BUS VIPERS, a.k.a Sydney-based multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ahern, is proud to announce details of his debut EP Federal Highway and drop the music video for its first single, CSIRO Weeds. The first cut of new music from Ahern since his 2013 single Lonely Ghost, the Federal Highway EP is a collection of six rapturous, sunny garage pop songs, and will be released this July 2017 through Future Classic.
CSIRO Weeds showcases Ahern’s gift for multi-layered, textured and richly melodic song writing that is evident throughout the EP, and explores the disillusionment he felt whilst living and studying in Canberra. Ahern teamed up with Prue Stent and Honey Long, two of Australia’s most instantly recognisable creative artists, to art direct the video for ‘CSIRO Weeds’. Premiered on Stereogum last night, the video boldly plays with colour, textures and movement, set against some of Australia’s most stunning and vast landscapes.
Bus Vipers says, “CSIRO Weeds references the group-think that can college life can create and the film clip video picks up this theme as I am pursued by three homogenised, grey figures. The film clip also takes on the themes of my music more generally. I am haunted by my identity – different pasts and futures and different masks that I have had to wear. I try to federate my different experiences and interests into one whole person.” On the artistic direction they took with Bus Vipers, Prue Stent and Honey Long note, “Our visual concept for this EP centred around fragmenting Dan’s identity and trying to convey a sense of the self in flux. All the works were made in landscapes which we felt conjured a sense of the surreal, allowing elements of Dan and his music to exist in a dream like state.”
Federal Highway is the main thoroughfare that connects Canberra to Sydney, a road Ahern drove many times in the three years he spent as one of its residents. After returning to Sydney, he built a studio space in his basement to write and record what would eventually form his debut EP. He wrote thoughts about his time at college in Canberra, where he felt confused by his own identity and stumped by the ubiquity of his peers, his experience in an unhealthy relationship, losing his hair to alopecia at eleven years old, and the universal feeling of otherness.
For the duration of the EP, on which Ahern recorded every instrument (he learnt to play the drums for the sole purpose of achieving this), Federal Highway bursts with trippy guitar licks, distorted synth and giddy psychedelia. “I want to leave people with a really intangible, energised feeling,” says Ahern. Bus Vipers does just that – the result is a rich and sprawling world that echoes with the warmth of the ‘60s, and the kinetic energy of psych-rock.
2013 saw the first round of music released by Bus Vipers, including the singles ‘Lonely Ghost’ and ‘Orby’, the former of which secured his standing as a triple j Unearthed Feature Artist, eventually leading to full rotation on triple j. Gold Flake Paint (UK) noted that Ahern was “Steadying himself on the tricky terrain between making playful, fun-filled music while still offering something worthwhile and wholesome”, with locals Me And All My Friends calling his music “pop that gets under your skin”. The past four years have culminated in something special for Bus Vipers: Federal Highway is a fully formed and self-assured debut.
Be sure to follow Bus Vipers on Facebook and keep an eye for the release of Federal Highway in July.