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Warm and deftly balanced, Bystander moves through indie rock and alt-country with an alert effortlessness. Cool Sounds’ signature lead guitar lines are in dialogue with lead singer and songwriter Dainis Lacey’s lyrics, which are at turns introspective, self-aware, irreverent and unflinchingly observant.
Cool Sounds’ 2018 album Cactus Country marked a turning point in the band’s sound, and 2019’s More To Enjoy, which was nominated for the AIR Award for Best Independent Country Album, took up that sound with an increased confidence. On Bystander it’s filtered through the restrained raucousness of early Velvet Underground and the frank intimacy of David Berman – both acts were on high rotation in the European tour minivan.


All the essential elements of Cool Sounds are here – vocal melodies that dip and spike then smooth out, guitar licks as catchy as any chorus, and clever, understated rhythmic changes – but as lyrics are brought to the forefront, the band’s agile, elastic arrangements feel all the more essential.

Cool Sounds - Bystander


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    Waxx Lyrical 2020

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