Ball Park Music Are Ready To Commence Their Next Chapter

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  • Friday, 26 November 2021 10:49
Ball Park Music are currently working on new music. Ball Park Music are currently working on new music.

Ball Park Music are working on new music.

From the studio, the band's vocalist-guitarist Sam Cromack says the indie rockers have been there close to full time for the last few weeks. "We'll probably keep working all the way up to Christmas," he says.

Great news for BPM fans, particularly if what the group are working on is anything like the upbeat groove that was their latest single, last month's 'Sunscreen'.

You can practically smell the summer vibes when you’re listening to it. Laughing, Sam says: "I think that's probably a reasonable indicator of most of the stuff we're working on.

"I always feel like I have the worst perspective on how things sound and how things are evolving. So much of it is just putting one foot in front of the other, doing what feels right in the studio. Taking each song as it comes."

It's never been Ball Park Music's MO to embark on a new recording with a big theme or idea that will inform the whole project. One step at a time.

When they released 'Sunscreen', Sam described the track as "a patchwork song", meaning the track wasn't written cohesively in one sitting. "I basically had a verse or chorus and it sits there unfinished for a long time, throwing things at the wall, adding on another section," Sam says.

"Sometimes things just fit together magically, and you can't help but want to work on it, but it's certainly not my goal or my preferred way to write.

"I've talked about how even if it feels really good it springs me out a bit. I always want a song to feel like you've sat down to write a song from start to finish with one theme or story – sometimes I panic when two ideas are mashed together. Is it desperate or will it make sense? I probably shouldn't worry about it so much."

The remaining material fits in a similar vein, though Ball Park Music for the current studio sessions have actually peered far into their past for some inspiration. "We've found old songs that never really saw the light of day – some of them are over ten years old! Some stuff from the past is going to get leaked hopefully."

With that almost non-conforming way in which he writes new music, being in the studio doesn't see Sam pay much attention to putting pressure or thought into writing another release that will garner industry recognition like the three-time ARIA Awards nominated self-titled album the band put out last year.

"I'm really trying to bury my head in the sand as much as I can with that sort of stuff," he says, "and my writing, for ten years or more now, it's really fused with who I am, and I try to let it [be] calm. Sometimes you have to wait around for songs to show up.

"I really never try to write with any kind of goals in mind. Fundamentally, I don't believe that that works. "I don't like that idea of writing to try and cater to an existing sound or audience or writing something with some kind of agenda to it."

The success of their last album has added some self-inflicted pressure, some self-doubt and worry. "It does freak you out a little bit, sometimes.

"Of course, we like to work things to be the best they can be, and we have an intuition around things that feel like a song we would put out, but so much of that is unspoken.

"If anything, I almost feel like I'm deliberately trying to retaliate against what we've released previously."

Sam's created something of a contradiction – he says he tries to push against his own grain, striving to move forward, but, as he mentioned, he's been drawn to past material recently, searching for new inspiration in his past. "Again, I think it all comes to do with chasing a feeling," he says.

"Often when we're working on an album, we come in with maybe 60 or 70 per cent the songs are new and ready to go, but we always reach a threshold where something's got to give, and we need to look beyond what we're doing.

"Sometimes we look back through old files, usually for a laugh, but every now and again, you come across a song that has a crazy, youthful element that you wonder, 'would I include it in my writing now?'.

"We sensed that something like this, it's maybe what we need to balance the feelings across this new music we're making."

Ball Park Music are looking to their past to solidify their future, and perhaps the reason this material never saw the light of day wasn't anything quite so retrospective, but rather indicative of their cavalier youth.

"Sometimes it's hard to channel those really turbo, fiery but naïve feelings that are in some of those early songs. It's a special thing when you want to rediscover some of those feelings."

In the spirit of rediscovery, Ball Park Music will be performing at The Long Sunset as part of the Queensland Music Trails.

Stepping forward and continuing to exercise his creative boundaries will, Sam says, translate well to something as beautiful as a sunset show in the state's magical outback. "I know the area," he says.

"It's really beautiful there. I don't know if I think a lot about how our music will sit at certain events, I just show up and play from a personal point of view, but I'm really excited to go to this location.

"Anything that's outdoors, pretty scenery; you just know it's going to be a good night."

'Sunscreen' is available. The Long Sunset featuring Ball Park Music alongside Angus & Julia Stone, Babe Rainbow and Hatchie takes place at Elysian Fields (Canungra, QLD) 12 February.

Ball Park Music join Paul Kelly's Making Gravy concerts at Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Melbourne) 9-10 December and The Riverstage (Brisbane) 18 December. BPM also play UC Refectory (Canberra) 4 February and Land Of Plenty (Shepparton) 9 April.



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