The Nagging Doubts were still at High School in Sydney when they made their first acclaimed EP, ‘Deug Lane’, which was lovingly catapulted into the world via ex-Lemonheads drummer Nic Dalton on his label imprint Half A Cow. A year on and, following an introduction by Dalton, the band found themselves in a studio working on mixes with acclaimed producer Wayne Connolly (The Vines, You Am I, Youth Group) and stepping into a new direction: all darkly simmering, glittery post-punk ambience; and punchy, Peter Hook inspired baselines.
This new aesthetic sees The Nagging Doubts release their much-anticipated new extended-player, ‘Autocalm’, through Connolly’s own record label Scenic Drive, on April 21, 2021. These elements have culminated in a growing understanding of how to curate a mature, coherent sound, imbued with light and shade and pensive progression. Autocalm will establish the 5-piece band as bona fide inheritors of any buzz-worthy forms of critical acclaim that may come their way.
Such is the bands belief in their work and willingness to back their ambition, this new EP will be boldly anchored by a two-part single which clocks in at just over 9 and a half minutes. Through a Glass Darkly (Part 1 & 2) has been long in the making. A staple of The Nagging Doubts live set for a couple of years and borne of the acoustic guitar during a long road trip down Australia’s East Coast; the song has seen numerous iterations and developments, finally coming to land in these two instalments.
Part I reflects the songs origins – a fast-paced, acoustically vibrant jangle that takes inspiration from the likes of the Go-Betweens, The Smiths and Kiss Me-era Cure. Part II comes hurling out of space in a Bowie Heroes style anthem. Massive drums, swirling synth and wailing guitar fester in a post-punk march, all beneath the sweet and sour interplay of Ruby King’s siren call and Joe Wilks’ laconic lyricism. Reflecting the anxieties and doubts of dark times, the two parts create a dialogue of hope and despair – the dichotomy that pervades the very essence of the human experience. One thing is clear – The Nagging Doubts are on this journey together.
Fittingly, the title of the 7 track EP,’ Autocalm’, draws from a 1960’s advertisement for pharmaceuticals; and the music contained on the records, including previous singles ‘Berlin’ and ‘A Shot In The Dark’, grapple with the whirlwind of anxiety, ecstasy, disillusionment and fulfillment that sweeps you up in the turbulence of entering adulthood. These are topics in which the band members, all close childhood friends, are well versed. Thankfully for the listener, Autocalm serves as both an eternal document of this moment in time, of a band truly finding their feet, and a prophecy for the magic to come for The Nagging Doubts.