Jul 09, 2021
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Hugo Nobay
Australian trio The Goon Sax have released a new album, Mirror II, today via Matador, their first for the label. Now that the album is out, you can stream the whole thing below. Also, today we posted our The End interview with the band’s Louis Forster and you can read that here. It’s our recurring Q&A about endings and death and in it Forster discusses what songs he’d like played on his deathbed and at his funeral; his favorite endings to books, movies, and TV shows; and why he doesn’t want to live too long.
“Please make sure the venue [for my funeral] is too big for the expected turn out, honor my life by making it feel like a poorly attended show, but where the few people who came are hopefully into it!” jokes Forster in the interview.
The Goon Sax also features Riley Jones and James Harrison. Previously they shared the album’s first single, “In the Stone,” via a video for it. “In the Stone” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared its second single, “Psychic,” via a video for the song, which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared the album’s third and final pre-release single, “Desire,” via a video for it.
Mirror II is the band’s third album and the follow-up to 2018’s We’re Not Talking, which was released by Wichita.
John Parish (Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey) produced the album, which was recorded in Bristol, England at Invada Studios (which is owned by Geoff Barrow of Portishead and Beak>). Since their last album, Forster moved to Berlin and worked in a cinema, while Jones and Harrison formed a post-punk side-project, Soot.
“The first two albums are inherently linked,” said Forster in a previous press release. “They had three-word titles; they went together. This one definitely felt like going back to square one and starting again, and that was really freeing.”
“We lived in a shared house together, this tiny little Queenslander we called ‘Fantasy Planet,’ where we wrote the album,” Jones explained of the album’s genesis. “We were able to go to each other’s rooms and say anything that came to mind and go to the practice room three times a week. It was pretty intense.”
Of the album title, Jones added: “I was reading The Philosophy of Andy Warhol the other day. He said something so perfect… ‘I’m sure I’m going to look in the mirror and see nothing. People are always calling me a mirror, and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?’ The name [Mirror II] was totally arbitrary to begin with, but it became about reflecting on reflection: we all get so influenced by each other. You find other people who show you yourself, who you are.”
Influences on the album cited in the press release run the gamut and include HTRK, Young Marble Giants, Stereolab, The Motels, Justin Beiber, Les Rallizes Dénudés, Keiji Haino, Kylie Minogue, The Walker Brothers, Jandek, Felt, and Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett.
“I got into Syd Barrett’s lyrics because they were hazy, relatable and honest but up in the air. That’s how I felt,” said Harrison. “I was experiencing romantic love for the first time, it felt out of my control, and there’s something about Syd Barrett’s lyrics… it doesn’t just come from inside us; it is the moments that are happening to us as well.”