Jun 30, 2021
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Matsu
Australian psych-rock band POND are releasing their ninth studio album, fittingly titled 9, on October 1 via Spinning Top/Secretly Distribution. Now they have shared its second single, “Toast,” via a video. Watch and listen below.
According to a press release, “Toast” is about “last year’s bush fires in Australia and the appalling wealth divide in frontman Nick Allbrook’s childhood home in Western Australia.”
Allbrook elaborates: “The intro chords came from a Joe Ryan demo mysteriously titled ‘Toast.’ I’ve never asked Joe why he landed on that name, and I probably never will, but it pointed toward the image of fat-headed gobblers touching flutes of bubbles, watching the End of Days gallop over the horizon. I often wonder about those people—the money hoarders, climate change deniers, earth-pilferers, and adventure capitalists—are they nihilists or anarchists or do they really believe they are to be saved by some Rock Opera Jesus? We may never know, but here is ‘Toast,’ which is hopefully as smooth as the smooth, smooth sailing of our glorious leaders fat old white lives.”
The band co-directed the video with Alex Haygarth. The band’s Jay Watson had this to say about it in the press release: “We filmed the clip on a green screen in an abandoned garden centre in one continuous take. It cost us $300 to make (the price of four takes worth of champagne). I ate five fried eggs over the course of it. Another installment in a long series of homemade POND videos.”
Previously the band shared the album’s first single, “Pink Lunettes,” a new song the band shared in April via a video. “Pink Lunettes” was one of our Songs of the Week. When 9 was announced POND shared its second single, “America’s Cup,” which also made our Songs of the Week list.
POND’s last album was 2019’s Tasmania. POND produced the album, which was mixed by the band’s Jay Watson and James Ireland.
Allbrook also had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “We sort of gave ourselves permission to make something stuffed this time. We’d settled into a pretty tight routine with the last few albums and wanted to shake a boat with this so we started off with filling a few tape reels with some absolutely heinous improvised sonic babble which, after much sifting, became the first few songs of the album. We also wanted to up the tempo. The last few albums have a neat little mantra or repetitive theme. If I was forced to find something like that in 9, I guess it would be ‘biography’ or ‘observation’—a lot of the lyrics seem to focus on single people’s lives, or the lives of small moments or small things when you zoom real close up and they reveal something deeper. Stuff like my cheap Chinese slippers, or a soiled teddy bear, or Agnes Martin (not to put them in the same category, although maybe Agnes would’ve appreciated it). In the Rorschach test of re-reading lyrics, one thing that sticks out is a fixation on leaving behind a time of golden optimism and uncynical abandon. We can’t look at ourselves the same anymore, and the world we’ve built provides a scary lens for viewing our past.”