"The variety of sonics and rhythms in this record definitely showcases the group’s formidable talent."
This year sees the return of Canberra house duo The Aston Shuffle with their second studio release, Photographs. The record features heavy but masterful production and a determinedly more pop-driven sound than their first, making it incredibly catchy and easy to listen to.
The album opens with Tear It Down, an incredibly infectious techno-pop tune which starts slow and earnest and builds to several exciting crescendos. Comfortable departs from the duo's sound slightly with a rawer instrumental line in its introduction, resulting in an unexpectedly classic techno track. Photographs appears to slow down slightly with Can't Stop Now, which features a reduced rhythm in its introduction paired with heartfelt lyrics, but then builds into a bass-heavy house beat, making it one of the standout tracks on the album.
The variety of talents in production and lyricism in this record is displayed again in Astronaut, which features earnest vocal phrases with a catchy but incredibly complex electronic beat. The song departs again from the group's – and genre's – usual sound with its slow chorus of clear, strong vocals and a relatively light rhythm. Towards the end of the album the duo offers You Really Got Me, which is enjoyable and well-produced but is somewhat simpler than its counterparts. The record then closes with perhaps its most upbeat and exciting track, Sunrise Won't Get Lost.
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While certainly adopting a more pop-heavy sound than we are used to hearing from the Canberra pair, the variety of sonics and rhythms in this record definitely showcases the group's formidable talent.