When It Was Now, debut record by Aussie indie rock group Atlas Genius, is the epitome of the genre. Promoted by the single “Trojans” released in 2013, I was lucky enough to stumble upon this song in the depths of Spotify and was interested enough to listen to the whole record. Lucky for me, again, that I actually really liked it; besides a few redundant moments and my inability to understand the lyrics, there were a few really solid tracks on here. The cohesiveness of the record is immaculate yet every song has a particular feel to it which makes it stand out from the rest. It got mixed reviews from critics but in my personal opinion, this project is timeless and contains some of the best tunes to come from indie rock. Even so many years later I continue to revisit it, expecting it to feel boring or lose its touch. Somehow, that never happens. So with that being said, here are my picks for the most memorable moments from When It Was Now.
#1. “Back Seat”
This is undeniably my favorite song off of this entire record and with good reason. Indie rock as a genre is a rather limited category and I find it hard to find songs that aren’t so similar. This track stands out amid the rest because it’s not as instrument heavy as the others. “Back Seat” is mainly built upon a mid tempo bass line and small guitar riffs with dreamy vocal melodies that linger on and on. It’s airy and easy to listen to yet nonetheless addictive. I can barley understand any of the words but that doesn’t even matter; when you’ve got this good of an instrumental, the words become irrelevant.
#2. “Centered On You”
Here we’ve got another toned down track and as with the previous one, the simplicity behind it is the reason it stands out. “Centered On You” is written in a very poetic style, with short lines that are essentially just small blips of words strung together. But the way everything flows from one minute to the next is infallible, without any one part feeling out of place. The slight electronic/synth sounds melt perfectly into the guitar parts while the lyrics require some thought making this track a really interesting combination.
#3. “Don’t Make A Scene”
To end things off, I’d like to talk about the shortest but most intriguing song on this entire project. It’s a little risky in the sense that it doesn’t truly fit the record due to it’s dance inspired beat and varied instrumentation. There’s a little bit of everything on this one and I’m not even sure what was specifically used but I can hear the obvious guitar and drums with elements of what sounds like piano and trumpets. Something like this isn’t heard anywhere else on this collection of songs but still manages to work with the rest. It’s such a down to earth, fun track with great lyricism to boot.