A far cry from a lazy 12-hour technique to produce cold porridge, Ōtepoti rockers Soaked Oats spent a whole 18 months cooking up their debut full length album Working Title, which releases today through Australian label Dot Dash. Alongside stalwart producer Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins), the band laid down the tracks in an isolated hall on the South Island’s rugged West Coast (which, let’s face it, is just about every musician’s dream) culminating in a mature, realised offering of songs. Like four cooking show contestants eager to wow the palette of a celebrity judge, the band have infused a myriad of influences from funk to psychedelia to hip-hop, stirring in just enough of each to not overpower their signature flavour.
Though not strictly a departure from the anthemic, chirpy bangers which have helped establish them as a dancefloor drawcard, Soaked Oats have taken a more introspective approach to songwriting here, especially evident in the lyrics. A fine example of this is at the record’s midway mark, ‘Little Brother’, a track which ruminates on the motivations of songwriters asking what, if anything, makes them so different to the rest of us plebs. Tunes like ‘Pink Beach’ edge toward dream-pop territory with woozy synths, whereas leading single ‘The Way It Works’ is a playful, T-Rex-esque romp complete with hard-panned, flanged guitars and chorused organs typical of the early ’70s. Aotearoa hip-hop heavyweight Church fires off a hard hitting verse to close ‘Divide Symbol’, a high point of the album which exemplifies the success of the band’s efforts at genre-bending.
With mastering handled at Abbey Road Studios by Christian Wright, Working Title is drenched in warmth and analogue goodness, a befitting finishing touch to a record which draws heavy influence from the era that put the studio on the map. Fans eager to celebrate the release of Working Title, both in Aotearoa and Australia, will be able to catch Soaked Oats early next year as they gallivant around our corner of the South Pacific — scope out their just-announced nationwide tour dates below…
Soaked Oats Aotearoa 2023 Tour
Friday 24th March – Loons, Christchurch
Saturday 25th March – Mayfair Theatre, Dunedin
Friday 31st March – San Fran, Wellington
Saturday 1st April – Hollywood Theatre, Auckland
Sign-up for pre-sales HERE
General public tickets available from 9am, Monday 21st November HERE via UTR
Take in the visual splendour of director Martin Sagadin’s clip for ‘Something’…
‘Working Title’ is out today on major streaming services via Dot Dash — vinyl orders available HERE.