Record review: The Preatures – Is This How You Feel? (2013, single)

I’m not going to lie. For the first fifteen seconds of my first listen to the new The Preatures track ‘Is This How You Feel?’ I caught myself thinking oh fuck… what have they done? For those first few anxiety-filled moments, as those retro-fuelled guitar lines crept their way out of my speakers, I foolishly wondered why the Sydney quintet felt the need to change their ‘sound’.

But just as quickly I moved on to wondering what exactly is The Preatures’ sound? The “baby be mine” pop melodies of ‘Take A Card’? The dark country-rock of ‘Pale Rider’? The smooth soul of ‘Young Brave Me’? Thankfully, I quickly came to the conclusion that The Preatures have such a variety of good musical vibes to offer that each of their songs should be judged as entirely separate entities, and not parts of a single greater being. Once Isabella Manfredi’s super-smooth vocals kicked in my doubts were eased, and by forty seconds in I was sold. Thank you, The Preatures, for an initially stressful but ultimately pleasurable half-minute.

‘Is This How You Feel?’ is the first single from The Preatures’ upcoming EP; the band’s third release, which follows on from the breakthrough success they achieved throughout 2012, centred on their excellent single ‘Take A Card’. Bright and funky with their signature girl/boy vocal dynamic and more than a hint of rockabilly guitar, it’s another seemingly effortlessly cool and sleek release from the young Sydneysiders, and bodes well for the band’s future. Mandredi takes the limelight vocally, with Gideon Benson contributing a few lines mid-song, as plenty of ’70s feel comes through from start to finish. In short: it’s a damn fine track.

Being the tour supports of choice for bands like Deep Sea Arcade, San Cisco, and Hungry Kids of Hungary has helped win The Preatures new fans around the country, and ‘Is This How You Feel?’ should continue to do the same. Anticipation builds for the EP…

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