PREMIERE: At war with the digital landscape, Romeo Moon’s Give Everything belongs on the new Matrix soundtrack

We live in an increasingly digital and networked world. Each day we incessantly generate, re-negotiate and perpetuate digital identities. With mobile phones, tablets and laptops seductively within arm’s reach it’s easy to get caught up in our web mediated identities. Given Romeo Moon’s musical passion for the vintage and analogue it’s not difficult to envision the Melbourne locals feel a need to vent some collective frustration over society’s fixation with these hubristic digital personas.

Romeo Moon Gove Everything

Romeo Moon are back with their impressive new single Give Everything, a great look at the heavy shadow cast by digital egos.

Give Everything is purposed as a reminder not to get lost in the false realities of the digital environment. Thematic parallels can be drawn with Radiohead’s seminal alt rock LP Ok Computer. Exploring similar introspective themes of isolation, consumerism and alienation the work of the Oxfordshire five-piece has resonated with generations of fans. But almost two decades after the thrashing riffs of Paranoid Android the increasing incursion of the digital world has provided, rather than subsiding, the anxieties and feelings of detachment the British act initially expressed have become even more pronounced.

With William Blaxland returning on guitar, Luke Elliot laying down some Juno synth and bass, Simon McConnell providing percussion as well as Kevin Orr on lead vocals, Romeo Moon imaginatively employ their stripped back rock to create artificial sounds and glitchy digital textures. Crescendoing and distorted guitar drones combine with flicking drum machine clicks to create an unsettling mechanical soundscape. Multiple instrumental elements drop in and out of the mix to evoke feelings of disorientation and claustrophobia.

Telling the cautionary narrative of a protagonist becoming increasingly consumed by their digital ego, the track kicks off with ghostly and fragmented backing vocals that set an ominous tone. Darkly escapist lyrics like “I’m lost now in myself” and the repeated “Give me everything” articulate the protagonist’s internal struggle. Bouncy yet slightly off-kilter riffs convey a feeling of stilted excitement, perhaps reflecting how easy it is to become enamoured with our digital alter egos, before giving away to grinding licks which belay the detrimental nature of this unnatural obsession. Orr’s emotively protracted vocals contrast with the track’s mechanical instrumental sounds adding a human element to the struggle and emphasising the dichotomy between the real and constructed.

With rhythmic instrumentals, ambient vocal choruses, glitchy production and brooding lyrics Give Everything takes Romeo Moon in a tantalising new direction while reflecting on the theme of never being truly disconnected from the contrivances of an all-enveloping digital world.