On July 9, the Brisbane trio The Goon Sax, released their new album Mirror II, a multifaceted work of art that traverses genres such as folk, new wave and punk.
The band members – Riley Jones, Louis Forster and James Harrison – take a musical chairs approach to their role in the group, with each member interchanges between vocals, songwriting and playing an instrument.
The Goon Sax rose to fame after their first album, 2016’s Up to Anything, peaked listeners’ attention for its youthful take on teenage vulnerability. We’re Not Talking, released in 2018, speaks a similar truth but with more composure.
Mirror II is a final testament to the growth and maturity that comes with age. The result of three years of time and space apart, Louis describes the two albums as “inherently linked.”
“They had three-word titles; they went together,” she said in a statement on the album. “This one definitely felt like going back to square one and starting again, and that was really freeing.”
By their third album, The Goon Sax have come into their own and cultivated a space to continue their development both individually and collectively as artists.
On the lead single “In the Stone,” both Jones and Forster express their acceptance of something undesirable yet inevitable, “Didn’t have to sound so disappointed when I called/ If you had ever saved my number in your phone.” This is the act of waving a white flag in a romantic endeavor.
“Psychic,” the following track, is the understanding of an ever present bond between two lovers so strong it almost seems psychic. The lyrics, “Would you let us live in our talking?/ Like we’re not scared of the light / Like the future wouldn’t dare steal / Straight from our arms tonight” are a gesture of escape into a world built for two.
Mirror II was a vision influenced by each members’ distinctive sound. For Jones, this meant her bubblegum noise in both “Desire” and “Tag,” which are a direct reflection of her affinity for Japanese psychedelic music, like Keiji Haino. Fosterster’s temperamental sound originates from the likes of Stereolab and Young Marble Giants, which can be clearly heard on “In the Stone” and “Psychic.”
Drawing from Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett, Harrison expresses his appreciation for the organized chaos that surrounds his lyrics, “I was experiencing romantic love for the first time, it felt out of my control, and there’s something about Syd Barrett’s lyrics… it doesn’t just come from inside us; it is the moments that are happening to us as well.”
An album made for feeling, Mirror II empowers the listener to take a look inside themselves through the words of others. An album built on the essence of flaws, it is anything but. It’s an album to get lost in, whether in yourself, in another human being or in your surroundings.
Essential Tracks: “In The Stone,” “Psychic” and “Desire”