Trillion – So Soon Now

Is it really three years since I last took to the keyboard to extoll my love of Australian gazers trillion? This five-piece outfit blew my mind with their Move to You EP back in 2020. You can read that blog in full here. They return to us, triumphant, in 2023 with an album, no less, called So Soon Now. So, who are trillion?

Well, trillion are from Sydney, Australia and consist of Steve Hartley (guitar/ vocals), Darren Barnes (bass/ programming) Sarah Quirk (guitar/ vocals) Rohan Mackenzie (guitar) Sean Vella (drums) and Megan Liu (guitar/ vocals). Their sound is classic heavy shoegaze drawing on influences like My Bloody Valentine, Blonde Redhead, Ringo Deathstarr, Peel Dream Magazine, Deafcult and Flyying Colours.

The band have the following to say about the new album.

“So Soon Now brings together driving basslines and blistering drums, layering these with hazy vocals and multi-textured fuzz to create crashing caverns of sound and subtle yet sonic sweeps of light and dark. We recorded So Soon Now over about 6 months across several studios, helping us nail the sound we wanted and deliver a total of 10 tracks, each of which displays different characteristics of our love for sonic mayhem.”

Sonic mayhem you say? Sounds right up my street!

The album opens on the title track and right away we are swathed in gorgeous textures of fuzz guitar. Those complimenting male female vocals picking out the melody from way down, deep down in the mix while the guitars explode all over them. This is an amazing choice as an opener and has me excited for what’s next.

What’s next is the dreamy ‘Lo-Fi Days’. The soporific melody is really quite intoxicating. Whilst not holding back on the fuzz the band somehow make this sound like an out and out ballad. I love how it comes back in after the false stop. That totally caught me off guard and made me smile. Don’t you love it when a song surprises you.

‘Atomic Sunshine’ follows, led by a groovy, baggy bassline. It’s a sparser mix in places than previous tracks letting us hear another side to the band. The dynamic change in mood as the band steps back for a moment and then come back in all at once is so impactful. Vocals too are more up front and centre here letting us soak up the textures of their interplay.

The single ‘Cherry Blossom’ follows with its bombastic, psychedelic tightly locked groove. A song about the judgement that comes with living life to the fullest. Vocals here reminding me of Jefferson Airplane at their height. Guitars warping and bending around each note adding to that other worldly, trippy vibe. That breakdown mid song is the definition of heavy gaze for me. It’s not hard to see why the video for this track has been has been getting a lot of love.

Changing the mood completely is the lighter than air fuzz pop of ‘Kusanagi’. From what I can glean online it’s a legendary Japanese sword of ancient myth. I could be wrong so don’t quote me on that. What you can quote me on is that this song is the business. It’s fuzzed out intro fooling us into thinking we are about to hear more super heavy gaze. The song kicks in for real on the vocals lifting us up and flying skywards. The vocals are next level on this track and I can see this serving really well as a single.

This is followed by my album highlight, a woozy, fuzzy behemoth called ‘Falling Down’. The guitars on this are absolute dynamite I just love that heady impenetrable fog of a sound they make. When that heavy fuzz guitar kicks in on the chorus it takes your breath away. This is a band who have done their MBV homework. The influences here drawn from B-sides and EP tracks. I really appreciate the effort as this is simply stunning. The fact that there is no bass or drums on this only makes it more amazing that it’s able to hit so hard.

‘Take it Slow’ brings the band back in melodic form. Really zone in to the drums on this one. They are practically dancing. It adds another new dimension to this bands repertoire. The guitar riff is so hooky as are the punchy vocals throughout. They float over the top of this glorious wash of rhythmic joy. Check out the cool video here.

As if taking a cue from the previous song, ‘Close Your Eyes’ takes it slow and steady. Whilst that steady wall of chaotic fuzz hangs in the air behind it there’s some cool stuff happening. A delicious guitar melody is ringing out whilst that Jefferson Airplane style vocal interplay returns. Overall, this is a hypnotic tune, you can’t quite believe its over when those last distorted notes ring out.

‘The Silent Sea’ has that epic power ballad swagger about it. That is if it wasn’t absolutely buzzing and reverberating with crushing fuzz. That transforms it to something else, something we haven’t heard from trillion as yet. This feels new and exciting. The vocals sound colder and more distant than usual and when the lead guitar arrives, it’s enormous sounding. Towering over the rest of the track. That almost reggae section in the middle had me scratching my head but my god, it works. There was a lot of risks taken on this song and they all pay off in spades.

The album reaches its climax with ‘Sometimes It’s Alright’. A gorgeous tone poem of reverse guitar parts, layered and mixed in a most pleasing way. A lovely way to close out the album.

With So Soon Now trillion have sculpted a love letter to the bands who came before them without ever straying into pastiche. The creativity on show is breath-taking throughout and in places breaks new ground. That kind of songwriting is what keeps the gaze scene vibrant and alive. It’s what make trillion absolutely crucial listening.

So Soon Now is available digitally from trillions Bandcamp page. Alas, no vinyl option as yet.

You can follow trillion on social media here…

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