Australian music is seeing a fanfare of killer collaborative vocalists.
Largely the electronic scene has benefitted from this, with names like Dro Carey, Golden Features and Flume pumping out huge tracks featuring rich Aussie vocals. Last week we saw Brisbane artist Golden Vessels release a six track EP with five separate vocalists.
A great set of pipes has a marked effect on a song, often making or breaking the tune. Usually this sort of two-piece collaboration follows a mould – one producer and one singer, but a pair of talented Aussies are about to break away from these guidelines in style.
Ta-ku and Wafia are Yin and Yang, two puzzle pieces fitting perfectly with the others’ strengths and (m)edian is a tour de force of two seriously talented collaborators
The duo’s chemistry has been evident since they released a stripped back, soulful version of Estelle and Kanye West’s American Boy. When you turn on (m)edian, the same sparks fly.
Track one, Treading Water features both artists singing call-and-response style. At first Wafia’s dreamy high-end contrasts beautifully with Ta-ku’s more subdued vocals as they sing to each other, and in the chorus the two come together in soaring harmony.
The instrumental backing is minimal and stylish – subtle strings and a simple, constant drumbeat speak volumes on how well the vocals carry this tune. (m)edian is drenched in Ta-ku’s sophisticated, understated production and Wafia’s presence on the record only compliments, adding layers and harmonies he couldn’t have achieved solo.
The five-track collection features two ‘bridging’ songs (tracks two and four), about a minute long each, serving as seamless transitions from one vocal feast to another. A move artists usually reserve for full-length releases, Ta-ku and Wafia have made sure listeners know they cut no corners with this EP, a clear labour of love.
Meet In The Middle is the single you can grab right now. Similarly to the first track, this song spends equal parts on each vocalist but twists the formula a little by reserving the higher vocal lines for Ta-ku and leaving backups and stylish interjections for Wafia, showing the range of both artists.
Breaking of the status quo is always appreciated, moves as simple as breaking collaborative conventions or including transitions in an EP are often all a release needs to distinguish itself from the rest – as (m)edian has.
It advertises the maturity of Ta-ku and Wafia as artists, and in combination with beautiful, subdued production and stunning vocal performances all around we can congratulate this budding duo on a dynamite EP.