Martin Frawley of the Australian indie-pop band Twerps has released “You Want Me?,” his debut single as a solo artist after his signing with Merge Records. The track, premiering exclusively at Paste today, appears to mark the dissolution of Twerps. Frawley describes “You Want Me?” as “the prequel” to his debut solo album, “explaining why I am where I am, writing what I am.”
It’s a plainly spoken ode to a relationship lost—Frawley started Twerps with Jules McFarlane in 2008, and their creative partnership was the wellspring from which the band sprouted. The track acts as both an annulment and memorial of that partnership. Frawley is documentarian in his account of he and McFarlane’s relationship, recounting in detail how they met and how they parted. “This girl was tough, this girl was smart, this girl worked harder than anyone / this girl swept me right off my feet,” he rambles in deadpan Dylan-isms over classic Aussie-pop guitar bumblings. It’s almost comical how upbeat the music is when compared to Frawley’s defeated vocals, all sprightly acoustics and bright winking piano lines.
“Does she need me / does she hope for me / does she think of me?” goes the chorus, letting just a bit of pathos slip out of Frawley’s tight-lipped delivery. By the time we’ve reached the end, we’ve heard quite a few more flashes of pathos: “I need to know what she means / we should find out each other’s needs / this isn’t the way we should end this team.” Frawley might be a little off in classifying the song as a prequel—it reads more as a retrospective, or an epilogue. Sure, there are things coming on down the road, but on “You Want Me?,” he’s not quite ready to look away from the rearview just yet.
Watch the video for “You Want Me?” below. Frawley co-directed the clip with Stewart Bronaugh (Angel Olsen, Lionlimb), with whom he also collaborated on his forthcoming album.