Formed in Perth 2019, Sugar Wife, is filled with members who have been in and around the local and national scenes for much longer. The 5 piece band features the songwriting of Damien Goerke, saxophonist Bridget Cleary, Julia Jacklin’s Phantastic Ferniture collaborator Ryan K Brennan, Sidewalk Diamonds guitarist Anthony Pugliese, and Odlaw’s Mark Neal.
This can only go one of two ways, of course. Absolute drear or champion stuff that you’ve just got to hear.
According to their PR, Sugar Wife’s debut single ‘Born To Lose’, released today, started as a note in lead singer/guitarist Damien Goerke’s phone for directions to a particular place at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Always one to attempt to use a normal note for lyrics, it turned into a song that almost fell out of him. Damien was born with two separate debilitating heart conditions that required multiple operations to fix, all before turning 31. This is a song he didn’t think he would ever want to write but one he is proud of, especially knowing that it has already connected with others who have experienced beyond normal health issues. It’s a lush lullaby to comfort the soul, it’s an anthem for the anguished, it has a sax solo.
Wait, what? It has a sax solo? This can only go one of two ways, of course. Absolute drear or champion stuff that you’ve just got to hear.
I’m listening again right now as I’m writing this and I’m leaning towards this being the debut of an absolutely champion band. I’m about ready for some heartbreak and redemption right now (it must be around 11.00 in the am then) and Sugar Wife are giving it to me. ‘Born To Lose’ has the feel of a sixties torch song with updated guitars and drums and a sax solo that is neither too showy nor too shy to justify its existence, just like all great sax solos should be.
Given their personnel, expect to hear even better things from Sugar Wife in the future. Not because ‘Born To Lose’ isn’t a solid debut, it most definitely is, but because they couldn’t help but top this and then top it again.
Here’s the bit where I’d normally insert some banter from one or more of the band’s members. I did ask, but the message went unanswered. Either they were too shy or have such a healthy disdain for Around The Sound that they don’t mind using us for their PR but have no desire to engage directly. Maybe someone from their camp will let the world know which it is? C’mon, let’s start a feud!
Have a listen to ‘Born To Lose’.