2019 album also available in CD.
The musical project of Jake Webb, Methyl Ethel have always been a surrealist outfit - a dark and obscured expression of life set to the backdrop of dream pop hooks.
The monster that is the new Methyl Ethel album ‘Triage’ is a vivid, compelling and mysterious creature, all sinewy, curvaceous pop nuggets and enigmatic currents. But ask its leader Jake Webb to explore those enigmas is met with a little resistance. “Ideally, I want the music to speak for itself, rather to present myself,” he explains. “When I was making music alone, before I had the band, it was genderless and without a paper trail of information about my past.”
That paper trail leads back to Perth, the capital of Western Australia, where Webb imbibed the cassettes that he’d hear in his parents’ car - “doo-wop, the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, Del Shannon, the Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson,” he lists his favourites. “All my knowledge of songwriting is the old way. But I play with the form, to try and push the boundaries.”
Taking a musical alias from father’s work in fibre glass - made using methyl ethyl ketone peroxide, before Webb changed ‘ethyl’ to ‘ethel’ “in order to create an identity, a personality with a name,” he explains – the early Methyl Ethel bedroom recordings realised two EPs – ‘Teeth and Guts’ – released in quick succession in 2014. A standalone single ‘Rogues’ won Pop Song of 2014 at the WAM (Western Australia Music) Awards, likewise ‘Twilight Driving’ in 2015, both of which were part of the debut Methyl Ethel album ‘Oh Inhuman Spectacle’, self-recorded in a remote coastal town south of Perth.