The Longest Day is a two-piece space-rock/post-rock/shoegaze music collaboration, half of which lives in Sydney, the other in Canberra. The band formed under the same inner western Sydney roof in 1997, initially inspired by the noisy lo-fi creations of Flying Saucer Attack, and influenced by the dreamy wall of guitars produced by bands like Ride and My Bloody Valentine.
Songs were written and played for a select few, but Jay and Brad never recorded their output. The move to Canberra by Jay in 2002, and the separate forays into the world of electronic music by both members, seemed to indicate a natural death of the band.
An idea floated in a drunken conversation in 2005 was followed through, and Jay and Brad spent a week recording and mixing a collection of songs resurrected from the band’s past, utilising the original 4 track tapes used at the time to record drums and loops for live performances. The result was 2005’s Slumber, an album awash with guitar and reverb and sweet noise. The album was distributed gratis to anyone who showed an interest in hearing it.
In the winter of 2006, Brad travelled to Canberra for the band’s next project – Sounds of Jupiter. Written and recorded in a week, Jupiter illustrated the band’s progression in sound from that represented by Slumber (which of course represented a sound derived 8 years earlier), and is characterised by a more atmospheric and measured sound, achieved through expanded instrumentation and again through their love of reverb.
In early 2007, the band hooked up with Feral Media, who arranged for the distribution of the remaining copies of both previous albums. The relationship strengthened as the year progressed, the band playing in the October POWWOW show to a strong reception.
Jay and Brad again came together in September 2007 in Canberra to begin writing their next album. A collection of songs were written in collaboration with Boston (USA) artist/musician Christy Romanick, whose sublime, ethereal guitar drones underpin several tracks. Jay and Brad spent the rest of the year writing and refining songs, and came together in Sydney to record their third album – Night Falls, in January of 2008. The album was released on 1 May 2008.
After a brief hiatus the duo reconvened in 2011 to begin work on what would become their fourth album Beyond Your Skies. Whilst the shoegaze and space-rock influences of their previous recordings are still at the forefront there is an undeniable pop sensibility creeping into the new material which calls to mind acts such as Swervedriver and Ride. Despite drawing influence from numerous genres including ambient, drone, indie and post-rock as well as the aforementioned shoegaze and space-rock, Beyond Your Skies is the duo’s most cohesive and accessible work to date. From the fuzzed out bliss of album opener Sleep is Silence, to the neo classical inflections of The Tempest. From the acoustic pop of Amend the Ocean to the sprawling grandeur of album centrepiece Closer to the Sun, The Longest day have crafted an amazing ‘album’ in the true sense of the word. A journey designed to be listened to from beginning to end
This time around the duo further expanded their sonic palette with Christy Romanick once again providing shimmering drones and vocals on All is Quiet, whilst Tim and Peter Hollo of acclaimed string quartet Fourplay provide Viola and Cello respectively on The Tempest.
Beyond Your Skies was released in July 2012.