The debut self-titled EP from Australian quintet Gold Fields bursts forth from the speakers with a freshness that cannot be denied. The band’s first single “Treehouse” opens the setwith a glossy slice of pop etched with tribal drums. With a rush and a push of propulsive percussion and tribal textures, “Moves” provokes dance-inducing enthusiasm, even as its evolving lyrical hook lures the ear into a Trans-Pacific game of telephone. Percolating with pops and claps, the syncopated rhythms and shifting dynamics of “The Woods” evoke the otherworldly ambience of venturing deep into the wilderness, slivers of light contrasting with singer Mark Fuller’s shadowy incantations of “I wish we knew how to play safe.” Compare those three cuts with “Holy No,” a sinewy, slow-motion funk groove that creeps along on cat feet of wah-wah guitar and sinister keyboards. While all four selections are audibly the work of the same band, each boasts a distinctive character—just as Gold Fields intended. “From the beginning, we made it a big point to make every song sound different,” says guitarist Vin Andanar. “We didn’t want to be pigeonholed as part of any scene or specific sound.” Instead, they concentrated on creating original music that met their own high standards and was fun to play.
That’s not as easy as it might seem. Not when your band is comprised of five avid music lovers with individual tastes. That disparity accounts for Gold Fields’ eclectic sound, but also sets up challenges when developing new ideas. “We’re not going to release a song until everybody in the band is happy with it.”Luckily, Gold Fields is pretty harmonious lot, the result of friendships that predate the band’s formation in early 2010. Growing up in Ballarat, a Victorian era boomtown about an hour’s drive west of Melbourne, the five lads attended school together starting around age 12. While that camaraderie is the glue that bonds Gold Fields, this was no leisurely idyll or excuse to hang out. From the outset they were dead serious about reaching a wider audience.Rather than claw their way up through the club scene, the quintet concentrated on writing and recording the best original material they could. Once they’d fashioned a six-song demo, they sought out professionals to help refine their sound and steer their career.