Remember the OG hipsters? Young, broke kids, who couldn’t care less about the latest fashion trends. Nerdy kids, who rocked their own style: hand-picked out of Goodwill isles. They still listened to vinyl, because damit, that’s the only way to listen to classic records. They hung out in smokey dive-bars and discussed philosophy and poetry over cheap beer and hand-rolled cigarettes.They drove beat-up cars and drank black coffee. They worked dead-end jobs because fuck the system, you only live once. They were artists. They were true and honest, following their dreams. They were authentic and they were approachable, genuine humans.
Methel Ethel reminds of that original type: an intriguingly different group of guys, true to the roots of the hipster movement, before it was bastardized and morphed into a runway show that everyone copied – more as a fashion trend than a statement. They are a fun young group of nerdy dudes from Perth. They’re trendy, but only so far as in that they’re truly themselves, embracing their oddities as a reflection of their artistic make-up. Inspired by sexy psychedelic weirdness their fashion style reflects everything that one might consider was wrong with the 90’s – from high water khaki pants paired with high waisted belts to tucked in shirts and unruly mops on their heads.
But these cats celebrate the different and they do it so well that they even make the awkward look great. You look around the room and you find yourself surrounded by an audience of the most beautifully eccentric people. Congratulations, you’ve stumbled upon a rare minority group of LA people who couldn’t care less about the latest trends. These people have more important things to worry about, like discovering new amazing artists. Digging up those underground musical superheroes that don’t get the attention they deserve. Because these people know what’s really up. And they know about Methyl Ethel.
Quite fittingly, Methyl Ethel take their name from a colorless organic compound with a sweet yet sharp odor, often used as an industrial solvent. Unassuming at first, these sweet boys know how to cut through the thick of it with a musical style that lands somewhere between Tame Impala, MGMT and Bowie – trendy and catchy yet beautifully different at the same time in so many beautifully weird ways. Don’t expect vocalist, guitarist and mastermind behind Methyl Ethel Jake Webb to take the spot light – instead you’ll find bassist Thom Stewart center stage. Dim stage lighting ensures your focus remains with the music as Webb’s distinct vocals carry you to another sphere where the uncomfortable meets the chipper dancey for an intimate dance around the solar system.
Methyl Ethel has quite a few shows left on their U.S tour before they head back to Australia in May and then on to Europe in June. Find tour dates on their website methylethel.com. But if you can’t make it to one of their shows, I encourage you to allow their music to be your friend on a sleepless night, during an episode of severe writer’s block, or simply on a pensive, introverted day. Because this music is just as much art as it is rock and as such it holds the power to inspire.