Foreign Escapes sees Grand Pavilion serve up synth-pop with finesse

PREMIERE: Foreign Escapes sees Grand Pavilion lay down the serene beats

Everyone says they hate Mondays. It’s become such an arbitrary statement it’s as relevant as exclaiming that it’s cold in winter or that cat memes are hilarious. But there is some truth in it, after a well earned weekend, dragging your ass out of bed on a Monday morning is just a little more difficult than we wish it would be. What we need fellow lethargic Australians, is music that is both soothing and energising. Foreign Escapes from Grand Pavillion is the mini-album that will certainly do the trick.

Grand Pavilion Foreign Escapes

Charged with cascading synths and introspective storytelling, Foreign Escapes sees Grand Pavilion create a nuanced debut mini-album.

Grand Pavillion are an electro-pop duo who hail from the gorgeous shores of Byron Bay. Think a more mellow version of Safia (yes, such a thing is possible). Much like other musos from that town Tom Hunt and Stuart McNair are a couple of good looking fellows with a penchant for moulding some fine quality tunes. They’re both multi-instrumental musicians, which accounts for the rich sound they are able to emulate. Foreign Escapes is there debut mini-album, their first big recording effort following on from a few singles and notable remixes.

Foreign Escapes is a good introduction to the band. It serves a healthy dose of synth battered pop and niggles the ears with adventurous samples for that extra zest. The mini-album is saturated with a notion of nostalgia and romanticism. The lyrics are cleverly ambiguous, but the themes are there and are weaved throughout the eight tracks. A lost friend, place or lover, each time the subject changes but nevertheless the feeling is still there.

Hunt’s vocals are on point, appropriately airy and emotive. Tracks like If I AskRoads Like Veins and Stranger showcase this ability quite well. Sometimes it’s treated with effects, but only slightly. He’ll no doubt continue to draw the Safia comparisons, but where Grand Pavillion differ is their ability to embrace a more experimental side of the genre.

The plethora of synths and samples is the real reason to listen to Foreign Escapes. Sometimes they drizzle down gently, and other times it washes over you relentlessly. This could have easily have devolved into a mess of Transformer sounds, but the pair have a solid hold on their craft and they know when to reign it in and when to let it all out. Highlight of the mini-album is Anywhere, scoring points for all the praise that has already been mentioned above. And we can’t forget the sublime guest vocals from Loretta Angus. Her harmonies with Hunt is what ice cream is to pancakes.

Foreign Escapes is set for an official release this Friday August 7, and you can pre-order it on iTunes. For all fans of electronica and synth-pop this is a release that will be well worth your time. Musically it is charges with a slow burning energy, while the lyrics remain introspective, a dynamic that Grand Pavillion have nailed and will hopefully continue to do in the future.