Track by Track:
Malibu Spacey - Something To Do In The Desert
Words by James Lynch
Thursday 21st July, 2022
Following the release of Something To Do In The Desert last week, we caught up with Malibu Spacey to delve into the charismatic psych-infused soft-rock that makes up their dreamy debut EP.
Considering Malibu Spacey have been kicking it around Melbourne town since 2017, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that their long-time-coming debut EP finds the five-piece stepping out of the gates with a fully realised sound and the self-assurance to match. While their Bandcamp page lists their genre as “dad rock”, across this EP Malibu Spacey strike up a perfect balance between hushed folk-pop, shimmering psychedelia and sturdy indie-rock, loading their sound with more personality and spark than their “dad rock” tag might give away.

Clocking in at nearly 20 minutes over its four tracks, Something To Do In The Desert takes its time as it unravels to welcome us into the band’s woozy sonic world. With its chiming guitars and tight harmonies, opening track ‘Hand of Death’ plays like a long-lost 60’s folk gem, before eventually expanding further with its soaring hooks, driving groove and a spirited solo. Next along, ‘There’s No Point in Arguing’ leans into a coolly restrained atmosphere with its soft keys and leisurely backbeat, and ‘Paradise is Crowded’ builds around a playful county-tinged lilt, yet the band manage to squeeze some of their most imaginative moments into these tracks despite the stripped-back arrangements. Finally, ‘Powder Keg’ concludes the EP with a dose of dazed psychedelia, immersing us in interweaving guitars and hypnotic harmonies to round out the release with the band at their boldest yet.

To help us dig deeper into the EP, vocalist/guitar Evan Jones has walked us through Something To Do In The Desert track by track.
Hand of Death

Apparently ‘Hand of Death’ was some sort of satanic death cult, but this song is nowhere near that. “I felt the hand of death close around my neck/and man I think I lost my keys” - I’m always writing about my sieve-like brain and being overly dramatic, so that’s what’s happening here. The band really made this song though with the harmonies and that end section in particular where Nat’s bass riff and Zoran’s silky guitar just come out of nowhere. Everyone’s cooking and it’s a lot of fun live.

There’s No Point in Arguing

The song starts “She’s got the brains like Redford in The Sting” which is a film I hadn’t seen at the time and still have not seen. The lyrics are essentially about being wrong but doubling down and not wanting to admit it. This is the first song we recorded, way back in 2020 before Tim even joined the band - Zoran is playing drums. Zoran also plays keys and guitar and sings harmony on this one, so he’s really trying to make the rest of us look bad. Oh and Steve MacLean did an excellent music video for this - a visual collage which deserves infinitely more love, so please check it out.

Paradise is Crowded

The title is based on something Attenborough said in one of his docos and I thought the phrase was quite evocative. I think the rains came down on a dry patch of desert somewhere and every animal sensed it and scurried in to share a drink. The band calls this one ‘the cowboy song’, because it both sounds like some good old country (this is definitely our Laurel Canyon, three part harmony number) but also because when we played this during our very first show, some wobbly old cowboy came wandering in off the Geelong streets and boot-scooted before disappearing into the night. Still our purest fan and there’s a free EP here if he wants to claim it.

Powder Keg

This might have been the first song we wrote as a band (although it was PT - pre-Tim) and it definitely feels like us. Vocally the whole thing is in two part harmony - one day Antony is going to realise his voice is too good to be singing back up and he’ll knock me off my comfortable perch. The extended outro is just a two chord vamp but it works as a good foil for the main verse progression, which is quite long and meandering. It builds up and holds on, with Nat and Zoran locking in for something that is almost a duel bass/guitar solo. We added some ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ style woo-woo’s in there too. It’s hard to describe this one. Dreamy? Vaguely psychedelic? Whatever it is, it’s probably the first song that gave us the belief that we, as a group, had something to give.

Something To Do In The Desert is out now. Head to to grab the EP on limited 12" vinyl and catch Malibu Spacey launching the release upstairs at the Gasometer on Saturday July 23rd.