A fun Friday it was when I attended the Mayfair Kytes ‘Animus’ album launch at the Workers Club on the weekend. Over the course of the night, I mentioned the band’s name to at least a dozen people, who each reacted awkwardly when they didn’t recognise the name, but smiled and nodded anyway, like of course they knew who I was going to see.
The fact is, the well established Melbourne 4-piece packed out the Workers Club band room with a crowd who knows exactly who they are. I even got to meet lead singer Matt Kelly’s mother. Twice. She introduced herself and told us how proud she was of her boy. And rightly so. Though his vocals came through nervously sharp at times, there was a sincerity that you can’t manufacture with autotune. As a band they swung between playing as a well rehearsed ensemble to a splendid clash of personalities. Phoebe did well to follow Matt’s notes to create perfect harmonies, and the unexpected pace of each song meant that we were ever aware that a group played up on stage, each bringing their abilities to create a cleverly put together live show.
The new single Sleepyhead is a beautifully gentle, melodic argument for waking up to yourself. Seasonal Thaw is another favourite with a ‘Goddess On A Highway’ by Mercury Rev vibe.
The Animus album was recorded over a year with Nick Herrera between a home studio and a converted chapel in Melbourne’s inner-north. Featuring some players from the Melbourne Symphony Orhcestra, Paul Bender and Simon Mavin from Hiatus Kaiyote and a few other guest-spots.
Mayfair Kytes is Matt Kelly, Austin Busch, Jack Nicholson and Phoebe Jacobs. Animus is out now. Head to the Sydney album launch on April 28 at the Vanguard in Newtown.
Concept, Direction and Animation by Thomas Russell Contemporary Dancer Geoffrey H WatsonWardrobe Lucie Mcmahon Director of photography Alexander Sproule-Lagos