Avery, the Perth-based touring bassist for Tame Impala and drummer for Australia’s POND, decided that 2017 would be his year for musical independence, marking it with his first solo album to date. Avery plays with his solo band at Great Scott in Allston tonight (April 3), dusting off the memories tucked away into Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams.
“Obviously there’s always crossover of people knowing me from Tame Impala and POND,” Avery says. But most recently, the comparisons of Avery’s solo album to Father John Mistry have been pouring in. “Wasted on Fidelity” is particularly pertinent; “Those entertaining mornings where I can’t see past the door/When my tie’s hung above my trousers balled up on the floor/And she’s rifling through her drawers/For a pretty little underthing that’ll make me beg for more” he croons over a glorious instrumental of violins, drums, and tambourine.
“It’s a compliment,” Avery adds. “He’ll go down as one of the best songwriters of our generation… I’m not in the same league as him.”
The quiet intimacy of Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams is a departure from the usual for Avery, whose musical repertoire is rooted in much more aggressive alternative. The entire album unveils a new side of the Aussie, unexpectedly reveling in romanticism and rawness.
“It’s a massive step away [from my past work]; it’s got an older, like a more mature sound to it,” he explains. In the stillness of the album’s slower pace, Avery has ample time to flesh out the delicate details of his life, fusing the 10 songs into the musical equivalent of a scrappy memoir.
“It’s a very self-indulgent album. I just tried to make something that I would like. I tried to make something that was purely catering to my tastes. And it’s pretty personal, it’s very autobiographical stuff,” Avery says. “When I first started doing it [the album], I wasn’t really thinking about any kind of world domination, I just started making it, just to put something out — something that I’d be proud of. When it’s all done and dusted in 20 years or something, I can say at least when I was 27 I did an album that I really, really wanted to make. Not that I don’t care what people think, but I think that if you’re making anything that you know people might hear, I think you should be pretty uncompromising with how you want it to sound. It’s a true reflection of your artistry.”