It was only a few months ago that Sydney’s North Arm gave us their reverb-drenched, folk-inspired indie rock tune Careless, an adventurous foray into something a little more pop for the band. The track had a lush, relaxed vibe with an electronic heartbeat at its core, and it only seems right that that heartbeat be ripped out and beefed up into something bolder. Running Touch has been given the honors this time around, brilliantly capturing the carefree vibe of the original and injecting it with disco funk soul.
Running Touch take the dreamy dynamics of Careless from North Arm and turn it into a whole different monster, injecting it with disco funk soul.
North Arm make music that seems ripe for an electronic takeover. Akin to bands like Wild Nothing and The War On Drugs, their music is dreamy and based around the strummed rhythms of a guitar, but at the same time there is an underlying metallic twang lurking beneath the surface, derived from drum samples that form the foundations of their tunes.
Their latest single Careless is an electronic producer’s dream. Hook-ridden and catchy as hell, the track has all the elements for a remix. It’s also delicate and dreamy, ready to be taken apart, beefed up, and put back together as a whole different monster. Hazy and nostalgic, Careless sounds like the soundtrack to your grainy childhood home videos.
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The hooks are all in the vocals, as frontman and main songwriter Roderick Smith husks things like “I couldn’t care less/ I’ll live another day,” buried in a bed of dreamy, metallic reverb. Running Touch wasted no time in bringing those hooks to the forefront in the track’s funk-riddled remix. Reigning in the reverb, the track opens with a clean, prodding synth line and Smith’s husky vocals before blasting in to a club-ready, beat-heavy disco tunes. The remix never strays far from the original, with Smith’s vocals and fuzzy guitar riffs hovering over 80s funk beats.
The remix is all about dynamics, ducking between the dreamy soundscapes of the original and its late night evil twin. Just as the track takes off into a club groove, everything falls away until it’s just vocals and synth; but before you know it, the track whiplashes back to its dark side, all big bass and shredding guitar. Three and a half minutes seems like a tease. When the song decays in its finale, you half expect it to kick back into club mode, but the synths only fade in to silence. Running Touch have done a damn good job in harnessing the carefree vibes of the original and giving it some guts.
The band also have a brilliantly fitting video for Careless out today too. Comprised almost entirely from footage from the Aussie doco, Australian Daze, the clip is grainy and nostalgic, reminiscent of cracked lips and calloused feet.