In honor of an upcoming trip across the International Date Line and over the equator, I thought I'd check in with Australian alt-rock band You Am I, now entering its third decade of existence and still maintaining a loyal Down Under audience while remaining at best a cult act in the rest of the world.
The Melbourne quartet's ninth studio release is a self-titled affair for Other Tongues, after stints for major labels BMG and Virgin/EMI, and as you might expect, its eponymous nature signals something of a fresh start for You Am I. Its singer-songwriter Tim Rogers told the Maitland Mercury's Nick Milligan, "I'm still bewildered by this record. I haven't gotten my head around it. It was extraordinary making it and I don't feel like I've finished the creation of it. I'm still yet to understand it. I like that."
To that end, it's a step forward from You Am I's crossbreed of hard rock and '60s pop (although elements of both certainly remain on songs like the Syd Barrett salute The Ocean and the furious Pinpricks), with the current single "Trigger Finger" showing off a distinct streak of blue-eyed soul. Unusual for this band perhaps, but not out of step in the context of this record--you can stream the whole thing at its website--and an example of the kind of sophistication that makes Rogers and You Am I worthy of greater recognition in this hemisphere.
On iTunes: You Am I / "Trigger Finger"