Straighten your tie, tuck in your shirt and pull up your socks.
Adelaide three piece, Bitch Prefect have released their debut album Big Time; a mellow indie triumph worthy of handing over your lunch money for.
Not familiar with Bitch Prefect? Minus 50 House points.
Beginning the band (and multiple others) 3 years ago from their Keswick sharehouse, Scott O’Hara, Pat Telfer and Liam Kenny are colouring outside the lines of indie pop with a refreshing raw sound.
“We were all living in Adelaide at the time” says singer O’Hara, retelling the band’s fabled meeting. “Pat and Liam lived in a share house with another friend of mine. She’d invite me over on Monday nights to watch Boston Legal and Louis Theroux and this great run of programs. So I’d start going over and we’d start hanging out. She moved out and I moved in and we started the band.”
Be warned, Bitch Prefect is not music for fans of predictable polished pop production, but rather, something better.
This is lo-fi indie pop for those who enjoy a gnarly portion of DIY gristle to bite into. “It’s all very trashy and quick which kind of comes across in the music,” agrees O’Hara. “Pat and Liam might have a drum and guitar part and we start overdubbing things and it’s all very, very improvised as we record it.”
Each song feels like it should be experienced, beer in hand, hanging out with mates. It’s almost enough to call for a new genre, ‘share house’. Listening to the tracks, you can almost feel the fun and spontaneity of a house of musicians creating something together.
“Bitch Prefect is all kind of fun,” says O’Hara when asked his favourite part of the whole process. “The film clips are excellent. Just the sort of stuff that comes from us all being bored and living together. Pat started making those clips with his phone and you’d just walk out and they’d be in some weird position with some very makeshift costume on and I’d be like ‘What are you guys doing?’ ‘Making a film clip’… Next thing I’m helping.”
Big Time features upbeat bummer tracks to oil your gears after a rusty day. Simple melodic grunge tune ‘Bad Decisions’ is sure to be on your next hangover soundtrack. O’Hara agrees describing the album in 3 words or less, as “Lazy. Pop. Fun.”
“There were always these crazy combinations of music going on, depending on who was around at the time” he explains. “It was a lot of fun. There was a four track recorder in the bedroom and tonnes of drums and guitars lying around… It was just something to do while we were hanging out.”
With each member of Bitch Prefect also belonging to several other longstanding projects, it’s clear the Adelaide music seen is alive and well. “The friends in Adelaide are fantastic,” O’Hara says on the tight-knit music community.
“You have this real sense of ownership… when you’re the only seven people going to the pub. I guess being at home… I know it will be small and filled with friends and that’s a good way to play.”
Combined with their impressive musical chops, Bitch Prefect have nailed the fine art of the band name. So where did it come from? Run-ins with power-tripping prefects?
“We didn’t have prefects at my school,” admits O’Hara “I reckon Pat and Liam probably did. I was a massive nerd. I was so obsessed with birds and parrots and I’ve basically spent a good portion of my life reading up on it… and that didn’t go down too well in high school. Even the nerds don’t get that,” he laughs.
“I don’t think the boys were nerds at school though. They’re very handsome and very cool. I think people would’ve liked them plenty.”
Reaching the end of their Big Time Tour, the Keswick lads have rocked many neighbourhoods, playing dates in Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
O’Hara admits that it was the latter city that was his favourite, “outside of anything personally if you’re just asked to plonk down and play somewhere regardless of who’s showing up, Melbourne’s by far my favourite place to play.”
Other live highlights? “I think I had my first and only mosh pit playing to a Brisbane crowd,” laughs O’Hara. “Yeah we’ve been playing in punk bands for years and all of a sudden I play in a pop band and then there’s a mosh pit going on. It’s kind of cool.”
The trio are just content that they’ve been able to bring their brand of ‘share house’ to the wider nation. “It’s taken forever, we recorded that album about well over a year ago… the excitement now is the feeling of it being completed.”
Big Time is available now through Bedroom Suck Records.Write a Letter to the Editor