Album Review: Cut Copy - Freeze, Melt

21 August 2020 | 12:01 pm | Cyclone Wehner

"Cut Copy's trajectory surely isn't over."

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The Melbourne indie-dance band Cut Copy have resurfaced with a sixth album, Freeze, Melt. And, in keeping with their lowkey image, it's less about ostentatious reinvention than steady exploration as they introduce an intriguing marine prog sound.

Cut Copy's synth-pop is typically compared to New Order (the quartet supported the Mancunians in Melbourne back in March), but really they're the Antipodean Talk Talk – or possibly now The Church's psych successors. Like Talk Talk's Mark Hollis, Dan Whitford isn't an obvious frontman, yet Cut Copy epitomise impeccable musicianship.

Originating as Whitford's solo vehicle, Cut Copy debuted with 2004's cult Bright Like Neon Love on Modular Recordings. But, after commissioning The DFA's Tim Goldsworthy as producer, the band found an international hipster audience with In Ghost Colours – their commercial zenith. For their last foray, 2017's Haiku From Zero, Cut Copy signed to Astralwerks – but, under-promoted, it was slept-on.

Freeze, Melt – with eight tracks – has a distinct Scandinavian space disco ethos, inspired by Whitford's relocation to Copenhagen, Denmark. Indeed, Nordic cosmic-types Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas have even remixed the yacht goth opener Cold Water. Freeze, Melt is a wintry maritime album, with aerial synths, watery bass and briny textural twists – its arrangements among Cut Copy's most intricate (Stop, Horizon replicates Balearic guitar-lines). The grooves are deep.

Cut Copy's comeback single, Love Is All We Share, is an off-season summer song with a foamy vocal melody, glistening keys and lyrics extolling empathy in a remote cyber world. Like Breaking Glass is the danciest moment with crashing beats and reverb – classic Cut Copy. The percussive A Perfect Day recalls a Caribou pop anthem, Cut Copy suspending the big euphoric build. They steer into instrumental music with In Transit.

Cut Copy's trajectory surely isn't over.

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