Audio Commentary, the debut album from Melbourne-based four-piece SB (Snowy Band), is not, in the strictest terms, a debut. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Liam “Snowy” Halliwell, who helms the project, has spent the better part of the last decade making music in some of Melbourne’s most beloved bands, including The Ocean Party and No Local, and under a handful of solo monikers. But the 11-track LP comprises a reintroduction of sorts; more spacious and more meditative than No Local’s anxious post-punk, Halliwell’s work with SB includes dry, moonlit takes on lounge music (“Edge of the Weekend”) and 60s Christian folk (“East West,”) in addition to indie-rock and jangle pop. Touching on enduring love, grief, and the malleability of time, Audio Commentary is vital, stirring.
Today, The FADER is premiering “Never Change,” a bracing highlight from Audio Commentary. Showcasing the best of Halliwell’s lyricism as well as the various talents of Halliwell’s band (featuring Dianas’ Nat Pavlovic, Emma Russack, and Dylan Young of Way Dynamic) “Never Change” — streaming above — explores the corporate impulse to excise the most gruesome or uncomfortable parts of relationships and emotions in order to sell quick fixes to the masses. “I don’t want a simple explanation from some viral tweet, TV, or a book I read,” Halliwell sings, “Don’t tell me how to grieve.”
Halliwell explained the meaning behind the song to The FADER over email; read what he has to say about “Never Change” below, and pre-order Audio Commentary, out March 27 via Osborne Again/Spunk Records, here.
The initial impetus for the song came from one afternoon of mindlessly scrolling social media. I’d noticed a continuing trend of “suggested posts” and targeted ads for me that were spruiking shit like “The Nature Of Grief: Explained Perfectly By This Simple Diagram” and “How Opening A Dog-Friendly Prosecco Bar Helped This Man Overcome The Death Of His Own Four-Legged Friend”. Repulsed by this trend of trying to distil complex and personal experiences into trivial, click-able content, I logged off and started writing a song.
I wanted to write a song that addressed and paid tribute to my experiences and friendships in music over the past decade, without wrapping it up into a neat and conclusive package. Without a simple explaination for what has been and for what comes next. While a creative process shared with others often appears to conclude with a discrete and digestible product (an album, a Final Tour, etc) for myself the passing of time and gained perspective will always shed new light and meaning on art made collaboratively. The underlying sentiment is that the friendship and shared experience at the foundation of it all is the reliable constant that will never change.
The song is one of the more upbeat tracks off our forthcoming album, featuring more of the playfulness and electric side of our live shows. I wanted to juxtapose a rhythmically driving, major-key, guitar-pop sound with the song’s sometimes grief-stricken and uncertain lyrics — an approach influenced directly by Lachlan Denton’s masterful approach on his most recent album.