Of course, it’s just a thought. And this is just a song. But the music Cash Savage is making is informed by real life - her own, and those of the people for whom violence, or the threat of violence, is inescapably real. The human beings who are called minorities and treated as though their lives matter less than others. The women and children on whom domestic violence is enacted, and those in the LGBTIQ+ community for whom violence is an implied or overt threat behind the rhetoric of “family values” and “good citizens”.
Following on from 2016’s hugely acclaimed One Of Us, Good Citizens raises the stakes and signals the ascent of Cash Savage and the Last Drinks as one of the heavy hitters of Australian music’s new era. An incandescent live band at the height of their powers, led by mighty frontwoman Savage, whose potent lyrics and impassioned delivery articulate the personal-political issues of these times with all her heart, guts and grit.
The title track was inspired by disbelief of the warped representations of “mainstream” Australia portrayed in the TV commercials screened during a sporting event. “You don’t need a job to be a good citizen,” Cash insists. “You don’t need to go to church to be a good citizen. You don’t need to be married to be a good citizen. But a little bit of empathy could go a long way.”
“We’re all humans, ”Cash affirms, “which means we’re all part of the problem. And we’re all part of the solution.”
The album comes to a devastating conclusion with ‘Collapse’, a song Cash wrote for her daughter. “I hope she understands that the world is a violent place,” Cash explains. “She’s growing up in a world where there’s violence everywhere, but our privilege allows us to believe that violence is someone else’s problem. The wars that are fought are at a distance. A non-violent life is a privileged life, and fewer and fewer people are living that privilege.”
The politics of Good Citizens hit home all the harder for their juxtaposition amongst songs that are deeply, passionately, personal. The ache of missing a partner, the heady highs of falling in love, and the triumph of knowing that love is indestructible. Even as it peers into the abyss of the anger and brutality that rock our times, Good Citizens burns with a fierce flame of belief in the goodness that may yet prevail.
Release: September 21st, 2018, Mistletone Records