Adelaide band Memory Castles are mining a style of emo, pop-punk that sounds like it was sourced direct from the late '90s, early noughties.
The group have been working on material and gigging for a couple of years, but tomorrow (23 July) is a momentous day for Memory Castles with the release of of their debut EP 'Pretty Monsters' – a six-track release that proudly wears its pop-punk influences on its sleeve, but also showcases an ability to morph into electronic-infused alternative rock.
The EP also acts as a vehicle for the group's frontman, Jesse Cumes, to share his own struggles with mental well-being after recently being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
"This EP attempts to capture the good, bad and funny side of love, life and mental illness," begins Jesse.
"'Pretty Monsters' was written during a very strange and impactful time in my life when I was reeling from the loss of a relationship and at the same time coming to terms with my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.
"We wanted the EP to be full of colour and contrast in its lyrical content and tone, to almost reflect the intense and often polarising nature of BPD and the experiences that influenced this EP.
"We wanted to create something that encapsulated everything that Memory Castles is about."
Ahead of the EP's release tomorrow, scenestr is amped to premiere 'Pretty Monsters' today.
Here, Jesse shares some thoughts about each track that features on 'Pretty Monsters'.
'Money' is essentially about being desperately insecure and anxious when dating someone.
It's about the fear of being a disappointment or not good enough for your partner while at the same time pushing them away through your own insecurity, a self-fulfilling prophecy aided by mental illness, self-destructive behaviour and self-deprecating humour.
'Butterflies' is about the feeling of falling stupidly in love with someone and wanting to spend your life with them. This track ditches (most of) the self-loathing present in many other Memory Castles songs for a slightly more optimistic outlook on life and love.
'Burning Down' is a song about instability, dysfunction and emotional exhaustion, expressing an inability to formulate a coherent and stable opinion on someone because of the overwhelming emotional responses you have towards them, splitting back and forth between intense infatuation and burning resentment.
'Honest' is a hate song about an amalgamation of different people who've been in and out of my life over the years. It leans more into the dark, angsty side of Memory Castles and features my brother Jack Cumes belting out fuzz-fuelled vocals throughout the bridge and final chorus.
The song 'Valentine's Day' started out mostly as a joke, attempting to write a song that poked fun at my perpetual loneliness on a day that celebrates romance.
But despite the silliness and awkward desperation of the lyrics throughout the verses it still tries to end on a note of self-awareness, devotion and dedication to doing better.
'Pretty Monsters' was written about feeling lost and resentful at the end of a relationship; I felt broken and entirely disillusioned with the world.
This song for me captures that very impactful point in my life where I felt somewhat hopeless but still had love for and missed this person who was very important to me, even if lyrically it sounds somewhat jaded.
Memory Castles launch the 'Pretty Monsters' EP at Enigma Bar (Adelaide) 27 August.