The FADER's "Songs You Need" are the tracks we can't stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.
Listening to an artist's demos is very sensitive to context. No matter how much I love hearing Prince finding his way through a song on collections like Originals and Piano & A Microphone, the fact that these albums were released without the famously controlling artist's expressed permission can make hearing them feel like an intrusion.
"No Big Thing," a song from HTRK's new collection of demos and rarities called Death Is A Dream, was released by the Melbourne lo-fi duo themselves, but it still feels like you're wandering into a moment of intense creative and personal vulnerability. Solitude is the song's overarching theme from the jump – windswept guitar and a drum machine are reverbed into oblivion, evoking a bar in a ghost town somewhere deep in a forgotten United State. "Don't you tell me that it's no big thing," Jonnine Standish sings as if addressing a dream's apparition. "Babe it's fine / You're a premonition, just in time."
Most of the songs on Death Is a Dream appeared on the band's excellent 2021 project Rhinestones in different drafts, and "No Big Thing" would shed some of the Mazzy Star-meets-Hype Williams vibes to become "Sunlight Feels Like Bee Stings." Seeing the song in its original, raw shape is both a gift for fans of the original and an invitation from the band to everyone, regardless of their familiarity, to see just how they arrive at their magic.