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Home-recorded tunes always seem to have this innate sense of freedom. Without the time constraints of paid studio time, there can be complete liberty in refining each detail so that the final product sounds like something thoroughly thought out, considered and pained over. Kevin Parker is the master of this. All off his work – his last two records in particular – are the product of endless tweaking, and the final product is a painfully considered piece of art. This is becoming more and more common these days with the possibilities of home recording ever growing, and Sydney’s Raindrop take full advantage of this.
Raindrop make lo-fi music with a hi-fi mind, utilising exotic instruments, warping synths and scattered vocals in a brilliant psych pop package.
The band take the low fidelity elements of home recording and execute them with a hi-fi mind. What comes out is a textural beast, full of quirks and oddments in a highly listenable package. Until You Go is the first single from their forthcoming EP Crowded Brain, recorded in frontman Miles Devine’s home studio, which one can only imagine is a microcosm of tangled leads, vintage recording gear and strange ideas.
Raindrop have had a pretty interesting run since starting out a few years back. The band formed back in 2013 as a side project of each member’s own bands, spearheaded by Devine. They recorded an EP which sparked new flames under Devine’s creative cauldron, but members came and went, leaving the frontman with an ever-growing catalogue of tunes and ideas. He then collaborated with Pat Torres from Richard In Your Mind and The Seaport & The Airport, aka Sydney producer Oscar Wuts.
These collaborations marked the beginnings of Crowded Brain, spurred on more so by another collaboration, this time with SPOD, who injected the band with a newfound weirdness. Devine then enlisted the help of Oscar Veliks and Lochie Earl from Sydney band Gypsys of Pangea and school mate Timothy Sneddon, forming the current incarnation of Raindrop.
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Until You Go reflects a little bit of what Unknown Mortal Orchestra did on their first album. The drums are fat and prominent, giving the track a R&B vibe. Despite that the instrumentation is sparse, with wisps of psychedelia streaked throughout warping synths, sitar, vibrato guitar and filtered, echoey vocals. That is until a little three second fuzz guitar jam breaks through the dreamy void.
Crowded Brain is a fitting title if the EP is to sound anything like Until You Go. The track is the product of a man with ideas – lots of them. But everything feels restrained and well thought out; the drums and bass are fat and warm, and the instrumentation alone is a joy to listen to. Raindrop take psychedelic music and its most basic elements – exotic mechanisms and whimsical vocals – and distill them into a bubbling pop package.
Crowded Brain is due out 9th of October. Keep your eyes on the sky and ears to the ground.
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