There’s a hell of a lot going on with ‘Homebound’, the propulsive new pop-punk anthem from Sydney outfit Afterthought.
For starters, there’s the music itself: big, bright riffs, a white-hot bassline and downright explosive drums set the scene, with Max Day’s radiant lead vocal soaring above it all with dazzling aplomb. It’s an upbeat, jaunty rager of a tune at face value – but then you pay attention to the lyrics, and suddenly, here come the feels. While the track sounds energetic and spirited (because, well, it is), it’s a musical wolf in sheep’s clothing – a soul-churning rumination on heartbreak and loss, with Day musing in a standout passage: “Seeing sunsets over golden mountains / Watching the rays shine through your hair / Oh it made me feel alive / But I’m still waiting here, waiting for the sun to rise.”
And then there’s the film clip, which in itself is a multi-faceted behemoth. Directed by Brandon Lung (Stand Atlantic, RedHook, Between You & Me), the video shows Afterthought playing tribute to the iconic boybands of the ‘90s, jamming out in dorky white skivvies in front of an oversized stack of prop amps. But that isn’t the film clip itself – no, this is a film clip within a clip, wherein a group of Afterthought’s friends and family members (as well as the band themselves) serve as the cast of a Buzzfeed-esque reaction video, playing a game of ‘Rate It Or Hate It’ as they react to the video in realtime.
Per the band in a press release: “We came up with the idea of having a few people we know act like they’re watching this music video we had filmed and either rating it or hating it. We filmed in the day before lockdown started, and we had so many cool people lined up to make little cameos. Unfortunately, as the new lockdown was shaping up rough, we ended up having the crew, Tadhg’s fiancé, a work mate and Marty’s dad.”
‘Homebound’ comes as the lead single from Afterthought’s forthcoming second EP – a self-titled affair, also announced today and set for release independently on Friday, October 22nd. It’s been a hell of a long time coming, too, with the band’s debut EP, Full Circle, landing all the way back in August of 2018.
Take a look at BLUNT’s exclusive premiere of ‘Homebound’ below, then read on for our one-on-one interview with bassist Marty Cornford!
Where the concept for this track come from?
We started writing the bones of this song around three years ago, so it’s been a long time coming! Musically, we wanted this song to be really easy to jump around to, so we were all just jumping around in Max’s basement, trying to find the perfect tempo to jump to. I think we captured that vibe musically, which I’m stoked with. Lyrically, this song centres around the idea of something or someone you love having to leave and go home, but you wish you had a little more time with them. I started a new job in 2020 and there were two British interns who started at the same time, and I loved those two to death! They were so much fun and two of my best friends, but then when COVID-19 rudely interrupted life, they had to scramble to get on a plane and go home. So this song is, at its core, me wishing that I got to spend more time with them before they left.
How did you want ‘Homebound’ to signify the continued evolution of Afterthought?
Without saying that we are re-inventing what Afterthought is, we really thought that the new EP was kind of a new start for us, and it’s really something that we think encompasses who we are as people and as a band. I think ‘Homebound’ acts well as a sort of stepping stone into the next chapter for us. We found ourselves writing songs that were a bit poppier than the previous ones, and we think ‘Homebound’ fits well as the sort of middle ground between those two sounds. It’s fun and catchy, but it still has the things that make us, us.
You mentioned that the video for ‘Homebound’ was originally going to feature a handful of cameos – who would we have seen pop up, had it not been for lockdown raining on your parade?
This is something we were so excited about! We had Brandon Lung directing it, and he’d asked some of his friends to come. The people that had said they would come included JT from Between You & Me and Teddie from Yours Truly. Some other friends that were going to come included Cody and Sarah from Down For Tomorrow. Without wanting to say it, it was a bit of a bummer to have my dad rather than Jake, but I think the video still turned out cool!
When can we expect to get our hands on your new EP?
Our new self-titled EP comes out on October 22nd! We have a bunch of awesome merch and CDs. We’re really proud of it, and after so long since Full Circle, we are so excited to finally have EP2 on the horizon.
“I don’t know how many people share this opinion, but I think Ross and Rachel from Friends are a terrible couple.”
How much would you say Afterthought has changed in the three years since you dropped the Full Circle EP?
I think we have grown a lot since that EP. When we wrote the first EP, we were all still at school, and I think there are some lyrics especially that I would like back [laughs]. Because we were at school, we didn’t have as much of an opportunity to spend time to write songs together, so most of the songs were written individually and then brought to the band late in the process. The new one had a far more collaborative process, and I think that really shows. There are a couple of songs that are a lot poppier, and there are some synths and those kinds of things. I think people can expect an EP that shows all of what we can do – it has probably our heaviest song yet, and our poppiest.
What’s the plan for touring? We are dying to see Afterthought on the road!
I wish there was a plan! It’s really hard at the moment to sort anything out, but playing these songs to as many people as possible is absolutely the plan.
It’s definitely not the same as a reaction video, but the overly opinionated nature of Rate It or Hate It is something we need to dig into. So, rate it or hate it: pineapple on pizza?
Rate it! I’m a vegetarian so I need as much flavour help as possible, and pineapple absolutely gets a yes from me.
Rate it. I used to be super ambivalent about them, but I would feel really left out of conversations when people talked about them in huge detail. Now I’m in way too deep…
I’ll have to say hate it because I really haven’t listened to enough of it.
Absolutely hate it. I love coffee – maybe too much – so instant coffee is a huge yuck for Marty.
Hate it. Something about it just makes my whole body so uncomfortable.
I think I’ll have to say hate it. I feel I’d rather just be watching the thing they are reacting to without the annoying commentary on top of it.
What would you say is the hottest take you have in general? What’s one opinion you hold that would stir the Internet up into a frenzy?
I don’t know how many people share this opinion, but I think Ross and Rachel from Friends are a terrible couple. They are so awful to each other, and Ross is so incredibly manipulative and treats Rachel like absolute crap. I am open to questions at this time.