I’m eagerly awaiting tonight’s Cut Copy show in Austin, Texas! This ’80s-influenced band from Melbourne, Australia has skyrocketed to indie popularity in the seven years since the release of their first album Bright Like Neon Love in 2004. I remember seeing the band at South by Southwest in 2005 with the guy I’d just started dating (now my husband), and I was heavily drawn to the upbeat, layered synthpop that captivated the crowd.
Since then Cut Copy has released two more albums, and their influences have included ’80s New Wave, dream-pop and Afro-pop, as well as the ’80s jungle and tribal motifs that this very blog has been reveling in for the past month. Now you see why we couldn’t let this day go by without celebrating the musical diversity that is Cut Copy!
Their new album Zonoscope has blown my mind–at its poppiest, you want to board a cruise ship to an undisclosed island location circa 1985, and I’m not even a fan of cruises. Have a listen to “Take Me Over” at cutcopy.net (click on “Music”), then notice how the cover art for the single channels the feel of bright ’80s designer fabrics like this pattern by Furphy Simpson for the American label Williwear (image from 1980s Fashion Print by Marnie Fogg):
Zonoscope tracks like “Pharaohs and Pyramids” combine the best of ’80s electro with arena-crowd energy, and “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution” can’t help but conjure images of Oingo Boingo surrounded by jungle vegetation. Zonoscope exemplifies what Cut Copy does so well–they effectively and creatively integrate a variety of musical styles from the past while moving their music ahead into the future.
Which is why we chose a non-’80s video for this week’s Friday Video Pick. From 2001 (when Cut Copy consisted solely of founding member Dan Whitford), “1981” fuses electro and New Order-ish beats with an 8-bit sound. In fact, the video itself seems to be an “homage montage,” packed with the ’80s images and influences we’ve come to know and love at the height of our nostalgia.
We leave you with a still from the documentary by Krozm that chronicles the making of Zonoscope (also available for viewing at cutcopy.net):
In addition to shots of Dan Whitford donning a tribal mask, we have this shelf-top decor from the home that seems to be a major setting of collaboration between band members. With its tiger artwork and other fantasy-like components, including a smaller (we guess 1980s) picture featuring a vase and a staircase, we aren’t surprised that their new album takes us to another place–one that is exotic, other-worldly, yet ultimately centering.
Congrats to band members Dan Whitford, Tim Hoey, Mitchell Scott and Ben Browning on all of their success! Can’t wait for tonight’s show–Happy Friday, Everyone!