PREMIERE: Marville - Terra Alpha
Fresh off the back of receiving QMusic’s prestigious Billy Thorpe Scholarship, Brisbane’s prolific and cuttingly brilliant Marville have arrived with their most succinct, brooding and powerful release to date, Terra Alpha. Laundry Echo is stoked to today premiere Terra Alpha, the band’s latest studio album.
Marville sit uncomfortably in the scope of rock music. The two-piece’s music punches at the conventions of its genre commanding and challenging its listener to follow the band into a spiral of guitar and drum that frequently flips direction and completely floors you. It’s as impressive as it is refreshing and all in all brilliantly unconventional against the sea of same same rock bands simulating each other’s sounds and saturating the current market. Built on the back of guitar work reminiscent of Gareth Liddiard, Terra Alpha is jarring, forceful and fucking fantastic.
Produced by Joe Hammond of the Milk! Records family ilk, Terra Alpha, builds out an epic across 11 potent tracks that at times feels claustrophobic and others deftly sparse. Highlighted for me by the fierce solo to close out Making Hay, masterful song construction throughout lead single Speak Easy and sheer stomping bad arsery of Stones.
Terra Alpha is an album chock full music that makes you want to dust off the nearest guitar, passionately drum the air or drive a bit too fast.
I got the opportunity to shoot some questions back and forth with frontwoman Ash Kerley to find out a bit more about the release and the band.
Firstly, thanks for taking the time to answer these ones for me. Terra Alpha is loaded with songs that hook the listener in only to push them out to unexpected places, twist and turn and really challenge them to keep up. It’s brilliant and refreshing but equally complex. How do you approach writing such unconventional and potent songs?
It’s just how they come out really. I’ve never had any guitar lessons- the way I learnt to play was simply by writing songs. So I guess that informs the shape of them a bit and maybe makes them a little less conventional when it comes to song structure. One thing I have noticed over time, and which is completely unintentional, is that I don’t really write many big choruses. The songs tend to be pretty economical lyric-wise. Sometimes I start with a whole lot of different verses and whatnot but the songs always tend to get whittled down to the bare essentials.
Terra Alpha is also undeniably guitar music, a genre often dominated in the media by male artists and associated with the stereotypically awful “guitar bro”. You mentor at and facilitate Girl’s Rock! Camp in Brisbane and have just released arguably the most virtuosic guitar album of 2018. What advice do you give to non-male artists looking to pick up a guitar?
Pick up that guitar and play however you damn well like. Play for yourself. Don’t listen to what anyone says, just make some noise that pleases you and keep at it.
You’re about to tour right down the East Coast. Which shows are you most looking forward to and who do you hope to catch on the road?
Oh, I think they’ll all be a lot of fun! It’s always good to catch up with interstate mates, and to play to a new audience. I do have a pretty enormous soft spot for Woollongong though. So I am especially looking forward to our show at The Servo.
What’s in store for Marville once the tour is finished and album released?
We’re going to head out on a regional QLD tour a bit later in the year, which is sure to be heaps of fun. We’ll play a bunch more shows, and probably start thinking about the next batch of songs.