With Gusto, the second album from Melbourne’s left-field pop band Eggy, begins with an accordion-accompanied European children’s choir, and things only get stranger from there.
Over 10 surreal songs, the five-piece unleash their most vivid musical ideas, with nothing held back; maximalism is in and subtlety is definitely out.
Meeting somewhere in the middle of no wave, krautrock, and absurdist pop, Eggy sound like if Syd Barrett and Lydia Lunch had four children who grew up to form a family band.
Blasts of delirious sax, whimsical samples, and delightful synths colour these songs, the band wilfully wonky in the way they present everything. Whenever things threaten to become too proudly perverse, they always know to rein the music back in with some memorable melodies.
With Gusto is the follow-up to the band’s 2020 debut Bravo!, with their second album ably matching the wild imaginative flair of that record. “We really wanted to make something that was bigger and bolder than we’ve done in the past.. Almost as though it could only be played by an orchestra,” the band said about the album.
Eggy’s five members come from across the Melbourne music scene – Zoe Monk recently wrapped a European tour with The Sroppies, Dominic Moore plays in the similar sounding Kosmetika, while Sam Lyons was in the sadly-defunct lo-fi outfit House Deposit – but it’s as Eggy, arguably, that they all get to explore their most eccentric sonic ideas.
This is to say that any third album consisting of inventive pop such as this is more than welcome. Because With Gusto feels less like an album name and more of a mission statement: these five musicians clearly find endless enjoyment in pursuing their most creative musical ideas under the Eggy name.
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To celebrate the release of their new album, we caught up with Eggy as part of our Get To Know series to find out more about their music, although they’re not quite ready to give up the secret behind that band name quite yet.
Eggy’s With Gusto is out now via Flightless Records.
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How did your artist name come about?
Lucy: No comment.
Dom: No comment
Sam: No comment.
Zoe: No comment.
Choz: No comment.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Sam: I’d describe it to her as “probably not up your alley Nan.”
Lucy: wonky pop grandmama!
Zoe: The Beatles.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
Lucy: ‘A Toast to Good Health’ is about the simultaneous feelings of happiness and sadness we experience as we get older. We had Bill Irving direct our film clip and shot a cast of older queer folk at a dance. It was really beautiful!
Dom: ‘Golden Hour’ is inspired by a specific memory. It’s about the idea of capturing a slice of something you want to go for longer but know is finite. Kind of how I felt when recording this album too!
Zoe: ‘Pass The Torch’ was intended to have each four lines or mini verses be its own short story. It’s inspired by what is rumoured as the shortest story ever told by Ernest Hemmingway, and the macabre nature of children’s nursery rhymes. The chorus is just a G Major scale, which is meant to be a nod to the music of those nursery rhymes.
What do you love about your hometown?
Lucy: I’m from Anglesea and Geelong and love going back to go surfing and to raid the op shops.
Sam: I’m from Sunbury and I love Cheeky Kebabs – maybe to this day the best kebab I’ve ever had in the whole world. Sponsorship?
Zoe: I’m from Dandenong and would have to say Dandenong market’s Dandee donuts. It’s big time iconic, with big time tasty hot jam donuts.
Dom: I’m from Deniliquin and I love the Easter tennis tournament.
Career highlight so far?
Choz: I’d have to say opening for Tropical F*ck Storm at the Corner last year. It was a bit surreal and they’re such a sick band.
Lucy: I think working on this album was a real highlight! And that’s despite getting a concussion and a horrendous black eye in footy halfway through. Being confused probably added to the outcome!
Sam: Definitely making this album – most fun I’ve ever had musically.
Zoe: his album!!!!
Dom: The time we played bar 303 and no one came and I had to give the supports a $20 note from my wallet. Character building.
Fave non-music hobby?
Lucy: We all play and love a million sports. Sam is technically skilled in about 400 and he makes an incredibly patient tennis coach.
Sam: I absolutely love getting in the kitchen, or ordering takeaway, or going out for dinner, or having a friend cook me dinner – bit of a theme.
Dom: Going to the movies. Sam and I went to see Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in Wollongong earlier in the year and it’s been keeping me up at night a little bit.
Zoe: Watching Chinese Cooking Demystified videos on YouTube. Sometimes I make the recipes too, but can also happily just watch video after video. I think it’s the only YouTube channel I’ve ever subscribed to.
What’s on your dream rider?
Choz: Espresso Martinis on tap, some pizza from one of those old-school takeaway places and a comfy place to sit and I reckon I’m sorted.
Dom: I’ve never actually witnessed Choz eating so I’d just be happy to see him have some grub.
Lucy: Wine varieties would please me but we all bond on punjabi curry cafe. We have big time love for venues with food deals in the rider because ya gotta eat.
Sam: Can of coke and some chilli oil noodles.
Zoe: Chili oil noodles, hold the coke.
Dream music collaboration?
Sam: With our pals Mug. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for Muggy in the next couple of years.
Lucy: I’ve been trying to make my twin sister Sally play violin with me for about 15 years – can someone please help me?
Zoe: Choz, Dom, Luce, and Sam.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Lucy: Hopefully with Zoe organising all of our events and networks, Dom being the queen of admin, Sam bringing the gags, good vibes and advice, and Choz being the human drum machine with hilarious one liners.
Sam: Legacy act at Glastonbury playing With Gusto in full with the LSO.
Zoe: Sinking threes in the Pony Club Basketball team.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Choz: ‘Kiss’ by Prince. Mainly because of the last chorus where you just get to scream a bit and blow lots of air kisses.
Sam: ‘Viva La Vida’ by Coldplay or ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ by The Killers. I remember doing one of these a couple years ago on my friend Iso’s shoulders and ended it with a mic drop.
Lucy: Last Karaoke session I did we had an Adele-only rule and it went very well.
Zoe: ‘You’ll Be Back’ from the Hamilton Soundtrack. The da da da’s are massive.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Sam: I think it was from John Lee who we recorded the album with. He just spoke about intention in music and just ensuring that everything you’re doing when making/playing music has specific intention and it’ll come across in the final product. It seems like one of those simple ideas that you just don’t fully dial in on that much.
Dom: John also told us that the last song on the record sounds like when the wedding band is a bit drunk and they get up to play one last song. Perhaps the biggest praise we have ever received.
Zoe: Dom told me about chromecasts – huge game changer.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Lucy: Zooming in on pictures of my cat Queen Mishka the Snack’s chunky legs. It’s actually pretty crazy I haven’t found a way to bring her up in the questions before this. We also all obsess over the NBA together.
Dom: Ginger beer. Or maybe you would guess that idk.
Sam: Probably how into sport we all are. Breaking down the myth that music and sport can’t combine.
Zoe: Monet X Change’s fake splits jump in her lip sync against Dusty Ray Bottoms.