With their new single ‘Rounding Up a Bunch of Cats’, Easy Browns serve up a lesson in existence and coexistence on a platter of plucky syncopation, wizardly woodwind, and poetic prophecy.
It’s the third drop from the leaky faucet that is the Easy Browns’ forthcoming third record Down on the Farm, set to be released early September. For those familiar with the troupe’s last two releases, ‘Dog Eat God’ and ‘Dam Eels’, it should come at no surprise that spring will bring with it a conceptual album comprised completely of animal-themed tracks, deliberating on the use of animals as tools and climate breakdown.
Easy Browns is the five-year-old darling project of self-professed “mother goose” and frontman Zak Brown on flute, rhythm guitar, and lead vocals. Brown is flanked by none other than his froggy bassist and best mate Shelby Wilton, the “happy-go lucky and quite loyal” dog on drums Liam Wilkerson, and the beaver-like Brodie on lead guitar with his “cute smile” and building skills.
This latest release by the eclectic foursome is a crockpot of the Easy Browns’ most tasty talents. Boasting gritty rock n’ roll riffs led by frenzied flute melodies rolling beneath impassioned spoken-word verses balanced with soft harmonies, Easy Browns once again tow the line between fun, cheeky lyricisms and genuine social commentary. “Having fun with lyrics is one of the best parts about doing it,” said Brown, eloquent lyricist and avid reader of a ‘fuck-tonne of novels’. “You can put write what you want, and people can take it how they wanna take it.”
The title of the track itself comes from a stay with a friend-of-the-band’s family in nipaluna (Hobart) on the Easy Browns’ last national tour. “We were all pissfarting around. The whole band was all over the shop and Robert [the father] was just like, ‘this is just like rounding up a bunch of cats’. And I was like, huh. That’s gonna be a song. And so it was!” For Brown, the track serves as a reminder to not get too stressed in the thick of it. “I get impatient with people who are hard to manage and hard to round up. I can get really bossy. It’s sort of a message to myself as well, you know?” And it’s a message delivered in undeniable style.
“And momentous will be the grand idling that takes the place of an all-encompassing and ever-expanding sense of pace.”
Lending itself between hard-hitting monologue verse and Wilton and Brown’s soft harmonies, ‘Rounding Up a Bunch of Cats’ is less of a cautionary tale than it is a call-to-action - and it couldn’t come at a better time. With repeated references to time and pace striking a contrast between metropolitan and rural lifestyle, the track begs of us to see the bigger picture in a world which has thrust us into a rather minute experience of our everyday lives. “Not everyone’s used to the pace of having to slow the fuck down,” said Brown. “I think it’s a good thing.”
As a project managed completely by Brown himself, isolation has proved to be a blessing in disguise for the band. “It was a huge weight off my shoulders,” he said. “We didn’t have the money to tour, and it was just going to be stress after stress. I’m glad I had time to finish the record at my own pace.” Championing the claim that ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop’, Brown has leaped at the chance to delve into gardening and ecology during iso. “Especially with the messages that a lot of the Easy Browns’ songs carry, it's important for me to be able to back the message up with a grounding in this earthly realm.”
At its core, ‘Rounding Up a Bunch of Cats’ is a reminder to “cruise at your own pace, look after your mates, look after everyone, and look after the world - because it’s in a pretty dire state at the moment.”
The new single (as well as ‘Dog Eat God’ and ‘Dam Eels’) is available to stream on Bandcamp now, where you can get a taste and pre-order the upcoming record Down on the Farm before its September release.