Nic Harcourt’s Best New Music: The Goon Sax


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It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and legendary L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment. Below, he shares his newest picks added to his Spark Radio playlist and shares a spotlight on his favorite earworm of the week.

New adds this week:
The Goon Sax: Desire
Cold Beat: See You Again
Brad Byrd: The Bright Lights (Fade Away)
Little Galaxies: Waking Sea
Angelique Kidjo, Yemi Alade: Dignity
Courtney Barnett: Rae Street
Shungudzo: There’s only so much a soul take
Jorge Drexler: La Guerilla de la Concordia
Pahua, Gizmo Varilla: La Cura


Photograph by: Elliott Lauren

Hailing from Brisbane, Australia (somewhere I lived from the age of 25 thru 30, ask me next time we see each other) The Goon Sax are James Harrison, Louis Forster (son of Robert Forster of Brisbane indie legends The Go Betweens) and Riley Jones. All three members write songs, and they all sing lead at times. With two well-received albums from their first five years together, their debut 2016’s “Up To Anything” and 2018’s “We’re Not Talking”. The group’s new album “Mirror ll” found them in Geoff Barrow’s (Portishead) Invada Studios in Bristol, with producer John Parish who’s worked with tons of people but I think if I just say PJ Harvey, you get the cred. The result is a cauldron full of synths, organs, and pianos, jangly guitars recalling mid 80’s early 90’s Oz indie legends The Triffids and the aforementioned Go Betweens, and three very different vocalists somehow sounding like a band who are ready for indie cult status, maybe more.

The song I chose from “Mirror ll” for this week’s playlist is the dreamy dirge “Desire”. Riley Jones who wrote the song and sings the lead vocal had this to say. “When I wrote ‘Desire,’ I lived with James and Louis in a share house in Paddington, Brisbane called Fantasy Planet. Technically, it was written out like “$ ◇ a Planet.” It was my friend Tim Green’s reference to the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan. In my basic understanding of the way Lacan theorized fantasy, desire is founded upon a lack. The diamond (◇) represents all the ways we relate to a lost object: everything above, below, around, more than, less than, with, without, in spite of, and because of it. The cause of our desire is a gap that we are always trying to fill, even while it constantly evades us.”

“Desire is complex,” says Riley. “Unconscious attachments hang on invisible threads. Fantasies and daydreams emerge, dangerous hallucinations cause reckless actions, misremembrance causes total distortion. I wanted it to feel as expansive as a *Les Rallizes Dénudés song – to reverberate beneath waters that flood all the crevices of the earth, to leave no gap unfilled and I wanted it to be as universal as one of those crushing Elvis songs – so poignant that its sentiment seems to ring out forever, just like Desire.”

*Les Rallizes Dénudés were a weird-ass experimental Japanese rock band

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