In a recent write-up, I spoke about the feeling of when a new artist drops a debut song and it makes you stop everything you’re doing and pay attention. It’s a wonderful and hopeful feeling, and it comes every now and then. It’s already happened a few times this year, and one of those times was upon hearing Zodiac Insomniac, the debut from Damaged Goods Club for the first time.
Everything leading up to this moment felt right. The song name and artist name instantly got me interested, and I fell more and more curious about this song as I read on their Unearthed page that their influences are Stella Donnelly, Courtney Barnett, Camp Cope, and Alex the Astronaut. And with music tags like singer-songwriter and folkpunk, the stars started to align and I just had to listen to this song.
Zodiac Insomniac opens with this distorted and melodic guitar that sets the pace and echoes throughout the song, before Damaged Goods Club brings in their voice that brilliantly displays their sweet sound and range. It’s a comforting and familiar sound, reminding me of some of my favourite songs like10 Minute Drive by Bec Stevens and Mulder, It’s Me by Georgia Maq. We’re only thirty seconds into the song and already I’m sold on it, eager to hear what the next four-and-a-half minutes will be. And what you do get next is a slow build with the percussion, bass, and second guitar introducing themselves through the opening versus before diving into the chorus, all the while locking in your attention through their comforting vocals.
The Melbourne-based performer sings with honesty, touching on themes of anxiety, astrology, and what’s in between. My favourite part of the song comes after the second chorus, where they strip the song back for a quick moment before bringing the band back for the bridge which drives open with:
And I know that it’s a fucking joke to base my mental state on a horoscope
It’s a mechanism by which to cope, and it’s the if’s and ism's that give us hope
Star signs and horoscopes are things I’ve never spent time looking into or understanding, they've never been a part of me. But Damaged Goods Club sheds a light on it with this line for me, reflecting on how they can be a coping mechanism and provide answers for some people.
And I think this is why I love this song so much - it’s brought me to think and reflect for myself, and that’s sometimes the best thing music can do for you. On top of that, Zodiac Insomniac is a beautiful and familiar sound, all coming in the form of a debut song. It’s amazing, and it’s honestly up there with my favourites of the year, and I cannot wait to hear more full band material from Damaged Goods Club in the near future.