Halfway have always seemed to operate in their own space within the Australian music industry. They tick both the Americana/alt-country box as accurately as they slot into the world of indie rock. On Rain Lover they’ve combined those sonic qualities and more, blending them seamlessly into their own brand of heartwarming and heartbreaking melancholic rock.
The production of Nashville-based Mark Nevers adds a wonderfully full and detailed sound to the album where bass lines tumble and roll, guitars dovetail into each other, whether it be strummed menace, chiming and hypnotic or the weeping ache of pedal steel. The songs take the form of vignettes and memories – of people and places (such as Rockhampton, QLD), potential realised and wasted. There’s a specificity about streets, locations and major life events and it all rings true, the music carrying equal emotional weight with the lyrics.
Opener ‘Swinburne Ashes’ sets the scene and mood of the record while ‘Crescent Lagoon’ is gloriously wistful and infectiously catchy. ‘Asphalt Rain’ has a spacious elegance to it, all swirling guitars and slow chug before the album climaxes with the beautifully tragic ‘The Metallic Taste Of Bad News’, conveying the heartbreak of bad news with poetry and graceful realism over a palette of Mogwai-esque textures and washes of sound.
Halfway are a modern treasure on the Australian musical landscape, always cutting to the heart and soul of their music with each record they produce. On Rain Lover they’ve topped even their own lofty standards.