Melbourne musician Alex Gow finally feels like he's written an album that truly represents him.
Cafe Oblivion is Gow's fifth record as the musical mastermind behind Oh Mercy and it's the one he's most comfortable about, so much so that he's on the cover for the first time.
"I was very pleased that I was able to make an album that represents me and who I am because it really allows me to relax," he told AAP.
"Like if I got hit by a tram tomorrow I would know that I'd finally made the record that I'm finally comfortable with as a representation of me, something to leave behind, otherwise I would be eternally restless I think."
His last album, When We Talk About Love, was a heartbreak album which won Gow the ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album.
"I was a bit of a sad sack on that album," he said.
"There are people out there with real problems, I didn't have real problems I was just heartbroken. It was a problem at the time but I totally deserved it and brought it on myself."
Cafe Oblivion is not born out of heartbreak or any other life situation, it's Gow inhabiting the roles of writer and observer, creating songs that take on different characters.
"I wanted it to be more of a sprawling surreal kind of experience for the listener," he explains.
"I just did a lot of listening and took a lot of notes and lots of cues from a lot of bizarre places that I found myself in, and extrapolated those experiences and fabricated personalities of people and pushed them far enough that they became surreal and interesting to me and chucked them in the music."
Gow's constant musical influences loom large on Cafe Oblivion with Burt Bacharach-style sweeter melodies and rich lyrical descriptions reminiscent of one of his favourite bands, The Waterboys.
* Cafe Oblivion is out now and Oh Mercy is touring the country from April 7.
Australian Associated Press