From the cosy and nonchalant suburbia of Lindfield in Sydney, Australia; One can occasionally hear raging and scuzzy guitars, or sombre grand piano tones bleeding into the bush that encases an unassuming little blue house offering a contrast to the deafening white noise of crickets chirping around it. The wildlife in the area taints the music, both in its emotion and in the realest sense. The swooning native birds make it into the recordings of The Lazy Eyes' music, which transpires from this single room studio coined Lindfield Studios. The creative hub homes its own vanguard, a band of four members who also rehearse here, sometimes giving the quiet neighbourhood a charm of distant psychedelia oozing over it.
Often perched inside the space are Harvey Geraghty (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Itay Shachar (vocals, guitar), who amidst their sprawled vintage instruments and music paraphernalia endeavour on an insular mission to create recordings of songs they write together reminiscent of Grandaddy and Smile-era Beach Boys. The two spend a lot of time in here... just chipping away.
With the help of Blake Wise (bass) and Noah Martin (drums), who create a dynamic and gluey rhythm section; The band have accumulated a cult following around their hometown of Sydney thanks to their live features. The shows are sweaty. Rooms fill with the abrasive but magnetic sound of intensely crafted and layered psychedelic-pop and rock songs. Amongst the long-haired yahoos swarming the mosh and aged blue cheese people scattered around the crevices of the venue, an impact was felt long before a song was released.
Now all at the tender age of 19, family has played an important part in the band's development. Until recently, The Lazy Eyes were underage and needed adult supervision in venues and transport to shows. Having graduated from the performing arts high school where they met at 15 years of age, these humble beginnings provided them with the fertile ground to connect and pursue a creative project together. A project in ways not dissimilar to the many school ensembles the boys were asked to lend a stable musical hand to, almost like a high school version of the Wrecking Crew.
Cheesy Love Song is their debut single, one that sprinkles fresh droplets of water on a barren landscape. A meticulously arranged and shape shifting track that takes elements from bands like Caravan and America. The sound is as rich as mud cake yet starts its journey in a well of loving vulnerability with sparing instrumentation to match. The vocals overlap with a plaintive and fleeting feel and the warm strings rise from a hallucinogenic landscape of crisp synthesizers and warped guitars. “That's a special song, it’s one of the first Harvey and I wrote collaboratively in the same room, eye to eye and heart to heart.” says Itay. “We came up with the intro and verse together, chord by chord, we were happy but it felt unfinished as it was only a few minutes long. We were also just calling it that name between us, ‘should we work on that cheesy love song?’” They fleshed it out in a chance songwriting session a half-year later and a fully formed song appeared. At that point, the song name had grown on them too.
Tangerine is the second cut The Lazy Eyes are offering the world; One that they’ve been playing since the early days of the band when they were covering Flaming Lips’ music. Tangerine is more forceful with its intentions, picking up the lo-fi threads of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. ”We like to include places and things into our lyrics. Tangerine has a lyric that goes: "Hopscotch round Enmore Theatre..." We all met and went to school down the road from that theatre in Sydney and visited it a lot with our friends, so it kinda just seeped its way into the music” continues Itay.
The recording came together slowly with the boys adding layers one by one and producing it in their home studio in Lindfield. Sonically it's nostalgic of a time when the group were just starting to learn to play with each other and really becoming a band. “Tangerine framed our sound early on, it was a sound to get people excited. Cheesy Love Song gives more time to build. Only at the end it becomes heavier and more psychedelic,” says Harvey.
The Seaside is the opening track on the EP, but also the last of the three songs to be released. It’s a nostalgic song because it is amongst the earliest songs that the band explored playing together. Reflecting, Harvey says “It was around this time that we were really getting into guitar pedals and trying to make as full and as exciting a sound we could in a live setting. This near seven-minute psychedelic, sun washed number gave us the opportunity to do that and we had a lot of fun diving into those slippery reverse tones and fuzzy guitar outbreaks in the instrumental section.”
On the recording side of things, The Seaside was also the first song that Noah played drums on. The earlier stuff features Harvey bashing the tubs. It was a fun bonding experience for the band getting into their home studio and helping Noah craft his drum and percussion parts. “After all, he is a lot tighter than we will ever be!” laughs Harvey. “Listening back to the recording reminds us of those formative years when we were learning to arrange our songs for a live setting and becoming closer as friends and as a band.”
At 2019's Big Sound conference in Brisbane, Australia the din was deafening with positive press in Scenestr, Triple J, Happy Mag and Beat’s 'Six Bands Who Stole The Show at Big Sound'. “Our coolest gigs so far were a part of Big Sound. They were our first shows out of Sydney. The whole experience of getting on planes and staying in hotels together was a time for proper band bonding,” says Blake. Just after their final show at the Foundry, “We found out we were getting Cheesy Love Song secretly premiered on Triple J before it was officially released. 20 minutes after we got off stage, we all huddled around a phone which we put in a cup to make a speaker,” says Noah. "It was magical.” UK tastemaker Abbie McCarthy from BBC Introducing took a shine to the lads as well. She went on Triple J’s 'Home and Hosed' and named them amongst her favourite few acts at Big Sound. “It was all about hearing her talk us up in the British accent,” laughs Harvey.