In mid-March last year, local anaesthetist Paul Ricciardo shaved his luscious curls and set aside his dreams of being a rock star. Jon Carlson, along with his partner Brittany, considered how the birth of their first child in April would be impacted by a global pandemic. Daniel Seinor and Scott White stared down the barrel of a drastically altered education system, uncertain how they would teach their students. Esperance as a community braced for hard times, for sad times. We prepared for the unknown that lay ahead.
Soon however, extreme tension within our small community turned into a sense of relief. Both State and Federal Governments initiated strategies that would manage the spread of the C-Virus. It helped, of course, that we are extremely isolated and have an anything-butdense population distribution. Of anywhere in the world, Esperance was particularly fortunate.
With expectations of not touching the Esperance blue with a surfboard for an extended period, Ricciardo was relieved to find himself back in the ocean. But one fateful day, Paul took the full force of a Southern Ocean wave to his right shoulder, dislocating and tearing ligaments in the process. Surgery quickly followed and Paul’s 2020 came to a standstill. Jon Carlson swung me a call as he regularly does. “Kyza, Paul’s talking about writing a grant application for Car Park Social. What are your thoughts?” Jon was somewhat sceptical but my reply was, “If anyone can pull it off, it’s Paul.” Roughly three months later, I was in the car on the way to Perth and I received a message from Jon letting me know their grant application was successful. “Holy hell,” I thought to myself.
A whirlwind ensued as the full scope of the project, made possible by this grant, came to life. Following their first post-COVID lockdown performance, a sold out show at The Indian Ocean Hotel in Scarborough, Car Park Social headed to Coolgardie to become the first full band to record at the newly developed train station recording studio. The studio was developed by Brenton Meynell of Barefoot Bands and Drew Goddard of Karnivool, in partnership with the Shire of Coolgardie and Coolgardie Community Resource Centre.
In between laying down their sections, Dan, Paul, Scott and Jon lost themselves in the sheer sparseness of Coolgardie. They commented that there was little distraction outside of the studio and that the quiet, the heat and the desert strangely made it a fertile creative ground. I feel these factors will shine through in the music produced by the band while in the Goldfields.
A few months on, Car Park Social are now releasing their first single, Blind. It’s an expertly crafted track which is just so damn warm. Now I join the lads on their journey towards releasing their first EP at The Cannery Arts Centre on February 20. It blows my mind to think that two years ago Daniel and Paul played early sets at Cannery open mics. It blows my mind to think that a surfing injury played a solid part in Car Park Social being able to fully realise themselves as a band and bring their songwriting to life. It blows my mind to think that their debut EP was crafted in an isolated Goldfields town by Brenton Meynell and one of WA’s most talented musicians, Drew Goddard.
February 20 at The Cannery marks the culmination of a journey for the four Esperance lads (yes, Scott, you’re local now). Head along to celebrate and enjoy the Car Park Social experience.