For a while there, it looked like Green Buzzard was finished. Having gained promising notices for 2017’s Space Man Rodeo EP, the Sydney outfit dissolved soon after, leaving frontman and songwriter Paddy Harrowsmith the last man standing. Fresh out of a failed relationship and suffering something of a late-twenties malaise, Harrowsmith opted to take time away from music and figure out his future. This period of soul-searching and sorting through the disarray of his life inadvertently led to him writing the song “Clutter & Mess,” with Green Buzzard now ostensibly becoming Harrowsmith’s solo project.
Despite lines such as “Waves are crashing on my head” and “I never wanna leave my bed,” the song itself is surprisingly upbeat—all Britpop swagger and earworm melodies, laced with the slightest tinge of blissed-out psychedelia. The combination of sweet melodies and maudlin lyrics resonates in the break-up anthem “I Don’t Want to Be Alone” as well as “Put Me Under” (“I don’t want a hospital/I’d rather have a funeral”), while the existential confusion outlined in “Wooden Dog” is accompanied by the album’s most expansive arrangement, complete with strings and despondent piano. Sonically, Amidst the Clutter & Mess seems to float out of the speakers in a haze, with producer Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio) giving the LP a slightly skewed feel, and its mid-’90s Britpop affectations a 2019 update.