Suffering and the melancholic are immensely explored throughout ‘Certainly Someone’, album by local rockers Restless Natives
21.12.2021

Suffering and the melancholic are immensely explored throughout ‘Certainly Someone’, album by local rockers Restless Natives

Words by Ashlee Simpson

With sombre vocals and melancholically minor melodies in the instrumentalisation, ‘Certainly Someone’ hits those deep feels.

Local rock group Restless Natives are busily making their name in the Australian music world, and album Certainly Someone embraces a DIY ethic by strumming and rocking to themes pertaining to suffering. 

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The Geelong four-piece formed in 2016 is made up of pure, raw talent that has been magically translated into the twelve-track album with a truly unique and identifiable sound. With Josh Humphrey on lead vocals and bass, Will McGuinness on guitar and vocals, Blake Newton on guitar and vocals, and Cam Kos smashing through the ever-complex drum lines, Restless Natives have used music to push their heart and soul into the album to create an energised collection. 

Released earlier this year in October, Certainly Someone has allowed the group to expand their following and monthly listeners since having released tracks such as ‘Easy’, ‘La Venue’, and ‘Expense’ as singles. The album dynamically captures the essence of suffering from an overall, melancholic and sombre mood; expressed through an abundance of minor chords and expressively emotive vocals that critique suffering in such a raw, spirited manner. 

 

The album opens with ‘Tomorrow Was Just Like Yesterday’ and, as the title suggests, emulates the critique of repetition, of the quotidian, through rhythm. From an expressive guitar introduction crescendoing into verses abundant with a heavy rock attitude to the eclectic breaks throughout the song, ‘Tomorrow Was Just Like Yesterday’ is a gorgeously ominous introduction to, what is to come, a diverse and emotive landscape that is Certainly Someone. 

With an arguably serene introduction in comparison to the previous song, before returning to the true rock tingles that Restless Natives bring, ‘Bishop’ boasts an epic guitar solo that is rhythmic and groovy, working to compliment the overall critique on suffering that the lyrics persuade. 

‘Expense’ exhibits a contrasting introduction to the previous two songs, offering a break from the heavy rock vibe, to the listener. The alternative guitar riff is stripped-back, clean and defined with an almost “beachy” feel to the rhythm, with Triple J Unearthed describing the track to have ‘good vibes’ and making the listener ‘want to dance vigorously, sing vibrantly, and air drum violently’. Later, tracks such as ‘Individual’ and ‘Bottle of Water’ similarly use this alternative mood and space to critique ideas such as identity, singing ‘In a place that I can’t control, cas I’m an individual’ and ‘I’m so sorry for my personality’ in the songs respectively.

We are returned to the grunge-rock space for ‘Denied’, with the pure talent of the instrumentalists on display. This one is a bit of a head-bop, with the steady rhythm allowing the lyrics to explore relationships and being denied, as moods of anger and despair are explored in the repetition of ‘be denied, be denied, be denied…’

‘La Venue’ is fittingly one of three singles off the album, and for every right reason. The mellow, sombre introduction is calm and inviting, with a melancholic mood maintained throughout the track. The clever play on words of ‘la venue’ to ‘loving you’ subtly allows the listener to further critique relationships and the overall ideology of suffering. Later, tracks such as ‘Easy’, ‘Only Sometimes’, and ‘Assets’ maintain the rock genre and continue to critique suffering. 

Quiet, acoustic, and with a contrasting introduction to the rest album is ‘Out’, a sombre, reflective track that quietly relaxed the reader whilst maintaining the critique the lyrics consistently make, assisted with the minor tune. Through evocative imagery such as ‘ignite the fire inside before the lights go out’, the quiet acoustics accompany the sombre lyrics, almost bringing the listener to tears when in consideration of the raw emotion behind the lyrics. 

Just when you think the album is over, Restless Natives treat the listener with a bonus track; an acoustic version of ‘La Venue’. Similar to the hush of ‘Out’, ‘La Venue’ acoustic version has a far heavier focus on the lyrics in comparison to the rockier version, where the acoustic instrumentalisation allows the words and emotion to shine. The track is beautiful and thought-provoking, sending the listener into a world beyond the album; particularly with the melancholic final line of ‘since I’ve been la venue’, with a final, quiet, strum of a minor chord on the acoustic guitar, completing the album. 

With an eclectic blend of tracks and an exhibition of utter talent, the raw emotion of both the vocals and instrumentalisation explores themes of suffering through establishing a sombre, melancholic mood. Restless Natives have absolutely outdone themselves with Certainly Someone, and are deserving of insurmountable praise. With perhaps some gigs on the way and some new material surely in the works, keep an eye on Restless Natives as they pave their way through the local music scene. 

Listen to Certainly Someone on Spotify, and be sure to check out Restless Natives on Instagram and Facebook for any and all updates.