Something for Kate return with the clarion call single Situation Room, a raw and ragged anthem for that moment – or situation – you can never control.
It began with a Stephanie Ashworth bassline that turned heads at a rehearsal session and got Paul Dempsey writing in his notebooks. From the glorious grandeur of the opening piano chords, it’s clear they’ve stepped up their songwriting craft several notches in the ensuing years between albums.
Situation Room resembles a 21st Century mash up of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and Everybody Hurts, a soulful tribute to the frustration everybody knows when they can’t get what they want.
“You hear the first line and you know what’s coming next,” frontman Dempsey says, “and that the person is illustrating all these ways how they have total control and can predict any outcome, but there’s one person they can’t get certainty over and grasp.”
A welcome return from one of the country’s great songwriting outfits, Dempsey’s distinctive vocal cuts right through you with a directness that only he can muster, somehow serenading you sweetly whilst delivering an emotional punch in the gut.
The pieces are reassuringly familiar – alongside the impassioned voice and vivid guitars of Dempsey sits Ashworth’s hypnotic bass and Clint Hyndman’s sweeping drums – but they’ve reconnected in exciting new ways.
Situation Room is a stirring ballad as only Something for Kate can do, full of unexpected turns, roiling guitars and dynamic shifts, punctuated by thoughtful and sharply-honed lyrics as the band push themselves into new musical territory.
Steadfastly refusing to rest on their laurels – over 700,000 copies sold of a critically acclaimed back catalogue, 14 entries in Triple J’s Hottest 100, 11 ARIA Award nominations, multiple Rolling Stone Awards, Live Music Awards – this first taste of new music from the band is audacious and enduring, a welcome first glimpse at what we can expect from their forthcoming studio album, due for release later this year.
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