New album: Program || It’s A Sign

Five years is long enough to forget about a band. When I first pressed play on Program’s It’s A Sign, I knew I had to write about it. This is exactly the kind of Aussie guitar pop I love: laid-back and jangly, with clean guitars played with a sense of urgency, bass lines that make it hard to stand still, and cool melodies delivered with a slacker disposition. Then I discovered that the band released their debut LP back in 2019. Not only that, but it was already on my wantlist, and several of its songs had made it into my favorite playlist of the year. Funny how the brain gets faulty when your ears are always tuned to new music, huh?

Like its predecessor, It’s A Sign has its share of hits – the band had me at the 1-2-3 punch of Sparks (’60s throwback), Live Without (upbeat and scrappy, simple yet effective), and It’s Not The End Of The World (ear worm chorus), but it works best experienced as a full album. The sequencing between faster and slower songs, between melancholy and sunny dispositions, is spot on. Put the LP on the next time you have guests, and they’ll want to know the name of the band. It’s also perfect for playing on your headphones during your daily commute. That’s when you’ll discover all the nuances in the songs: how subtly good the drumming is, how the guitar melodies and bass lines create waves for the vocals to ride on.

With It’s A Sign, Program proves they fit perfectly in Melbourne’s vibrant and creatively rich indie music scene, while also standing out as having created one of the most enjoyable indie pop records of the year so far. A tip of the hat to Anti-Fade Records, who are on a roll of late released some highly recommended modern classics — Uranium Club’s Infants Under The Bulb and Parsnip’s Behold.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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