Brisbane dark-pop, rave-rock, running-from-police-sound-tracking three-piece DZ Deathrays tear it apart in their first new endeavour …
Alex Cameron’s music maintains the love song amongst contemporary culture. While the artform is often ridiculed, Cameron pens tunes worthy of the title, and his new single is no different. Divorce is Cameron’s first effort at new music since his breakthrough 2017 record Forced Witness and embraces the same relentless and sometimes pitiful love he can so aptly chronicle.
Straight out of the gate, Divorce bares a deceptive LCD Soundsystem-esque drum beat, coupled with subtle synth embellishments. After a brief introduction, a nostalgia-filled instrumental harnessing piano, guitar, flute, and synths hit with an enlightened power and introduce a very purposeful and agonised structure, which is often revisited throughout the track. The flute is particularly effective and flows through the high register, while the sustained guitar and bass textures ring out below. The tonal variety evident in the introduction continues throughout the track. All textures are essentially filling their own frequency range and are bounded by synth subtleties and a loud subby kick drum. Wouldn’t be an Alex Cameron cut without 80’s-like instrumentals. Divorce is definitely an Alex Cameron track.
Synth and flute deductions provide the instrumental contrast between the intro and first verse. The plucky bass guitar driven first verse introduces the narrative feeling of love. Cameron’s breathy voice surrounds the instrumentals as he confesses his initial emotions about the track’s overall topic, divorce.
Straight out of the gate Cameron’s wit is displayed through a masterful use of metaphor, “In the age of conversation/I guess I got the gift of gab”. While the verse is instrumentally busy, there is no distraction from the overall sentiment. Cameron enforces his love and embosses some signature roughness, “I’ve killed little baby rabbits/I’ve killed microscopic crabs/But I never killed a feeling/Like the one you and me had” before dropping into a contrasting pre-chorus.
Slightly intensified instrumentals and a less breathy vocal lure the audience into a now slightly pissed off Cameron. Underlying confusion is introduced through the sections opening statement, “Now, did you see where my love went/Because it ain’t here in my hand.” Following is the first sign of Cameron’s coming to terms with the dismay of his relationship, “You need to check there, darling, between your legs/I couldn’t bear another needy man”
The chorus just opens up the song instrumentally and vocally as Cameron enters a higher vocal register. If the vocal themes of the first verse and pre-chorus were being in love and falling out of love, the chorus sees Cameron ready to pull that fuckin plug as he realises the toll of his failed relationship. Favourite line of the whole song, “I got friends in Kansas City with a motherfucking futon couch”. It rings out spectacularly as Cameron hits his highest notes encountered throughout the track. “I’m drinking in the dark because my battery’s all ran out” is a sentiment we can all relate to after being fucked around by a failed relationship. Squaring right up to his past partner, Cameron ends it, “All you got to do is say it/Divorce”. I could listen to the chorus for hours. The last line introduces the first glimpse of Holliday Sidewinder’s lush harmonies and an incredibly catchy but brief hook, ultimately leaving the audience wanting more. Subtle additions of a glockenspiel further add to the chorus’ charm, but the kick drum is so loud and bares a bit distracting.
Baring a second verse likewise to the first, Cameron explores the restrictions his relationship has bestowed upon him, “I could leave your ovulation/To meet Elon and his clan/With his batteries full of sunlight/And his cars that run on sand”. Cameron reflects upon his own lust for recognition prior to dropping into a pre-chorus likewise to the last, “There ain’t no women for the needy man.”
The second chorus is identical to the first until the divorce refrain hits. Now this is absolute pure gold genius and has been stuck in my head for bloody days. Holliday Sidewinder’s blissful voice glistens off Cameron’s sentimental tone as the pair harmonise, “Divorce, divorce, divorce/All you got to do is say it/Divorce, divorce, divorce/All you got to do is say it”. This refrain serves as the most rewarding part of the entire track and is concluded by an intimate whisper from Sidewinder, “Divorce”.
Alex Cameron succeeds in crafting a beautifully tortured recollection of a relationship’s dismay. The music to lyrical mood juxtaposition is commendable and the entire tune is just a belter.
Can’t wait for the new record. Every love song should aspire to the authenticity of Divorce. This is one of the best tunes in Alex Cameron’s discography.
Divorce – Alex Cameron. This is a fuckin solid tune.