The Vine ‘first listen’: Cut Copy – ‘Zonoscope’, January 2011

A ‘first listen’ for The Vine. Excerpt below.

‘First Listen’ ruminates on forthcoming records we’re excited about – penned before their release date and whilst still drunk with the confusing hot flush of first impressions. Previously: The NationalM.I.AArcade FireMatthew Dear.

Cut Copy
(Modular Recordings)

Release date: February 4th 2011

Three years after Cut Copy’s breakthrough second album, In Ghost Colours, comes the much anticipated follow up in Zonoscope. Now a fully-fledged four-piece, there’s a lot riding on this release for the Melbourne-based act. Such as, “Do people still care?”.

But upon hearing the disco throb of opener ‘Need You Now’, there’s no initial announcement of urgency on the band’s part. The track doesn’t so much reach a climax as maintain an insistent rhythm across six slow-burning minutes. This is a new tact for Cut Copy. The hooks of In Ghost Colours were built around verse escalation toward euphoric choruses; remember the way that they stripped everything back for those few seconds before reaching the chorus of ‘Lights And Music’? That doesn’t happen here. This is disorienting at first. ‘Need You Now’ is a crafty opener, because it confounds expectations. It reveals that the quartet hold higher aspirations than what they’ve achieved thus far, as – alongside The Presets – Australia’s chief synthpop proponents.

So it’s with some disappointment that Zonoscope’s next track, ‘Take Me Over’, follows that established formula of leaving a bar of vocal silence before launching into a chorus that’ll sound most at home sung by thousands-strong audiences. There’s the familiar echoes of swooning “oohs” that colour the song’s backdrop; the same they worked throughout In Ghost Colours, so much so that they’ve become something of an integral part of the band’s sound. The song’s familiarity – its sheer Cut Copy-ness – acts as a buffer between the system-shock of the opener, and the blatant pop of ‘Where I’m Going’, which was first released for free via the band’s website in late 2010. The latter track’s mood is ebullient, contagious; it’s difficult to shake the image of the band members yelling “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Woo!” while fist-pumping at their triumphant Parklife 2010 headline spot.

For the full ‘first listen’, visit The Vine. More Cut Copy on their website. The music video for their track ‘Lights & Music‘ is embedded below.

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