Tainui Richmond – “Complacent”


A consuming piece of songwriting from Tainui Richmond, “Complacent” develops from smoky barroom retrospection to a soaring, affirming hook (01:30). The second single off Richmond’s upcoming EP, Forever a Boi, “Complacent” showcases the Australian artist’s stirring vocal presence and resonating songwriting. The build-up culminating around three minutes in is another highlight — with creaking and culminating percussion building wonderfully to the soaring vocal escalation, a bit Pet Sounds-esque. “Complacent” develops with seamless, natural emotion and excellent production.

Richmond explains more about the track’s themes below:

Complacent is a deeply personal and honest snapshot of a transformational time in Tainui’s life. “My dad, Terepai Richmond (The Whitlams, Directions in Groove), played the drums in our garage on this track, and as we were tracking, he expressed he felt intoxicated just playing the slow groove.” A boozy, yet intricately woven, glistening stalactite, hanging from the ceiling of a dark smoky room, the song is an expression of the transition from adolescence to adulthood; finding your feet in a confusing time post high-school hood amongst the social scene of the general public. “My good friend and excellent sound engineer/producer George Georgiadis spent the week at our house, helping to uncover how each song, on what was to be my EP, wanted to be represented. He helped clarify what I wanted to express in the lyrics in this one.”

“Complacent” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of September 2020’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Folk.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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