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Friday, 5 June 2015 |
It's been three years since Melbourne's Alpine released their critically acclaimed debut A Is For Alpine, during which time the six piece have toured extensively both locally and overseas. Spending so much time together as a band and writing new material while on the road, has lead to an album that expands on their strengths but isn't afraid to experiment.
Opener 'Come On' builds exquisitely from a noodling guitar and lush vocals to a richly textured waterfall of sound. Lead single 'Foolish' is classic Alpine with the syncopated strings, lending the song an almost disco vibe. 'Damn Baby' throws crashing percussion and horns into the mix. Each song on the album is a richly textured aural adventure, with new layers and sounds revealing themselves on every listen.
Guitarist Christian O'Brien has put in double duty on the album, co-producing with Dann Hume (who produced their debut and has also worked with Lisa Mitchell, Sticky Fingers and HOPIUM among others). O'Brien has stated an intention to try and push the envelope when it comes to what a 'pop' song can be; "Many times writing the initial demos I felt we were really going against what an Alpine record should probably sound like, but it does sound like us."
The reason all this experimentation still sounds so uniquely Alpine is the interplay of vocalists Phoebe Baker and Lou James. Their voices swoop and soar around each other and the other instruments in a way that never fails to mesmerise. They provide the signature sound that allows Alpine to experiment with the textures beneath the vocals.
Lyrically, Yuck feels more personal than their debut. Songs tackle issues from self acceptance ('Jellyfish'), attraction ('Damn Baby'), self actualisation ('Come On'), and relationships ('Need Not Be').
On balance, Yuck is a bold forward move for Alpine, and should see them garner even more adulation. It's a deep, intimate album that will reward multiple listens.
Alpine's Yuck is out June 12th on Ivy League Records and is also available now on pre-order via iTunes.
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