Architecture in Helsinki

Wind the dial back to 2009. When the fluoro phase began to dwindle from popularity and Victorians suffered the worst bushfire season in modern history. While Australia finally said "sorry," and the United States inducted their first black President, the death of Michael Jackson shocked millions and we witnessed the rise of Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber.


We are now living in a much different world to that of 24 months ago. The markets keep crashing, the looters are still looting and Auto-Tune keeps on producing.


During this time, in their inspired studio named Buckingham Palace, a group of five Melbournian pop luminaries who go by the name Architecture in Helsinki toiled over synth and synergy to arise in 2011 with their fourth studio album.


The Dwarf caught up with front man Cameron Bird during his much needed one-week breather in Byron Bay. Whilst Cameron contemplated the idea of going swimming, we fiddled over the details of the past 24 months and their upcoming Australian tour.


Exhaling memories of long stints on the road and in the studio, Cameron said he is still feeling really good, " Yeah. It's been a really great year; we did a lot of really great shows and had a lot of really great experiences."


" We worked pretty five or six days per week for the better part of a year and a half building and writing the record. It was just a really rewarding experience. When we finished it was the first time we had ever really felt like it was just how we wanted it to be. "


Since the nineties, AIH has developed their sound without sacrificing any of the traits which make them so unique. Their Velcro sticking and alluring ballads turn mere lyrics into desperate outcries from the listener. From 'Fingers Crossed' in early 2003, 'In Case We Die' and 'Places Like This' released in 2007; we have seen their perspectives progressively reinvent conceptions of cliché.


Cameron said ever since their beginnings AIH has never approached a new album or even song in a casual manner, " We like to work very intensely because that's when the best material comes out... When you spend so long on a record you don't leave any question marks."


Unsurprisingly, the motivations of the group and their music are very varied. From art to AFL, AIH leaves no stone unturned in the search for inspiration and influence.


'Escapee' is the most recently released track and video clip from the new album. Producing the video clip, Cameron said " Out of the fifteen or so video clips we have made, it was the first that we had nothing to do with. We picked the treatment, we really liked it, we turned up and that was it."


Unlike their videos in the past, this disconnected approach was very different to the way AIH likes to work, very hands on. Although Cameron said they are very happy with the result, the group will certainly remain very involved in future productions. " The working process wasn't really for us I think, so in future we will stick to our collaborative process."


Recently, after having just returned from a tour around the US, Russia, Europe and the UK, the group joined the Splendour brigade despite being hideously jetlagged.


" We didn't actually get a lot of free time; we were pretty much slugging it out the entire time we were there... I think we piked it a little, but the experience of being there was just incredible either way."


As the five members go their separate ways for a week before hitting the road again, Cameron said he may be relaxing now, but he is still excited to get back on tour. " I'm really looking forward to playing the record to people now that it's been out for a few months."


New album 'Moment Bends' will be the focus of the tour, however Cameron said a bit of older stuff will be thrown in the mix as well to make it a great live show for fans.


The album represents their first release on Modular Records, which the group signed with earlier this year. Cameron said the move immersed the band with a label who, like them, appreciates the alternative.


With a ridiculous amount of shows on their horizon, Cameron and AIH are still hoping to continue producing, writing and hopefully releasing into the next year.


" We've got another sixty or seventy shows to play in the next year, so we've got to keep soldiering through them. But we are starting to converse about when we'll start making a new album and hoping to put something out next year... Keep changing, keep refining and keep evolving as a band."


As they all catch their breath in their own way, Cameron and Architecture in Helsinki are still as filled with vibrancy as they ever were. " After we all go our separate ways, we all come back feeling refreshed and excited at the prospect of playing a bunch of shows."


So although it may be a completely different world out there, we can be assured that AIH are going to continue to move along with it, and most probably beyond it. Their music will stay one step ahead whilst we all try frantically to catch up.

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