GUM’s new album is beginning to take shape nicely.
The multi-instrumentalist – otherwise known as Pond’s Jay Watson – will release Saturnia in September. The latest track to be shared from it is “Would It Pain You to See?”, a relentlessly groovy journey that exquisitely mixes together pop, psychedelic rock, and R&B flourishes.
“I wrote this in lockdown with my newborn sun, on my Wurli,” GUM says. “My songs are never really literal or with obvious meaning, but if I had to say what this one is about, it would be the conflict of apathy and caring a lot about something, that’s inside all of us. It seems to be particularly confusing and crude in today’s and age.”
So many fascinating sounds announce themselves in just under four minutes. Bossa nova-esque beats lurk in the background; there are lovely strings, played sublimely by Jesse Kotansky; summery synths rise and fall; GUM even finds time for a swirling guitar solo. It’s a packed palette, but it’s why GUM’s track sounds like a producer’s dream.
“Would It Pain You to See?” is accompanied by a suitably mind-melting music video, directed by Michael Hili, who also helmed the video for Flume’s all-conquering collaboration with MAY-A, “Say Nothing”.
“Jay’s such a talent, you can feel his fingerprint on every part of the song, a true studio wizard,” Hili says. The inspiration for the video came from imagining Jay in his backyard studio piecing together the track.
“Deep into the process, time passes and shifts, characters materialise fully-formed in costume playing the strings part Jay is writing in his mind. Somewhere in the wee hours, insecurity creeps in and you can feel the eyes of a few demons and inspirations.”
Saturnia will be GUM’s sixth studio album since 2014, a remarkable level of output given his commitments with both Pond and Tame Impala. It will contain “Would It Pain You to See?” and previous single “Race to the Air”.
To celebrate his new album, GUM will be embarking on a rare Australian tour, taking his band to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth throughout September (ticket information here).