exileco-splitcity-lights-splitWhatever happened to the split-single 7” where bands of a feather got pissed in a studio together, slapped out a song each and whacked out a record with a song on either side? The styles didn’t always blend but that was much of the charm. The split single seems to have fallen from favour, despite the resurgence of vinyl. Reality is that it never really went away and here’s a great example from two Sydney bands.

The Exile Co is a four-piece full of familiar faces that’s released one album already and bills itself as a little alt-country, a little rock. Live appearances seem to have been few and far between but they do come from Sydney. “Fay Wray” is more pop than rock or alt-country and makes a virtue of brevity, clocking in at a shade longer than two-minutes. It’s a pleasant enough romp with the Hummingbirds-like harmonies of Kim-Louise Barton and Fiona Whalley’s the stand-out. It’s a song about a chorus line dancer, not King Kong’s main squeeze, with a swelling sound underpinned by a sure-footed engine room. Noice. 

So to the flip and mod rockers The City Lights’ “My Name And My Number” is a tough beast that puts the spine back into pop. It bounces along on the back of a pliable feel, handclaps and plenty of guitar, and has lots of light and shade. Two-plus minutes as well, it gets in and gets the job done and doesn’t much around. Tim Kevin’s production is outstanding on both sides, applying a less is more ethos to The Exile Co’s sound and making The City Lights belie their trio status by imparting a sound that’s bigger than Ben Hur.

Launching with a show at Lazy Bones in Sydney on February 21 with guests The Bowers and DJs Rusty (You Am I) and Boonge (his missus.)


The Exile Co. on Bandcamp

City Lights on Bandcamp