Indie-rock five-piece from Perth, Stapleton, is about to release their new single, ‘Wishful Thinking’, on 12 February at Mojos in Fremantle. The band is Jon Stapleton (Vocals, Guitar), Sofia Zaninovich (Vocals, Keys), Gus McKenzie (Guitar, Vocals), David Chidgzey (Bass) and Sam Newman (Drums). Since forming in early 2020, Stapleton has performed at Nannup Music Festival, supported Death By Denim across regional WA and performed at venues all around Perth. July 2020 saw the release of their debut EP, Alone Together, which they launched with a sold-out show at popular Perth venue, The Bird.
When I listen to this record, I hear a realist’s summer, the luscious locks of the young curling with undeterred desire in the waiting wind.
This new one, ‘Wishful Thinking’, quite literally breezes its way out your earpods with refreshing vitality and a burst of, dare I suggest it, soft rock swagger; this is not a seventies reinvention but a purer form of sonic materialisation. Guitars and layer cakes of vocal swim and swirl fervently together, all led by double-edged lead vocals that spell dynamic balance and a kind of surfeit innocence. When I listen to this record, I hear a realist’s summer, the luscious locks of the young curling with undeterred desire in the waiting wind. The introduction is the sound of patience, guided by a rimshot’s steady pulse with this shading echoed somewhat during the pre-chorus. The chorus is the band with all guns ablaze, the strident hanging notes, the more robust vocal expressions, the little wall of guitars and the straight ahead, on-target rhythmic element, allowing the change of pace to mean a shot of palpable adrenalin.
We do another round of the same before we arrive at a solo. A guitar solo. This is so unexpected as to be keenly enjoyable by yours truly though that is not to say I wasn’t also taking note of the player’s skills. As the song nears its end we are left with the repeated addendum, ‘done with wishful thinking’ and it occurred to me that indeed the track does have a sense of abandon threaded through its sonic entrails, the aforementioned summery gauze though it is perhaps a different kind of seasonal swell to the one I first imagine. The emboldened perpetration suggests a skirmish that is the residue of a coming-of-age experience, one that makes more sense when applied to the band’s no doubt burgeoning creativity.