2nd June | Exchange

At first listen, you might mistake Jake Webb’s high falsetto for that of a female vocalist. His androgynous tones on the band’s three albums, matched by endlessly catchy guitar and synth hooks, have created and cemented the indie force that is the band Methyl Ethel. Hailing from Perth, Australia, Jake and the band are heading to Exchange in support of their fantastic new album, Triage.

The band’s been playing their brand of rock to Australian audiences since 2015, but it was their second album Everything Is Forgotten that led to success outside Oz. Tracks like ‘L’Heure des Sorcières’ are named from obscure literary and cultural references, but instead of seeming pretentious, they’re really very accessible. And the songs refuse to leave my head: “why’d you have to go and cut your hair?” (from Ubu) has to be the strangest earworm I’ve had the fortune to hear.

Triage, likewise, has its own crop of listener-friendly hits like ‘Scream Whole’. More synth-y this time around (a rock band cliché Jake has acknowledged), yet it retains what makes Methyl Ethel great: his songs’ deep, abstract lyrics. Webb insists upon the universality of their emotional weight. This, combined with the intimacy of Exchange, will have heartstrings pulled tight this Sunday.

See the video for ‘Scream Whole’ here: