When talking to an artist, even the just the concept of a release date is a daunting task to assign. Figuring out which mixes are the best, the cover art, writing press releases, securing interviews and booking the right venue for the release launch, there is an art to balancing all these feats to create a ‘perfect’ release. Even before this process, having the confidence to record, rehearse, and release a project is another mountain to climb. Audio Compass (Jayden Gimblett) is one local act who’s nailed this process with the recent release of his impeccable debut EP Melancholic Optimism.

From the outset, there’s an instant flurry of action between catchy guitar lines and intense percussion, almost like the two are dueling one another. The intensity builds further as Jayden’s vocals capture a velocity of sporadic thought, quickly leading from point to point within the story. It’s an effective contrast to the mighty bridge and chorus that bleeds with deep emotion in a powerful vocal performance. The next track on the EP, Mirror Mirror, is an inspired rock song that captures a vibrant pub sing-along with modern punk influences. The incredibly catchy chorus is a memorable point in the EP and deserves multiple listens to truly appreciate the lyrical creativity. The third track, Social Heresy, is a smooth, dark, and very poetic track, that finds balance in a bounding melody and a soulful chorus. Finishing the EP with a Tale of Hexed Demise, the diversity in styles that Jayden evokes over only four tracks is a truly astounding feature of the EP. Though firmly rooted in rock elements, there are many influences that sprawl across every minute of this record.

The four years Jayden has taken to develop himself musically and personally have well and truly paid off in the quality and diversity of his debut record. Having already released a collaborative hip-hop track last year with Aiden Bradley, there are so many styles that Jayden is unafraid to conquer as Audio Compass. Although only Jayden knows what’s next for Audio Compass, he should feel proud of all he’s delivered in his Melancholic Optimism.

Audio Compass’ debut EP Melancholic Optimism is out now.


This review is courtesy of Phoenix Radio’s Emerge program, hosted by Calen Le Couteur and Russell Thompson. Follow Emerge and tune in on Monday nights 7-9PM HERE.