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I must admit that when a band introduces themselves with the description that they all have a varying degree of skill in toasted sandwich making, I’m pretty much sold on them instantly. It’s even better when they actually make amazing music too.
Take a peek into the wonderfully rhythmic world of Sydney’s Retiree. Full of all the scattering drum machines, Moog synthesisers & electronically manipulated vocals you’ll ever need!
Retiree are a rhythmic-electronica band from Sydney who have just released their killer EP This Place, a follow up to their previous offerings from the past two years. The band released their debut 12” on Plastic World records in 2013 and their Altruisme single was released back in 2014. Since then, Retiree have focused on writing and recording new music, as well as touring across Australia, including playing festivals like Splendour In The Grass and OutsideIn.
The This Place EP has a whole plethora of influences splattered all over it. There are moments where the new-wave edge Talking Heads have a huge impact, as well as Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars-era Bowie, but for the Retiree guys the EP is a blend of both their musical and environmental surroundings.
“DJ mixtapes have a lot of impact on us. A mix is an escape. A good one can put your mind in a very open, creative place. Our songs often start with one of us excitedly playing on an idea we heard in a mix,” explain the band. “Our surroundings can occasionally inspire lyrics directly. It seems people pick up on a very summery Australian feeling somewhere in the music. We all draw a lot of inspiration from local bands and artists too. So it’s nice that when people point out ‘Nile Rodgers sounding guitar lines’ or whatever, it can still sound local and honest.”
Finding a way to take electronic music from recording to playing live shows is often quite a challenge, but it seems like Retiree have it all figured out. Utilising live drums machine and sequencers, the band create a mind-blowing display of rhythmic beats and funk-tinged grooves. The vocals are reminiscent of the more laid-back side of Cut Copy – a sort of smooth husk, electronically manipulated and near undistinguishable in its diction.
“It’s a bit of a clutter of synths and guitars. We love figuring out how to take songs from the studio to the stage. The way our parts are written means we need to switch instruments between and during songs. Sometimes things go wrong, but risk makes it exciting.”
So what’s next for Retiree?
“We want to get over to Europe and play some shows. We’re already working on another record, possibly a full length.”
Retiree play Howler in Melbourne tomorrow night, and if their show at GOODGOD in Sydney last week is anything to go by, you’d better get your arse there.
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