By Erin Cross
The Go Set have always walked the line between raucous and intimate storytelling and their latest album, Of Bright Futures...and Broken Pasts, is no different. The seventh studio release made its debut in April and was set to be accompanied by a national tour that has been rescheduled until November when the band will be rocking Canberra's own Transit Bar.
Recorded and produced independently by the band in rural Victoria, Of Bright Futures...and Broken Pasts is a tribute to the two main musical characteristics of The Go Set; punk rock energy crossed with nostalgic themes. To reflect this, the album is divided into two EPs that are a explosion of screaming youth and mature folk.
Singer-songwriter and guitarist, Justin Keenan describes the album as a story told from two very different perspectives.
"Of Bright Futures and Broken Pasts is written as two characters, as the child and the adult," he says.
"The songs are kind of in a pattern, so it's a series of high hopes, aspirations and adult realities."
The first EP, Of Bright Futures, features seven tracks of blistering punk rock that acts as an insight into growing up, while the second EP, And Broken Pasts, features an intimate acoustic folk that showcases the bands storytelling and gift for looking back to the past.
Justin admits that releasing this album in the current climate is both a blessing and a curse for the band.
“It's not a good time to be putting out music, we’re an independent band and it’s hard to pay a wage," he says.
To keep the music going The Go Set have been hosting Facebook Live shows on Saturdays, playing songs from "And Broken Pasts" for fans.
The folksy tracks are a taste of what's to come once the band can hit the live scene again. Like all musicians, the band is trying to find their way in the current wacky world.
"Most artists have moved to online gigs in response to the idea that they can't play conventional pub settings anymore so everyone's constantly trying to adjust how they want to present their art," Justin says.
"I'm not even sure that in November that a gig bigger than a 100 or so people will even be possible."
According to Justin, it's the diversity of the two EPs and the dedication of the fans that's keeping them going online.
"We're in a really fortunate position because we can perform our songs in acoustic mode where we tell a story and emphasise the lyrics a lot more because our songs are fast-growing, lyrically," he says.
"If you played death metal, you'd find it very hard to translate that into a live stream."
Justin also believes the live streams are a fantastic way to connect to the audience and boost their revenue, even if technical difficulties are a ever present problem.
"Live streaming is wonderful. The people can make comments, they can request songs and it raises revenue as well because people can buy tickets,"
The introduction of Live Streaming music has altered the face of the music industry during the COVID-19 pandemic and Justin acknowledges its importance; the band is considering the continued use of Live Streaming in the future to cater to their overseas viewers.
With more in the works, fans should keep an ear and an eye out online. While The Go Set are unable to get into a studio or onto a stage together they're still creating content, including music videos for the new album.
“It's a good time to stockpile music and tweak videos. I think you’ll find a lot of creative people will produce some good stuff," says Justin.
While the future of live music is uncertain, one thing is for sure, the show will go on for The Go Set. And for them, that future is looking bright.