08 Jan Married Man – Hard Bargain
After a busy 2018 playing a series of blistering and blissed-out live shows with the likes of The Goon Sax, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Spike Vincent, Gregor, Davey Lane, Rocket Science and Jess Cornelius, Sydney all-girl postpunk trio Married Man are set to release their debut album Hard Bargain, produced by Straight Arrows’ Owen Penglis and mastered by Eddy Current Suppression Ring / Total Control’s Mikey Young, the dynamic recording/mixing duo behind Royal Headache’s classic first LP.
Released via Lesstalk Records and recorded all-analogue and live-to-tape at Penglis’ Goliath Professional Recording Studio in Sydney, Hard Bargain is a nocturnal tangle of late nights, bruised hearts and aching regrets. Mostly, though, it’s about survival: the ways in which we hang on to hope and find ways to dig out moments of love and joy even when we’re buried under a mountain of bullshit.
Formerly the solo project of Sydney singer and guitarist Sarafina Pea, Married Man transitioned to its current three-piece form when bassist Kim Sukit (Photogenic) and drummer Marnie Vaughn (No DOZ) decided Pea needed some company on her mystical musical journey, the pair adding some extra muscle to Pea’s heady mix of daring dream pop and wiry post-punk.
Swooning one minute and searing the next, Hard Bargain covers a lot of emotional and sonic terrain over its tight set of nine songs: there’s title track ‘Hard Bargain’, a pummelling “fuck you” to fuckboys the world over; the jagged guitar pop of seedy late-night tale ‘Someone’s Got Your Number’; the soaring, ascendant dream-pop of ‘In This Room’ and the haunting, piano-led lament ‘Knowhere’.
Married Man are set to drive their Hard Bargain even further in 2019 for live dates both announced and yet to come, giving fans and new converts alike the chance to see one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets bring their dazzling debut album to life.