You Have To Hear: The Boat People

The Boat People is an indie pop band from Brisbane.

I first encountered them opening for Red Riders (on what the band dubbed the ‘Curly Fringe’ tour, given the hairstyle of the lead singers of the respective bands), and was so impressed that I bought their album ‘Chandeliers’ immediately at the merchandise desk. It has since been on constant rotation, and I have later learned that it is actually their second album, with their debut being ‘Yesyesyesyesyes’, released in 2005.

They play elegant, slick pop music with clever wordplay as lyrics, as evident in ‘Chandeliers’ opener Awkward Orchid Orchard, where lead singer Robin Waters sings about being awkward: “If you’ve never heard the word how can you feel that way?”. This is clever, mature, bouncy pop music, the likes of which is very rare. It is also overwhelmingly likeable.

Their tongue-in-cheek humour is also evident in the video to Awkward Orchid Orchard, which features the names of 52 bands represented as pictures- see how many you can spot:

The Boat People play pop music, but there’s always that extra little something under the surface, whether it be a poignant lyric or a change of musical style, such as Light Of Love (You Got A…), which starts with spoken words before breaking into a more recognisable upbeat tune. The song was virtually written for live performances as well, with the band singing “You don’t have to call it dancing, as long as you move around”.

New single Echo Stick Guitars is just as quirky and brilliant, featuring restrained verses that cascade into choruses of true insanity. I have no idea what the hell the song (or the video clip for that matter) is about, but I enjoy it anyway. They’re definitely a band to watch for, and with an upcoming third album, keep your eyes peeled for a tour as well.

Listen If You Like: Last Dinosaurs, Cloud Control, Red Riders, Phoenix.

Artist: The Boat People

Song: Echo Stick Guitars

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