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Master Melbourne duo, ALTA (not to be confused with Asta) graces and experiments with the electronic Australian music scene once again with their newly released EP, Awake For Days.
ALTA are masters of storytelling and lush production on their latest album Awake For Days.
The stylish girl-boy band concept never seemed more fun with vocalist Hannah Lesser and producer Julius Dowson who take on electric sound waves, upbeat synths and hypnotic loops similar to local electronic pals Oscar Key Sung and Banoffee. ALTA seem to be producing their own very specialised brand of electronic music and it means great things for locals’ personalised playlists and No Lights Lycra events. Something these wonderful home grown Melbourne acts have in common is that they can actually sing, and very well if I might add.
Hannah writes songs on the album around a theme or a story. She says that this can range from one of her own experiences, from those around her or other times it’s made up situations and hypotheticals. Jules in the meantime says he is addicted to older vintage gear ranging from synths, effects units and tape players; “I love plugging in a new bit of equipment I haven’t used before and playing around with it until it makes a sound I like” he says. “That’s how I’ve been starting beats recently and then I’ll move to some gear I’m a bit more comfortable with and start filling the track out”. This explains the sophisticated levels of sound across Awake For Days and the complexity of textured beats and sound placements that are specially curated by Jules.
ALTA, as a band are inspired by their home quarters and this played importance in the experimental processes of producing their new sounds on Awake For Days. Hannah loves the pace of Melbourne and how everyone is really accepting of what others are doing, whether it’s music or clothing. “I feel like I’ve got the freedom to change up styles or try something different and it’s all good”. Jules agrees, “I love being able to ride my bicycle everywhere too. Ride down the road, grab a snack, pedal around eating, it’s a good city.”
Hannah says that in the new album there are meanings in all the songs and sometimes it’s spelled out in the lyrics and other times it’s a story that’s a bit more ambiguous, yet has a greater significance on either her or Jules. “Tracks like Esses and Moves are about daily struggles, the working life and dropping in and out of different groups. But then Alive Again is the opposite and is about women empowerment and speaking up for what you want.” With tranquil sounds and aerobic vibes across the new content it really is an album that’s versatile and will not date in the electronic space of sound for a long time.
Awake For Days proves why it’s a good time to be alive and present in the electronic music scene in Melbourne. A collected, polished and peacefully playful album, it is sure to make its mark in experimental music abroad. The subtle xylophone notes that are faint in the background coupled with soothing lyrical echoes or chants are bound to wake you from any well of expired music playlists.
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