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They were never meant to last

October 26, 2007

Live in Melbourne, February 2007

Turning up to see Camera Obscura’s Australian tour early this year, I wasn’t expecting much from the support acts. The first one up was a girl who couldn’t have been more than 20 and was in the middle of a serious Joanna Newsom wannabe-phase. Next was a stage full of young indie-looking types including a trumpeter and a violinist. “Oh shit, it’s Architecture in Melbourne,” I said to my friend.

I spoke too soon – up-and-coming Perth band Institut Polaire are something pretty special. Their seven-piece line-up works brilliantly and their literate and catchy take on jangle-pop is superb – think a less precious version of The Decemberists. Not only do they have the instrumental chops and the live show energy, they also have the songs.

Unfortunately, until a few weeks ago, fans outside of Perth had to content themselves with a smattering of east-coast shows (I’ve been to two), one side of a split-7″ that was only sold at their gigs and a few tracks on Myspace.

Now we’re not actually spoilt for material, but there’s a hell of a lot more to work with. First up, is the music video for the old 7″ side, “City Walls and Empires”, an absolutely amazing track and my vote for best pop single of the year (see the video here). Secondly is the EP “The Fauna and the Flora”, just out on Popfrenzy Records.

A couple of tracks for your listening pleasure:

Institut Polaire – “Kentucky Society Drought”

Institut Polaire – “East, West & I”

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