When the news rang out earlier this year that rising Perth rock quartet Tired Lion had teamed up with Violent Soho frontman, Luke Boerdam, to produce their debut album - it was widely heralded as a match made in heaven.
Triple J called it "too good to be true"; Tone Deaf concurred "needless to say expectations have just shot through the roof"; while Howl & Echoes waxed lyrical on the pairing - "Given Soho's dominance and their unquestionable Midas touch for the last five years, that's a pairing every fan of Australian rock and roll should be getting irrationally excited for."
Today we get to hear the result of this brilliant pairing with the release of 'Cinderella Dracula', the first single from the band's forthcoming, debut album.
As its name might suggest, the single swings from delicate and gentle one moment to brutal and violent the next. Opening with frontwoman Sophie Hopes playing guitar delicately and singing in hushed tones, the song breaks loose at the 43 second mark, as the full band (Hopes, lead guitarist Matt Tanner, bassist Nick Vasey and drummer Ethan Darnell) erupt in unison, and the full force of Boerdam and engineer Dave Parkin's influence on the album blasts into focus.
Once again, though, it's the raw and emotional songwriting Hopes brings to the table that lies as the foundation of the song's appeal. Like their two massive singles of 2016 'Not My Friends' and 'Agoraphobia', 'Cinderella Dracula' again sees Hopes take inspiration from personal pain and twist it into rock's immeasurable gain.
"This was written at a time when I felt quite lost," she explains of the songwriting process. "I guess you could call it young naivety. I was young and single, ready to experience the world with a kind of "youthful embrace". I had a one-night stand and what was meant to make me feel content just left me angry and frustrated at myself... Well that was my experience anyway."
"I wrote the lyrics down whilst waiting for this guy to leave. It was awful timing but I guess it was my way of saying 'F*ck you, can you get out of my house'. I felt like I'd garnered this split personality - one side being desperate for affection and vulnerable (Cinderella), the other being dark and well... kinda mean (Dracula).
"The song plays with that contradiction, it starts soft and fragile but then explodes into the heavy stuff - the idea was to hear that struggle the whole way through."
Hopes says that as expected working with Boerdam, alongside their longtime collaborator Parkin, has been an incredibly fruitful experience and pushed the band to new heights.
"I'd definitely say working with Luke has influenced our songwriting for the better. I really can't imagine recording this album without him now. We all seem to be on the same page and our visions 100% align, which is super important. He also has this way of pushing us to our limits without stepping on our toes and I guess you could say he just gets it. We're calling him 'Psychologist Luke' because he's listening to all my bullsh*t through the songs. It's been an absolute pleasure working with one of the biggest rock legends in Australia."
To celebrate the release of 'Cinderella Dracula,' Tired Lion have also announced they'll be embarking on a national tour this May, before returning to the UK and Europe for a string of shows.
"Tired Lion have slowly transformed into one of Australia's most promising punk acts." - Rolling Stone Australia
"An onslaught of crunchy riffs that are buoyed by strategically placed breathing space." - Stereogum
"While mostly packed with surges of undeniable energy in its grungy riffs and weighty bass, there's an unsuspecting ambience that shines through." - NME