Jun 04, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by @mayaluana
Sydney, Australia-based trio Balko has been releasing a steady stream of singles and EPs since their 2017 debut EP Weather. With Jack Bennett on vocals and bass, Jordan Jeves on vocals and guitar, and Ronan Mac Oireachtaigh on drums the band’s music pulls from psych, the sludgier corners of indie rock, and even twee. The band works a rich medley of influences into their music, taking from unexpected sources for equally unexpected genre combinations. Balko last shared their Ded EP in 2019 and, after taking 2020 off, are now back this year with new music on the way. The band have shared the first taste of these upcoming releases with their new single, “Tall Heavy Man,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Tall Heavy Man” sees the band adding dark, film noir-esque jazz balladry to their mix of styles as they trace the story of the titular tall heavy man. The track finds the band at their most cinematic yet, as their songwriting is bolstered by swelling strings, brass accents, and moon-lit jazz bar piano runs. The track is filmic melodrama at its finest, showing creative new angles to the band’s songwriting.
The band says of the track, “’Tall Heavy Man’ was written originally by Jeves while the band was on their bi-annual hiatus/holiday period, at different ends of the planet. It was composed on acoustic guitar with vocals (initially intended to be sung by Jack with a low drawl, harmonized by Jeves with a high whisper). After a few sessions, the song became less of a swung melodramatic western, and more of a dark jazzy ballad. The song had a meaning, and was written with many emotions, but none of it is as it was with ‘Tall Heavy Man.’ It is simply out there now for anyone who wants to enjoy it … if you’re imaginative enough to create a narrative then we’d love to hear it.”
Check out the song below, out now.