It is my utmost pleasure to introduce the world to Eliza and the Delusionals, the four-piece alternative rock band from Australia that fits well in the same vein as Beabadoobee, Soccer Mommy, and Wolf Alice. The band is comprised of Eliza Klatt (singer and sometimes guitar), Kurt Skuse (guitarist), Ashley “Tex” Martin (guitarist), and Ruby Lee (bassist). The band has previously released two EPs (most recently 2020’s A State of Living in an Objective Reality), but this latest record called Now and Then sets the clear path forward of where these musicians can take their sound next. The band mentioned that the record is a direct reflection of the world we’re living in currently, and the relatable struggles we all have with maintaining our mental health while dealing with COVID restrictions. The future looks incredibly bright for this talented band.
The album sets off on the right foot with “Give You Everything,” a breathy ballad about being fed up with the status quo in a one-sided relationship. The second verse of, “I’m selling my car and all my guitars / That we had from the start, they’re not yours to borrow / I cried at the wheel just to know how it feels / While you sat in your courtyard, just someone I know,” is particularly powerful as singer Eliza Klatt pours out her soul for all to hear. “Save Me” follows the excellent opener as Klatt ponders on the chorus, “Why don’t you come and save me? / ‘Cause I’m just waiting to find / Someone who’s just as lonely all the time.” It’s a powerful confession to admit that we need help and to feel that human connection we all desire so strongly.
”You” sounds like a power-pop song that Avril Lavigne would be jealous she didn’t pen herself, while “Nothing Yet” slow builds over an acoustic guitar to a powerful crescendo from the pre-chorus to chorus of, “I can’t see / That maybe something’s wrong with me / And darling, and darling, you can’t see / That maybe something’s wrong with me / You tell me you’re in love, but I can’t feel nothing yet / I think I’ve had enough, but I can’t feel nothing yet.” It’s well-crafted power pop material that still has plenty of substance behind it.
On “Lonely,” Eliza and the Delusionals do their best to put their best foot forward over an electric-tinged song about how each day feels incredibly longer without the person you care the most about in this world. Whereas on “Halloween,” the opening verse of, “I’m not sure how to fix this anyway / But we can fix this now / I’m not sure if I can be the same thing every day / But you could show me how / If you’re not clean / We’ll come alive and then change everything / Oh, everything / We’ll go out and just break hearts / And sink in endlessly,” showcases the complexities in relationships when things are going as planned.
”Bed Song” was the lead single from the set, and it’s pretty easy to see why their label chose to have this track lead the charge in the promotional cycle of their debut LP. It’s a straight-forward rocker the tackles the struggles with mental health as the world crumbles around us. Klatt admits on the chorus, “I’ll stay in bed if you keep asking why / I mess with your head when I tell you I’m fine / You say that I’m crazy, but I don’t really care / If you hate me, I’m sorry, guess I’ll just stay in bed / Guess I’ll just stay in bed.” When depression sets in hard, it can be extremely tough to pick up the pieces to move forward in our lives.
The back half blends the two sides of the record together with “Bed Now,” an interlude that prepares the listener for the final four songs that kick into a new gear of guitar-driven bliss. “Get A Hold of You,” features a great, pulsating bass line from Ruby Lee that allows for Klatt to breathe new life into the song that drifts to the heavens on the elated chorus. Things continue to improve on “Circles,” as the band can at least see the silver lining in the extra time spent during COVID lock-downs to improve their relationships with the people around them the most. The closing duo of “All The Time” and the title track convinced me that Eliza and the Delusionals are going to be one of those bands that will sneakily impress audiences as they move up the billings of concerts to expand their listening fan-base. By staying true to their core influences, while honing in a sound that is very popular at the moment, the only thing delusional about this band is thinking that they won’t be huge.