Checking in for the first time since 2008’s Grassy Flat EP, with the six-pack digital Small Batch EP (gotta love the truth-in-advertising title) long-running Aussie indie outfit the Canannes are at the point in their career where they can release music when they want to, not when they have to. That luxury reveals itself in Small Batch’s charming half-dozen tracks. Side A is quintessential indie pop: the jangly guitar, warm horns and burbling keys of opener “Bumper” have fueled a million tunes since the Cannanes’ 1987 full-length debut, The African Man’s Tomato, while the dreamy “Crawler” and prickly “Basics” feel like the promise of Alternative Nation was actually fulfilled (there’s a reason Kurt Cobain was a fan).
Side B finds the band in a more experimental mood, with “Molecule” showcasing Frances Gibson’s best breathy Sally Timms impression, incanting “This is the day the glaciers finally burn” over music that alternates between noirish dream and metallic sheen, while “Tiny Compartment” is a whooshy, half-whispered letter to a pilot/airline traveler/astronaut. In the album’s most intriguing song, the closing “Zone”, the band sounds like, of all things, the faux-club/lounge you’d hear in an H&M dressing room. It’s nothing short of mesmerizing. Who knows when we’ll hear from the Cannanes again, but this (cough) small batch of tunes should help tide over Antipodean indie pop fans.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.