Melbourne exploratory synth-pop four-piece Pikelet return with third album Calluses, the follow-up to 2010’s Australian Music Prize-shortlisted Stem.
Recorded with John Lee (Lost Animal, Mountains In the Sky), Calluses is a darker, denser beast than its predecessors. The celebrated Stem can now be seen as a transitional record, bridging the gap between the loop-driven solo project of Evelyn Morris (as heard on debut 2007 album Pikelet) and the fully-fledged live band that came together in 2009, comprising Evelyn, drummer Matthew Cox (Witch Hats), bassist/guitarist Tarquin Manek (Bum Creek) and synth wizard Shags Chamberlain (Lost Animal).
Now with four years under their belt, Pikelet are captured on Calluses in full flight, confidently exploring unknown territory. From the post-apocalyptic eeriness of Pressure Cooker (a teaser track premiered on Spin.com
in May) to the frenetic introspection of first single Combo, to the 60s Euro space jazz of Forward Motion, Calluses is bold, ambitious and layered, a record that rewards repeated listens with subtle details and hypnotic depths.
Back in 2007, first album Pikelet was made by Evelyn with an accordion, percussion and a loop pedal. It came out to rave reviews, Pitchfork write-ups and community radio high rotation. Evelyn toured the world, playing with Jens Lekman in Portugal, Jeffrey Lewis in France and Bachelorette across America. Back home she appeared at festivals like Golden Plains and Lane- way, and opened for Sufjan Stevens, Beirut and Goldfrapp.
Evelyn and Shags met as backing musicians for Ariel Pink on his first Australian tour in 2009, and soon the Pikelet band was born. When Stem emerged in 2010, the expansion of vision was immediately apparent. The live band brought a cosmic edge that infiltrated Evelyn’s inquisitive style with kaleidoscopic results. Glowing reviews, Triple J rotation, community radio feature albums, and a place on the 2010 Australian Music Prize short- list followed.
Since then, the band have toured Australia extensively, sharing stages with Ariel Pink, Devendra Banhart, Dirty Projectors, Beirut (again) and Broad- cast, and playing festivals such as Mona Foma, Queenscliff and Melbourne International Arts Festival. Evelyn also drummed for Japanese noise legends the Boredoms at their Melbourne International Arts Festival Show, and toured nationally supporting Shellac in solo Pikelet mode in late 2012.
Calluses is a remarkable statement of artistic intent and new purpose.