After a year-long absence from Australian shores, Melbourne band Husky (Husky Gawenda and Gideon Preiss) unveil a thrilling reinvention of themselves with their third album Punchbuzz.
The product of both an influential year based in Berlin and a welcome return to Australia, Punchbuzz announces a bold stylistic turn while bolstering the robust songcraft that won singer/guitarist Husky Gawenda the top prize in 2014’s Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition. The first single from the album has already clocked over two million streams on Spotify and Punchbuzz just grabbed the spot on the Australian album charts at #5 and mainstream charts at #18.
“I tend to do a lot of my writing at night,” admits Gawenda. “That’s my rhythm. I’m up until 3 or 4 in the morning; I need those hours after midnight.” While he and Preiss spent a year in Berlin – using it as a base for much international touring – they took full advantage of their view from a 13th floor apartment overlooking the city, with its bewitching sunsets and teeming nightlife. “I would sit there into the nights and write,” Gawenda recalls. “There’s something about the night time, something happens when the sun goes down. Reason and logic depart, magic and mystery arrive.”
You can hear that after-hours ripeness in the title track, while lead single ‘Late Night Store’ includes the telling line “I’m looking for something risky.” It’s there too in the Springsteen meets War On Drugs horizon-chasing of album opener ‘Ghost’, on which Gawenda ominously intones, “The vampires here among us, it’s their thirst I fear the most.” These are the most immediate, yet most evocative, songs he’s ever written.
Punchbuzz may be the work of the same band that became overnight sensations thanks to their 2011 debut Forever So and continued that hot streak with 2014’s Ruckers Hill, but they’re now tapping into something that hadn’t previously come before. Sharp, lean, and driving, this album more than lives up to the dynamic imperative of its title.