Will we see the day when Art As Catharsis releases a dud? So far, the evidence suggests a resounding, “No.” The label has released music from every corner of the Australian underground, and each of their artists and releases approaches their respective genre with a progressive mindset. I’m stoked to premiere yet another shining example from Brian Campeau. The Sydney-based songwriter is prepping his upcoming rarities compilation, Ambience Driver, dubbed a collection of “B-sides, Demos and the Neglected.” Below you’ll find an exclusive stream for “Fail Proof,” which is both an excellent single and an embodiment of the ethos that defines AAC’s roster and Campeau’s songwriting.
The track opens with a one-two punch of isolated, shimmering guitar and crunching alt-rock riffs. Campeau’s rough-yet-melodic vocals on the chorus bring on prominent ’90s rock vibes, perhaps best described as a rougher Jeff Buckley flirting with grunge’s artsier offerings. Yet, Campeau strikes a crucial balance on “Fail Proof,” producing something that inspires nostalgia while remaining firmly present in a modern context. In that sense, there are strong indie folk/rock vibes throughout the song accented with Campeau’s own compositional touch.
Case in point, the latter half of the song deviates into some fantastic melodic riffing and acoustic/electric interplay. It’s the perfect kind of prog passage, one that presents an intriguing detour while still maintaining the spirit of the track overall. As Campeau caps the section off with a guitar solo and reprises the chorus, you simply have to marvel at how much territory he covered in just four minutes. The track combines some of the best aspects of alt-rock, folk, and prog in a succinct yet potent package, and I’m confident it will inspire fans of any/all these genre to check out what else Campeau has to offer.
Ambience Driver is available June 5 via Art As Catharsis.