Royel Otis - Pratts & Pain

When making their debut album with Carey in early 2023, the Australian duo - childhood friends Otis Pavlovic and Royel Maddell - would decamp to the pub to finish lyrics and make decisions on the direction of their first LP. "Dan would ask us to record vocals," Royel remembers, "and we'd say, 'Just give us half an hour, we're popping to Pratts & Payne', and we'd have a pint, a few shots, and get some lyrics down." Eventually, it made such a mark that they named the record PRATTS & PAIN.

Across the debut album, Royel Otis swing between melodic, pop-inspired indie and woozy psych, but it never feels tied to one lane. As soon as one style or mood has outstayed its welcome, they handbrake turn into psychedelic weirdness or dissonant noise, keeping everybody on their toes. After the table was laid on the two EPs, PRATTS & PAIN brings everything from the band's history together on a record that's reverent towards their beginnings but unafraid to push forwards into new sounds. This loose, open formula for what makes a Royel Otis song is written all over PRATTS & PAIN, an album defined by its sense of fun and adventure.

On the tracks 'Velvet' and 'Big Ciggie', Carey's 11-year-old nephew Archie appears on drums, and a spontaneous energy ran through the sessions, one which can be heard across the album. On first single 'Adored', they master the perfect indie-pop hit, while 'Sonic Blue' keeps this underlying energy but sets screeching guitars over the top. 'Velvet', meanwhile, has the stomping energy of Talking Heads, while 'Molly' is an unsettling and deeply atmospheric slow jam.

Whatever sonic template the music might be based on though, the crux of Royel Otis comes back to a foundational DNA of mutual trust. Royel says: "We have fun together, and it's not difficult. I trust what Otis thinks and what he does, and I back it. If you back each other, something good comes from it."

Fried Rice
Sonic Blue
Heading For The Door
Daisy Chain
Glory to Glory
Always Always
Big Ciggie

Release Info

Release Date: 16th February 2024
Format: LP or CD
Label: Ourness

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