The froth levels were ridiculously high when the recent news dropped that Mudvayne and Coal …
Our eyes have been fixed on Days Like These for a while now and for very good reason.
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The Brisbane-based duo have been smashing it out of the park since their formation in 2018, releasing their debut EP, embarking on their own national tours and securing some pretty epic support slots. And now, they’re gearing up to release Icon, an EP that weaves alt-rock, pulsating drum and bass, feel good pop and a whole lot more. We caught up with Vocalist Callen Batson, who gave us a track by track rundown of the EP.
What turned out to be the title track of the EP started as one of the last songs we wrote for the release. We wrote it in the studio with our producer, Chris Lalic, to fill a hole in the release. The track turned into a driven rock song that inspired me to write about Days Like These as an entity, pursuing our dreams while navigating the waters of an industry and scene we are constantly learning about and finding our place in. This story is wrapped up in a metaphor of a romantic pursuit, with the band being the protagonist.
This song was the most fleshed out in the demo stage; it was essentially a finished track. It demonstrates us leaning into our heavier side, and it’s a one-of-a-kind on this release. Our team and us thought it was important to have it early on in the track listing as it’s undoubtedly a head-turner, and we didn’t want it to be missed. I remember half joking around with Russell (ex-guitarist) and Noah (Murphy, drums/vocals), saying I would ensure at some point that we release a song with a 2010-era metalcore breakdown in it, and it won’t be tacky. I can now proudly say that I followed through, and it made the cut!
Oblivion ft. Death Tour
Another song that came into the studio well fleshed out, Oblivion sees us explore the world of electronic music further than we ever have before. We drew heavy inspiration from drum and bass music, and I feel like we tied together two worlds in a really cool way. Lyrically, it explores dark and chaotic territory, so it was important to have the instrumental follow suit and create an experience together. The energy and production this song encapsulates really go hand in hand, and when you consider the visuals (music video) as well, I really feel like we created an entire little world for this song inside the scope of the full EP.
Presenting a swift change in atmosphere, more alike to ICON than the previous two songs, Embrace You takes the listener back to a lighter, more upbeat mood. Noah started this song and wrote an infectious chorus and iconic guitar riff, which instantly provided me with lots of joy, so in turn, I had lots of fun writing the lyrics. During this song, I implore the listener to forgive, forget, move forward and spread love whenever they can. It is my belief that most people are simply just trying to do their best to navigate their utterly confusing existence’s and that we should endeavour to keep that in our own minds more than we usually would do.
Foolish is one of the quirkier songs on the release and was collectively one of our favourites from the beginning. I feel as though this song is one of a few that encapsulates the wide array of sounds that Days Like These offers. From pop hooks and production, to huge rock riffs, I feel like this song takes listeners on a great journey. Lyrically, it offers a story of moving forward from a tough experience and following a beacon of hope. When writing the lyrics, I ensured that I wrote the story in a positive light whilst remaining true to my experience and emotions.
The other song we wrote whilst in the studio, Bloodshed, was written with intention to be an energetic rock anthem. Originally it was meant to be the EP opener, but now it serves as a huge pick-me-up toward the end of the release. This track offers more in the world of electronic music, with the bridge providing a dubstep-esque breakdown. I recall writing with Chris and stating I had an idea for the bridge, and he let me go wild whilst working on another section of the song. No more than an hour later, the section was written, and I was ecstatic with the result. I also recall, in the writing process, Noah expressing concern with how high the chorus was to sing, which definitely propelled my already established anxiety about the same issue. However, with some words of encouragement from Chris, we smashed out the demo vocal easier than we all thought!
Bleed Yourself Dry
The final piece to the puzzle, the classic ballad at the end of the release; Bleed Yourself Dry. Noah started this beautiful piece of music, and we all finished it in the studio. This is the unreleased song that I’m looking forward to people hearing the most. I’m so proud of it and the story and emotion it holds. It sees Noah taking a step forward into the centre with his vocals, and we go back and forward a lot with our voices, and it feels really great. We always joke that this song is our “Disney moment” as it is akin to feeling like it’s a duet. Like the rest of the release, I feel like this song explores new territory for us, and it feels important to me that it doesn’t rely on fancy production or a big riff; I feel like it’s just a great song that I hope touches a lot of people.