Fresh from the release of their first new single in 12 years, beloved Perth rockers Jebediah have upped the ante once again, with new single Rubberman appearing alongside the long-awaited news of their new album, OIKS. The forthcoming record – their first new album since 2011’s Kosciuszko – will arrive on April 12th, 2024, with pre-orders available now via Cooking Vinyl Australia.
Their sixth album, OIKS isn’t necessarily the return of Jebediah, who have been consistently active in the time since their last record, but rather, a snapshot of where the band find themselves in the current era. Like lead single Gum Up The Bearings, the record was born out of experimentation while in the studio with longtime collaborator – and honorary fifth band member – Dave Parkin (Red Jezebel, Spacey Jane). The result is an album which sees Jebediah feeling content with who they are as artists – not attempting to create the energetic hype of 1997 debut Slightly Odway, but crafting a release which feels representative of modern-day Jebediah.
While the release of September’s Gum Up The Bearings was a true return to form for the WA quartet, Rubberman continues their evolving musical trajectory; pairing their revered, singular attitude towards music making with a dedication to crafting something wholly unique. Noting that their new single “sounds different to any song the band has put out” before, Rubberman began life when the band first entered Dave’s Blackbird Studios back in 2018 without any indication of what they wanted to create, the band let themselves become influenced by jam sessions and the resulting sounds. Using effects and loops as the starting point to Rubberman, the group experimented heavily with melody and atmosphere, allowing guitarist and vocalist Kevin Mitchell’s voice to take on a prominent role, sitting atop a luscious and spacious marriage of indie-rock and dream-pop. The result is a song which equally feels unlike anything Jebediah have ever produced, yet effortlessly slides into their expansive discography as a track emblematic of their continuous musical evolution.
“This one came about by accident. Whilst setting up a guitar for overdubbing we accidentally recorded the sound of it with really loose strings. This sound was turned into a loop and became the bedrock of a new song; a sort of weird melodic rhythmic loop track. The whole thing was built on top of that. It reflects an experimentalism in the studio that we have not really embraced before and so it sounds different to anything we’ve ever written or recorded before,” recalls Kevin.
Alongside the release of the single, Jebediah have taken an almost full-circle approach to its accompanying visuals, sharing a beautifully-animated clip by Gina Moore. Having initially worked with the band to craft the video to their 1997 single Harpoon, Gina now works at RMIT teaching 3D animation and visual effects in the Animation and Interactive Media program. Taking time to once again create a video for the group, Gina took inspiration from the cover illustration to James Bridle’s book Ways Of Being, the paintings of Clarice Beckett, and her own work, and worked with RMIT students Jack Cornish and Eddy Faulkner to produce the final product.
“I loved Rubberman as soon as I heard it and listened to it many times while walking my dog. After playing the song over and over for several weeks, I created a storyboard in just a few hours. It came easily because my mind was full of imagery that had percolated on repeated walks through Melbourne’s windy parklands. Like the song, I wanted the video to be evocative or experiential and wasn’t concerned with having a definitive meaning or narrative. The song lends itself to a journey, a figure walking through a landscape. I wanted the mood to start tranquil and get increasingly chaotic as invisible forces become evident (deforming the landscape and producing colourful ribbons). I wanted it to feel Australian and to allude to global concerns including the proliferation of plastics in the environment. Although addressing dark and depressing themes, the clip needed to be visually appealing,” explains Gina.
Both Rubberman and previous single Gum Up The Bearings will appear on Jebediah’s forthcoming album, OIKS, which will arrive on April 12th, 2024. Pre-orders for the album are available now via Cooking Vinyl Australia. Though their first new album since 2011’s Kosciuszko, the group have not been far from our hearts – or stages. In addition to sporadic tours and frequent live shows, the respective members of Jebediah have remained busy: Vanessa and Brett played in bands, Chris worked at a record store, and Kevin has focused heavily on his Bob Evans project.
Currently, Jebediah are out on the road, wrapping up a highly-anticipated Aussie tour which has seen them perform intense headline gigs in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. The group will wrap up their current run of shows with a headline gig in Perth on Friday, 17 November, before joining the Good Things festival lineup for a whip-around the country at the start of December. Prior to wrapping up their current run of dates, though, Jebediah will also have their name cemented in Western Australian music history, when they’re inducted into the WAM Hall Of Fame as part of the WA Music Awards on Thursday, 16 November.
Rubberman is out today via Cooking Vinyl Australia.
OIKS will be released on 12 April, 2024 via Cooking Vinyl Australia, pre-order bundles available here.
Final tickets to the Gum Up The Bearings tour are on sale now from https://www.jebediah.net/