The last album from Melbourne band Raised by Eagles, Diamonds in the Bloodstream, was a cracker. A hard to follow, one might say. Well, clearly the band didn’t buckle until that pressure (if they even felt it) because their newest LP, I Must Be Somewhere, is a worthy successor.
When reviewing Diamonds, I mentioned how successfully the band evokes a 1970s feeling, and that is even more pronounced on this album – in a wonderful way. The songs on this album have echoes of Mondo Rock mixed with a bit of Sherbet, with some laidback California rock sounds there too, and the country-music sensibility that informed a lot of the latter. So the album is nostalgic without being twee – and neither does it sound old. As much as these songs evoke long sun-filled days in a time before our brains became crammed with minutiae, they’re also complete appropriate as a soundtrack for a walk along a busy city street as you try to sidestep the pedestrians too preoccupied looking at their phones to avoid the lamppost ahead of them. These are songs that make you want to put your head up and smile – they carry you along, riding the currents.
The standout track (for me) is title track ‘I Must Be Somewhere’, written by singer-guitarist Luke Sinclair. It embodies the wistfulness wrapped up in pragmatism that is a distinctive characteristic of RBE lyrics, whether written by Sinclair or Nick O’Mara, the other vocalist/guitarist in the band. It hints at loneliness but instead of making the listener feel lonely, it makes them feel heard.
This is an album that is both entertaining and meaningful, which, really, is what culture should be, because if artists can’t entertain the people they’re less likely to get their meaning across. Raised by Eagles are, in their marrow, entertainers – and they take that responsibility seriously. What that means it that you, as the listener, can enjoy what they produce and know it’s good for you at the same time.
I Must Be Somewhere is out now through ABC Music.