Calling in on his morning walk, Ball Park Music’s frontman Sam Cromack is in holiday mode after recently announcing a headline tour of Australia next year in support of their latest single, ‘Exactly How You Are’, along with sharing the title, cover art and finer details of what will be their fifth studio LP, Good Mood.
“It’s the weirdest time in my job,” Cromack laughs, “Dean and I have been doing all the photography, artwork and design side, which keeps us pretty busy after we finish doing all the music, but that’s all done now too. Now we’re just waiting around until the record is released and touring starts.”
Following last year’s album Every Night The Same Dream, Good Mood is due to come out late February. It’s the album striking cover art shot by BPM’s guitarist Dean Hanson that is acquiring the most attention.
“I just stumbled on a few pictures of people riding horses and rearing them and I just got obsessed with them,” Cromack explains. “I showed the guys, and said ‘how cool would it be if we could re-create our own sort of Brisbane-version of something like this, and it was one of those happy accidents that comes along.”
Fronted with the challenge of finding someone willing to ride a horse bareback in the middle of Brisbane, Cromack was determined to make it work. “It’s actually a really dangerous activity [rearing horses], there’s a Wikipedia page called ‘horse rearing’ and it was like ‘this activity is extremely dangerous, do not try’, ‘many fatalities’, and we just started thinking no one is going to want to do this. But we did it, we found a girl, her name was Mindy, and she was awesome,” he laughs.
The recent release of ‘Exactly How You Are’ sees the five piece embrace warm melodies and a feel-good catchy chorus, differing from the moodier direction of the group’s last album. However Cromack admits Good Mood isn’t exclusively a feel-good album.
“Even though it’s called Good Mood and the single is obviously a pretty feel good kind of track, I don’t think we’ve ever gone into making an album with a strict idea of what the whole thing should sound like,” he explains. “It’s just always whatever songs are laying around, we work on them all and then we choose the best ones and they go on the record.
“I still think the record explores a range of emotions, I don’t think I could ever release something that was exclusively one kind of vibe. I would say compared to our last record, certainly yes, it’s up from there, with more energy and higher tempos; we were just in the mood to write some big singles again,” Cromack explains, referring to the singles from Every Night The Same Dream which peaked at #3 on the ARIA charts.
“It [Every Night The Same Dream] was really well-received critically but it didn’t have big singles like Puddinghead  did. They did well, but it was just a different one for us and I think that really influenced my attitude coming into this new one,” he says. “I was trying to keep it as simple as I could, when I was writing I was like ‘don’t introduce any unnecessary, complicated ideas, stop trying to be smart and clever, just keep it simple and write how 18 year old Sam would have written’.”
In typical Queenslander style, the album was recorded and produced by the band themselves in their very own studio space in Brisbane.
“I always say to people that studio is a bit of a generous word, it’s basically a garage,” Cromack laughs, “but it’s cosy and we fitted it out with some furniture and some lamps and gave it as much vibe as we possibly could. From there, we pretty much recorded there as if it was a full time job for about three months.
“It was also the first time we’ve ever made a record in winter which was a great decision,” Cromack laughs. “Brisbane is just such a hot place and we’ve always ended up recording in fucking summer, and it’s brutal. We’ve always just ended up sitting in our undies sweating it out and this time, we were like let’s actually plan it so we can make a record during those middle months of the year. We could almost pretend we were in Melbourne.”
With the album release and headline tour on the horizon for February 2018, the band will be on a festival tour from December including a performance at NYE on the Hill to launch them into the new year.
When & Where: NYE On The Hill @ The Farm – Saturday 30 December – Monday 1 January.
Tickets available via www.nyeonthehill.com.au.
Written by Talia Rinaldo