The Nagging Doubts have shifted gears on this track blending new wave and funk to deliver a propulsive groove overlayed with their trademark chiming guitar interplay. The urgent deadpan vocals of Joe Wilks call to mind the Tom Verlaine/Talking Heads school of sing/talking.
The band – from Sydney’s Inner West – formed in early 2019 and have sincereleased two EP’s; Deug Lane (2019) and Autocalm (2021), and a single earlier this year called ‘Dirty Scene’. ‘The Pearl’ marks a change in approach to the recording process as all instrumentation was recorded within the confines of Tom’s (drummer) granny flat. This set-up allowed more freedom for experimentation with rhythm and different synth lines. In light of this, ‘The Pearl’ dips into a more electronic world that diverges from a stereotypical band set-up, featuring subby electronic basslines, swirling synths and breakbeat drum rhythms. Enjoying this sound, the band will also release an electronic remix of the single.
Lyrically, The Pearl interprets the gritty, heartbreaking story of Steinbeck’s parable of the same name. The themes are about the dangers of greed and how easy it is to succumb to once you get a taste for wealth and the freedom that it brings. In the story a poor family living in a village on the outskirts of a big city are searching for a way to pay for their child’s treatment after they are stung by a poisonous scorpion. As fate would have it they find the ‘great pearl’, a local legend in the village.
Immediately after they inherit this wealth more options become available to them in life and they expand their scope of ambition well past their child’s treatment. As a consequence they bring different types of challenges into their life and find themselves with many enemies that come out of the woodwork, scheming to take what is theirs. Ultimately ‘The Pearl’ addresses how hard it is to really achieve class mobility when you are coming from poverty and suggests begrudgingly that perhaps contentment with where you stand and what you have is the best way to live.
SOURCE: Official Bio
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