Since they sprung onto the scene in 2011 as Tim Nelson and the Cub Scouts, Cub Sport (which is made up of Tim Nelson, Zoe Davis, Sam Netterfield and Dan Puusaari) has brought new life to the Australian music scene with their unique and whimsical take on indie-pop. Having released This Is Our Vice in 2016, Cub Sport have returned with their sophomore album, Bats, as well as an announcement of a 6-show tour for early 2018.
Having placed at #24 in the 2016 Triple J Hottest 100 with their hugely popular track Come On Mess Me Up (which they celebrated in true-Australian style with a little house party), excitement leading up to their sophomore album release has been high. Our interest has been soaring following a series of collaborations with local photographers, stylists and videographers leading up to the album release.
While Bats was released on the 22nd September, I was lucky enough to hear some of their new tracks in full-force, live at the Beer InCider Experience on the 23rd. With a drink in hand, a good friend by my side, and singing along with hundreds of strangers, the atmosphere was palpable and uplifting. Afterall, the story of Bats is one of love and hope.
Delivered amongst a sparkling soundscape of gorgeous synth production and Tim's choirboy vocals, the album is a celebration of vulnerability, being unapologetically oneself, and queer love. Riding on rhythmic melodies and gospel-inspired sounds, the album is a slow-burning RnB masterpiece with elements similar to Frank Ocean and Solange. Tim's songwriting is stronger than ever with lyrics that intimately look at coming-out, navigating adulthood, falling in love and everything in between. With his heart on his sleeve, Tim leads us through electronic flair ("Chasin'"), gospel influences ("O Lord"), and synth-pop vibrancy ("Look After Me").
More than just a fresh dream-like sound, Cub Sport has also emerged as a local sigil for the LBGTQI rights movement in Brisbane. Since their coming-out and engagement announcement in July, Tim and band-member Sam have been a beacon of positivity for members and supporters of the LBGTQI community. Receiving such wide-spread support from their loving cohort of fans, Sam comments, “It took me a while to come to terms with my sexuality so to receive that love and support meant a lot. It's so encouraging to see that there are wonderful people out there who love and support the LGBTQI community.”
Tim and Sam’s romance – from friendship to engagement – is the primary influence on their latest album, Bats. “Bats follows the last couple of years of my life which has been a really significant time. The songs sort of follow my personal journey from when I realised I was gay and in love with my best friend/bandmate, to then coming out and getting together. Throw in navigating my twenties and attempting a career in music - there’s been a lot to write about!”
With such a personal backstory to the album, it’s no surprise that the music also reflects this. Evolving from their synth-dream pop sound, Bats infuses gospel, neo-soul and RnB influences, as most evident on lead-single O Lord, which Tim wrote soon after beginning his relationship with Sam; “I felt like I suddenly had everything I’d ever wanted but with that came a fear of losing it all. This is the first [music] video we’d made since coming out, so we wanted it to be a celebration of the place we’d come to with accepting and loving ourselves.” With the same-sex marriage postal survey currently underway, Sam is hopeful of an overwhelmingly positive response, “This is an opportunity to help a group of people who have been systematically oppressed for years. Spread the love, be a positive change and be on the bright side of history!”
It’s hard not to absolutely adore the Cub Sport team - they are incredibly charming, likeable, honest, and creative. Catapulted into the public eye, they are vocal and united in what they believe in. Unafraid to be brazenly themselves and experiment with their sound, it will be exciting to see what they bring to the stage during their 2018 string of shows, and how they will continue to evolve and grow.
Friday, February 22: Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth WA (18+) - SECOND SHOW
Friday, February 23: Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth WA (18+) - SOLD OUT
Saturday, February 24: Fat Controller, Adelaide SA (18+)
Saturday, March 3: The Corner, Melbourne VIC (18+) - SOLD OUT
Sunday, March 4: The Corner, Melbourne VIC (Under 18s Matinee)
Sunday, March 4: The Corner, Melbourne VIC (18+) - SOLD OUT
Monday, March 5: The Corner, Melbourne VIC (18+) - FOURTH SHOW
Saturday, March 10: The Triffid, Brisbane QLD (AA) - SOLD OUT
Sunday, March 11: The Triffid, Brisbane QLD (AA) - SECOND SHOW
Saturday, March 17: The Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW (18+) - SOLD OUT
Check out their latest video, Chasin, below!