Hour to Hour
In a post-postmodern world, it's a bit of an ask to make the most of one's spare time. Where does life end and art begin? It would seem that those of us with creative urges (and a penchant for things like eating and having a roof over our heads) are expected to cram our hopes and dreams somewhere between the rush hour commute and the 9 o'clock news. And so, in a modest New Farm apartment (Brisbane), the stress of leisure begat The Stress of Leisure, a recording project by indie songsmith Ian Powne. Since 2003, Powne has been quietly incubating an arsenal of indie pop gems. His opening salvo appeared on the Stress of Leisure's 2006 debut (self-titled, with mandarine) long player. The second album Hour to Hour, builds the pace. Hour to Hour is an unpretentious record. It finds Powne honing in on his immediate surrounds, the sound of him rocking and rolling through Inner City suburbs, picking out subjects at random. The highlights include 'House and Garden', 'Tracksuited' and 'Man Doll'. Comparisons will depend on one's frame of reference - for those who get 'that striped sunlight sound', and remember fondly a generation's worth of iconic pop tunes this record will feel like home. For those to whom that means nothing, well - ok, imagine a little bit of The Go-Betweens, lashings of Bowie, and a little hat-tipping in the directions of Lou Reed and Stephen Malkmus (Pavement). Fans of acts like Television, The Modern Lovers, The Pastels, Pulp and The White Stripes will also find much to love in this album. The Stress of Leisure explores a distinctly Brisbane-gent worldview, the extraordinary thoughts of an ordinary dude. A healthy blend of art-school cynicism, wit and a healthy respect for themes involving girls, thinking, and walking.