Melbourne indie rockers Tiny Little Houses have finally released their anticipated debut album Idiot Proverbs and its profoundly relatable lyrics are set to be the voice of the slacker generation. Finally, someone has challenged and exposed bullshit proverbs.
Following on from two successful EPs, You Tore Out My Heart and Snow Globe, the four-piece have spent the past three years growing louder and fuzzier but never losing their signature folky angst.
Founder and singer/guitarist Caleb Karvountis explains “There are dumb, lighter songs on this record and some of our most emotional and heavy attempts.”
The album opens with two raucous singles, ‘Garbage Bin’ and ‘Entitled Generation’, which pair geek rock riffs with biting lyrics like “I can’t explain how bad it feels to be so lost / At least with medicine life expectancy has now gone up” to become anthems of dissatisfied youth.
Title track ‘Idiot Proverbs’ is another fun track, playing with proverbs and sayings that don’t actually stand true. “If you don’t bend I bet it breaks you”, “Life is a blessing and sometimes it’s a curse” and “When one door closes there might not be a next” rewrite what the older generations told us to make our hopes more realistic.
Hidden in the middle of the album, ‘Everyone Is’ makes a joke of Karvountis’ dating life during recording (non-existent), with lines like “I should start dressing like them, maybe you’ll notice me then.” But the guttural bass riff and yearning guitars add a new sense of sublime angst to the song. Despite starting as a joke, the feeling of not being good enough is so genuine that ‘Everyone Is’ becomes a blissfully heart-shattering anthem for losers.
‘Nowhere, SA’ continues down the sensitive route, as Karvountis softly sings about needing to escape small-town living over a bittersweet arrangement of guitars. The final minute of the song delivers the ultimate tension release, as Karvountis’ perfectly whiny voice yells “I gotta get out of here”.
But whether the songs are playful or tear jerking, they all share Karvountis’ matured songwriting, as he wryly reflects on growing up and falling short of expectations with charming shamelessness and humour.
Closing track ‘Drag Me’ bursts into one final tantrum of dissatisfaction, as Karvountis yells over over a whirlwind of guitars and thrashing drums “Don’t want to play my guitar, ‘cause it hasn’t gotten me far,” instead opting for the self-destructive “Sometimes I want to blow up, sometimes I want to give in.”
Idiot Proverbs is an emotional, sensitive and humourous collection of stories that we’re glad Caleb shared from his head and lifted from his chest. Catch TLH debuting all new music live when they tour Australia next month.
Words by Hayley Franklin.