Music / Premieres
King Cnut & The Waves -
Find Yourself!
Words and interview by Francis Tait
Tuesday 27th March, 2018
We’re super excited to be premiering ‘Find Yourself!’, the debut single from King Cnut & The Waves. Equal parts cruisey and reckless, the track’s an impressive introduction to the band whose name we’ve been double-taking at for the better part of two years now.
Despite gigging around Melbourne since the middle of 2016, only now are we being treated to the first official single by King Cnut & The Waves - and they’ve definitely made up for any lost time. It’s amazing that a project featuring members of three pretty busy bands; Rat!Hammock, FanGirl and Porpoise Spit find any time at all for another project. However, ‘Find Yourself!’ is an exciting introduction that proves the band are a lot more than just a throw-away side-project.

‘Find Yourself!’ is a rollicking ride, full of driving guitars, infectious melodies and the tastefully dispersed inclusion of some always-welcome xylophone. Acting as the perfect debut single, the track masterfully captures the band’s varying personalities and highlights their obvious musical proficiency and jammy beginnings - all within a tidy three minutes and forty-six second time frame. The result is the sort of song that would go just as well live in the rowdy back shed of a share house as it would through the car speakers as you make your way to your well deserved long-weekend holiday spot in a few days.

Served with the sprawling b-side ‘Joy’, ‘Find Yourself!’ is the perfect entrée to the album that King Cnut & The Waves are currently putting the finishing touches on; plus, it will be a great addition to the playlist I’ll be offering to anyone who’s got a free car spot to Tallarook this weekend. We got in touch with the band to talk the new single, it’s launch on the 19th of April at the Old Bar and what to expect from the impending album.

TJ: So who are King Cnut & The Waves?

KC&TW: A few years ago, Dom and Tom found themselves stranded in Sydney on a 9-hour layover between our trains. Over a few too many jugs of medium quality beer we decided to make a band where we could use all the ideas that were too loud, too uppity, too dissonant, too ridiculous or just too stupid to bring to our other bands. We were lucky enough to recruit our good friends Vince and Luke on the rhythm section and after a while of playing, our other very good friend Jordi took it upon himself to join in on keys at a band practice, albeit without consulting us. He’s been an absolutely indispensable part of the band ever since.

‘Find Yourself!’ is a really impressive first single. How’d it all come about?

'Find Yourself' was written a little later than the first round of songs we wrote as a band, and it was originally a bit of a filler song, because we only had a 20 minute set that we drew out to 40 minutes with a bunch of obnoxious jams. However, it ended up being the first song that kind of legitimised the project for the whole band, and got us really motivated to put a bit more effort into it. Lyrically, its about travelling a long way to find out something about yourself that, really, you already knew, and feeling extremely bitter about it.

‘Find Yourself!’ (and b-side ‘Joy’, for that matter) are super fun, well-arranged and full of personality. Are these first two tracks a good indication of what we should be expecting from the album you’ve been working on?

Every song is a little bit strange, and these two songs kind of epitomise the different sounds you can find on the album, it's a bit of a dichotomy between these poppy numbers dressed up as heavy, phased out tracks and the longer, dronier stuff. That said, in terms of lyrical content and heaviness, 'Find Yourself!' and 'Joy' are pretty light, 'Joy’'s literally about the nice feeling of waking up and trying to work out whose house you’ve crashed at. The rest of the album gradually gets darker and weirder thematically, and takes the musical ideas to their more extreme conclusions.

However, 'Joy' and 'Find Yourself!' aren’t actually that different in terms of how we approached them, and while it might seem that 'Joy' is a lot jammier and meandering than 'Find Yourself!', in reality its just as calculated; it’s specifically written to be that long, and every bar, every stop and start has been scrutinised to the nth degree.

On the topic, we see you’ve spent the last few months in the studio and getting the album together. How has that process been?

We tracked the bulk of the instrumentation as a live band about 9 months ago, in one fairly traumatic 36 hour session on a nice desk we had access to at RMIT, sleeping on the floor when we could. Jordi bought a bucket of KFC and 2 litres of Big M and passed out about the 22nd hour. It was a rough time. We’ve been sitting on the tracks ever since, just finishing off vocals and mixing them as we’re able.

It turned out to be a great way to record though - it gave a good consistency to the tracks, and highlighted the live performance aspect that we were really keen to transfer to a studio setting.

You’re launching the single on April 19th with some ripper supports too. Looking forward to it?

Well, the Old Bar is our favourite venue to play, and Porpoise Spit and Gamjee are two of our favourite live bands, both incredibly fun to watch. Mostly we’re just worried about how we’re gonna follow them, they’re absolutely gonna play us off the stage. Dom actually plays drums for Porpoise Spit, so he’s definitely looking forward to getting two shares of the rider.

What else does the future hold for King Cnut & The Waves?

A few more singles, probably another 6 month hiatus while we tour with our other bands. We’ve now got a studio space with a couple of the guys from Fan Girl and Eugene Fitzgerald, so hopefully while we’re releasing the rest of this record we can start demo-ing and tracking the next one, we’re really just itching to work on new music after spending so much time on this record.

Catch King Cnut & The Waves launching 'Find Yourself' at the Old Bar on April 19th and chuck it at least a couple of listens above.