Ever since they first formed close to four decades ago, Ups and Downs have served as an enduring force on the Australian music scene, with their beloved compositions resonating amongst listeners who have still idolised the band throughout their sporadic existence.
Though it was in 2017 that the group released The Sky’s in Love With You (their first record in close to 20 years), fans haven’t waited quite as long for more material. While a Hummingbirds cover arrived in 2019, so too did a new single, featuring a re-recorded version of 1983’s “The Real World”.
In 2020, their hot streak continued, with last month bringing with it the release of Another Country, a five-track EP featuring covers of artists as varied as Wire, XTC, The Comsat Angels, and The Passions. As eclectic as it is accomplished, Another Country isn’t an EP that sticks out amongst the group’s already-celebrated discography. Rather, it fits in effortlessly, with the group reinventing these tracks, and performing them as if they were their own.
One of the highlights of the EP comes by way of Ups and Downs’ cover of The Korgis’ 1980 single, “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime”, which featured the talents of chart-topping Aussie expat Rick Springfield.
“It’s a beautifully sad song that continues to haunt me to this day,” explained Greg Atkinson of the band’s cover. “We’ve even iced the cake by getting a bona fide rock star, Rick Springfield, to play lead guitar on it. Rumour has it that Ups and Downs are Rick’s second favourite Australian band after The Church and I’m OK with that.”
Now, Ups and Downs have offered up a visual accompaniment to the track, showing the group performing the track – in true 2020 fashion – in a socially-distanced manner, while the casual home decor helps to add in a much more familiar and welcoming aspect.
Topping it off though is the addition of Springfield himself, who streams in to offer up a slick performance of his own appearance on the track – completing the formula, and giving the track an inadvertent dose of star power as well.
Ups and Downs’ Another Country EP is available on all streaming services now.