Sam Wrangle – ‘Norman Cres’ EP


Showing a jangly and emotive sound with shades of The Church and The Stone Roses, Norman Cres is a catching new EP from Brisbane-based artist Sam Wrangle. “It’s indicative precisely of where I am right now musically, and personally,” Wrangle says of the EP, which compels with lyrical themes of uncertainty and feeling at a crossroads — something that many can relate to in their first few decades of life.

The opening track is such a case. “‘Always New’ was hard to produce,” Wrangle says. “It deals with a lot of heavy ideas: drug use (getting stoned), escapism (in your room), self-doubt (the tone of my voice), negative core beliefs (“You’ll never get there / all you do is get stoned in your room”). I know what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it’s not straightforward or stepped out. It’s fraught with uncertainty.”

From the angsty sense of complacency on “Always New” to the daunting prospects of dating while uncertain, conveyed on “Circles,” Wrangle’s EP speaks from the heart. The musical accompaniments are hooky yet darkly atmospheric; the clanging bass amidst the tortured closing refrain on “Always New” conjures a post-punk darkness, while the lonesome guitar jangles within “Spare Room” echoes The Smiths. Norman Cres is stellar showing throughout.

Stream the EP:

“Always New” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of November 2022’ Spotify playlist.

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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