Hoolahan’s track-by-track breakdown of Casuarina

Hoolahan Photo: supplied

To accompany the release of their latest album Casuarina, Hoolahan’s Tim and Dave have released a track by track breakdown and stream of the album today on Rhythms!

Hoolahan split in 2007, but have recently reunited after a ten year break to continue their music making journey.

The band have two upcoming shows in Brisbane and Canberra in late Novemeber and early December.


24/11: The Triffid, Brisbane

02/12: Phoenix Bar, Canberra


Listen to the album now, and see the track by track breakdown below!


Track by Track Breakdown of Hoolahan’s Casuarina

Morning Roll

Tim: Seemed appropriate to start the album with this – the opening riffs and chords were literally the first things to come off the guitars when Dave and I played together again after a very long break. This song has optimism and places to go – it sets out on the straight and narrow before turning off and disappearing into the distance.

Dave: It describes the feeling of realizing your situation seems to be happening TO you, and you have no idea how you got here or how to make changes – “Like a one-winged bird on a telegraph pole”.


Sales Retreat

Tim: A long run down Seven Mile Beach, this one is partly about coming to terms with individuality and vulnerability set to a backdrop of the corporate motivational video…. stamina, resilience and ‘team-power’ versus life. The instrumental break hits the treadmill hard and the pace of the song never falters. Close your eyes and fall backwards… someone might catch you.


Sick Fizz

Dave: I wrote this one the morning after a party at (Youth Group singer) Toby Martin’s house. The tune just seemed to fall from the sky in a hungover haze… it has a real Sydney summer feel to me and on the record the guitar riffs seem to hang like salt-air … moving almost in slow-motion. The production from Wayne gives it plenty of space and Tim’s piano really adds a touch of class to this one – it reminds me of the Style Council for some reason.


On the Golden Sands

Tim:  As much a time as a place, this is partly about good fortune and its transience – a frozen moment where opportunities to show love and care pass by right in front of you. I like the Casio flute melody with its fairground connotations – the song winds out in to open territory and the guitars play on – it just felt natural to let it run.

Dave: Tim and I had recorded an earlier version that we were pretty happy with, but with an hour to go on our last day in the studio we put this version down with the band in two or three takes.  It really captures the feel we had going in the room.


We Only Seem To Pass The Time

Dave: We put this one together at Tim’s studio really early on and it nearly didn’t make the album. Built around acoustic and baritone guitars, a rumbling bass and Phil Spector-ish drums – it swirls and wobbles like an anchored boat in choppy waters; a mysterious, dreamy, twangy thing with a story that seems to be about a few different things all at once…


City Rain

Tim: Written on a Thomas ‘Californian’ home organ salvaged from a building site up the road. It had an array of old and broken sounds hidden inside including a great Ennio Morriconne-esque whistle. The tune came that way and features our bass player Harry and I sharing the lead vocal. Kind of a commuter soundtrack…. when it rains on Pitt Street it comes in at 45 degrees – you can lean in to it or disappear underground.


Instant Gain

Tim: The instrumental chorus of this one was around for a while and always felt pretty uplifting and dreamy. The song came together with the band just in time for the album – kind of an astral trip back through teenage years growing up in and out of Canberra.  Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil, Family Dog) and Mal McKernnan (La Huva) helped me record an earlier version of this. Jim played some iPhone theremin hovered over a guitar which we flew in with a lot of synths and guitars from that earlier session.


Ev’ry Time You Go

Dave: One of those songs that just all came together the very first time we played it in rehearsal. We had a whole plot laid out for an elaborate video shoot featuring Eastern Bloc spies, limousines, embassies and a botched assassination attempt! In the end our friend Matt Walker directed a far more coherent and “on the mark” video for this one.


Eleven Miles

Dave:  Influences such as Nick Drake and Tim Rogers are coming through via Big Star on this one. A point when you realize that family matters more than most of the other things we spend our time worrying about…


A Wreckers Light

Tim: Written around the same time as “City Rain”, again on the Thomas Californian this time offering up a distorted harpsichord sound  – we love playing this live and it was great fun to record. This was put to tape some years back at Paradise Studios – Wayne worked his magic during the mix and it sits well alongside the newer tracks.


Country Doctor

Dave: A devil of a song to record in the studio but I love how Neil’s drums turned out. Lyrically I’m really proud of this one. A first person narrative about an older couple – foreigners living in an Australian coastal town, trying to assimilate with small town life after an horrific journey to get here. A doctor and a nurse – they’ve seen unspeakable things together and just want to somehow forget it all. The instrumental outro is one of my favorite moments on the album.



Dave: The frame of this one was recorded at home on acoustic guitar and piano, with the band laying down tracks some time later. I think we used the demo vocals in the end. Lyrically this one came unusually quickly – it’s about human connection, making yourself vulnerable and the danger that can bring. It has a dark sense of foreboding and felt like an intriguing way to close the album.

For more information on the band, head to: https://www.hoolahan.band/