Moaning Lisa return with new single ‘fainter’

Moaning Lisa embark on a fresh chapter with their new single ‘fainter’, the first offering of a new body of music from the Naarm/Melbourne based four-piece. 

After the release of their debut album, ‘Something Like This But Not This’ in late 2021, Moaning Lisa spent most of 2022 playing live, including an Aus headline tour showcasing the album, a hometown support slot in Canberra for one of Midnight Oil’s final shows, supporting Sly Withers across their national tour, and also gaining the esteemed role as the support band for RIDE, on their ‘Nowhere’ 30th Anniversary Aus tour in December 2022.

This year of touring was the perfect opportunity to workshop and road test new music the band had been writing, before they bunkered down in various studios in 2023 to record a new collection of songs. Expressing their excitement about releasing new music, guitarist & vocalist Charlie shares that “putting out music again after so long is invigorating and so exciting. We had a few road blocks along the way (looking at you, COVID) but we’re so grateful for the time to truly explore who we are as artists now and going forward. We can’t wait to see what comes next!”

‘fainter’ is the first track to be shared from these recording sessions, and comes in the form of a shimmering, anthemically building indie-rock track, with slide guitar breathing in and out, and drums that drive into its cinematic and climactic ending. Discussing guitarist Ellen Chan, bassist/vocalist Hayley Manwaring, and drummer Hayden Fritzlaff’s contribution to the track, Charlie says “Hayden recorded the instrumental when he was inspired by Egoism’s ‘What Are We Doing’ and he’d accidentally looped the guitar chords in the wrong spot, so it makes the verses seem almost disconcertingly long. Ellen plays those guitar slides with a drum stick, simply because she couldn’t find her metal slide when recording the demo, but it made those parts so iconic and unique because of its unconventional technique”.
The track was recorded across three studios, and was produced and recorded by Ben Moore (Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Montaigne), Anna Laverty (Stella Donnelly, Camp Cope), and Moaning Lisa, with additional engineering by Rohan Sforcina (Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Ali Barter).

Charlie goes on to reveal the thematic inspiration and origin of their new track, saying that  ‘fainter’ is a song for anyone grieving. Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or a past self, the experience of grief is exhausting and relentless and we wanted to capture that. We wrote it right at the beginning of lockdowns in Melbourne. Within a week my life radically changed. Our recording session in Sydney was cut short due to border closures, a close family member of mine was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and my long term relationship ended suddenly. I went into a deep depression and found myself in this state of limbo, feeling like my life was slipping away from me. The lyrics came almost immediately, like a flood gate opened and I realised the crux of my problem was how impatient I was being with myself. There’s that old saying of “life is short” as an argument for living life to the fullest but I was faced with all this space and uncertainty in front of me that it just wasn’t ringing true. It wasn’t until I discovered the ancient stoicism stance on life, that life is long and so you should live it to the fullest because there’s so much of it and this really stuck with me. Stop rushing through the bad just to get to the good, take your time with important things and ensure you’re giving yourself the space to heal. My favourite lyric from ‘fainter’ that sums up this notion is “if there’s one thing I’ve learned from loss, you can make it worse watching the clock”.

Moaning Lisa’s year of heavy touring also led to them finding a title for ‘fainter’, inspired by a peculiar occurrence that began happening when they played the song live. The band says that “it remained untitled for ages, until we started playing it live while touring in 2022 and we asked the audience to suggest potential titles for it. One particular person suggested ‘fainter’ to reference a bizarre phenomenon happening at these shows. On more than one occasion, after we played this song, someone in the audience would faint. I love the double meaning of the word ‘fainter’ because you can also read it as something fading away or deteriorating, which is how I’ve grown to think of the pain of loss over time – it’s still there, just fainter. 

Moaning Lisa’s new single ‘fainter’ is out now, and is the first in a new collection of music set to be shared throughout the year.