‘Idle Hands’ – Premiered via RRR Breakfasters
‘Penumbra’ – Premiered via RTR FM Breakfast
“consoling, cathartic indie rock that will make you feel less alone” – NME, ★★★★
“Sludge never held so much beauty.” – Richard Kingsmill via triple j Unearthed ★★★★☆
“Obscura Hail cement their reputation as an outfit with a firm grasp of the emotional zeitgeist, handling modern-day heaviness with the gentle, clear-eyed intelligence of forebears like The Cure and Sujan Stevens.” – The Music
“2020 has been a tough year all round, but I get the feeling it’s been a good one for Sean Conran. He’s got his band, he’s enjoying the fruits of signing to Dot Dash and he’s pushing his songcraft ever forward. The sweetly irrepressible pop of Siren is like his own spirit, across the EP he’s rolling with the punches and even reaching out to others, saying, ‘hey, we can do this.’” – 4ZZZ
“One moment soaked with post-punk, one moment abstractly folky in the vein of Andrew Bird, with a healthy dose of Sufjan Stevens splashed over the top, it’s no surprise that the band has been turning heads over the past few years with their unique and clever arrangements” – Tone Deaf
“they’ve gone from a quirky bedroom goth-pop project to a small phenomenon gracing the indie scene.” – Casual Band Blogger
“Wrapped up in just under 4 minutes of bass fuzz, sparkling guitar riffs, harmonies and ever calming drums, Doomer is a feat of songwriting impossible to ignore. Truly, one of the best songs of the year to date.” – Laundry Echo
“You gotta love this one.” – Austin Town Hall
“Fluid chord changes and energetic instrumental textures support a unique vocal delivery as Sean Conran’s finds clarity in the depths of his own fuzz.” – Hard Of Hearing (US)
“The unusual vocal delivery, especially the use of dual vocals from the middle of the track onwards, really adds a unique, fresh edge.” – Mix It All Up (UK)
Today, Obscura Hail – the Melbourne-via-Wollongong indie rock trio, helmed by musician Sean Conran, digitally release their new EP Siren via Dot Dash / Remote Control, and physically as acombined Siren EP / Zero EP on 12″ vinyl. The band have also shared a beautiful video for ‘Penumbra‘ – directed by Rick Clifford and shot in Conran’s lounge room during Melbourne’s lockdown.
Conran says of the video – “This one was low key special for us, we filmed it in our recently born loungeroom live-stream studio in front of an old overhead projector, just Tam and I, having streamed a set early that day in the same outfits. The stool spinning was a big plus and obvs put us in a good mood to sing along to a track that contains so many strong memories. Those Gameboy Cam photos were the first I ever snapped, and I couldn’t bring myself to delete them to make room for more so they sat on that cartridge since the first week I was using it! Rick knew how to bring the best out of what we filmed, and even added a neat Gameboy era intro that triggers some super strong nostalgia.”
Using Obscura Hail as a vessel, Conran is externalising memory for the sake of preservation. Over an untold number of late-night recording sessions in an evolving ad-hoc home studio, Conran has amassed a rich musical archive of alternating styles and an obsessive commitment to songwriting as a craft.
A project that began as a way to remember, Conran shares – “Obscura Hail began as a routine of externalising memory for the sake of preservation due to a fear of Alzheimer’s. It was brought on by receiving my first amalgam filling; to carry on a legacy, to calcify meaning and importance of my lived experience, should I need reminding.”
The full Obscura Hail band displays cross-sections of Conran’s personal routine. Balanced out by Tamara Issa (bass, vocals) and Kaelan Edmond (drums), Obscura Hail combines biting guitars, beautiful harmonies, atmospheric acoustic percussion, loops and drum machines to deliver something dynamic and existentially curated. Should you be in the right place at the right time; you might also witness an accompanying set of home-stitched visuals that translate the themes of these seemingly optimistic songs in a way you cannot unsee.
Siren EP follows the release of last years Zero EP which saw Obscura Hail looking inwards and focusing on themes including mortality, personal values and a touch of hopelessness. As a counterbalance to Zero, the Siren EP in Conran’s words “is charged with an optimistic, though anxious energy… A fight or flight response to the instability of our modern world at this time.”
The release of Zero EP saw the band widely supported across Australian radio – reaching #1 on the AMRAP metro charts soon after release in November 2019. Amassing a fiercely loyal following, the band have sold out their last three headline launches in Melbourne. They’ve appeared at Brunswick Music Festival, Sydney Road Street Festival, By The Meadow, Changes Festival, Kyneton Music Festival, Isol-Aid Festival & Bigsound 2019 as well as sharing stages with Kele Okereke (Block Party), Aldous Harding, Julia Jacklin, Cam Avery (Tame Impala, Pond), Soaked Oats and Bad//Dreems.