ballsiest things a musical act can do. You're letting the listener know it's time to stop half-assing the decision-making process and pick something, and that something in this case is Brisbane, Australia's Wayward Smith.
Bleeding Gold is a rock-pop offering that deals primarily in driving lead guitar sections and the wily vocals of front woman Eloise. "Highway" kicks things off with the radio dial before getting underway with a subtle bass line and fluid guitar work. The mood is decidedly sunny, especially with Eloise's on-point delivery. Her singing style is calm and direct, but can also be flirtatious when she changes up the tempo of her lyrical delivery. "Reruns" is fraught with hooks and has a darker tone than the opener. The hook is a crash of white noise on the otherwise calm reef of instrumentation (although the drumming is pronounced). "Here I go again / I'm always going round in circles," sings Eloise is a voice of resignation before the hook lets the listener in on a little fact: she's ready to break free.
"Forget Me" begins on a less dynamic note. The piano notes that permeate the track are an interesting but not always effective addition to the swooping guitar riffs that lead Eloise into the chorus. I will begrudgingly admit the piano is an a great companion to the blunt confession of "I've seen things I'd rather forget." The EP ends on a strong note, however, with the straightforward rocker "Push Me Away" replete with stylish riffing and layered female vocals.
Bleeding Gold is a clean, smooth record. Though the focus is clearly on Eloise's vocals and the guitar playing, it still feels like every musician gets their due on the tracks. Energetic Australians never let me down.
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